How To Stay Healthy While Traveling Abroad For Business

When it comes to traveling for business, it can be hard to make healthy choices. Your routine is suddenly interrupted, and those daily morning trips to the gym or runs around the neighborhood before heading to work aren’t possible. There are a lot of dinners and drinks, which means consuming calories that you usually wouldn’t. But if you’re a lawyer like Aaron Kelly, or an entrepreneur running a business that’s quickly growing, you know how important it is to travel for business. Even though so much of the business world is online these days, there’s nothing like meeting someone in person, whether that’s a client or a potential business partner.

And when you’re traveling abroad, there are even more challenges. Staying hydrated on the plane is a challenge, and oftentimes, there’s pressure to engage in unhealthy activities like drinking and overeating, especially if you want to be culturally sensitive. But there are still ways you can stay healthy, and here’s how.

Leave for the airport early 

Unless you’re engaging in business in Canada or Mexico, you have to hop onto a plane to get to your international business travel destination. And even though security takes hours, and the last thing you want to do is spend all day traveling, it’s important to leave early for the airport. Not only because it’s logistically a smart idea (the last thing you want to do is miss a flight!), but also because it’s less stressful. You want to wake up early, have time to make yourself look nice and feel comfortable–especially if there’s a colleague coming to pick you up who you have to impress.

In general, you want your flight to be as low-stress as possible. Create a packing list a couple of days before, and remember to include important documents and technology items such as your laptop and charger. By being less stressed the day you travel, the rest of your trip will go smoothly–which is of huge importance to your health. Considering that 28 percent of millennials are already feeling stressed in the workplace, it’s important to diminish stress for the sake of both physical and emotional health.

Hydrate constantly 

Another huge danger when you’re traveling–especially when you’re flying for hours at a time–is forgetting to hydrate. First of all, there are the international travel restrictions that mean you can’t take a huge bottle of water with you. Even though the TSA has a failure rate of 95 percent, they still seem pretty good at confiscating anything with liquids in it. This means that in addition to having to buy a whole new bottle of shampoo upon arrival, you’ll also be likely to suffer from dehydration.

But hydration is huge, especially when it comes to looking good in front of your work colleagues and having the energy to command a room while giving a presentation. So bring a giant empty Nalgene bottle to fill up once you’ve gotten past security. If your flight is more than four hours, buy some bottles of water, because chances are the flight attendant will get pretty impatient if you keep asking for tiny glasses of water.

Get your sleep 

If you’re traveling halfway around the world, you’re going to have to deal with one of the worst travel ailments out there: jet lag. However many tricks we try to use to get over it, from changing our sleeping schedules slightly before flying to trying to sleep on the plane, the best thing to do is immediately start using the same sleep schedule as the place where you’ve arrived. Then, your first night, go to bed around nine or ten and sleep twelve hours if you can. Even if you get in ten, you’ll slowly start to catch up every night, until you’ve caught up. It shouldn’t be too difficult, considering that adults ordinarily need at least seven hours of sleep.

If you think you need additional help, consult a professional to talk about sleep aids like melatonin or prescription sleeping pills. 

Track your calories and steps

Finally, don’t forget to track your calories. In some countries, it’s rude to say no to a meal or a glass of wine, so depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to turn away all food that’s outside of your dietary restrictions. But at least by tracking your calories, you can keep track of how you’re doing. MyFitnessPal, a calorie-counting app, is rated five out of five stars by PC Mag, and it’s free–so it’s a great start. Using the right apps for health is as important for you as it is for a business to use the ACH process to handle transactions.

Once you’ve started tracking your calories, you can track your steps and exercise, too. If you’re a new place, why not go for a walk or go on a hike? In addition to being beneficial to your health, this will make your stay a more positive one, and the business community you’re in will appreciate you connecting to their culture even more.

These are some of the best ways to stay healthy while traveling for business. What other strategies do you use to stay healthy?

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