Whether you’ll be jetting to Beijing to check out a new business opportunity, spearheading a new product launch around the country, or sightseeing your way through Europe, staying healthy is essential for you to get the most out of your trip.
Don’t let a stomach bug derail your whole itinerary. Follow these tips to make sure your next trip is a healthy one.
If you plan to travel internationally, find out if you need to be vaccinated in order to travel to your specific destination. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website recommends that you gather this information four to six weeks before you’re scheduled to leave because some vaccines take time to reach optimal levels while others are given in a series. Also, research if there have been any recent outbreaks or health notices in the area where you’re headed and if your destination is vulnerable to natural disasters, like earthquakes or floods.
The weather where you’re headed may be quite different from where you live. Check your destination’s local forecast for the time period you’ll be there and pack accordingly. No matter what the climate will be at your final destination, though, traveling in layers is your best bet.
Fill your prescriptions before you leave so you don’t get caught short while away. If you’ll be traveling for an extended time, ask your pharmacist if they can ship your medicines to you and find out how to replace your medications should they get lost in transit. If possible, consolidate all of your prescriptions at one pharmacy and manage all of your medications online. Also, don’t forget your emergency medicines, like asthma inhalers and epinephrine in case of a severe allergic reaction.
(Photo courtesy of Dawn McIlvain Stahl)
Traveling while you’re sick can be dangerous for you and your fellow passengers. If you’re not feeling well or have only just recovered from a significant accident or illness, ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to travel. Ailments that may ground you include a recent heart attack or stroke, a recent surgery or a bad sinus or ear infection.
Wash Your Hands
More than the air quality, many experts agree that germs are the main reason why passengers get sick from air travel. To avoid coughing, sneezing, and wheezing through your trip, don’t touch your face or your food on the plane unless you have washed your hands properly. Also keep a small hand sanitizer with you to use after you buckle (or unbuckle) your seat belt, touch your tray, and close the overhead baggage compartment.
Water. Water. And More Water.
Have you ever dozed off during a flight and woken up feeling like all the water had been drained from your body? Your flaky skin, dry eyes, and scratchy throat were probably the result of the low humidity level on the plane. Hydration needs vary by weight so find out how much water you need to consume, and then buy a big bottle of water before boarding to sip throughout your flight. Also, beware of consuming too many dehydrating caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
(Photo courtesy of Leo Newball, Jr.)
Sitting for too long can leave you vulnerable to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a dangerous – and potentially fatal – condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your body. Walk around, do some light stretching and (most importantly) contract your calf muscles to avoid this serious medical issue, especially if you’re flying a long distance. If you’re prone to clots, ask your doctor if you should wear compression stockings during your flight.
Time zone changes and never-ending business dinners can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. According to the Mayo Clinic website, lack of sleep can leave you more vulnerable to illness and may also impact your recovery time if you do get sick. Sleeping seven to eight hours at night should keep you feeling refreshed and healthy.
(Photo courtesy of johnc24)
Indulge … But Not Too Much
It would be rude to turn down the seven-course dinner your client is hosting. And there’s no way you can visit Paris without devouring one (okay two) pain au chocolates. Treat yourself, but don’t stray too far from your normal diet. Overindulging can expand your waistline and upset your stomach. To stay on track while traveling, plan your meals with the help of this healthy eating guide.
Even with the best intentions, accidents can happen or you may get sick. Research where the local hospital is at your destination and who to contact in case of emergency. If you’ll be traveling to another county, use an online translation service to learn how to ask for a doctor in that country’s native language.
Don’t forget to download TripIt Pro to help you plan your next trip. Features such as flight alerts, alternate flights, and seat tracker can help you have a stress-free trip, and minimal stress means healthy travel.
Post written by Emily Klein