Travel Planning: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Executive Healthy on the Road

Julie Perrine's picture

Between germ-laden airplanes, dining out, jetlag, countless handshakes, and long hours, the chances of your executive catching a bug while traveling is pretty high. The flu, a nasty cold, or, worst yet, a serious illness could put a serious damper on your executive’s travel plans and their productivity.

There’s no way to guarantee your executive won’t run into a health hiccup while he or she is away from the office. However, there are several things you and your executive can do before, during, and after their trip to stay healthy.

1. Learn about the destination. Find out what diseases are common in the country or area where your executive is staying by checking with the Center for Disease Controlor the World Health Organization. It’s also a good idea to check whether the area is prone to natural disasters or experiencing any safety or security warnings. Some countries have different cultural or local laws, so make sure to investigate those as well.

2. Visit the doctor. For international travel, your executive should visit a doctor who specializes in travel health four to eight weeks before their departure. A specialist can administer any vaccinations for the trip, as well as prescribe the medications your executive needs while traveling. Remind him or her to bring their current vaccination record, list of medications, and travel itinerary to the appointment. Also, if your executive is traveling internationally, make sure his or her health insurance provides coverage for overseas incidents.

3. Pack wisely. Create a packing list that includes everything your executive will need during the trip. The list should include all necessary travel documents, such as a passport, visas, travel itinerary, and contact information for the local embassy or consulate. It should also include a travel health kit with prescriptions, travel-related medications, and over-the-counter medicine for intestinal issues, pain relief, motion sickness, allergies, and colds/flus. Hand sanitizer, sunscreen, DEET, and a first-aid kit are also useful additions.

4. Avoid common health issues. If your executive is flying, especially for more than eight hours, encourage him or her to walk around every couple hours to avoid blood clots. To prevent stomach issues, only eat food that’s piping hot and don’t consume raw food. International travelers should only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. Also, don’t swim in a pool unless it’s chlorinated, and avoid hot tubs and saunas, which are breeding grounds for germs. Avoid mosquito and other bug bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as DEET on uncovered skin. Hydration, rest, and a healthy diet are also crucial in preventing many of these issues.

5. Pay attention after the trip. If your executive isn’t feeling well after a trip, he or she should see their doctor and alert him or her of their recent travels. People visiting areas prone to malaria should continue taking their anti-malaria medications upon their return to prevent infection. Malaria symptoms can take up to a year to appear, so tell your executive to seek medical attention if he or she feels sick.  

Between the exposure germs, close contact with people, and changes in sleep and eating schedules, traveling can significantly increase your executive’s chances of getting sick. Arm him or her with these travel tips – and maybe some Vitamin C – and help keep him or her healthy while their away from home.

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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, a company that provides training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide.  Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day.  Learn more about Julie's new book - The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career - and request your FREE copy of our special report "From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan" at

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