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Summertime, and the living is easy

Or is it? The mad pre-holiday 'clearing the decks' period; carrying awkward, heavy bags; uncomfortable seats on the plane; sleeping in different beds; oddly shaped sun loungers can all conspire to bring on back and neck pain

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go

I think probably most of us overpack, especially when travelling to sunny climes. Give some serious thought to the clothes that you really need, travelling light is very liberating!
Most people seem to have cases with wheels nowadays but try to push, not just pull, your case and swap arms too. This will save you twisting too much to one side.

Everyday is a winding road

During the journey if you are on a plane try to do the recommended exercises and give yourself a stretch as often as you are able. Ferries and trains are a little easier and for those long car journeys try to give yourself a break, swap drivers and have a drink every couple of hours. This will just stop any tightness and stiffness in your legs and save your sense of humour too.

Dream a little dream

There's not very much you can do about the beds at your destination. I know many patients take their own pillow which can really aid sleep. I always put a really bright pillow case on mine so that I don't leave it behind! Patients seem to complain more about hard mattresses rather than those with little support. You could ask for some extra towels, or even those blankets at the back of the wardrobe, to put under the sheets which might cushion your hips and shoulders a little bit.

Born to run

As many patients are living their lives at a million miles per hour, their holidays are rightly seen as a time to chill out and do nothing. However, if you are too sedentary you will end up feeling a bit stiff. Our bodies really like to move, which gets the blood circulating - a good thing! Sun loungers do not necessarily provide adequate support so read your book, have a splash and vary what you do. Trying to prioritise tanning those awkward bits by assuming a contorted position may not be your wisest decision!

No more working for a week or two

Importantly, prioritise yourself. Ditch the Blackberry and office emails and recharge the batteries.