The weather is finally warming up and the course work is finally winding down. As the sun brings out the flowers and the green grass, it also brings out the day drinkers. College kids and adults all across the country are breaking out the BBQ grills and their red solo cups. They’re dusting off their coolers and heading to local beaches and parks. Day drinking can be incredibly fun and successful if done safely. Day drinking can also be very dangerous and destructive if safety measures are not in place. Here are some tips to get you through your next day drink and to ensure that you have a safe experience filled with good vibes and positive energy.

1. Hydration is Key

Always stay hydrated. There are many factors going against you when you day drink. Alcohol and the sun can be an unhealthy combination. Alcohol makes you go to the bathroom more often and dehydrates you while the sun can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Running around in the sun can further cause dehydration. The best idea is to keep drinking water in between drinks and spread out your drinks to increase your chances of lasting all day in the sun. Though it may suck to have to keep using the bathroom and leaving for a few minutes at a time, you will be able to drink for longer and stay more alert and ready to party if water is in the equation. Plus, you’ll reduce your hangover the next day. Your body and your liver will thank you.

2. Pace Yourself

Seriously there is no need to take five shots of vodka in three minutes. If you don’t pace yourself, you will get sick and day drinking will become done drinking. If you drink too early, you won’t be able to last all day. There is no need to go hard in the first five minutes. Pacing yourself will help you survive all day with your crew and keep your buzz going. Though the pregame is often the most fun, if you go too hard in the pregame you won’t be able to make it to the main event. Set some boundaries and stick together. Don’t be afraid to turn drinks down and remind your friends that you can’t go too crazy too fast.

3. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Sun

Remember as a kid how tired you would get after a long day on the beach? Your dad would have to pull you on the cooler as you drifted into your fun-in-the-sun induced slumber. The sun can cause you to become sleepier and your skin to sunburn. It can also cause you to sweat more, which further dehydrates you. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed if you need to take a break in the shade or wear a cute baseball hat to avoid some rays for a while. Don’t fall asleep in the sun because you will turn into a lobster (google Kim Kardashian sunburn; you’re welcome). BRING AND WEAR SUNSCREEN. I repeat BRING AND WEAR SUNSCREEN. Seriously, your skin is precious and needs to be taken care of. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating and to get areas that are often skipped (feet, ears, etc.).

4. Keep Your Friends Close and the Toilets Closer

Keep in mind that you will have to use the restroom – probably a lot. Try to map out where the bathrooms are and how far away they are. Don’t hold it in for too long. You will not be able to enjoy your day if all that is on your mind is how badly you need to pee. If the place you are going doesn’t have any bathrooms, try designating a driver or choosing a different spot.

Also, keep tabs on and take care of your friends. You are all there to help each other. If you know Julie is drinking too fast and don’t say anything then are forced to go home because Julie is sick, you’ll feel guilty and like you missed out on the fun. Know where your friends are and travel in groups. During a day drink, chances are somebody’s phone will die. Don’t let them get separated from the pack without a way of contacting you. Write down emergency numbers just in case somebody does get separated and has to use a pay phone or borrow a cellphone to meet up again.

5. Eat Something

We get it, it’s bikini season and you don’t want to “become bloated” or take the time to eat something. But you must. Eat before the day drink, snack during the day drink, and eat after the day drink. Your body will absolutely hate you if you are out in the sun all day drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. You will get a massive headache, become that “too-drunk friend” and could even pass out. Food also helps absorb alcohol. Eat fruits and vegetables with hummus if you are watching your nutrition or an apple and peanut butter. Fuel your body with foods that will give you plenty of energy to last all day and all night. Also, alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream more slowly when there is food in your stomach. Day drinking is all about pacing yourself and not getting too drunk and too sloppy too fast. Make sure there is proper refrigeration for your food if you are on a beach or bring along a picnic somewhere. Improper refrigeration can lead to food poising and sickness which is no fun.

6. Wear The Right Clothing

Let’s be real here: you might look adorable in that Lilly Pulitzer sun dress, but you’ll regret your wardrobe choice when an impromptu game of tackle football starts on the campus green. Wear clothing that is versatile and comfortable. Don’t wear those brand new sandals that give you blisters. You won’t be happy walking around in them all day and you’ll wish you wore the old flip flops. Wear clothes that fit and don’t require you to fuss with them. You don’t want to be worrying all day about flashing your friends because your bikini is too big or your shorts ripping. Pack along an extra shirt or shorts in case of spillage or last minute wardrobe malfunctions. Think about the activities and the itinerary and plan your outfit accordingly.

7. Stick to ONE Family Of Alcohol

Don’t mix 17 different kinds of alcohol. Or even three. Just don’t. It might seem cool at the time to take shots with everyone who asks you to and to drink vodka, tequila, and rum, but you will regret it later. There are different sugar levels in different types of drinks which can cause you to feel sick and get sick. Stick to vodka, wine, or tequila – not all three combined. Some people’s stomachs can handle the constant switching of alcohol types and brands, but most should stick with one family of alcohol and call it a day. Since you’re trying to party all day, sticking to one family of booze will help decrease your chances of getting sick.

All and All…

Remember these tips, have fun, and stay safe. Remember to always use a completely sober driver (not just the most sober friend) or to call a cab or some sort of alternative transportation if needed. Drink water, eat something, and have fun. Stick together and celebrate. Day drinking is incredibly fun if done correctly and safely. Have a great time and make some awesome memories!