Stretch Your Way to Safer, More Comfortable Travel

As summer unfolds many of us will be loading our families into a car or boarding an airplane to head for enjoyable destinations. Although the reasons for vacation travel are pleasant, often the trip to a recreational locale means sitting in a cramped position for long periods. You arrive ready to relax, only to find that you are experiencing stiffness, muscle soreness, and fatigue.

Symptoms from Annoying to Serious

Frequently, the initial stresses of traveling lead to genuine pain and muscle spasms. Although less common, the result can even be severe in the form of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), sometimes called “traveler’s thrombosis.” A 2003 study in New Zealand indicated that people who are immobile as well as those who fly for 4 or more hours have three times the risk of developing clots in their limbs versus those who do not travel. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms within one of the deep veins, most commonly in the leg. Development of clots sometimes leads to hospitalization and can actually be fatal. If a clot breaks off (as an “embolus”), travels upward to the lungs and remains untreated, then the risk of injury or loss of life increases.

Another study from Leiden University of the Netherlands found that one out of every 4,500 travelers develops a DVT within 8 weeks of traveling. The risk of DVT increases with longer durations and frequencies of flights, obesity, genetic predispositions for blood clots, and in those receiving hormone therapy or taking birth control pills.

Fortunately, simple stretches and exercises that you can do while traveling help offset the physical consequences of inactivity. If your vacation plans include air travel, here are a few ways to stay more comfortable – and healthier – during and after your flight. When the bell chimes after take-off and “feel free to move about the cabin” is heard over the loudspeaker, consider that announcement a green light to walk around and stretch. During longer flights it is recommended that you stand up and move every 30 to 45 minutes. Even walking to the lavatory gives you important opportunities to move rather than remain in a fixed position.

Seven Key Stretches to Help You Travel Better by Air

• Lift your feet one by one and make circular motions with each ankle, being certain to move both clockwise and counterclockwise. If you want to have some fun, point your toes to form letters, words, and sentences, which taps your ankle muscles!

• Extend your leg and place a luggage strap or belt over the sole of your shoe. While holding both ends, pull the strap toward you, keeping the leg extended. This action stretches your hamstring (the tendon behind the knee and thigh). Repeat with the other leg.

• If you find yourself standing in line to use the lavatory, bend and touch the walkway with your fingers as close as possible to your toes – another great stretch for your hamstrings.

• While in the lavatory place both hands on the wall, and put one foot in front of the other as far apart as space allows. Lunge forward. This movement is an effective stretch for your calves. (As an alternate calf stretch: put your foot up on a wall, keeping the heel on the ground, and lean forward.)

• In the aisle stand on one leg, bend the opposite knee until you bring your heel up close to your buttock, and maintain that stance for 15 seconds. Assure your balance by holding onto a seat or, if possible, a wall. Switch legs and repeat. This is an excellent stretch for thigh and quadriceps muscles.

• In your seat, keeping your head against the headrest, clasp your hands together on one side of your head, and tilt your head sideways moving your ear to your other shoulder. Hold that position. Repeat, starting on the other side.

• Also in your seat: take your right hand and touch the back left part of your shoulder. Take your left hand and place it on your right elbow and pull. Switch sides after 15 seconds. Great for your triceps!

Additional Travel Tips

If one is available, place a blanket or pillow behind your upper back and into the curve of your lower back. This position allows your head to stay on the seat’s headrest and pushes your shoulders forward while promoting the natural curves of both your neck and lower back, reducing the likelihood of pain and stiffness. Drink plenty of water, as it is easy to become dehydrated in a confined space at high altitude.

Stretching during flights and during long vehicle rides helps to increase energy, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching also decreases the probability of pain, muscle spasms, risk of DVT, and fatigue. When traveling, use the simple stretches just described, being sure to work both sides of your body. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds, repeating the entire series a few times per hour. After all, your trip is more than time away – it includes getting to your destination and home safe and sound!

If you experience back stiffness and pain for more than a day or two after a trip, then chiropractic techniques, and possibly a healing therapeutic massage, can likely help restore your cramped muscles to full pain-free function and prepare you for your next adventure. If you are experiencing deep leg or calf pain, consult your medical doctor immediately.

History of Travel & Tourism

2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning of civilisation. The port at Lothal was an important centre of trade between the Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities was open to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religious festivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire building. The Brahmins and the common people travelled for religious purposes. Thousands of Brahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to be greeted by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One- the Buddha.

500 BC, the Greek civilisation

The Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks also enjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit of pleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important site for travellers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to provide for travellers’ needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.


This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’ first travel writer. Guidebooks also made their appearance in the fourth century covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this period.

The Roman Empire

With no foreign borders between England and Syria, and with safe seas from piracy due to Roman patrols, the conditions favouring travel had arrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of modern motels) promoted the growth of travel. Romans travelled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land also became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks (itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to identify quality.

Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, occupied primarily during springtime social season. The most fashionable resorts were found around Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals, Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down market tourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkenness and all- night singing.

Travel and Tourism were to never attain a similar status until the modern times.

In the Middle Ages

Travel became difficult and dangerous as people travelled for business or for a sense of obligation and duty.

Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in this fashion discovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players and minstrels made their living by performing as they travelled. Missionaries, saints, etc. travelled to spread the sacred word.

Leisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughal kings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of natural and scenic beauty (for example Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism was developed as a direct outcome of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be completed by a ‘Grand Tour’ accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men travelled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteenth century, the custom had become institutionalised in the gentry. Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent of Napoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to the decline of the custom of the Grand Tour.

The development of the spas

The spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain and a little later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa rapidly acquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an important centre of social life for the high society.

In the nineteenth century they were gradually replaced by the seaside resort.

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliest visitors therefore drank it and did not bathe in it. By the early eighteenth century, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors who drank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding of inland spas, the new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in the circuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point

 Role of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the west

 The rapid urbanisation due to industrialisation led to mass immigration in cities. These people were lured into travel to escape their environment to places of natural beauty, often to the countryside they had come from change of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to a leisurely pace in countryside.

Highlights of travel in the nineteenth century 

·        Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisure travel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisure travel to their destinations.

·        Package tours organised by entrepreneurs such as Thomas Cook.

·        The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often to their colonies to buy raw material and sell finished goods.

·        The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool and promoted overseas travel.

·        The formation of first hotel chains; pioneered by the railway companies who established great railway terminus hotels.

·        Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.

·        Other types of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineering spots etc.

·        The technological development in steamships promoted travel between North America and Europe.

·        The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.

·        The cult of the guidebook followed the development of photography.



Tourism in the Twentieth Century


The First World War gave first hand experience of countries and aroused a sense of curiosity about international travel among less well off sector for the first time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a lot of travel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestic travel in Europe and the west.  The sea side resort became annual family holiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in other countries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.

The birth of air travel and after

The wars increased interest in international travel. This interest was given the shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus of aircraft and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had become comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper for overseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age of air travel for the masses had arrived. The beginning of chartered flights boosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organised mass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, brought the cost of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.

A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment of world-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began to flock alternative destinations in the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volume only occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.

Turnkey Travel Websites – Bringing Travel Agents Online

Turnkey Travel Websites are a perfect solution to those who are just starting out with an online business. These type of websites are also great for those wishing to expand their offline business into the online world. Some of the people who may benefit from a turnkey travel website include; travel agents, travel writers, tour operators and event managers. Travel writers such as adventurers and explorers will be able to write about their travel experiences and share them with the online world.

Most travel companies, both big and small, have now made the transition online. This is because they have realized how quick and easy it is to reach out to their customers all over the world. If you are not yet in the travel business but would like to get a taster, you can also purchase a turnkey travel affiliate website. This is one of the most profitable and popular ways you can get started earning money online.

Turnkey Travel Websites can help you advance your travel business in the following ways;

1) Easy to get started. Turnkey travel websites make setting yourself up online fast and easy since the website has already been created for your use. All design issues and content have already been created. Some turnkey website providers also train the buyer on how to promote the website to attract visitors.

2) Your customers can easily find you. These days, when people are looking for information about a company their first port of call is to look online. If you don’t have your own website about you and your business then you may lose out on a lot of customers.

3) Available 24/7. The other benefit of doing business online using a turnkey websites is that you are not limited to store opening times. Your customers will be able to find you 24/7. Easy access of your information leads to high customer satisfaction. These satisfied customers spread the information to friends and families, who then turn up as new customers to your business, thereby raising revenue and customer base.

4) Reduced overhead costs. Another advantage to purchasing a travel turnkey website are the reduced overhead costs, as doing businesses online is cheaper. Some of the things you will save money on is premises and staffing. Online businesses use economical advertising channels i.e. Social media and e-mail marketing. It also saves expenses relating to premises since running an online business does not require any physical space.