Tips for Traveling without Pain

How many travel injuries have I treated? Pulled backs from lifting luggage, strained necks from sleeping on a flight or on strange beds… Travel can be fun, but what good is a vacation you come home from feeling like you need another vacation?

Try these Travel Tips!


In your Carry-On, pack:

1) Tennis ball – In your carry-on, use on tight spots in glutes, lower back and under soles of feet. Seated, place tennis ball under tight spot in glute, or lean on between lower back and the seat or in socked feet, lean foot onto ball to leverage pressure. For more check the first Tennis Ball video.

2) Hot water bottle (empty) – If room, add this to your carry-on, too! Because Security will take your ice gel packs, pack an empty hot water bottle to use for crushed ice or hot water! Once past Security look for a food vendor to get crushed ice or hot water or ask a flight attendant on the plane. Fill your hot water bottle and you’re good to go! If your body feels injured, inflamed or irritated, use ice. If you’ve sat still too long in a dry environment and stiffened up, use heat. Remember,¬†before re-engaging iced muscles, remove ice and wait at least 20 minutes until the iced area has returned to body temperature before exerting normal strain, like getting your luggage on deplaning. Better than your reusable drinking bottle because it can conform to your form. ūüôā

3) Two individually wrapped NIOSH approved N95 masks РAs recently as last month I had a client who got Covid from flying without a mask. Consider packing one for yourself and at least one for a seat-mate on the flight next to you who ends up coughing or sneezing unexpectedly. It takes such little exposure these days. A simple and effective barrier can go a long way.

4) Throat lozenges (individually wrapped, per above)


In your luggage:

1)¬†PYOP – Pack Your Own Pillow! You’ve seen those folks walking through the airport carrying their bed pillows like a security blanket. I used to scoff, but now I humbly admire their simple wisdom in planning ahead for a good night’s sleep wherever they land. You know the best pillow for you at home. If you can, pack it in your luggage. You can’t pack your bed, but you can pack your own pillow. Your neck will already have been through new strains from travel. Why not give it a good night’s sleep when you get there?

2) Back knobber¬†– best kept secret for reducing back pain when what you need is pressure point release and you can’t get enough from a tennis ball.


For more tips on self-care, while traveling and at home, check out these self-care videos.

Do you have other ideas like these? Please share!


(Revised June 20, 2023, from previous July 6, 2022.)

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