How to Take Care of Your Health During Business Travel

Business travel is not glamorous. It might seem so to your eight year old children and great Aunt Dot who have never actually been subjected to the rigours of business travel but to anyone who travels for work regularly, it is not. It can be easy to fall ill during a business trip for a variety of reasons, ranging from stress to poor nutrition. This article provides some ideas to consider when planning your business travel.


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    Make sure you really do have to travel. Today there are many options to avoid travel altogether. You might be able to have a satellite video conference, an online conference, a telephone conference or other technology aided conference choices. Consider whether or not these might work just as well as having people travel.
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    Choose your travel times wisely. Arriving just before a conference when you travel across datelines should not occur unless you really cannot avoid it. And you should do your best to avoid it. Even if it means using your weekend to get to a place ahead of time, do so. You can use the time to sleep yourself into the new time zone and you can use the remaining time to set up a workspace environment using your laptop and other key technology tools. This means that your health is put first but your work does not suffer either.
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    Keep healthy flying. Read wikiHow's Stay Healthy when Traveling by Plane article for many helpful tips. It is important to not let plane travel get you off to an unhealthy start.
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    Be organized. Things will not always go to plan when you travel. But if you are organized, you can reduce the stress of delayed and cancelled transport, lost luggage and missing files or memory sticks. Use online storage for your important presentations, pack spare clothes in your carry-on luggage, be sure to ask for all reservations to be double-checked when one of them is shifted or cancelled. These simple considerations can go a long way to making the trip less stressful.
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    Eat sensibly. When travelling for business, avoid overindulging and avoid eating anything that could make you sick. Look ahead on the internet to find restaurants, health food stores, supermarkets and other food places that can provide you with food that you like eating usually. That way, you will not be at the mercy of not knowing where to find what you need. Often, however, the reality is that your work schedule is so jam-packed that the eating choices are on the premises of where your work is happening, or in close vicinity. If this is likely to be the case, ring the caterers on the premise in advance and ask them to prepare meals that suit your needs. Another good trick is to take energy bars for long sessions that can drain your energy. These slip into briefcases with ease and can be eaten quickly, without mess and without people noticing too much.
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    Keep exercising. Do not neglect your daily exercise needs. Get up a little earlier if necessary to fit in a brisk walk, a gym work-out, a swim, or some other easily maintained exercise. Ask the concierge of your accommodation for details if you don't have any idea where to exercise, or what facilities are available to you. Exercise will help fight off any colds or other illnesses that might occur during the stress of travel.
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    Take your medication. If you need to take medication, make sure to pack it and keep a schedule for when you need to take it. If you are travelling overseas, ask your doctor for a certificate to verify that you need the item, in order to avoid awkward questioning at airports, borders or ports. If you are due for a refill, be sure to do this before you leave.
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    Find time for pleasure. It has become very common to expect 110% from employees and managers who travel, to avoid any allusion to a "junket". This does not mean it is healthy to work from 7am to midnight every day without a break. Normal work days and some evening sessions are probably par for the course but also work in at least one night out or an afternoon off to take a stroll, see a film, go to the theater etc.
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    Relax. Often away from work meet-ups are pressured. You have time limits, there are people you won't see again face-to-face for a long time, there are actions to be decided and deadlines to be fulfilled. This can create a lot of tension and concern for all present. It is important to relax, to realize that only the realistic is achievable and that often the real decisions will flow after everyone has had the opportunity to return home again and think through all the consequences and outcomes of the decisions reached or the work done.


  • Consider how you might bring along the family sometimes; this forces you to combine a business trip with a pleasure trip and gives you the opportunity to perhaps chill out at the end of the business day or week and to have your family around you. This is not something you would do regularly but once in a while it can make a huge difference to your morale and to that of your family's also.
  • Always pack well in advance to avoid last-minute panic. If you travel often, consider reserving a part of your wardrobe to a set of travel clothes that are only used for this purpose and always keep everything in this space clean, in order and ready-to-pack.
  • Always organise visas and vaccinations in advance; there is nothing more stressful than having this aspect of your travel questioned on arrival.
  • Check your foreign affairs' department travel advisories for business travellers before leaving in case there are any special health and safety issues that you need to be aware of.
  • Skipping (or jumping) rope is a great away-from-home exercise. Pack a skipping rope for easy, instant exercise material.


  • It might be very difficult to convince some extreme Type A types that early nights are important for away-from-work meetings. Nevertheless, it is important to raise this issue. It might be the case that a group of you simply refuse after a certain time (say 10pm) to give any more input and go back to your hotel rooms. This will, of course, need to be judged by the occasion but nobody produces good outcomes after all day meetings that go into the night, even beyond midnight. Seek change in company or organisation policy if this becomes a commonplace occurrence. Remember, follow-up can be very successfully achieved by using the various technology tools outlined above.
  • Don't travel sick. If you're sick to start with, travel won't improve things. Have someone else stand in for you, or send your apologies. You are a human being, not a machine, and others don't want to be dealing with your illness either.

Things You'll Need

  • On-board luggage
  • Spare set of clothes
  • Online storage for presentations etc.
  • Memory stick
  • Energy bars
  • Mouth freshening sweets
  • Travel clothes ready-to-use

Article Info

Categories: Travel Health