The joys of a family vacation can be overshadowed by the ‘pain’ of hauling excessive luggage, sleeping in a different bed, and extended periods of sitting. Here are our favorite tips to keep you feeling your best while traveling so you can enjoy your destination.
TAKE BREAKS WHILE DRIVING
Every hour or two, stop and walk for a few minutes. It’s also not a bad idea to do some standing back extensions. Sitting places your spine in a flexed position, so moving it in the opposite direction can prevent pain.
SUPPORT YOUR BACK
If you’re going to be sitting for extended periods, like on an airplane, using lumbar support can keep you more comfortable. A lumbar roll or small pillow works well placed between the seat and the small of the back. Using a rolled jacket or blanket is another good option.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LUGGAGE
Suitcases with wheels let you avoid lifting and carrying. If you’re flying, check your bags to avoid overhead lifting. A backpack that you can wear on both shoulders makes a great carry-on and is easier to handle than a bag you can only use one hand on.
DRESS TO MOVE
Comfortable shoes and clothes let you walk when you have the opportunity. If you have downtime, like waiting at the gate at the airport, or waiting for your hotel room to be ready, use the opportunity to take a walk instead of sitting.
If you have a long flight, train, or car ride where you plan to sleep, use a neck pillow. This helps you avoid sleeping with a twisted neck, then waking up in pain. If you’re worried about the comfort of the pillows at the hotel, don’t be afraid to bring your own.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Vague discomfort is often a warning sign that you need to move!
DON’T TAKE A VACATION FROM EXERCISE
Maintain your usual activity level. Before you head to a new town, research local exercise facilities, take your running shoes and travel with your theraband and foam roller. The more you can maintain your activity level, the less likely you will end up in pain.
With these tips, you should be able to arrive at your destination feeling ready to enjoy your time with your family instead of in pain, stiff, or sore.