Stay Safe and Healthy on a Business Trip

traveler with phone

Business travelers face different health risks than leisure travelers do. Find out what you can do to protect yourself.

In 2017, an estimated 4.8 million US residents traveled overseas for business. With the increasingly global economy, this number is expected to increase. Because of the nature of the trip, business travelers may face different health risks than leisure travelers. Find out about some risks of business travel and what you can do to protect yourself.

"Smithers, I need you in Quito by Thursday morning."

You don't always know ahead of time when you’ll be going on a business trip. CDC recommends that you:

"You'll take the red-eye and go straight to an 8 am meeting."

Leisure travelers may have time to be able to adjust to jet lag naturally, but business travelers often have to hit the ground running. Consider these tips to minimizing jet lag:

  •  If you have a few days before you leave, try to shift your sleep cycle a couple of hours earlier or later (depending on where you're going).
  • Stay hydrated while you're traveling.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Try to sleep on long flights. If you have trouble sleeping on planes, you might want to pack a mild sedative in your carry-on luggage.

"This contract is worth millions to the company, so don't mess it up."

Business travelers are frequently under a lot of work stress, in addition to the stress of traveling. To minimize the negative health effects of stress:

  • Eat healthy meals.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Get a good night's rest.
  • On longer trips, to maintain your mental health, stay in regular contact with your friends and family at home.

"Good job, Smithers. There's a promotion in your future."

Congratulations! You closed the deal, and now it's time to celebrate. Your hosts may want to take you out to toast your new business relationship, but be careful about

  • Drinking too much. Alcoholic drinks in some countries can be stronger than you expect.
  • What you eat and drink in developing countries.
    • Bottled water and food that is cooked and served hot are generally safe.
    • Avoid tap water, ice, and raw fruits and vegetables, or you may spend much of the return flight in the airplane bathroom.

If you do end up ill during your trip, contact a doctor or other health care provider at your destination. The US Embassy at your destination can help you locate a doctor.

If you return home and become ill, contact a doctor and mention your recent travel history.

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