The sights. The sounds. The flavors. International travel offers entrepreneurs more than just new opportunities in exotic business markets--it offers a doorway to the entire world.
Unfortunately, there are also risks inherent to foreign travel--diseases, for example--that can abruptly put a halt to any business dealings. The easiest way to make sure you'll stay healthy while you're away, say experts and physicians, is by planning ahead before you leave.
"It never hurts to check in with a travel clinic as soon as you know you're going somewhere," says Dr. Stephen Blythe, a physician in Melbourne, Florida, who specializes in international travel medicine. Blythe recommends getting vaccinations about six weeks before traveling internationally; most vaccinations take 10 to 14 days to be effective.
Because the type of vaccination you'll need will depend on your destination, length of stay, living conditions and exposure to insects, you need to research your destination(s) before leaving. There are many helpful resources to consult:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site (http://www.cdc.gov). Go to the "Travelers' Health" section, where the world has been divided into 16 regions, to review the CDC's geographic health recommendations.
- CDC Fax Information Service. Call (888) CDC-FAXX to select documents you want faxed to you.
- Independently run travel clinics. There are travel clinics nationwide that can provide you with information and vaccinations. The Web sites for the International Society of Travel Medicine (http://www.istm.org) and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (http://www.astmh.org) list some of these clinics by state. Many clinics can also be found on college campuses and through state health departments.
- Physician-posted Web sites. At Travel Health Information Service (http://www.travelhealth.com), Blythe has compiled data so you can "get everything you need for your trip--online--except the shots." The Travel Medicine Inc. site (http://www.travmed.com) offers products and information for safe travel worldwide.
When traveling to a foreign country, experts and physicians say, most health risks can be avoided through simple behavior modifications:
- Drink purified or filtered water.
- Avoid raw fruits and vegetables.
- Eat thoroughly cooked food.
- Use insect repellent.
- Wear a seat belt.
- Don't swim alone.
By Catharine Brockman Kuchar
- Following in the "extended-stay" trend, Marriott International Inc. opened two TownePlace Suites hotels, located outside Atlanta and in Loudon County, Virginia. Additional locations are scheduled to open this year in Houston and Milwaukee. Business-traveler-friendly features include large work areas with fully equipped kitchens, on-site faxing and copying, personalized voice mail, 24-hour staffing, free local phone calls, and two-line telephones with data ports.
- Tired of getting delayed at the airport? Consider the Priority Pass, which grants membership to more than 200 airport club lounges worldwide. For $225 per year, Entrepreneur readers who mention they saw this offer here are guaranteed unlimited access to the lounges, regardless of the airline you fly. (The regular price is $295.) Interested? Call (800) 352-2834.
- The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, offers to-go meals prepared the day of your flight. Choices include smoked ham with Swiss on sourdough, a sliced tenderloin and sirloin sandwich or walnut chicken salad on molasses walnut bread. For information, call (800) 333-3399.
- Avis now provides an online, real-time reservation system located in the Reservations and Rates section of the Avis Galaxy Web site (http://www.avis.com). Avis Res-O-Matic enables site visitors to check auto availability and rates as well as make and cancel reservations in real time for all Avis locations throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Begin looking for in-room Internet access systems at Hilton Hotels. The system has already been installed in several hotels around the country and enables Hilton guests to check e-mail using wireless infrared keyboards, play a variety of games, and continue to access premium movies and other services through in-room TV sets for a fee.
Dr. Stephen Blythe, email@example.com