Having the opportunity to get away is great; having some time to yourself or with your family for some leisure and to escape all the tasks that need to be completed. For me one of the only drawbacks was the havoc a long journey created with my body. Whether it's was a plane, car or train journey I would find myself having all kinds of aches and pains after it. After a particularly awkward sleep on a long-haul flight I decided I needed to take some steps to prevent these post-flight aches from detracting from the first few days of my holidays.
Bring Neck and Lumbar Support
I used to rely on the airline I was flying with to supply me with pillows to support my neck. This resulted in me wrestling with a tiny low quality pillow trying to get it to a position where both my neck was supported and my cheek was resting on it..... quite the impossible task. It is a much better idea to bring your own pillow, preferably a curved or horseshoe shaped one. These stop your neck from falling too far to the side when you are sleeping in a sitting position and will help you to avoid a misaligned neck. Ideally when sleeping sitting up your neck should be sitting squarely over your shoulders so your neck pillow should be small enough so that it isn't pushing your head forward.
Don't neglect your lower back during long periods of sitting- this goes for flights, car journeys and long periods sitting at a desk. Plane and bus seats can be very uncomfortable. On a flight you can use the flight pillows (ask for extra if needs be) or roll up the blankets they supply you with and wedge them between the curve of your lower back and your seat. This will provide contact and support for your lumbar. Keeping your knees at a right angle will also help reduce the possibility of lower back pain as it will keep some stress off the back area.
Bring Plenty of Food
It's worth putting in a little time to find out what food you can and can't bring on a flight. Eating tasty and nutritious food is important to me and in flight dining just doesn't tick either of those boxes. Even when I'm taking a road trip I feel much better if I don't have to rely on picking up food along the way. On too many occasions that option has led to me getting dinner at a petrol station when I've gotten too hungry to wait for somewhere suitable to eat to materialise.
Fruit- fresh and dry is usually permitted on flights. Fresh vegetables can be a refreshing munchable for your journey; pair with some crackers and hummus for an even tastier snack. Some dairy tends to be allowed too, so firm cheeses and small portions of yogurt (no larger than 100ml of course) can be enjoyed. Homemade sandwiches and wraps, popcorn can be made for your trip as well. Along with your food don't forget to drink plenty of water, when travelling and out of our regular routine it is easy to become dehydrated!
When driving it's advisable to take breaks for a multitude of reasons- taking a rest renews the ability to concentrate, breaks the monotony of looking at the road and gives you the opportunity to stretch and move your body. Every three hours is a recommended time frame to take a break of fifteen minutes minimum, although some people may prefer more breaks. It's also a good opportunity to appreciate the area you are driving through, so stop somewhere picturesque if you can.
While on a plane or train you should also take breaks from sitting. Have a walk around and do some stretches. Bring a copy of our straighten up exercises. I used to feel a little silly doing stretches on a plane but feeling better in my body for a few minutes of feeling a bit silly is well worth it. Lack of movement causes our digestive and metabolic processes to slow down. Getting up and about will get your blood circulation and keep your digestive system moving again.
There are many steps you can take to help your travel experience from becoming a pain in the neck! So next time you are taking a trip we really recommend trying a few!!!