Avoid Contracting Diseases While Traveling

travel-health1Local Wallace Pierson Travel professionals not only send clients to all parts of  the world on a daily basis, but  between themselves they travel quite frequently to the outskirts of our planet. For example founder/co-owner Ange Wallace just returned from India and is leaving this week for Churchill, Manitoba and the Polar Bears;  Lynann Mullis just returned from Scotland,  Dawn Dixon just left for Ireland,  co-owner Angela Wallace Pierson leaves shortly for Italy and Tracy Lynch leaves for a cruise aboard Oceania when Angela returns.

With the worldwide Ebola scare, but also just the flu season starting here are some practical tips from Ange Wallace you may want to take to heart when traveling.

Staying tuned to all things regarding Ebola – by Ange Wallace

Much like the SARS situation a few years back, precautions have to be taken.  Each traveler will have to weigh the information available and measure that against their own comfort level and the strength of their desire or necessity to travel.  We believe our role as travel professionals today is first and foremost to educate and advise savvy travelers and this includes the challenges (there will always be some) as well as the joys of traveling.  I will list out some of the websites we have been watching.  While the news is covering this over every inch of information and misinformation available, facts are not always easy to isolate from the emotions that are in play.

Much like the aftermath of 911, it will take us a little time to assimilate this new risk into the list of risks we live with daily.  Ebola is much harder to contract than the flu and we have assimilated that risk pretty well.  We must learn and practice the reasonable precautions necessary to avoid being exposed wherever we are.  We must support the continued effort to find both cures and vaccines to effectively deal with this new health threat.

In our office, which is like family, we have always shared the tricks we learn on the road to stay healthy while traveling.  There is really nothing new but let me share a few:
1)      Before long flights and rigorous trips, we take either Airborne or Emergen-C (or alternate between the two)for a couple of days before and occasionally while traveling and, definitely, immediately if we feel “something coming on” just to strengthen our immune system.  There are other such products available, these are just the ones we tend to use.
2)       During the flight, we have a little bottle of Eucalyptus Oil we carry in a freezer Ziploc with a cotton ball.  We dampen the cotton ball in the bag and sniff several times during the flight, or on the cruise, to kill off virus/bacteria trying to enter the upper respiratory tract.  (The little Listerine wafers are also good for this but mostly just in the throat.)
3)      We use Clorox (or any brand) sanitizing wipes on all the surfaces we are likely to touch on the plane (arm rests, tray tables, seat belt buckles etc) and use hand sanitizer (We prefer the wipes to the gels but either will work.)   Don’t wait for the cruise line or resort to provide hand sanitizer opportunities, though many do.  We have to take responsibility for ourselves!
4)      Wipe down items like the remote control in your hotel room and the phone, door knobs etc.  Wipe down your luggage, pocketbook, etc frequently or spray with Lysol. Seems like overkill, but my daughter traveling with babies and toddlers taught me this and they never get sick traveling!
5)      Learn to refrain from touching, handshaking, hugging, etc new friends or helpful people along your route.  It is better for them too. A great smile and gentle explanation if necessary make good substitutes.
6)      Eyes, ears and nose wide open when entering public restrooms.  If you perceive anyone is having or has had physical problems back out and report it to the nearest airport worker or airline attendant etc.  It is like reporting unattended baggage now.
7)      When at meetings or industry events don’t leave your glass and assume you will find the right one on returning.  Avoid dips, nuts or loose items in bowls even with a spoon-someone else might not use it.
Overall, just be awake and aware, use common sense, and don’t wait for someone else to take care of you.  That is our own very important responsibility, each and every one of us!

These are just some of the things we are thinking and doing.  We would love to hear from you if you have some more great tips to share with fellow travelers because SARS, Ebola, Flu- there will always be something out there to raise our concern and require our attention!!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your travels or any other travel related issue, we would love to hear from you!

PS We all travel with Travelex trip insurance, at very least getting their “0” band option.  Angela and I also have a membership with Medjet Assist.  Both companies will be available to answer your questions at our Test Drive The World Luxury Travel Show, Sat., Nov 8, from 1:00 to 4:00pm.  RSVP by emailing ange@wallacepierson.com or call 904 261-5914.  There is a $15 per person admission, which in its entirety is a donation to The Boys and Girls Cluster of Nassau County Foundation, a 501c3 organization.

Links 

– Ebola & West Africa: The Facts

– Travel Notices & Additional Info Related to Travel from the CDC

– 
Latest Ebola Report from the CDC

What You Need to Know about Ebola from the CDC

– 
The White House Blog