TO BE AT YOUR BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST

25 October 2017

Maintaining your health on extended business trips can be challenging. Especially if your destination countries’ living and working conditions are markedly different from what you are used to at home.

Knowledge in these situations is indeed power. Before embarking, find out as much as possible about the destination’s environmental conditions; altitude, level of air pollution, humidity, etc. In other words, conditions which may affect your specific health concerns.

Travel insurance is essential. Again, do your research. For example, there are comprehensive travel insurance policies for multi-business travel valid for a year.

Information regarding medication is country specific. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medicines may be illegal in the country or countries you are travelling to. If your ‘illegal’ medicines are for a chronic ailment, find out whether the country has a generic equivalent.

Before you leave, ask your doctor to write a letter that describes your medical conditions and the medication you require. Make sure you pack sufficient prescription medication, and carry enough for unforeseen delays. It’s always advisable to pack prescription medications in carry-on luggage in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

Questions or delays at customs or immigration can be avoided by keeping all medications in their original, labelled containers for easy identification.

Useful tips to stay healthy while abroad for lengthy periods of time include:

It’s important to remain in contact with your employer and your family at all times. Carry emergency contact information for your family and employer, just in case you are unable to communicate these details to doctors or emergency medical staff.

Before embarking on your trip, remember to get the contact details of the nearest South African embassy or consulate in the country you are travelling to.