Entrepreneurs travel nationally and internationally for business and pleasure, sometimes simultaneously. Whatever the reason for hitting the road or skies, it is best to be proactive, prepared, and protected when it comes to your health. Only missing the business trip is more detrimental than falling ill while traveling, and nothing ruins a holiday quite like being sick. Even if you are only traveling within the U.S., the best way to stay healthy on your trip is to plan before you go.
1) Get a checkup. If you are planning to travel to another country, see a doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave so you will have time for shots (immunizations) that you may need to get before embarkation.
2) Ask questions. Inquire whether your doctor feels there are medicines or extra safety steps you should take; for example, people who have heart failure may need to take shorter flights with more stops to avoid long periods of sitting.
" Special note regarding prescription medicines: Pack your prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as copies of all prescriptions including the generic names for medications. Pack a note on letterhead stationery from the prescribing physician for controlled substances and injectable medications. Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative. Check with the American Embassy or Consulate to make sure that your medicines will be allowed into the country you are visiting. Some countries do not let visitors bring certain medicines into the country.
3) Do research. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide updates on infectious diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and influenza that are particularly endemic in outlying destinations. Check out the CDC's Travel Safe podcasts for in-depth trip advisories. The World Health Organization's (WHO) website lists information on travel, required immunizations, and disease outbreaks. If you are taking a cruise, check out your ship’s sanitation inspection scores.
4) Be prepared. Read travel books on the countries you plan to visit. Know whether the water is safe to drink, if the mosquitoes or other bugs carry disease, and if it's safe to swim in pools, lakes, or the ocean. Know if you can get heat exhaustion, sunstroke, or sunburn. It may sound excessive, but you will be glad you did in the long run.
There are also ways to maintain your health and be prepared while you are abroad.
1) Keep an eye on yourself. Pay close attention to skin discolorations or rashes, tend to sores promptly, and if you do come down with something"most travelers do"keep yourself hydrated and do not ignore your symptoms.
2) Keep a travel journal. Document all the places you visit and on what days. This will not only be a fun memoir for you, but it will help pinpoint the area of contraction providing you catch something.
3) Know whom to contact. The country's embassy or consulate will be able to provide you with the nearest doctors and hospitals should you need them. For a complete list of embassies and consulates, visit the U.S. Department of State website.
An overseas trip doesn't end when you get off the plane or ship. If you got sick while you were away, it's best to visit your physician as soon as possible. In fact, you should keep an eye on any symptoms or sickness that arise for up to a year after returning home, as some diseases take awhile to develop and manifest; same goes for those who remained in good health.