22 Feb Sun, Sand, and Safety – Tips for a Healthy Spring Break in 2021
Long before midterms, most students are focused on the fun times that await them on Spring Break. While every student deserves some “fun in the sun,” that doesn’t mean the coronavirus has taken a vacation.
Students need to understand the importance of being cautious this Spring Break, especially if they’re traveling domestically or to another country. For an extra safe Spring Break, college students should consider staying away from the usual MTV-style destinations.
In this post, we’ll share a few college student Spring Break tips and safety suggestions. Hopefully, the details below will help students let off some steam in a healthy way without bringing home a serious disease.
Put Safety First This Spring – 4 Spring Break Ideas & Tips During the Pandemic
Does Your Destination Make the Cut? – Know The CDC’s Guidelines on Travel Restrictions
Before your student books any flight to a foreign country, please ensure their target destination is allowing tourists. Just because the tourism sector is hurting doesn’t mean that every nation wants tourists to visit—at least not yet. Every country is dealing with the pandemic differently, which means parents and students have to carefully monitor travel restrictions abroad.
Even if Americans are allowed to visit your student’s target destination, it’s a good idea to research how well that area is handling COVID-19. What kind of policies has the local government put into place? What’s the latest news on infection rates? Is there a self-quarantine requirement?
Thankfully, the CDC keeps a close eye on how countries are handling the pandemic. There are now four levels in the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, with four representing a “very high risk” and one a “low risk.” We recommend checking out this website when choosing a Spring Break destination.
It’s also essential for students to get a COVID-19 test before and after traveling. If students are flying, they should read through our airplane-related health hacks in our previous blog post.
Are Swimming Pools Pandemic-Proof? – Tips for Safe Swimming During Spring Break
Relaxing in a cool pool is a staple Spring Break activity. However, with the spread of the coronavirus, many people have raised concerns about swimming in large groups. Sure, chlorine is an excellent germ-fighter, but is it enough to kill the virus?
While scientists don’t know everything about how chlorine affects the novel coronavirus, recent research suggests chlorine cleaning products can kill COVID-19 on surfaces.
Chlorine may eliminate nasty bacteria in a pool, but it all depends on how much attendants use and with what frequency. At this point, we can only assume chlorine keeps COVID-19 at bay in a large swimming pool—provided the pool managers monitor the proper pH and chlorine percentage.
Since COVID-19 is mostly spread through the air, chlorine won’t make much of a difference when a large crowd is swimming. Hence, students need to maintain proper hygiene if they choose to go swimming in a pool during Spring Break. This includes keeping six-feet of distance, washing their hands with soap, and wearing a face mask or visor when not in the water.
For more tips on swimming safety, be sure to read through the CDC’s official advice for pool owners.
Forget Crowded Cities – Go To the Grand Canyon!
It doesn’t matter how sanitary a city is—the more people are present, the higher the chances of contracting the virus. Even cities that are considered safe can’t compete with wide-open, natural attractions like parks and hiking trails, and as a result, there’s been an increased demand for outdoor activities like bicycling and camping during the pandemic.
There are plenty of protected national parks across the U.S. that are just waiting to be explored. Instead of heading to Miami Beach, why not take a trip to Biscayne Bay or the Everglades? Rather than rolling the dice in Las Vegas, how about hiking through Zion National Park or the Grand Canyon?
There are so many alternatives in nature throughout the country where students could awaken their inner ecologist. Even if students aren’t all that interested in hiking (yet), who could resist the stunning selfie opportunities?
Encourage your student to look through the National Park Service’s website and find which parks pique their interest.
No Vacation Plans? Bring Spring Break Indoors!
If students aren’t taking a trip this year, that doesn’t mean they can’t bring some of that Spring Break spirit to their dorm, learning pod, or home. Thanks to the latest advances in technology, it’s easy to take a virtual vacation, field trip or visit anywhere on Earth.
If possible, students can use VR headsets to take incredibly realistic tours of some of the world’s most celebrated, fun destinations. However, students don’t have to go super high-tech to have a great time “traveling indoors.” AAA now sponsors virtual tours of many locations online.
Students could also consider re-decorating their room or living space to fit their preferred locale. They may also want to test their cooking skills with authentic recipes from their favorite Spring Break destinations.
Whatever students could do to break the monotony of school life is sure to lift their spirits during a staycation Spring Break.
For Safety During Any Season, Download the Umergency App
The statistics don’t lie: one in four college students will experience a health or safety crisis at some point. Whether it’s during Spring Break or at any other time, students are now extra vulnerable. Thankfully, the Umergency app can give students and parents peace of mind with fast, reliable access to emergency resources that are just one click away.
To learn more about what the Umergency app can do for your student and you, please visit this webpage.