“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
You may have just finished your exams, completed your time at school or college, thrown out your uniform and ripped up your revision notes and now you’re looking for some fun and relaxation over the summer. Whatever you get up to, whether it’s chilling out at home, going to a festival or on a holiday with mates, make sure you’re looking after yourself and staying safe. Remember, not everything that happens in summer, stays in summer; actions have consequences and seasons change!
Here are some top tips to keep you happy and healthy this summer:
- Arrange a meeting point, somewhere easy to find & memorable, just in case you get separated from your friends.
- Don’t leave anything valuable in your tent!
- Take some anti-bacterial gel so you can clean your hands before eating and after going to the loo. Pack wet wipes, use deodorant and stay out of the mud!!! (It’s probably a combination of dirt, bodily fluids, spilled alcohol and overflowing port-a-loo – not the same as a mud bath at the spa.)
- Don’t just set up shop in the first open space you see. You don’t want to pitch up right next to a stage, in a walk way or at the bottom of a hill – if it rains, the water will be running straight for you. It may seem like a great idea to pitch your tent right next to the port-a-loos in case you need to make a desperate dash, but in reality there will be a constant queue of people lined up by your tent at all hours of the day and night and if you’re really unlucky the contents of a port-a-loo may spill out and surround you... Pick somewhere flat & dry, and away from the stage & walkways.
- For more tips visit The Mix.
- Go in a group of an even number, that way it’s less likely any one person is going to feel left out.
- Before settling on Magaluf because friend’s, sister’s, best friend’s brother went once 4 years ago and said it was okay, it’s best to do a bit of research before you hand over your money. Get a few suggestions together, look at the pros and cons and do a vote – this should keep the process as simple and fair as possible. Read reviews, check a few holiday websites and find a reasonable deal within everyone’s budget.
- On holiday, there’s nothing worse than getting your transfer from the airport and pulling up outside a horrible, run down hotel in the middle of nowhere… Inbetweener’s Movie springs to mind. So once you’ve decided on the destination you need to look into hotels. Find out what everyone would like as a bare minimum and work from there – ideally you want enough beds and a nice clean bathroom.
- After settling into your hotel, locate the nearest supermarket and load up on big bottles of water and snacks to keep in your room.
- Make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. Apply for or renew an EHIC using the official EHIC online application form. This is free of charge. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.
- Getting sunburnt is actually very dangerous and damaging to your skin and health so make sure you use a sun cream with a minimum SPF of 30. Apply the cream at least 20 minutes before you go into the sun and multiple times throughout the day - If you are going to get wet, use a water resistant sun cream. If you can, try and stay out of the sun when it is at its peak from about 11.00am – 3.00pm.
- Planning on having sex over summer? Wherever you are, you need to keep yourself safe from STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Make sure you pack condoms in your suitcase, or keep one in your purse, even if you don’t end up needing one you may be the knight in shining armour to a friend who does. Store your condoms somewhere dry and preferably at room temperature, both heat and the cold can cause your condoms to deteriorate & don’t use oil-based products for lube because this will weaken the latex. Find out where to get free condoms here.
- Keep yourself safe this summer by learning your limits and sticking to them. It’s always cooler to be able to speak in coherent sentences than to be passed out on the floor, say no when enough is enough and don’t worry about what other people think. There’s no need to carry on drinking just because your friends are. You don’t have to try drugs just because they’re around you. Pace yourself and you can make the fun last longer!