100 Handy Health Hacks for Busy Business Travelers

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April 18th, 2010

If you travel for business frequently, you already know the toll that it can take on your body. Long hours, unhealthy food, uncomfortable planes and hotel beds can all throw your health off track. Here, you’ll find 100 hacks that can help you be more comfortable and healthy whether you’re driving a few hours or flying around the world.

General

These hacks will help you with your overall health while traveling.

  1. Bring tissues: Keep tissues handy for emergency toilet paper.
  2. Consider travel medical insurance: Look into your options for health insurance while traveling.
  3. Know how to contact the Embassy: You can get help from your embassy when facing a medical emergency.
  4. Repel bugs: Reduce exposure to virus-carrying mosquito bites using insect repellents.
  5. Include emergency contacts in your passport: Foreign police will look for your passport emergency contacts.
  6. Register your trip: If you’re traveling overseas, register your trip for better contact information.
  7. Avoid traveling when sick: Try not to travel when you’re already sick, or traveling may make if worse.
  8. Photocopy your insurance information and emergency numbers: Even if you lose your wallet, make sure you have the information you need to get treatment.

Prevention & Safety

Stay safe and smart using these hacks.

  1. Wash your hands: Be sure to wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet.
  2. Get vaccinated: Be sure that you’re vaccinated for your destination, especially if traveling abroad.
  3. Get travel health info: Search for health information before arriving at your destination.
  4. Carry hand sanitizing gel: Keep a small bottle of sanitizing gel to use when you can’t get to a sink.
  5. Brush your teeth with bottled water: Avoid putting water bacteria in your mouth by brushing with bottled water.
  6. Get a checkup before you go: Go in for a medical and dental checkup before your trip so you can be aware of problems.
  7. Avoid touching your face: Never touch your face, nose, or mouth unless you’ve washed your hands thoroughly before.
  8. Be isolated: Try to sit away from other passengers to cut down on the germs you’re exposed to.
  9. Clean your suitcase before coming home: Upon return from a tropical or developing destination, take your clothes and bag to a laundromat first.
  10. Avoid swimming in freshwater lakes and streams: Some streams and lakes can introduce you to diseases and bacteria.
  11. Wear proper onboard attire: With safe shoes, you can improve your chances of escape from a down airplane.
  12. Wipe down your area: Wipe down your seat and other travel areas to stop germs.
  13. Avoid overcrowded transportation: Reduce your risk for disease by avoiding overcrowded areas.
  14. Consider a mask: If you’re traveling with someone who is sick and coughing, use a mask to cut down on the germs you’re exposed to.

Sleep

Don’t let travel rob you of quality sleep-use these hacks to save it.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep before your trip: Don’t stay up all night getting ready, rest as much as you can the night before.
  2. Fend of jet lag with fasting: Starve yourself prior to a long flight to prevent jet lag.
  3. Adjust sleep times before your flight: Before traveling, try to move your sleep times and meals to your destination time zone.
  4. Cool your room: Cool environments are best for sleeping.
  5. Try not to sleep on the plane: Plane sleep tends to be of poor quality and will leave you unrested and achy.
  6. Shake off jet lag: Soak up sun for 30 minutes when you arrive to reset your internal clock.
  7. Get a massage: Get a massage before bed to fight jet lag.
  8. Get some sleep: Resist the urge to stay up all night working, and get your full 8 hours each night.
  9. Take a warm bath: When you arrive, take a hot bath to help combat jet lag.
  10. Bring earplugs: Pack earplugs for your flight and hotel in case your neighbors are noisy.
  11. Rest as much as possible on your flight: Although you may be tempted to work, be sure to take time for rest on your flight as well.
  12. Save dress clothing for your destination: Dress comfortably instead of wearing business attire on the plane.

Fitness

You can stay fit on the road using these hacks.

  1. Bring your gym gear: Spend a little time in your hotel’s gym, or do body weight exercises in your room.
  2. Pack a resistance band: Resistance bands take up little room, but are useful for staying fit on the road.
  3. Practice yoga: Take advantage of yoga at your hotel for relaxation and fitness.
  4. Walk the halls: Walk the long hallways in your hotel for a little exercise.
  5. Get up at least once an hour: Stay alert, active, and moving by doing light exercises at least once an hour.
  6. Lift water weights: Use bottles of water as a replacement for weight lifting.
  7. Sightsee on foot: If you have time to do a little sightseeing, be sure to walk whenever possible.
  8. Wear comfortable shoes: Protect your feet while experiencing increased walking with comfortable shoes.

Food & Drink

Eat safe and healthy food by following these tips.

  1. Get a healthy dose of vitamin C: Do your best to prevent colds and feel better by getting enough Vitamin C.
  2. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products: Eating unpasteurized dairy products puts you at a greater risk for bacteria.
  3. Eat boiled food: Food that has been boiled is generally safe.
  4. Consider packable meals: If you’re going to a location where food can’t always be trusted, consider taking baby food or freeze-dried camping meals.
  5. Drink only from commercially-sealed bottles: Some vendors will sell bottled water that’s actually filled from the local tap.
  6. Peel fruits and vegetables: To avoid bacteria, eat fruits and vegetables that have been peeled before eating.
  7. Bring bottled water: When traveling abroad, drink bottled water to avoid unsafe bacteria.
  8. Avoid ice: Ice in restaurants is generally made from local tap water.
  9. Avoid uncooked or undercooked meat: Be sure that the meat you’re eating has been thoroughly cooked just prior to serving.
  10. Don’t overeat: Don’t splurge just because you can expense meals. Keep your portion size and healthy selections normal.
  11. Take acidophilus before arrival: Build good intestinal flora before your trip by taking acidophilus.
  12. Avoid foods with lots of handling: Stay away from meals that require a lot of handling before serving.
  13. Don’t be afraid of street food: Most street food establishments around the world are healthy, but be careful not to eat raw food.
  14. Watch your portions: It’s easy to overindulge when enjoying sit down meals with clients and coworkers, but do your best to minimize the damage.
  15. Create allergy travel cards: If you’re allergic or intolerant to specific foods, make cards that you can share with food preparers around the world.
  16. Stay away from buffets: Avoid unhealthy food that sits out for hours, exposed to germs by not eating at buffets.
  17. Bring your own water on the plane: Airlines sometimes run out of drinking water, so come prepared with your own.
  18. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water or juice before and during your flight.
  19. Bring protein bars: Bring a few protein bars along on your travel for a snack on the go.
  20. Eat light on your flight: Enjoy light snacks on your flight.
  21. Bring fruit: Eat fruit on the plane or in your hotel room to make sure you’re eating something healthy.
  22. Keep a regular schedule: Stick to normal meal times so your body knows what to expect.
  23. Avoid caffeinated beverages: Prevent interference with your sleep schedule by avoiding caffeinated beverages.
  24. Brown bag your meals: If you’re on a road trip, take advantage of the opportunity to brown bag your food.
  25. Order the vegetarian option: The vegetarian meal on airplanes tends to be the healthiest option.
  26. Eat slowly: Eating too quickly can give you indigestion and heartburn.
  27. Don’t drink alcohol: Stay sharp by avoiding alcoholic drinks.

Stress

With these hacks, you can manage travel-related stress and more.

  1. Try deep breathing: Take deep breaths to lower your stress level.
  2. Be flexible: Overcome sticky situations with a flexible attitude.
  3. Talk to parents about screaming kids: Share your tips for traveling with children to help cut down on the annoyance and get some relaxation.
  4. Use simple meditation: Remind yourself to relax and let stress go.
  5. Call ahead: Call ahead to see if your flight is on time.
  6. Visualize: Picture yourself on a successful business trip to relax.
  7. Take care of arrangements before leaving: Make plans for your pets, home, and mail, and take care of your bills before heading out.
  8. Give yourself time: Cut down on stress by giving yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.
  9. Accept circumstances: Remind yourself that sometimes you just have no control over what’s happening, and do your best to deal.
  10. Get a good carry on bag: Use a quality piece to travel with regularly and take a weight off your back.
  11. Carefully plan your flight: Leave time in between connecting flights to cut down on stress.
  12. Take a break: Hit the reset button and take a quick break.

Hotel

Use these hacks for health at your hotel.

  1. Always lock your door: Keep your hotel room door shut, locked, and bolted at all times.
  2. Bring slippers: Keep your feet warm and avoid picking up germs on your feet with slippers for your hotel room.
  3. Take a flashlight: Check your hotel bed for bedbugs with a flashlight.
  4. Wipe down your hotel room: Use disinfectant wipes to clean your hotel room-especially spots like the remote control, alarm clock, sink, and toilet.

Travel Afflictions

These hacks will help you with troubles especially for travel.

  1. Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis: Keep DVT at bay by stretching and exercising regularly during travel.
  2. Be aware of travel diseases: Make sure you know about the diseases you might run into, and how to treat them.
  3. Stretch to combat stiffness: Do knee beds and move your joints to refresh your body.
  4. Avoid “airplane air”: Stay hydrated and apply moisturizer to avoid getting dried out on the plane.
  5. Be careful of altitude sickness: Be ready for altitude sickness, and consider taking drugs to treat it.
  6. Sit in the aisle: Get a better opportunity to move around by sitting in the aisle seat.
  7. Wear compression socks: Avoid swelling and DVT with the help of compression socks.
  8. Leave room under your seat: Make it easy to stretch your legs by leaving room under the seat in front of you.

Medications

Manage your medications using these hacks.

  1. Get prescriptions filled before you go: Make sure you’re stocked up, and take copies of your prescription as proof.
  2. Pack medications just in case: Keep a supply of over the counter medications for colds, allergy, and gastrointestinal upset.
  3. Get a doctor’s note: If you have medical equipment that you need to bring on board, bring a note from your doctor.
  4. Only purchase medications you’re familiar with: Unless you’re familiar with a medication, avoid taking it.
  5. Pack extra: Pack more medication than you think you’ll need, in case of delays.
  6. Bring a small first aid kit: Take along a few first aid essentials in case of the unexpected.
  7. Look at medication labels: If you’re wondering about an OTC drug in another country, check the label to see if it’s manufactured by the same company as your home drugs-it’s likely produced the same way.

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