I liked one of the travel tips shared with me by a cousin I had not seen in a long while so much that I applied it for an upcoming trip Greg and I were making to Italy. She had prepared a PowerPoint document and put it on her iPad with a day-by-day itinerary, train routes, walking distances to different locations and hotel information.
I set about creating the same sort of document, even though part of our trip included a Backroads Bike tour. What I found was it didn’t take long to increase my excitement and expectations for the whole adventure. After entering the amount of miles we would be biking for the six days of the tour, I started increasing my training. The wonderful additional surprise was the effect it had on my husband. He immediately started bumping up his workouts too.
Looking the amount of activity from hiking to biking, we both knew taking time to stretch every day would enhance our experience in the way our bodies would feel during the trip. This also would apply after long travel days. Here, we will share some planning tips as well as exercise tips with a great free download.
When formatting my day-by-day PowerPoint document, it was easy to visualize places where we could slip in an additional tour to see the Statue of David, The Duomo and other must-see landmarks. This type of planning can also easily be done on a Word document and turned into a PDF and doesn’t need to be fancy. I just found PowerPoint works best for any graphics.
For days that weren’t officially on the tour, it was easy to plan and confirm extra activities we would have time for, like a boat tour off the Cinque Terre coast. Even though all confirmations were in emails, I included the information on the PowerPoint, as well as a printed copy. It sounds like an over-kill, but when you have someone in a foreign country who can’t find your reservation, it comes in handy! (this comes from direct experience!)
I also included screenshots of walking paths from hotels to train stations. We would still have our phones but a quick look at my document, which I could also bring up on my phone, helps to visualize plans.
After long days of plane travel one of the best things we can do for our body is to take a little time out to stretch. This becomes more and more important the older we get. The travel tips included here for stretching apply for work-related and pleasure travel. Stretching Exercises reduce stiffness, alleviate muscle tension and improve circulation. It’s important to perform the stretches slowly and gently. Many of the exercises included here apply to chair yoga, which is not just for those over a certain age! This may seem like a lot of exercises, but they take very little time and will really enhance your travel experience! (Get your free download here)
- Neck and Shoulder Rolls. Gently tilt you head to one side bringing your ear toward your shoulder and hold for 15-30 seconds. Then roll your shoulders forward and backward in a circular motion in each direction.
- Upper Back Stretch. I especially like this one as my back gets tight with sitting in one place. Interlace your fingers in front of you then press your palms away while rounding your upper back. Hold for 15-30 seconds to stretch the upper back and shoulders.
- Trunk Twists. This also applies to chair yoga. While seated or standing, twist your upper body to one side and hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side. This is wonderful for the back and waist.
- Seated Forward Bend. Sit with legs extended in front of you and gently reach toward your toes. Hold for 15-30 seconds. This stretches the hamstrings and lower back.
- Calf Stretch. Stand facing a wall with one foot behind you and lean forward with the back leg straight. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each leg. This also is good for the lower back, but also the hamstrings.
- Ankle Circles. This one is great if a lot of walking is planned on your trip. While seated, lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle in a circular motion for 15-30 seconds on each leg.
- Wrist and Hand Stretches. This is a good exercise after carrying luggage or using handheld devices. Rotate your wrists and gently stretch your fingers by extending them, then bending one back at a time. Remember to be gentle!
- Deep Breathing. This is a great exercise that can be done anywhere and is a great stress-reliever especially when waiting in long lines that seem to go nowhere. Relax the body and inhale very slowly through your nose all the way down to your lower abdomen. Then exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Standing Quad Stretch. Stand and balance on one leg while holding your opposite ankle behind you for 15-30 seconds on each leg.
Resistance Bands are extremely portable to stick in a suitcase and can provide a full-body workout or just a few stretching exercises. Most of the exercises listed above can be also done with a type of resistance band. There are different resistance levels, so be aware of this for your fitness level. There are also longer bands with handles and they are easy to use for a squat press. Included here are a couple of exercises you may want to try that are extremely easy and don’t take much time. There are many more you can find online, but make sure you keep it easy. You will be busy working or having fun! (Get your free download here)
Easy to Pack Equipment
Double Massage Ball Roller For use on the entire body, its unique shape is especially suited to the neck and back, for relieving tension, releasing tightness, and soothing pain. The Trigger Point Universal Roller is a compact and portable 8 inches long, and easily fits in a gym or work bag for travel-friendly massage.
Resistance Bands set for men and women The bands easily fold up for portability and easy storage, making it essential for those who want to work out when traveling.
Resistance Band with handle Designed for light and speedy mobility, the exercise band can be rolled up to stash in a gym bag, suitcase, or overnight trip making it perfect for travel, gym, or as home workout equipment.
High density foam roller Perfect pre and post-workout tools for self-myofascial release (self-massage), gentle stretching, increasing range of motion and spinal stabilization.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Preparation for travel, even for those personalities that tend to be spontaneous, will make most any trip more enjoyable with a smoother trip, though not guaranteed! Researching and planning the itinerary, securing necessary documents and packing appropriate clothing according to climate and activities usually pay off. You can never fully prepare for emergencies, but sometimes what feels like unexpected emergencies come with increased opportunities to add to an adventure worth remembering! (Get your free download here)
Putting together a planning document increases expectations and excitement for travel.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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