Ok, so I am fresh on the heels of a week at home with my daughter who had Influenza B and now, I’m fighting what may be a tinge of it too. Every year this season hits – the season of cold, flu, strep, and most recently, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus that has infected China. Who else is ready for summer!??!?
Aside from this year, my family and I have been fortunate not to get too sick over the last few years. Of course, the occasional cold and stomach bug have run through our household, but we’ve fared pretty well. But, I definitely had my share of being sick while traveling for work -ranging from sore throats all the way to hospitalization (I’ll have to save that for another blog post). No matter how severe the illness, it’s just an awful feeling to not be well, especially when you don’t have your own bed to crawl into.
So, here are a few of my tips for how to stay healthy while traveling for business, as well as some products I recommend:1. Take Your Vitamins
If you know you have a trip coming up, start taking Vitamin C and elderberry. Healthy business travel means adding a few extra supplements to your kit.
This winter I have kept elderberry on hand and have taken it when I feel a cold or virus coming on. It has really helped! I keep the Zarbee’s line of products on hand for my husband and me, as well as for the kiddos.2. Pack Vitamins and Meds
Take a travel pack of vitamins with you on your trip and try to remember to take them. I admit, it’s hard to remember to do that when you’re not following your home routine, but continuing to take these will help reinforce your immune system.
Fill a small bag or Ziplock with some essential meds in case you start to feel badly. I have a couple of staples that I take with me on every trip, no matter what season it is, but during the winter I pack a few extra handy remedies:
- Ibuprofen – always pack
- Antihistamine – always pack (sometimes allergies can flare up in different areas of the country)
- Cough drops
- Echinacea tea
- Zarbee’s cough syrup
Your primary care provider from home can provide some advice to hold you over until you can get into the office, or call in a prescription based on your systems. However, if symptoms arise, look up walk-in clinics located in proximity to your hotel. Staying healthy while traveling for work certainly requires a good deal of preparation. Be sure to carry your insurance card with you on trips so you have it if needed.4. Wash your hands ALL. THE. TIME.
- Before eating
- After eating
- After touching your keyboard
- After using your phone
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
I know what you’re thinking…geez, I’m going to be washing constantly! What we don’t think about, however, is how dirty objects are that we are in contact with every day. Yes, our bodies are resistant and used to some bacteria and germs, otherwise we’d live in hazmat suits all the time, but washing our hands often it’s a great way to ward off bacteria and viruses that can make us very sick. When we travel for work, whether it’s for a trade show, meeting, or conference, you come in contact with a lot of people. Healthy business travel isn’t just about how you prepare, it’s about how you mitigate circumstances that could cause issues. Shaking hands when you meet someone new is common and polite, just remember to wash up for before eating your lunch.
I am a big proponent of good old-fashioned hand washing with just warm water and soap… and I do it a lot. I also keep hand sanitizer in my bag, for times when handwashing is not an option. Here is an all-natural one I like.5. Wipe/Sanitize devices and luggage handles
Our devices go practically everywhere with us and are constantly in our hands. Our phone screens collect an obscene amount of bacteria. In this article, USA Today explains why there is so much living on our devices and how to clean them.
And it’s not only our devices. As I was walking through the airport one day, dragging my carry-on bag through the terminal, into restaurants, and into the bathroom, I realized that all that handwashing was not really doing much if I touched my luggage handle with the same hand I used to touch the number pad on the credit card machine and the bathroom door!! So, from then on, I started cleaning my luggage handles with sanitizer or with soap and water if I’m near a sink.
We all catch these nasty bugs sometimes, but I hope these tips will give you some insight on how to stay healthy while traveling for business.
Heather Haigler, co-founder of WorkTrip, is a planner whose career in corporate events led to the creation of WorkTrip - a software on a mission to make event planners lives easier and businesses more efficient.
If you would like to learn more about how corporate event planners are using WorkTrip, check out our case studies at https://www.worktrip.com/posts/tag/case-studies. To learn more about what WorkTrip has to offer, visit https://www.worktrip.com/features.