Spring break 2024: ways to prevent COVID, norovirus during travel

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Spring break is in full swing and while it’s a fun time, being the first proper vacation many of us have this calendar year, it also comes with the risk of getting sick. With everyone traveling to and from various places across the country, and many clustering in popular spots such as beaches, spring break is rife for the spread of viruses.

In fact, wastewater analysis shows several viruses such as norovirus and influenza (the flu) increasing in prevalence as we head into spring. Don’t let the presence of viruses keep you from enjoying your spring break vacation, however. Instead, read tips to help keep you from getting sick, no matter what’s floating around.

When is spring break 2024?

Spring breaks vary greatly by school and region, but generally take place anytime from late February to mid April.

Tips to prevent illness over spring break 2024

Wash your hands

No matter what virus your dealing with, the CDC advises to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Thoroughly washing your hands means lathering them with soap for 20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday) and rinsing with warm water.

The CDC notes that hand sanitizer is not effective at killing norovirus, thus it can’t be used as a substitute for hand washing. It can be used, however, in conjunction to curb the spread of other germs.

Product image of Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap

Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap

Wash your hands.

Use hand sanitizer

Where washing your hands isn’t possible, the CDC recommends using hand that’s comprised of at least 60% alcohol. Note that, there isn’t a way to get around washing your hands when dealing with norovirus, as it’s less effective against this particular virus.

Product image of Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Use hand sanitizer.

Wear a mask

Wearing a mask remains the most effective way to curb the spread of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, RSV, and influenza. KN95 and N95 masks are the gold standard when it comes to effectiveness, as they filter up to 95% of the particles responsible for airborne illnesses such as COVID-19 and influenza.

Product image of MAGID N95 Respirator Masks

MAGID N95 Respirator Masks

Wear a mask.

Disinfect surfaces

Another way to combat the spread of germs responsible for illness is by making sure surfaces are rid of germs. Using disinfectant wipes is a convenient way to make sure the surfaces you touch will be clean. If you’re traveling, consider wiping down your airplane seat, tray table, and other high-contact surfaces.

Product image of Lysol Disinfectant Handi-Pack Wipes

Lysol Disinfectant Handi-Pack Wipes

Disinfect high-contact surfaces.

Filter water

You may have heard horror stories about drinking local water when traveling. To give you peace of mind (and peace of stomach) to travel with confidence during spring break trip, we recommend using LifeStraw to filter your water. It’s a straw-shaped filter that protects against bacteria, viruses, parasites, microplastics, dirt, and sand. 

Product image of LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Filter your water with confidence.

Avoid dehydration

Staying hydrated can both help your immune system stave off sickness and add make symptoms less excruciating if you do get sick. Plus, using a water bottle has the added benefit of avoiding using faucets that may have been used by sick individuals. We recommend using our favorite water bottle, the Owala Freesip, which is spill-proof and keeps water cool for up to 24 hours.

Product image of Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Stay hydrated during spring break.

Monitor symptoms with a thermometer

As the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, so it’s important to acknowledge that despite your preventive measures you, still can get sick. Seeing as nearly all the viruses you should be worried about are associated with fevers (which the CDC defines as temperature of 100.4ºF or higher), you should pack a thermometer for your spring break trip. The best thermometer you can buy is the Femometer thermometer. It gives accurate results quickly, has a silent mode and conveniently warns of high temperatures. 

Product image of Femometer Forehead Thermometer

Femometer Forehead Thermometer

Monitor your symptoms.

Rule out illnesses

If you happen to come down with something, you can rule out COVID and two strains in one fell swoop with this combination test kit by Pfizer. We tested it ourselves and it’s just as easy to use as a standard COVID test, but can give you more information.

Product image of LUCIRA by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test

LUCIRA by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test

Rule out COVID and two strains of the flu in one fell swoop.


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