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How to Stay Healthy When You’re Always Traveling for Work

As much as we offer advice to leisure travelers, at Air Doctor, we also know a thing or two about health while traveling for work.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or have a one-off stint for work, you’ll know that business trips are very different from holidays.

Traveling for work can be challenging; time zones, meetings, and eating out can interrupt your usual routine and mess with your body clock. Staying healthy when you’re constantly traveling for work can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Find out how to stay healthy with these traveling for work tips!

Is Business Travel Finally Making A Comeback?

While business travel experienced a knock due to the pandemic, it seems to be making a comeback. In fact, Deloitte projects that business travel spend is expected to reach 80% of 2019 levels by the end of 2022. But that might not be the best thing for a business traveler’s wellbeing.

A survey of millennials done by Hilton Hotels & Resorts revealed that 44% gained weight during business trips and a survey by Forbes showing that 54% of people traveling for work are less likely to exercise during their business trip.

But that doesn’t mean people traveling for work can’t be healthy.

Before we get into some of our best advice, make sure you keep this list of essential travel documents.

Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling for Work

General Tips

Let’s start with some general tips to keep you feeling your best during your business trip.

  • Plan and Prepare Your Medication. If you take prescription medication, make sure that you won’t need to refill your prescription while you’re away – it’s just one extra thing to do! Here are some tips for traveling with medication should you need them.
  • Take a Hot Bath or Shower. Make a point of taking a long, hot shower or bath on your first night. Not only will this rid you of any germs you picked up on the plane but it will relax your muscles too.
  • Boost Your Immune System. Over and above your regular medication, take a supply of vitamins with you to keep your immune system as strong as possible.
  • Keep Hand Sanitizer on You. Even though hand sanitizer is generally readily available, keep a travel size bottle on your person anyway. You never know when you might touch something that could make you ill and there’s no hand sanitizer in sight.
  • Opt for Airbnbs. If possible, opt to stay in Airbnbs instead of hotels. This makes it much easier for you to stay healthy because you get to cook your own meals and choose what you eat. It’s also more likely that you will have space to exercise.

Source: Unsplash

Managing General Stress Through Better Planning

According to the Anxiety Centre, prolonged periods of stress can produce flu-like symptoms.

Being more organized is one of the best ways to keep stress and anxiety to a minimum while you’re away on business. Working with a travel agent is one option, but what about tracking expenses and dealing with cancellations and last minute changes? There’s a lot to think about personally – never mind everything you need to take care of business-wise.

The good news is that there are all-in-one solutions available that make business travel management that much easier – TravelPerk is one solution that comes highly recommended.

This platform boasts one of the largest inventories of flights, trains, hotels, car rentals, and Airbnb units – all of which you can access via their mobile app, allowing you to stay in control on the go.

Using platforms such as this will keep your stress levels lower and help you stay healthier while you’re traveling for work.

Downloading the Air Doctor app before your business trip will also make a massive difference. Not only can you easily locate a doctor near you who speaks your language, but knowing help is so readily available will ease stress levels too.

Air Doctor is available for Android and iOS devices.

Air Doctor app mockups

Eating Better for a Healthy Body

Even though business travel can sometimes feel like a nice getaway from day-to-day office life, people should be mindful not to overindulge during these trips. Here are some ideas for staying healthy when it comes to what you eat while traveling.

  • Stay Snack Savvy: If you’re a snacker, it can be tricky to find healthy snacks on the go. Make sure you make time to pop by a supermarket once you arrive to pick up some healthier snack options like unsalted nuts or fresh fruit. Avoid the hotel vending machines and quick café bites.
  • Avoid Free Food: Complimentary muffins in conference rooms, plane meals, or compliments in your hotel room – these all spell unwanted calories. It’s essential to listen to your hunger cues, so don’t eat just because it’s there, instead, eat when you’re actually hungry. This is where those healthy snacks come in.
  • Think Twice When Eating Out: You can still eat out while making healthy food choices. Whether you’re having a team lunch or taking a client out to dinner, review a restaurant’s menu ahead of time so that you can better plan your meals. Aim to choose the most nutritious options available even if it’s not the perfect option. Opt for baked over fried, salads over fries, and avoid creamy sauces. In fact, it’s best to review a restaurant’s menu before you eat out so that you can better plan your meals.
  • Do Treat Yourself: Life is all about balance. And being healthy doesn’t mean you have to punish yourself. Plan to have that after-work drink or treat with your morning coffee – this allows you to look forward to the occasional indulgence without overdoing it.
  • Don’t Skip Breakfast: Even though work trips can be chaotic, start your morning off right. One of the ultimate tips for business travel is ensuring your body can still function optimally throughout the day. So even if you grab a quick bowl of cereal with fruit, you’ll have the energy needed to get your day started on a healthy note.
  • Stay Hydrated: This has to be one of the most important health habits, especially when it comes to traveling for work. Always carry a water bottle with you and keep up your fluid intake. Rather avoid reaching for calorie-rich soft drinks or energy drinks. Enjoy your coffee, but make sure you’re getting enough H2O to keep your body appropriately hydrated.

Source: Unsplash

Staying Active for a Healthy Mind

Yes, you can easily fit in a workout while you’re traveling for work. Along with the physical health benefits, exercise also releases those feel-good hormones, keeping your mind healthy too.

  • Walk As Much as Possible: Whether you take the stairs, walk to that restaurant around the block, or even take a moment away from your screen to do some sightseeing – try to walk as much as possible. That way, even if you can’t hit the hotel’s gym, your body is still benefiting from regular activity. 
  • Invest in a Fitness App. Many of today’s fitness apps will provide you with exercises based on the equipment and time you have available. You can also use these apps to track your goals and progress. And if you need some extra encouragement, find an app that offers video classes with an instructor. Aaptiv and Freelitics come highly recommended.
  • Exercise In Your Hotel Room: Resistance bands, skipping ropes, and yoga mats are all travel-friendly exercise equipment that you can easily slip into your suitcase to ensure you can fit in a quick workout before you get going for the day. Every little bit of physical activity counts, from doing a quick guided yoga class on YouTube to doing some squats and crunches. Feeling lazy? Try to do 15 minutes of light stretching to get you in the groove to tackle the rest of your day.

We hope these tips will make a difference to your upcoming work trips this year. Do you have any planned already?


Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.