For millions of US residents, business travel is a necessary part of their lives. According to the US Travel Association, US residents logged 452 million business trips in 2014. While business travel can be exciting and rewarding from many perspectives, it can also be stressful. Everything from getting to the airport to lost luggage to poor eating patterns can contribute to the stress.
Thankfully, your mobile devices can help you manage that stress. Travel apps can inform you of potential travel hazards, help you keep up physical activity habits, and help you eat healthier on the road. Here are five apps that can help you maintain your health when you travel on business.
1. My Travel Health
My Travel Health costs $2.99 for iOS. It issues up-to-date alerts for 200 international destinations as well as recommended vaccines for each. It also provides links to embassies and local health resources. The app's "Health" section offers travel health content from the Mayo Clinic, including information on coping with common travel-related illnesses. The "Fitness" section shows you exercises you can do while traveling, and the "My Stuff" section lets you save photos of your passport, prescriptions, immunization records, and travelinsurance documents. That information is stored on your device, so it's available to you offline.
Sickweather is a free iOS app that calls itself "Doppler radar for sickness." The app gives you real-time maps of illnesses in cities and even searches social media for anecdotal reports of illness hotspots for things like flu, conjunctivitis, whooping cough, and norovirus. Additionally, you can set Sickweather up to turn on alerts that will notify you should you enter a potential illness hotspot unexpectedly. The unique stresses of business travel can make people more prone to illness. If you know where outbreaks are located, you can be more vigilant in avoiding potentially infectious situations.
3. FitBit Mobile App and Dashboard
If you have a FitBit, the FitBit.com dashboard can be terrific for stress management when you are traveling for work. You can set daily activity goals, and the app will tell you when you meet them. It's perfect for people who travel on business and end up doing too much sitting or watching television. If, for example, you set a daily goal of taking 10,000 steps, the FitBit dash will monitor your daily performance and give you a weekly average so you can see how you're doing overall. Having a smartwatch and app can provide just enough motivation for many people to pay more attention to travel health. Maintaining physical activity levels can prevent sluggishness and reduce travel stress.
4. Meditation Timer
Meditation can be a powerful stress management tool, but even if you're in the habit of meditating at home or in the office, it's easy to neglect meditation while traveling. But de-stressing is important to maintaining good health when you travel for business, and this meditation timer app can help. Free for iOS, MeditationTimer offers a default meditation schedule that you can customize, and plays unique sounds for beginning, interval switching, ending and cool down. It also has beautiful, soothing background photos to help you get out of your head for a while.
5. Food Tripping
It's amazing how easy it is to rely on junk food and fast food, even when meeting business associates in places known for great cuisine. Food Tripping is available for Android for free and helps travelers in the United States find healthy alternatives to fast food, including farmer's markets, juice bars, organic coffeeshops, and more. You can search by location, name, category, or popularity, track places you've visited, view contact details for locations, and suggest new places you discover yourself. This is a terrific app if you're interested in vegan foods, locally sourced foods, and other alternatives that can be difficult to find when business takes you to new cities.
Business travel is a part of life. It is important to remember to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of business. These apps can help you do just that.