Business Traveller

Business travel is increasingly common. Travel abroad can be interesting and rewarding but poses its own challenges and problems. Business travellers run the risk of preventable ill-health whilst abroad if ill-prepared. This can take the form of physical or mental ill-health, either of which will affect their ability to carry out their jobs effectively. Physical ailments include jet lag, insomnia, infections, accidents and stress.

Short hotel-based trips rarely cause problems. Loneliness and being in a strange, foreign place can lead to over-indulgence in, amongst other things, alcohol and uncharacteristic sexual behaviour. Travellers should be aware of these tendencies and keep them in check or at the very least, take appropriate precautions (i.e. use condoms) to prevent contracting AIDS or other sexually-transmitted diseases.

Before the trip
  • The business traveller should plan his trip well in advance.

  • Consult your family doctor and enquire about the following issues.

    • Relevant and necessary vaccinations : Some schedules require several weeks for completion, so plan ahead.

    • Anti-malarial measures : Ask about appropriate anti-malarial medication. Prevention against mosquito bites is of prime and potential life-saving importance. This includes anti-mosquito spray, mosquito-netting, staying indoors after sundown.

  • Personal effects: bring along as appropriate sun screen, insect-repellents, first-aid kit which may include such items as dressings, water purification tablets, anti-diarrhoeal tablets and anti- pyretics.

  • Appropriate insurance cover, which should include emergency repatriation.

During the trip

  • Jet lag is a common complaint and occurs when a traveller crosses many time zones over a short period of time. It may be minimized by :

    • Drink plenty of water before, during and after the flight.

    • Avoid alcohol and beverages such as coffee and tea.

    • Allow time for rest and to adjust to the local time zone.

  • Be vigilant on food and water hygiene. Always drink boiled or bottled water and eat properly prepared cooked foods.

  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol which may loosen your self-control.

  • Avoid casual sex with strangers and commercial sex workers.

  • Practise safe sex. Use condoms correctly.

  • After crossing many time zones within a short time, avoid making important decisions, driving immediately on arrival.

After the trip

  • If you have any symptoms like fever, diarrhoea, vomiting or skin rash, see your doctor as soon as possible and mention the places that you have visited.


Last revision date: 10 October 2012