Travel Advice for Business Professionals Part 3
(If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.)
(If you missed Part 2, you can find it here.)
There are many challenges to travelling regularly for business. In addition to the organisation and structure required, and the minimal packing allowance, there are another few issues than can ruin an important business trip or conference visit – jetlag and poor health. This, the third instalment in our travel advice series, will give you some helpful hints and tips to keep your health in check whether you are travelling interstate or internationally, for a few hours or a few weeks.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed cure or fix for jetlag – and jetlag can be a terrible issue to deal with for a business traveller on a tight schedule. There are, however, a few things you can do to make the jetlag less prominent and easier to manage.
Food and Drinks
Eating healthily and staying hydrated are crucial in fighting off jetlag. One suggested approach is to eat a hearty meal prior to boarding your plane, and then choose a light meal while flying – something that is easy on the stomach. Green tea is also a great idea to aid digestion. Avoid carbohydrates and anything with an excessive fat or salt content. When you’re off the plane and situated in your destination, you may wish to eat a high-protein healthy meal to gain some energy.
In terms of drinks, it is easy to get incredibly dehydrated on a long-haul flight. Drink plenty of water, and limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. Continue these efforts in your destination as well to stave off the effects of jetlag.
Some people genuinely find it impossible to sleep on a long-haul flight without the assistance of sleeping pills. If you are going on a long haul flight, and you know how you react to sleeping medication, then it is something you can consider – in order to get the rest you need to combat jetlag. This option isn’t for everyone – if you’re unsure, it may be worth checking with a doctor.
The likelihood of someone flying from Sydney to London and being ready to step into a meeting a few hours after the land is not high. If possible, arrive early or schedule a couple of days with minimal business duties – this will give your body time to adjust to a new time zone. However, if you are able to score a few lighter days, make sure you do something with them – take a walk, get some exercise, and keep to a standard routine. Your body will adjust quicker.
General Health and Wellbeing
When people are away from home, they fall into the trap of eating badly and avoiding exercise – the temptation to stray from routine is everywhere. However, people on a business trip traditionally have minimal time to spend feeling ill or unwell – it’s worth taking a few precautions to ensure that you remain healthy and engaged for the entirety of your trip.
For many locations, there are vaccinations that are recommended prior to travelling. Websites such as www.SmartTraveller.gov.au are available to inform you of common diseases – do your research, check in with your doctor, and make sure your vaccinations and any booster jabs are up to date for the region you’re heading to on business.
Depending on where you’re travelling to, it may be difficult to you to have access to your go-to medications. Make sure you pack duplicates if necessary, or make sure you have access to pharmacies and international scripts – you don’t want to be caught short, especially if it’s crucial.
Keep Healthy to Stay Healthy
Keep healthy while you’re on a business trip – it can be tempting to eat bad meals and avoid exercise, but it may be detrimental in the long run. Keep yourself fit, and eat nutritious meals. It’s the best way to ensure that you remain healthy, active and present for the entirety of your trip.
Many hotels have gyms available, but even if you’re short on time you can remain active. Walk around the city you’re visiting and explore (or maybe arrange for a walking meeting – they’ve been proven to be great for your health and wellbeing). You can even exercise in your hotel room if need be. It will all help in the grander scheme of your travel plans.
When it comes to nutrition, keep it simple – plenty of protein, vegetables and good fats, and avoid anything too salty, saturated or sugary. Also limit your alcohol intake – your jetlag and your business brain will be grateful for it.
What do you do to maintain your health and wellbeing when travelling? Have you found your own miracle cure for jetlag? Tell us in the comments below!
This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.