Whenever I go on an overseas trip or to a new country or location, I always worry about if I will get sick? Yet when traveling, especially for business, there are so many ways to get sick or not feeling well.
Staying healthy on your overseas business buying trip is very important as you usually need to hit the ground running with long workdays. You can do specific things to make sure you stay healthy during your next business buying trip—everything from getting enough sleep to taking Vitamin C to eat right and exercising.
Here are some of my tips on trying to stay healthy on your next business buying trip.
When flying on a long-haul flight, get some sleep.
I know there is a lot of advice on what to do on a long-haul flight. I am on a lot of long-haul flights from Chicago to Asia. I have found that I can usually stay healthy on my trips if I do these few things. Here are some of my business airplane travel pointers:
- Sleep at least 5 to 6 hours – The flights I take are usually 14 to 15 hours long. I find that I can sleep at least 5 to 6 hours then when I arrive at my destination, which is usually at about 7 pm, I am not so tired that I can hardly stand, but at the same time I am not so rested that I cannot sleep at night. There is nothing worse than when you are wide awake when everyone else is asleep, and you are asleep when they are awake. I try not to take any medicine on the plane unless I need it. I will save that for my nighttime rest. I find most of the over counter sleep medication makes me feel comfortable.
- Have some comfort items for the plane – I always travel with my earplugs, eye mask, and blanket, just in case I do not like what the airline has given me. Also, I always have a pair of plastic flip-flops with me and wear them most of the flight. And having an iPad loaded with things you want to watch or books you want to read can help pass the time, as can an excellent headset.
- Don’t worry about the time of where you just left – So many travelers I see obsess about the time of their departed city or country. They almost count down how it is this time, there, or that time. I make an effort not to think about what time it is where. I try to be in the present timezone of wherever I am.
Do try Airborne or Vitamin C – If I feel I am getting a cold, I find it helps me.
If I ever feel I am starting to get sick before my travels or during them, I will take Airbourne (you can click here to see where to buy it). If you do not like Airborne, there are a lot of other Vitamin alternatives out there.
But I find loading up on Vitamin C can at least help me to fight off a cold. I am not a doctor, so I am not giving you medical advice here, but I am just telling you what I have found works for me. Vitamin C seems to help me fight off that dreaded travel cold.
I also take some multivitamins. This, I know, is a personal preference, but I find they help me. Also, I will carry things like protein bars and whey powder to mix up if I am so far out in the middle of nowhere that it is hard to find food I can eat.
I always travel with a water bottle and make sure it is filled up. Many Airports now in Asia have stations to get good drinking water for your water bottles. Drink a lot of water; it is good for you, but it will help you stay healthy.
I have traveled to most parts of the world; I can always find bottled water. If you are out in the middle of nowhere and are purchasing some bottled water, look to make sure the water bottle’s seal is not broken.
I have been in some places where I have seen that the seal was broken, and they refilled the water bottle. I have typically seen this in a small shop or restaurant. Most decent hotels or restaurants worldwide now understand that a seal of a water bottle cannot be broken.
I will always refuse to drink from a water bottle with a broken seal as you can never be sure what water they have replaced it with. Better to be careful with this than to end up getting sick.
Have a supply of disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizers.
I believe in disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizers. I carry all of these in my carry-on luggage or my backpack. I will usually wipe down the tray on the airplane. I use them a lot in the toilets and sometimes in some hotel rooms.
When you are on a buying trip, you can quickly end up at a factory in the middle of nowhere or eat at a restaurant you are not 100% sure about. Having these disinfectant wipes, sprays, and hand sanitizers helps. You can buy them all in travel sizes.
Though there are many options, I usually buy these brands as listed below. (You can click on the link if you are interested to see them on Amazon)
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Fresh Scent, Go Pack!, Great travel size Clorox wipes.
- Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes – I am a great fan of wet ones. I find them to be so helpful. Especially when traveling in Asia. This is a great travel size.
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray to Go – This is a great travel-size disinfectant spray and is one of my travel essentials.
Get a good night’s sleep.
I find it essential to get a good night’s rest on the first night of my travel, especially if I have just traveled almost 30 hours to get somewhere. If I am able, I will not schedule any early morning appointments on that first day to give my body time to rest and catch up on some sleep. If I try to get 8 hours of sleep the first night, the rest of my trip goes much better, and I can get into the new time zone’s rhythm.
If you are in a car and train, going long distances from one destination to another, do not be afraid to close your eyes and sneak in some rest. I do this a lot if I have been traveling and we are driving 2 or 3 hours between visiting each manufacturing vendor. Getting in some of these so-called power naps can help my overall well-being. It can be the perfect time to sneak in a few of these power naps during the daytime when you are on the road.
When traveling for business, it can be stressful and busy, but I find if I can always take the time to exercise, it can make all the difference for a lot of things, from the travel stress to a new food to stay healthy.
My favorite exercises to do are having an early morning swim if the hotel has a nice pool that will open early enough or going out for a walk. Especially in Asia, the mornings can be vibrant and filled with people outdoors exercising.
If you cannot see a lot of sites in the city you are visiting due to your schedule, the mornings could be a great time to walk or run past a church or monument you wanted to see. If you are in an exciting city or location, use the mornings to see some of the city – you will be glad you did.
If you are not sure if it will make you sick, do not eat it.
Probably one of the most challenging things when you are on a business trip, and especially if you are on a buying trip and a lot of your vendors are taking you out to lunch or dinner, i.e., that they may try to put food in front of you that you are not sure if you will get sick if you eat it. In Asia, it can be expected that if you are the guest of honor, they will start to load your plate with a lot of food you do not want.
I never fuss with the vendors or others; I eat around the food they have placed on my plate. They feel they are polite by making sure you are fed and have enough to eat; consider it a gesture of them being kind. I will generally thank them and then eat what I want. My rule is not to eat something. If I am not sure if it will make me sick – I will not eat it. There is no reason you get sick and get food poisoning, as that would ruin your trip.
When you are traveling overseas, try to eat well. Sometimes, it can be challenging, especially if you are under a lot of pressure or eating at fast food places just because of time restraints or other considerations.
But try to eat as healthy as you can when you are traveling. Many hotels in Asia have a very nice breakfast selection, much better than many hotels in the United States. I have many hotels in Europe, even small boutique hotels, with an excellent healthy breakfast. Whenever possible, eat a healthy breakfast. It could be a long day traveling if you know.
Also, carry some healthy snacks such as nuts or dried fruit or protein bars if you are not sure if you will get hungry during the day. Sometimes, just due to the timezone changes, my body can get hungry at some odd times when I am usually not hungry. Having some healthy snacks and being prepared for that can help your body not feel hungry at some odd times of the day.
These are all specific things that travelers can do on their business buying trip. These are things that we should all probably be doing anyway. But indeed, things that can help us all to stay healthy on our next foreign business buying trip.
If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help you create, develop, and manufacture home decor and home furniture products in Asia, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact Mondoro and Anita by clicking here.
Is tap water safe to drink when traveling overseas?
Some countries in Europe say their tap water is very safe to drink. But to be safe, I will always usually drink either boiled or bottled water when I am traveling; even when I am home in the United States, I will never drink tap water and only drink bottled water.
Can you eat fresh vegetables when traveling overseas?
I find this to be a personal preference. Because when I am traveling and in a restaurant that seems to have a decent cleanliness standard, I will eat fresh vegetables. Or I am with people who understand what food cleanliness standards should be; I will eat fresh vegetables.
But I also know many experienced travelers who refuse to eat any fresh vegetables anytime they travel overseas. These travelers want all the vegetables they eat to be fully cooked.
If you are unsure and worry that you may get sick, then avoid fresh vegetables. The first rule of international travel is that it is always better to take the necessary precautions you feel may be best for you than end up sick.