Getting to your destination is often the worst part of a trip, especially for long-haul travel. Sitting for a long flight, driving far distances, and standing in lines: all of these travel-related activities and more can take a toll on different parts of your body, particularly your neck, legs, and back.
If you don’t want body pain to decrease the quality of your vacation, here are the best ways to avoid aches and pains while traveling:
1. Keep moving
Changing your position regularly is one of the best ways to avoid body aches, particularly for back pain relief.
Whether you’re flying to your destination or driving, it’s essential to move your body from time to time. If you’re on a plane, walk up and down the aisle or do in-seat exercises every thirty minutes, especially if it’s a long flight. On the other hand, if you’re driving, make it a point to stop every few hours to stretch your muscles and relieve the strain on your back.
2. Maintain proper posture
Sitting or standing with poor posture for long periods is one of the quickest ways to develop body pain. Thus, you must maintain proper posture as much as possible, especially while in a sitting position.
3. Bring pillows
Bring a neck pillow to keep your head upright while traveling, which can help reduce the risk of neck pain. Similarly, using a small pillow to support your spine is a great way to avoid back pain while sitting.
4. Keep warm
When your body is too cold, the contracting of your muscles can affect the circulation of blood, leading to aches and pains. Bring a light jacket or blanket with you while traveling so that you can easily keep yourself warm when the AC is too cold.
5. Pack light
Don’t pack more stuff than you need lest you want to end up with back pain from carrying it around with you. Embrace the art of packing light and stick to the essentials whenever you travel. At the same time, packing light can also help you save money in airport fees.
6. Get plenty of rest
It’s normal to want to make the most out of your vacation, but it’s not worth costing your health. When you arrive at the hotel, take some time to rest and relieve at least some strain from your body. If your itinerary is packed, find time to rest in between activities. Better yet, ensure that your itinerary leaves some space to relax and recoup in between activities.
7. Drink enough water
A dehydrated brain can lead to increased levels of pain. Keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water every day and taking it easy with the alcohol and caffeine. Bring a reusable water bottle with you so you can have a sip whenever you need to.
8. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear
Opt for loose, comfortable clothing and well-fitting footwear when traveling to your destination. Spending four hours in a comfy pair of pants and sweater is better for your body than wearing too-tight clothing, so reserve your Insta-friendly outfits for after you get off the plane or car.
Shoes, in particular, play a significant role in your level of comfort while traveling. Choose a pair of sturdy yet comfortable shoes that provide enough support for your feet, especially if you plan to do a lot of walking at your destination.
9. Use heat/cold therapy
Travel-related body pain cannot be avoided. If you do start to feel aching in your muscles, use a hot or cold compress to relieve the pain. Alternatively, take a hot or cold shower or spend some time in the sauna.
10. Massage your limbs
Sitting or standing for too long can decrease the circulation in your limbs. To avoid developing pain in your arms and legs, massage the muscles there from time to time.
11. Get more space
As much as possible, ask for the aisle seat when booking your flight so that you can stretch your legs. If you’re traveling via car, bus, or other means of transportation, put your luggage in the overhead compartment to have enough space for your legs.
Body pain is the bane of many well-traveled folks. If you’ve been on an airplane or drove a car for long enough, then you’ll know what it feels like to have your body start complaining.
While traveling is bound to take a toll on your body at some point, there are lots of ways you can minimize travel-related pains as much as possible, starting with the ones mentioned above.