Traveling can be a risky business that opens you up to a broad range of potential accidents, hazards, and the pain that can accompany them. Your back and neck are especially at risk, which is a fact that makes travel a daunting challenge for people who suffer from chronic pain in those areas.

One of the most common causes of back and neck pain while traveling relates to the luggage you bring with you and how often you have to handle it. This includes loading it and unloading it, moving it to baggage areas, picking it up from baggage claim areas, etc. Given all of that, it’s actually a wonder that more people aren’t hurt while traveling.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize your risk of pain and injury while traveling. These include:

Get Assistance – Let’s start with the obvious. Most bus lines, airlines and other transportation hubs have assistants standing by who will, for a nominal fee, be more than happy to provide help. If you’re worried about the possibility of injury, this is a great, low-cost way of avoiding the issue completely. It’s honestly well worth the money spent. After all, it could mean the difference between a trip spent in agony and an enjoyable experience.

Pack Light – If you’re reluctant or unable to make use of paid assistants, then the other simple way to minimize your risk is to get in the habit of packing light. Less “stuff” brought with you translates to less weight, which means less stress and strain on your body.

Mindfulness – In addition to packing light, it also pays to be mindful any time you have to move your luggage from one place to another. Use proper lifting techniques, lift with the legs not with the back, and don’t try to move all of it at once. Just take your time, moving first one bag and then another.

While following the tips above won’t guarantee a pain free trip, it will go a long way toward minimizing your risk. Try it for yourself and see!