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Surviving a Business Trip to a Tropical Destination
If you have to travel to a destination with a tropical climate for your next business trip, you may face some challenges on how to stay comfortable and healthy. You may not only be adjusting to the jet-lag, but also to extreme heat, exotic foods, and different hygienic practices.
How to be comfortable in a tropical destination
We have compiled a list of some tips for keeping cool, adjusting to exotic food, sleeping comfortably, and generally staying healthy while visiting a tropical country.
Tips for keeping cool
As soon as you step off the plane in a tropical climate you will likely start sweating. This is absolutely normal. If you are not accustomed to humid climates, your body is just trying to adjust. Fortunately, this uncontrollable reaction and the accompanying feeling of constant overheating can be managed if you follow a few steps.
Make sure to constantly stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids such as water, juices, or fruit smoothies.
2. Know what to avoid
It is best to refrain from heavy and fatty foods as well as caffeine. These can make you feel worse and may even dehydrate you.
3. Spice it up
Many people in East Asian cultures believe that eating hot and spicy foods actually helps keep you cool. Before you indulge, make sure you pay attention to what your body can handle.
4. Dress accordingly
Take some cues from your local colleagues to see if there are alternatives to wearing a heavy suit and tie. Maybe you can get away with ditching the jacket, or choosing lighter materials. Ladies, maybe a lightweight dress is an option. Also, be sure to wear a hat when you’re outside and consider carrying an umbrella to provide your own shade.
5. Powder up
A well-kept secret to help prevent sweating can actually be found in many local convenience stores – cooling mentholated powder. Two popular brands are Prickly Heat Cooling Powder and Ponds Magic Powder. Toss some on after a shower to stay cool and dry all day.
Tips for adjusting to exotic food
When visiting a new tropical country, you are likely to encounter some unusual foods and dining experiences. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the best of the situation:
1. Prepare to eat outside
It is very common, especially in Asian countries, to find yourself at outdoor eating establishments. We’re not talking about a covered patio next to a restaurant; rather, open air markets, stands, and restaurants with tables on or next to the street. With this kind of setup, understand that your food will be cooked outdoors. On the plus side, most food that you find at these stands tend to be fresher and more authentic than at a tourist spot. Ask your local colleagues their opinion before you indulge.
2. Know how to handle the spice
If you are going to try the local spicy delicacy, make sure you have something to counteract the heat within reach. Milk, tea, and yogurt are good choices. Ginger candy can help calm your stomach after you eat. Also, suck on some mints or candy if you don’t like the flavor of something you’ve tried.
3. Be adventurous
This trip to Thailand or the Philippines may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you. Why not make the most of it? Try as many new and different foods as you can. Who knows, you may just impress your colleagues and clients.
Tips for sleeping in a tropical environment
It is not easy to battle jet-lag. It is especially difficult to do so when you’re in a tropical environment. Aside from the heat, you may be facing a crowded and noisy city, less-than-stellar accommodations, and even unwanted insects.
Here are some quick tips to help you sleep better:
1. Bring earplugs (or noise-cancelling headphones) and a sleep mask.
2. If you’re in the bush or jungle, consider a thick, sweat-proof headband to help keep the mosquitos away from your ears while you sleep.
3. Pack a device that can play white noise while you sleep.
4. Consider bringing your own sheet or sleeping liners if you have concerns about the cleanliness of your bed.
Tips for generally staying healthy
Unfortunately, most of the health issues you are likely to encounter will be gastrointestinal in nature. Best to always be prepared, and don’t let that stop you from heeding our previous tips about eating out! First, always carry baby wipes, tissue, or toilet paper with you. Also, bring along Immodium and Ciprofloxin. Another helpful remedy is eating papaya, which has great digestive enzymes, and drinking coconut water, which can prevent dehydration. Additionally, regularly drink fluids like water and Gatorade. Finally, don’t be afraid to visit a doctor if you are feeling very sick.
It can certainly be challenging to conduct business in a tropical setting. If you prepare to meet those challenges head-on, though, you can make the most of your trip. You may even come home with some pretty entertaining stories and a whole new perspective on the world; not to mention that lucrative contract.