NEW YORK — Is summer travel worth the pain? More than a third (39%) of Americans agree that the aches and pains associated with traveling have kept them from traveling even further when going on vacation.
The poll of 2,005 adults found that 67 percent of Americans desperately need to move around and stretch after they arrive at their destination and more than a third (35%) say they experienced more soreness during the process of traveling to their destination than during their actual vacation.
Traveling is a pain in the backside
After an average of five hours of travel, 78 percent of respondents start to feel sore. Bus travel turned out to be the worst way to travel, leaving nearly two in five (39%) people feeling cramped up. Other forms of transportation which cause travelers pain include airplanes (33%), cars (29%), and trains (24%).
Common activities associated with traveling such as sitting for a long period of time in an airplane (33%), carrying luggage (28%), and waiting in long lines at the airport (24%) were also likely to leave people feeling sore. Respondents say the pain is usually the worst in their back (38%), legs (30%), and neck (24%) after traveling.
According to the study, commissioned by Advil and conducted by OnePoll, travel pains don’t stop when you arrive at your destination – but that’s not keeping people from making the most of their vacation.
No pain, no gain
The poll found 67 percent still have a desire to try something new on vacation — doing an average of four new physical activities while they’re away from home. Forty-five percent actively seek out activities that require their full physical effort while on vacation. Over half of Americans say that trying new experiences while traveling leaves them feeling sore in muscles that they “didn’t even know existed.”
Six in 10 (61%) complained their bodies started to feel sore after trying new activities and 45 percent especially felt the burn when they woke up the next morning. Adventurous travelers say they typically feel most sore in their legs (47%), back (38%), or arms (30%) — all of which lines up with the most popular activities people try for the first time while on vacation: swimming (30%), hiking (29%), and camping (28%).
Meanwhile, just as many say they occasionally pass on opportunities to try new things while on vacation just to avoid feeling sore.
“Trying new things may just be the best part of any vacation,” explains Karen Bouhadana, senior brand director at Advil, in a statement. “But it’s important to be conscientious about what you’re putting your body through. Overdoing it will leave you feeling uncomfortable and may prevent you from fully enjoying your time.”
Don’t forget to pack the painkillers
To prepare for travel-related soreness, two in three respondents pack pain relief medications when traveling – 45 percent of whom pack pain medication specifically for body aches.
One in three (32%) find themselves in need of some kind of pain relief medication while on vacation. Nearly as many (28%) need it after the vacation. Forty-four percent say if they have pain relief meds with them, they would be more inclined to try new activities on vacation.
“As much fun as it is to travel and go on vacation and try new things, it’s likely to leave you sore,” Bouhadana says. “The best way to give your body a vacation from pain is to go easy on yourself and give your body some time to rest between adventures. It’s also a good idea to pack an over-the-counter pain relief medication so that you are prepared for any aches and pains that may come your way.”