The New Year is in full swing, which means ‘back on the road’ for the Road Warriors of the corporate world. It’s also the time of year when more people become ill. Because travelers are in constant contact with so many people, they are at higher risk for getting sick. Here are some tips on how to stay well and stay safe while living out of a suitcase.
Before you leave home
Staying healthy starts before your next trip. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy and take those vitamins. Probiotics are a really good way to boost your immune health and keep bugs from settling in your digestive system.
If you don’t have one, now is the time to put a Travel Health Kit together. Always bring more of your prescription medications than you think you’ll need in case of an unforeseen delay. It’s a really good idea to bring them in their original bottles should you need to refill them. Most important: NEVER EVER pack your medications. Always put them in your carry-on bag!!
Your personal kit will vary depending on your own needs and your destination. In addition to prescription medications, your basics should include:
• Disinfectant wipes – bring plenty and use them often!
• Pain medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)
• Cough drops
Just a reminder, unless you have a prescription, liquid or gel medications are subject to the TSA 3-1-1 regulations. If your medication requires refrigeration, please note that for liability reasons, flight attendants onboard the aircraft are not allowed to store your medication. Use insulated wallets or containers during transit (ask your pharmacist for recommendations) and make arrangements at your destination for safe storage. Keep in mind that extreme heat also impacts the medicine’s effectiveness.
A word of warning about prescription sleep aids. If you have not been taking them at home and know exactly how your body reacts, a flight or a hotel is NOT a good place to start. I have heard some very “interesting” stories about passengers and hotel guests who have taken a sleep medication for the first time. Don’t be one of those embarrassing stories!
Your health and international travel
Travel outside of the U.S. requires some additional preparation. It is very important that you check with your insurance company to make sure that you are covered. If you are not covered you will need to purchase international insurance. I suggest going through your corporate travel agent or you can check online. Some destinations require immunizations. Depending on the required immunizations, they may not be readily available. Make sure that you have given yourself enough time to get them and enough time for them to work in your system.
Always bring medications in the containers they came in along with a copy of the prescription (in case you are stopped by customs agents). If you have a prescription for a narcotic or controlled substance, check with the US Embassy or Consulate at that destination to ensure that you are allowed to bring it into the county. If you should become ill the US Embassy or Consulate at your destination can be very helpful by providing names of doctors and other medical care. Make sure you have their number!
A word of caution about purchasing drugs in other countries: Many times drugs are not up to US standards. Additionally, some drugs sold overseas may be illegal there or back in the US.
And finally: Don’t eat street food in 3rd world counties. It may be tempting but there are rarely any regulations. According to the World Health Organization, more than 200 disease are spread through food.
Transportation Security Administration:
US State Department: www.travel.state.gov
International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers: www.iamat.org
World Health Organization: www.who.int
About the Author
Sandi Galloway, CPECP is an affiliate with Final Touch Finishing School, Inc. who serves as a travel safety awareness expert and business etiquette trainer. She helps business professionals improve their etiquette skills and helps corporate travelers be better prepared by providing information to bridge cultural gaps and help avoid pitfalls that could ruin a trip or create a dangerous situation. You can find Sandi at www.sandigalloway.com
©2016 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Sandi Galloway, guest writer for What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2016. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected] If you would like to learn more about social skills contact Final Touch Finishing School, Inc.
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