Traveling should bring no pain – a guide to preventing travel-related aches

  (photo credit: UNSPLASH)
(photo credit: UNSPLASH)

When the travel bug bites, there’s nothing else to do than pack your bags and go on an adventure. Arriving at your destination is amazing, but the process of getting there is often long and exhausting. Long trips usually are the most uncomfortable because they put stress on your body and often cause soreness and aches in your neck and back. The problem with sitting for an extended period is that your body starts to slouch and become fatigued, making the spine lose its natural curve and take a rounded shape. When you sleep on a bus, train, or airplane, your neck slumps down into your shoulders and chest. The extra stress on your body causes cramps in the muscles and neck and back pain. 

Luckily, you can do some things to prevent travel-related aches and ensure you arrive at your destination ready for adventure and pain-free. 

Prepare early

Postponing travel preparation until the last minute can have a negative impact on your body because it exposes it to higher stress. When you try to get everything done the day before leaving home, you’re more likely to injure yourself. Headaches, wry necks, and disk problems are only some of the medical issues you can experience or exacerbate when you stress yourself out. So, prepare ahead and use the day before your departure to rest. Start looking after yourself two or three weeks before leaving the house, and you’ll feel like you’re on holiday from the moment you arrive at your destination. 

Use a travel pillow

A travel pillow is an essential thing to bring with you. If you travel frequently, you most likely know it’s a great idea to invest in a high-quality buckwheat travel pillow so you can rest well and even have a restorative sleep when traveling by plane, car or train. A good buckwheat pillow provides you with the right support without being too bulky and taking too much space in your luggage. You can choose from several models of travel pillows, but the buckwheat travel pillow was voted the Best Travel Pillow for Neck Pain by the Sleep Foundation, so it’s one of the best options out there.

Why should you use a travel pillow?

If you’re used to sleeping on a pillow, you’ll be glad to have a travel pillow to rest your head on during your journey. Buckwheat pillows are some of the most comfortable options out there that provide great support for your neck and head. Make sure to get a travel pillow made from a material similar to the one you use at home to mimic the same comfort level. 

Buckwheat pillows are made of organic elements, so they’re great if you want to be eco-friendlier and more natural with your purchases. It also has cooling characteristics and is hypoallergenic, limiting the number of allergens you expose yourself to when traveling by plane or train.          

Travel pillows provide great support for your neck and spine and boost the possibility of keeping a good posture. Without a travel pillow, you may be able to sleep, but most likely, you’ll feel sore and achy. 


No matter if you travel by plane or car, during your journey you’re stuck in a small space for an extended period, so you should move around when you have the possibility. If you’re stuck in a plane seat for hours, do gentle neck stretches and move a little to keep your muscles limber. Stretching is an effective exercise to relieve stiffness and relax your muscles. During travel, poor posture and stiffness are common causes of neck and back pain, so whether you’re taking a train, flying by plane, or driving your car, do a few stretches and exercises to stretch your muscles, reset your posture, and prevent aches. 

Take breaks

Regardless of your transportation means, it’s crucial to take a few breaks during the journey to prevent muscle tightness. Stop the car every few miles and get out for a couple of minutes to stretch your legs and relieve the tension from your muscles. Do some exercises and stretch every time you refuel your car, stop at a food store, or see a beautiful landscape. If you travel by train or plane, get up and walk around. When you take breaks regularly, you prevent cramps and tightness that can cause soreness and pain when traveling. 


Drinking the necessary amount of liquids can prove challenging in everyday life and seem almost impossible when traveling. However, you should ensure you drink at least 4 glasses of water during the day to prevent migraines, headaches, and muscle tightness. Water can improve your quality of sleep and relax your muscles, therefore making your journey more pleasant. 

The air in the plane is usually drier than outdoors, and it’s crucial to always have water at hand. Healthcare specialists recommend limiting the amount of alcohol you consume while flying because it inhibits the release of AntiDiuretic Hormone from your brain and makes you need to use the toilet more frequently. Alcohol is also known to dehydrate, one of the main reasons you often feel hungover after partying too much. 

Maintain good posture

We know it’s hard, but try to maintain the best posture while traveling and sitting in a seat. Make sure that you support your lower back and neck with the help of cushions and pillows. If you don’t sleep, make an effort to sit upright and keep your neck and back in their natural positions. 

Using your phone or tablet can alleviate boredom, but spending hours hunched over a small screen puts a lot of tension on your neck. If you want to use digital devices, prop them up at an angle that allows your neck to sit comfortably. 


Depending on how far your destination is, traveling there can be stressful. Anxiety, delays, and the other passengers can turn the whole experience into a nightmare. Download a meditation app on your phone or tablet and use it while traveling to relieve some tension and stress. 

And last but not least, don’t forget to have a great time during your vacation. 

This article was written in cooperation with PineTales