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5 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick on Business Trips

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Business trips can be a taxing endeavor (Let’s face it... you’re not doing it for pleasure.) The last thing you need when travelling for work is to get sick. However, due to several elements involved with travel, it’s an all too common occurrence to become under the weather, and thus, under-perform. The good news is that many of these factors are preventable if you take proper measures.

1. Maintain a healthy diet

  1. WHY: Many people tend to eat unhealthily when they travel.
  2. HOW: Pack healthy snacks to eat in between meals to help avoid fast food or sugary treats. Granola bars, nuts, dehydrated fruit, roasted seeds, and trail mix are portable and healthy alternatives that don’t require refrigeration, making them great for travel. Also, consider buying from grocery stores whenever possible to avoid the unhealthy options and processed foods that many fast food restaurants provide.

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2. Avoid stress by planning ahead 

  1. WHY: People tend to be stressed when they travel, which can affect their immune system and make them susceptible to the spread of germs.
  2. HOW: Create an organized itinerary that contains all the information regarding your trip and follow it. This can include confirmation numbers, flight times, directions, and addresses. Give yourself ample time to arrive at your destinations, especially before flights and when travelling somewhere that you haven’t been before.
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3. Prioritize sleep

  1. WHY: People tend to not get a sufficient amount of sleep or have trouble sleeping when they travel, which can decrease their immune system’s ability to fight germs.
  2. HOW: Bring aids to help turn situations, such as a layover or long flight, into an opportunity to catch up on sleep. Some of these may include earplugs, an eye mask, or a sleep-inducing remedy like melatonin. Additionally, many people listen to relaxing noises such as natural sounds, or white noise to help fall asleep.

4. Sanitize

  1. WHY: Many people are not aware of how dirty some surfaces may be and unknowingly expose themselves to large quantities of germs, becoming vulnerable to illness.
  2. HOW: Bring sanitation tools, such as disinfectant wipes or mists and hand sanitizer, to clean your hands and the surfaces around you. Some of the dirtiest surfaces, such as seat pockets and strap buckles, may surprise you.

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5. Get vaccinated

  1. WHY: Some foreign countries do not have resources as vast as those in the US when it comes to disease prevention. A rare disease in the US may be much more common abroad. Even for domestic trips, routine vaccinations are highly suggested to help you maintain good health when your immune system may become compromised.
  2. HOW: Keep up to date on routine vaccinations including meningococcal, pneumococcal, flu, and tetanus. Research the area that you are going to and any vaccines that might be necessary. For example, Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations are suggested for areas where food and water sanitation resources are unreliable, such as in Mexico, and Central and South America.

Maintaining good health on business trips is easier than it seems! In addition to these tips, good wellness practices such as drinking plenty of water, limiting alcohol consumption and frequently washing your hands are always key to avoiding illness. To learn more about suggested pre-travel vaccines for various global areas, click here.

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Consider reading our other blogs about business travel:

Fighting the Symptoms of Jet Lag

Four Ways to Prepare for an International Move

5 Business Travel Myths Debunked

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