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The Special Traveller: The Business Traveller

Many people envy the business traveler – first class flights (not always), luxurious hotels (if you’re lucky), expense accounts, frequent flyer points and a chance to get out of the office! But there is the other side to it – rush to the airport, endless lines at check-in, flight delays, work seven days a week, miss your children’s hockey/soccer/karate tournament, jet lag and piles of work on your return! People travel to work for so many reasons and to every imaginable place, so it’s hard to generalize about this group. But let me try!

Why are they different?

  • It is often short term (1-2 weeks) travel, though many become “expatriates” and relocate abroad. Most often, but not always, it is to urban areas with better accommodation, and with access to clean food and water and better medical care.
  • They usually travel alone.
  • They are traveling at someone else’s expense.
  • They are often repeat travelers.
  • They work hard, very hard while they are away.
  • The impact of any illness, such as Traveler’s Diarrhea, may be greater on a short business trip than it would be on your year-long volunteer stint.
  • They usually miss their families very much.

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide their employee with a safe workplace. Back home, that might include a safety helmet, steel-toed boots or earplugs. In far off countries, it is protective immunization, antimalarials, safe transportation and much more.

How can you minimize the risk?

  • Get immunized according to your destination and other risk factors; consider Twinrix® (hepatitis A and B) which will last the rest of your life.
  • Dukoral® will provide you with moderate protection against Traveler’s Diarrhea. Prophylactic antibiotics can also be considered for the “I can’t afford to get sick” business traveler.
  • Don’t even think about unprotected sex while you are away. Use condoms if you are sexually active abroad!
  • Malarone® is a great choice for malaria prevention in short-term travelers.
  • Consider getting some advice or medication to deal with jet lag (see Chapter    ).
  • Try to reduce your stress level.... Fly first class! Keep in touch with your family by phone or e-mail. Get some fresh air and exercise at your destination.
  • Practise meditation, yoga, or take your iPod®.
  • Carry a small first aid kit (and sewing kit!) to look after minor ailments.
  • If you are relocating abroad with your family, learn about culture shock and ask for some cross-cultural training to make the transition easier for everyone.
Content (c) Mark Wise
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