One of the most enjoyable vacation ideas for families is taking a cruise. Cruises are all-inclusive packages that can be a cost effective way to enjoy your next trip. Widely publicized illnesses in recent years have some people worried, including people that think taking a cruise is a disaster waiting to happen. Here’s what you can do to avoid an illness while at sea.

Wash your hands often. Germs are easy to spread and often hard to avoid. Frequent hand washing can keep illnesses at bay. Always wash your hands before and after meals, after using the rest room and after any time that you touch public equipment such as a slot machine, game board, or a railing. Cruise lines also have hand sanitizers placed throughout the ship, what you can use as a supplement to hand-washing, but never as a replacement.

Use your private bathroom. With public bathrooms found throughout the ship, the convenience of using them should not be underestimated. Still, you may want to avoid using a public bathroom, retreating to your cabin’s private bathroom instead. If you must use the public toilet, bring cleansing wipes with you and make use of the disposable seat cover, otherwise you would be better off making the trip back to your room.

Wear gloves. Yes, wearing gloves can help you avoid catching germs although doing so may attract more stares than you want. Gloves will also come in handy if illness breaks out. You might also want to bring with you a mask — just in case.

Get your rest. Even if norovirus does not break out, you may be exposed to other illnesses. If your body is weak, your resistance will be low, so make sure that you eat right and get ample rest.

Bring plenty of sunscreen. With water everywhere, chances are you’ll get more sun exposure than you had anticipated. That means bringing generous amounts of sunscreen with you and applying liberally while onboard.

Don’t touch it, at least not directly. Considering that you will be taking all the necessary precautions doesn’t mean that others will. If wearing gloves is not your thing, then only pick up items such as a tong with a napkin. You can’t hold a menu with your napkin, but you can use hand sanitizer immediately after handing it back to the wait staff. Napkins can be useful for opening doors or pushing elevator buttons too.

Rest Assured

Whenever a norovirus outbreak is reported, that story quickly becomes headline news. In reality, only a tiny fraction of the more than 20 million people that take a cruise get sick each year. Cruise lines are quick to attack the problem, in a bid to contain illnesses and to keep you safe.

See Also7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Cruise