6 Ways to Help Employees Prepare for International Travel
In today’s global world, more companies have employees traveling internationally. Whether you have a few employees traveling once a year or teams that regularly make trips to other countries, you need a plan to help them stay well, including destination-specific travel vaccines, medications, and pre-travel advice.
A quality employee travel medicine program includes more than just sending your team members off to a doctor for a few vaccines. The travel medicine specialists at Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness recommend these six guidelines to ensure employees feel their best during international business travel.
1. Plan at Least Six Weeks in Advance
Some vaccines are required to be administered in two doses, and most vaccines don’t provide optimal immunity until they have been in your system for two weeks. Based on these factors for vaccines, it’s best for employees to have a pre-travel appointment six weeks before departure. This timeframe also allows employees to get refills on any regular prescription medications they need to take with them.
2. Individual Medical Conditions Matter
Employees with any type of chronic medical condition or life-threatening food or medicine allergies need to discuss these situations with an experienced travel medicine provider. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or tachycardia can be influenced by changes in time zone and diet. For those with allergies, special cards that explain food or medicine allergies can be ordered online in nearly any language needed.
Prescription medications should be packed in carry-on baggage and stored in their original containers. It’s also a good idea to carry extra medicine and a printed prescription for medications with you for longer trips in case of a delay in returning.
3. Vaccine Needs Vary
Your travel medicine provider should follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for vaccines. Recommended vaccinations not only differ by country but can also vary according to which region of a country you are visiting.
4. Understand Malaria Prevention
There are three main types of antimalarial medication. The best type for each individual traveler is based on several factors, including the country they are visiting, medical history, medications they are currently taking, age, and if they are pregnant. How soon a traveler may be leaving for their trip can also affect the choice of antimalarial drugs.
5. Avoid the Dreaded Traveler’s Diarrhea
A general rule of thumb when traveling abroad is to only drink bottled water and to avoid raw foods, including fruits and vegetables. An experienced travel medicine doctor can provide specific advice based on the employee’s destination.
It’s also wise to take medicine with you in case you do develop diarrhea. The type of medicine prescribed will depend on your destination and medical history.
6. Minimize Time Changes and Stress
Make sure team members who travel know these tips that can help them feel and function their best.
● Stay hydrated
● Avoid alcohol and caffeine
● Eat healthy meals
● If you have a few days before you leave, try to shift your sleep cycle a few hours earlier or later to better match the time zone of your destination.
Get Complete Travel Medicine Services from Cone Health
Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness offers complete travel services along with a complete suite of employee and occupational health services. Contact our business liaison Jacqueline Heyward to see how we can help your company with travel medicine or other employee health needs. Email Jacqueline.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.832.7315.