Fending off a Cold While Traveling


Ahh, cold and flu season. You are a cruel bastard. You sneak up on us like a wood nymph in a dark forest and infect us with your stuffy gifts of phlegm and congestion.

There is no way to avoid this time of the year. If you have children, it is doubly bad since they are germ magnets and not really the best at sanitizing themselves. If you travel for business, check off another box. Airports, train stations, and most public places are cesspools of airborne disgustingness.

The best that you can do is to be prepared. Here are four tips to help protect against (proactively) and deal with (reactively) the common cold while on the road.

Airborne - we covered this a few months ago. Airborne (can be purchased here) may be nothing more than a placebo, or there may be truth to the claims that it overloads your system with Vitamin C and other key vitamins and minerals, thus supercharging your immune system. One way or another, I haven’t heard of anybody getting MORE SICK from this. I use this before, during, and after every trip.

Alka seltzer cold and flu tablets (found here) are another effervescent tablet that can make a big difference. These would be taken after the symptoms start and they really do help. Make sure you get the ones with a flavor, as the plain version tastes like liquid chalk.

DayQuil and NyQuil (link) are essential when you have a cold or flu. For me, they basically mask the symptoms long enough for my body to recover, but I am perfectly fine with that.

Last but not least, you need to drink lots of water for any of these to truly have the desired effect.

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Yoga Exercises for the Business Traveler


Recently we shared a few tips on being more productive in the morning. One of the recommendations was to incorporate some type of yoga workout into your morning. This goes doubly when traveling for business.

The benefits of yoga are well known but lend themselves nicely to business travelers. Most importantly, yoga is a stress reducing exercise. It stretches you in ways that reverse the extremely adverse effects of planes, trains, and automobiles (not to mention conference rooms). Yoga can help you sleep better. In addition, it has been shown to help people perform better. This is probably a combination of reduced stress, better sleep, and less pain. Sign me up!

There are a few myths about the amount of time and the type of clothes/equipment you need to do yoga. Most notably, there is the yoga mat. While this can help the overall routine, it isn’t 100% necessary. If you don’t have a mat handy, just lay a sheet on the hotel floor. You can also modify your workout to ensure that the moves you’re practicing are conducive to that set up. In addition, yoga clothes are certainly helpful, but depending on the amount of time you are going to practice, they aren’t necessarily needed. I usually just wear gym shorts and a t-shirt. Speaking of time, how long do you need to do yoga to get benefit out of it? Not as long as you might think. Devoted yogis such as my wife normally practice for 60-90 minutes at a time. While nice, this isn’t practical when traveling for work, especially if you are trying to do other workouts in the morning. Honestly, even ten minutes of yoga can do a work of good for you.

Here are a couple of yoga mat suggestions that you can buy. Neither of them are expensive but they both do the job. The first one is the AmazonBasics brand and works perfectly fine at home or in the yoga studio. The second one is specifically designed for travel.

For your convenience, here are a couple of videos on YouTube that I’ve used while traveling:

Exercise 1 - 10 minute

This workout is only 10 minutes long but is incredibly effective at giving you a great stretch. It’s an effective way to wake up in the morning. Usually by the end during the child’s pose, I feel so much less tension in my neck and shoulders.

Exercise 2 - 20 minute

This is less a yoga workout and more of a flexibility workout but it accomplishes all of the benefits previously mentioned. If you can fit 20 minutes into your already packed morning schedule, you will absolutely thank yourself for it later in the day.

Exercise 3 - when sick

Unfortunately, business travel often leads to illness. No matter how much airborne you take or sanitizer you use, you can’t avoid germs and illness altogether. It’s so easy to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes when you’re not feeling well, but the following work out is really useful in the situations. It doesn’t take very long at all, as it clocks in at under 10 minutes, but it will unscramble your tight muscles and give you a better shot at kicking off your day the right way. 

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How to Save Space, Time, and Frustration by Using an Underseat Bag

Two things that I absolutely despise when traveling are checking bags and fighting for overhead space on the plane. Unfortunately, it usually comes down to a choice between the two. Luckily, there is a solution. A couple of years ago, I invested in an underseat bag. Essentially, it is a smaller bag with dimensions designed to fit underneath most airplane seats.

There are a number of options, so I’ve kept this pretty brief. Look around and find one that’s right for you.

Samsonite - this is the one that I have been using for over two years. It's very basic and sturdy. The wheels do not rotate 360°, but it is still very functional. It's got a great space for a laptop and other electronics. I find that if I need to travel for more than two days, things get a little bit tight. It also works best if you only have one pair of shoes for the entire trip.


Tumi - without a doubt, this is the best on the market. Of course, it comes with a very hefty price tag. Unless you primarily take short one to three day trips, you're most likely going to need to have other luggage in your arsenal anyway. It really comes down to whether not you want to spend this kind of money. Tumi also sells numerous organizational system add on products to help maximize space. https://www.tumi.com/c/luggage/carryon-luggage

Travelpro Maxlite 4 - while it is not the same quality as the Samsonite or Tumi, this is a great option as well. It is less expensive, very lightweight, and does have a feature that the Samsonite does not. It has 360° spinning wheels. If you only need underseat bag a couple of times per year, this could be a great option for you. https://amzn.to/2A1Krkt

Of course, there are a few situations where this will not work. Obviously if you need to pack heavy or are planning to travel for more than three days, it's very unlikely this will work for you. Sometimes two days is a stretch depending on the climate. Also, there have been several times where I got on a plane and realized that there was a barrier or a bar underneath the seat that made it impossible for the bag to fit. Nothing is a guarantee.

Once you've picked a bag, you simply have to figure out how to pack efficiently and what to take. I'll leave that one up to you for now