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Driving During the Holidays? These Travel Tips Will Make the Trip Easier

Stay healthy on the road.


If you’re making plans to hit the road in the coming weeks, you’ll need to stay energized and alert during the drive. This way traveling becomes less of a hassle and more fun — even as you’re stuck in traffic. While stress, aches, and eyestrain may arise as you’re driving, you can nix those bothersome issues using clever and quick remedies. These easy five travel tips help you feel happier and healthier in no time. Plus, these tricks allow you to enjoy every minute of your holiday road trip and get to your destination feeling great!

Dodge road aches with a truckers’ stretch.

Even if we love to travel, 78 percent of us feel achy by the time we reach our destination. To block pain, adopt a trick that big-rig drivers use: Sit in the car sideways with your legs out the door. Lift one leg and cross your ankle over your opposite knee. Lean forward until you feel a stretch; hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg. This boosts blood flow to muscles, per Florida State University research, preventing them from seizing up.

Outsmart leg pain with pine bark.

Turns out Christmas trees may hold the key to preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), painful blood clots that can form in the legs when we sit for long stretches on a plane, bus or car. Research published in Minerva Cardiology and Angiology reveals that a pine bark extract known as Pycnogenol lowers DVT risk by up to 66 percent by relaxing arteries and improving blood flow. To get the benefits, take 200 milligrams about 3 hours before traveling.

Prevent eyestrain with a ‘bridge blink.’

The focus required when driving can cut your blink rate by up to 66 percent, suggests researchers studying out of Japan, leading to dry, strained eyes in less than an hour. The fix: Every time you pass under a bridge or an interstate road sign, blink five times. This simple memory “hack” reminds you to re-wet eyes, keeping vision sharp and your eyes comfortable.

Nix stress with a playlist.

To quash travel tension, cue up a playlist of your favorite holiday tunes, like “Jingle Bell Rock.” Listening to beloved music for 24 minutes (about seven songs) tames stress as effectively as prescription drugs, says scientists studying out of Canada. Sing along (especially with your passengers in the car!), and you’ll trigger a release of mood-lifting serotonin too, say University of California investigators.

Make the drive easier with spiced gum.

Chewing cinnamon-flavored gum when driving makes even arduous trips feel 30 percent easier, say Wheeling University scientists. Researchers found that the odor of cinnamon was linked with increased alertness and reduced levels of frustration while driving. So, keep a pack of cinnamon-infused gum in your glove compartment for a hassle-trip drive.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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