Tag Archives: travel

Business travel: pilgrimage or occasion of sin?

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11)

The ordinary experience of a Catholic business traveler provides opportunities for both spiritual growth and evangelization. It also can be a time where we might be tempted to sin and compromise our commitment to virtue. As someone who travels constantly for business, I thought I would pass on some of my habits formed to make these trips into mini-pilgrimages.

Begin the trip well

  • Pray the rosary while waiting to board the flight.
  • Make the sign of the cross and pray the rosary again upon takeoff.
  • Make the sign of the cross and offer a blessing before eating any in-flight food.
  • Make another sign of the cross upon landing.

While these slightly conspicuous Catholic practices might attract looks, they also frequently create an opening for dialogue with other faithful or those searching for spiritual comfort.

Take a stand at check-in

  • Request in advance that there be no alcohol in the minibar. Stop patronizing hotels that demand an exorbitant fee for alcohol removal.
  • Insist that “adult” cable channels be disabled or that the cable be completely disconnected.
  • Ask for the location of the nearest Catholic church and its weekday Mass schedule.

Alcohol and pornography can be sources of temptation. They also are at the foundation of much human sex trafficking, and business travelers form a prominent client base. Be part of the countermovement by taking a stand.

Sanctify the room

  • Travel with a vial of holy water and bless the hotel room immediately.
  • Place a small crucifix and blessed saints’ medals on the desk and next to the bed.
  • Carry spiritually nourishing material, such as the Legatus Timeless Prayers for Busy People.
  • Free hotel wifi is overwhelmingly used for pornography, and Catholics are not immune from this temptation. My work computer prevents me from using hotel networks. Sticking to business electronic devices is a good strategy. If using personal devices, software such as Covenant Eyes can offer protection.

As there are no eyes on you in your hotel room, invite God’s eyes and spiritual protection into that space.

Begin pilgrimage upon waking

  • If possible, get up early, pray, and exercise.
  • Visit that Catholic church identified at check-in — if not for Mass or Confession, then at least to offer an oration.
  • Be on high alert about business entertaining. I frequently make excuses to drink nothing at all or have at most one or two glasses of wine.
  • Speak openly about your Catholic faith and other wholesome subjects such as family and books. Never join in any vulgarity.
  • Get back to the hotel early and call home. These are trusted best practices, but we must be equally committed to keeping our business guests and colleagues spiritually safe too.

Return home with spiritual impact

  • Drop a note to the hotel management requesting pornography blockers on the hotel wifi. (Let’s start a movement!)
  • Thank hotel management for any signage in the hotel alerting guests to signs of human trafficking.
  • Drive like a Christian.
  • Use the constant irritations and stresses of travel to imitate Christ. Forgiveness is the antidote to stress.
  • Consume no alcohol on the flight home. Look forward to a glass of wine with your spouse instead. The armor of God is effective. Use it and stay safe!

JONATHAN TERRELL is the president of the Washington, D.C., Chapter. He is founder and president of KCIC, a Washington-based consulting firm that helps companies manage their product liabilities.

Avoiding the drag of jet lag

Don’t let jet lag keep you from enjoying your business trip or holiday . . .

Traveling can be glamorous, but jet lag can get in the way of enjoying your vacation or business trip — if you let it. Symptoms of jet lag are not fun and may include drowsiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, swelling, headaches, GI upset, and even fatigue and insomnia.

While these temporary issues are not life-threatening, they can interfere with your trip. When traveling across several time zones, you may risk the effects of jet lag. But with these preventive tips, you can make sure jet lag doesn’t hinder your time away from home!

Eastward travel is associated with difficulty falling asleep at the destination’s bedtime and difficulty arising in the morning. When traveling westward, it is common to have early evening sleepiness and pre-dawn awakening. Crossing more time zones and traveling east generally increases the time for adaptation.

Before traveling:
• Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet and exercise
• Try to reset your body’s internal clock slowly a few days prior to travel. Shift your bedtime 1-2 hours later if traveling westward and 1-2 hours earlier if traveling eastward
• Expose yourself to bright light in the evening if traveling westward; in the morning if traveling eastward

During travel:
• Break up a long trip with a stopover, if possible
• Avoid large meals, alcohol and caffeine
• Set your watch to the new time of the destination, then try to eat and sleep accordingly
• Keep well hydrated with water
• Consider taking a short-acting hypnotic like Ambien® or Lunesta® during a long flight

On arrival:
• Adapt to the local schedule as soon as possible
• Maximize sun exposure
• Drink plenty of water and avoid excess alcohol and caffeine
• Take short naps (20-30 minutes)

For more information, I asked Anne Marie O’Melia, MS, MD — medical director at the Harold C. Schott Eating Disorders Program and sleep expert at the Lindner Center of HOPE in Cincinnati — for her input on the following questions.

What is the role of short-acting sleep medications to treat jet lag?

Avoiding sleep deprivation is important. Using ear plugs and eye shades, avoiding alcohol use and trying to get sleep on the plane is recommended. Traditional hypnotics — such as the benzodiazepines like temazepam (Restoril) or newer nonbenzodiazepine GABA-A agonists like zolpidem (Ambien) and zaleplon (Sonata) — are sometimes used on the plane and for several nights after arrival in new time zone. When using these medications, shorter-acting agents are preferred with the intention of helping to induce sleep with fewer carry-over effects such as grogginess in morning. Typically, taking Ambien 10 mg, Sonata 5-10 mg or temazepam 7.5-15 mg just before one wants to be asleep will help induce sleep quickly with fewer morning or daytime side effects.

Does the use of melatonin prevent jet lag?

Melatonin is believed to be effective when crossing five or more time zones and is most effective when traveling east. Melatonin is considered to be a supplement, not a drug for the purposes of production and marketing. Doses for melatonin use seem to vary by an individual’s response and can range from 0.5 mg to 9 mg.

When traveling east, I recommend taking 3 mg in the early afternoon for several days before travel. After arrival, this dose can be continued at bedtime for three or four days to help establish a new sleep pattern. When traveling west, pre-treatment isn’t helpful, but taking 3 mg at bedtime in the new time zone is helpful for some people.

Does jet lag differ if traveling eastward or westward?

Our body rhythms seem to adapt more easily when the day is artificially lengthened, as is the case of westward travel. Most people find it easier to stay up late than to have to get up early. This may be different for so-called “morning people” or “early birds” who generally find eastward travel to be easier.

Susan Locke, MD, is Healthnetwork Foundation’s Medical Director.

Healthnetwork is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org

Prepare for healthy travel

You can never be too prepared when it comes to traveling; here are some tips . . .

Dr. Susan Locke

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s imperative that you arrive and remain in good health throughout the duration of your trip. Here are some tips for staying at your peak, no matter your destination.

Traveling a long distance? Jet lag is an inevitable physiological consequence exacerbated by difficulty sleeping. Although jet lag usually resolves itself, a variety of interventions may ease the process. Try shifting daily activities prior to departure to correspond to the time zone of your travel destination. Also, stay well-hydrated, avoid alcohol and pursue activities in sunlight upon arrival.

Several studies in humans have concluded that in about 50% of subjects, melatonin can significantly improve jet lag by reducing the number of days to establish a normal sleep pattern, reducing sleep latency (amount of time to fall asleep) and decreasing daytime fatigue. The dose for jet lag is 5 mg taken orally at bedtime for 1 week beginning 3 days before the flight. Additionally, your physician can prescribe a short-acting sleeping medication, such as Lunesta or Ambien. Potential side effects may include a mild amnesic syndrome (you might not remember any details of your flight) and some mild “hangover” effect. Other sleep-aid options include over-the-counter medications like Benadryl or Tylenol PM.

Travel health kit

Prescription medications

• Pack in carry-on luggage in original pill bottles with copies of prescriptions

• Controlled substance and injectable medication: pack a letter on prescribing physician’s official letterhead

• Check with the American embassy in the country you’re visiting to confirm if your medications are allowed into the country (optional)

Over-the-counter medications

• Antidiarrheal medicine
• Medicine for fever or pain
• Antihistamine
• Decongestant
• Anti-motion sickness
• Antacid
• Antifungal and antibacterial ointment or cream
• Hydrocortisone cream

Special prescriptions

• Consider obtaining prescription for an antibiotic for cases of severe diarrhea
• Depending on travel destination, anti-malarial medications

Other useful items

• Sunscreen
• Insect repellant
• Band-Aids, gauze, ace bandage, tweezers, small scissors, antiseptic
• Copy of your health insurance card

Vaccinations

Routine immunizations

• Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
• Polio
• Tetanus-diptheria
• Influenza
• Pneumococcus

Travel immunizations

Hepatitis A is part of routine U.S. childhood immunization. It’s recommended for all unvaccinated travelers going anywhere other than Australia, Canada, western Europe, Japan or New Zealand.

Typhoid: Recommended for travelers to Asia and other developing countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa

Malaria prophylaxis: If traveling to countries with a risk of malaria

Susan Locke, MD, is Healthnetwork’s medical director.

Healthnetwork is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. To learn how this can work for you, call (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. E-mail: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org

See your doctor before traveling

You’re a busy executive with a challenging schedule. Your work often requires you to travel domestically or internationally to meet with clients or to close a key deal.

You also understand that your faith and your family supersede your business. A relaxing family vacation with time for reflection and daily affirmation can keep you grounded.

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, Legatus Healthnetwork can help you to prepare for your trip by scheduling an appointment at one of the world’s best hospitals with a physician who specializes in travel medicine. A physician visit assures you and your family of being adequately prepared for a safe and healthy journey.

Francois Lette, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Florida, a Legatus Healthnetwork GOLD hospital, says the meeting with your physician should focus on identifying any pre-existing medical conditions, the medications you or a family member are taking and a precise itinerary of the trip.

If your travel plans take you abroad, Lette recommends you receive the proper vaccines two weeks or more prior to leaving home. The most frequently prescribed vaccines are for yellow fever, hepatitis A, flu, tetanus, polio, typhoid and meningitis. Travelers are commonly exposed to malaria and yellow fever, yet both are generally preventable.

“There are many diseases without a vaccine,” Lette says. “There has been a large increase in the number of cases of dengue fever (an acute febrile disease) in Latin America and Southeast Asia this year.”

Surprisingly, Lette says the greatest threat to travelers is a motor vehicle accident. He suggests avoiding cars without functioning seat belts and staying off the roads at night.

Travelers also need to be concerned with the proper foods and drinks in order to maintain good health. Lette endorses washing your hands with soap and water prior to eating — and especially after using a restroom.

His tips include avoiding the purchase of food from dubious eating places, markets and roadside vendors; buffets where foods are uncovered; shellfish, undercooked meats and poultry, and dairy products; and tap water, drinks or ice prepared with tap water. Remember to use sealed, bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.

By heeding Lette’s precautions, you should be in for a safe and healthy trip that promises to energize your spirits and your business.

If you have an upcoming trip on your schedule, Legatus Healthnetwork can provide you with more information or an appointment. Our contact information is below.

Ron Hollowell is Healthnetwork’s Director of Marketing.

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Your personal travel checklist

Thermometer

Insect repellent

Imodium

Hydrocortisone cream

Pepto-Bismol

Sunscreen

Shower sandals

Bandages

Driver’s license

Insurance contract

A copy of your passport

Prescription medications

Antibiotics

A sewing kit or Scotch tape (to repair torn bed netting)

A short-acting sleeping pill (taken at an opportune moment can help avoid jet lag)

Healthnetwork is a membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. For information on how this can work for you, call (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. E-mail: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org