Getting the Most Out of Spring Break 2014

For most students, spring break is just over a month away, with two ways to approach it: the way that'll etch itself into your memory for decades, or the way the actors in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers do. Hint: the first option is more fun—and legal.

1. Plan Ahead: The closer to the date, the more expensive the airfare. By giving yourself three or more weeks to start your search, you'll have the best chance of finding the best prices and shortest trips.

2. Book Central: Wherever you're going, try and book a hotel that's as close to the downtown core as possible. While it may cost a little more, the navigation will be easier and you'll save on cab fares.

3. Research: Even if you have awesome navigation skills, familiarize yourself with the city as much as possible beforehand. Google map the city, your hotel, the bars/clubs you want to go to or any other spots on the list. And use Street View to know what it looks like beforehand because everything looks different at night.

4. Get Good Cabs: Ask a hotel or restaurant to call a cab for you so you know you're getting in a legit one, with a non-legal cab posing all sorts of safety risks. Most destination cities have an abundance of cabs, so waiting for one takes less time than you think.

5. Use ATMs in Groups: Doing things in groups has stereotypically been delegated to girls but with ATMs in foreign cities, it's just smart. There's more coverage from shady onlookers, and safety in numbers in case anyone tries something. That being said, call up places in the city beforehand to see if they'll take plastic, as one card is a lot easier to carry around than bills.

6. "Consume" Wisely: Whether it's different food or relaxed liquor laws, anticipate a Plan B just in case the worst happens. It may or may not, but there's a big difference in comfort in throwing up on a busy downtown curb, and doing it in your hotel room bathroom. And while it's never a good idea to take drugs, at least be with trusted friends and put yourself in a safe location if you do.

7. Practice Safe Sex: Guys, this means always carrying condoms with you, no matter if you're sleeping with a guy or a girl. Girls, take birth control and the morning-after pill with you, and insist on condoms every time. Remember that condoms can also be split open to make dental dams, and that sex on sand is not even an iota as comfortable as it looks on TV.

8. Stay Hydrated: It's a law of physics that humans dehydrate faster in hot weather, so drink lots of water and try to limit alcohol consumption in the sun. Oh, and the trick of using tampons or enemas to disguise the effects of alcohol to authorities doesn't work.

9. Tell People Where You Are: Remember the movie 72 Hours? Don't let it happen to you. Your parents don't want to tag along on your spring break, but they do want to know where to call in case of an emergency. There are plenty of times in your life for mystery and isolation; this is not one of them.