By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
We all look forward to our family vacation, or some kind of travel during the summer months. And you’ll want to make sure you don’t accidentally injure yourself in at least one way that is totally avoidable.
I’m talking about your luggage – from packing, to pulling, to lifting, here are some of my top tips to do it right, and get to your destination without a back or shoulder injury.
Get your empty suitcase off of the floor. Place your bags on a towel-covered bed or countertop to pack. Bending to the floor can add strain to your back. And remember to bend your knees when reaching down to the floor.
Avoid over-packing. This is something we’re all guilty of – and a suitcase feels a lot lighter at home than it does when we’re dragging it around, whether by car, bus, air, or train. Some estimates recommend cutting your clothing “allowance” in half. And use travel size containers for toiletries, to lighten up the weight from containers.
Choose a suitcase to roll, not pull. Update your luggage with a bag that has four wheels to roll along, and not the two-wheeled pull-alongs. Those two-wheelers can put a lot of strain on your back and shoulders.
Lift your bag with care. Use a two-step lifting technique: first to your chest, then second to the overhead bin of a plane, train, or bus. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll always find someone willing to help. (See “overpacking” tip above to avoid this to begin with!).
What other travel tips can you offer? Have you had a luggage-related injury? Let me know!