If you're traveling by car:
- Adjust the seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible.
- Progress through a series of muscle stretches to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue: open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Count to five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back. Always make sure to put safety first and keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
- Do not grip the steering wheel. Instead, alternate tightening and loosening your grip occasionally to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms, wrists and hands.
- Stand up straight and feel the normal "S" curve of your spine. To prevent back pain, use rolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain that curve when you sit in your seat.
- Check all bags heavier than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck.
- When pushing your belongings under the seat, do not force the object with an awkward motion using your legs, feet or arms. This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles.
- While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps.
Personally, one of my favorite items to bring with me when I travel is a water bottle. Even if they make you empty it out to get on the plane, you can use it instead of a rolled up pillow or blanket to give you lumbar support! It will also keep you hydrated which is a VERY common cause of muscle cramps and back pain especially when traveling.
Be Safe and Happy Travels!