Summer is here and it is time for some summer road trips. There’s nothing more exciting than jumping in the car and heading somewhere fun, right? There’s only one problem. Without comfortable car seats your butt goes numb from sitting in one place for the entire ride.
The Urban Dictionary has a slightly more colorful name for the condition when you butt goes numb from sitting too long.
I wrote the original version of this post on May 26, 2009. It only had 169 words, so it wasn’t very good. I hope you find this one much more helpful.
I Love Road Trips
Do you prefer to travel by car? I do. I’ve flown several times, so I’m not afraid to fly or anything like that. I just prefer to stay closer to the ground.
I also believe that a trip is about the journey, not the destination. When you travel by car you find so many interesting places to explore. You can’t do that when you fly. Flying is all about schedules and getting there fast. No adventure.
Unfortunately, I have never found comfortable car seats. As fun as a car trip can be, it’s no fun when your butt goes numb from sitting in one place for too long.
The Problem with Car Seats
Regardless of what the car ads say, car seats are not designed for long-term comfort. I’ve heard many theories about why they are uncomfortable:
- Lack of lumbar support
- The seat is too hard
- It supports the back of your legs in the wrong place
- No place to put your legs in the back seat forces you to sit awkwardly
- Traveling in a car upsets your magnetic connection with the Earth
- You’re supposed to move around regularly, not sit in one place
I’ve heard all of them before in various places, yes, even the one about your magnetic connection to the Earth. I didn’t make that up.
All of the other ones are valid, but the most important one is that you do need to get up and move regularly. I learned that one the hard way. You can check out my kidney stone story here.
Ideally, you should get off the road every hour and walk around for a few minutes to get the blood flowing again.
The same goes for when you fly.
Magnetic Cushion for Comfortable Car Seats
It isn’t always convenient to stop every hour. OK, it is hardly ever convenient. That will turn a 5-hour trip into at least a 6-hour trip.
So, how do you keep your butt from going numb?
The only thing I found that works is a magnetic chair pad. I don’t think it’s because it magnetically reconnects you with the Earth, either.
One of the things that magnetic fields supposedly do is dilate your blood vessels to encourage blood flow. Maybe that’s how it works, I don’t know, and I really don’t care. What I do care about is that it has worked for me for more than 10 years.
It’s All About Comfort
My parents live about 3.5 hours away and my wife’s parents live about 5 hours away. That’s not terrible, but it’s still a long time to sit, especially for the driver, me. My kids have it a little bit easier in the back seat. They can move around some, but I’m pretty much stuck in one place.
As long as I use my magnetic chair pad I don’t experience any problems from being in the car too long. My butt doesn’t go numb.
Magnetic Chair Pad on an Airplane
Getting back to air travel real quick, someone asked me recently if they could use a magnetic chair pad on an airplane. I thought that was an excellent question, so I did some research.
I didn’t find anything conclusive, but here is what I did find out. The company that makes my magnetic chair pad didn’t have any specific information. I checked the TSA website and found out that magnets are OK to take on planes.
Speaking of the TSA, their website specifically says that you can take your Harry Potter wand and your lightsaber on the plane with you too.
Most airline economy seats range from 17 to 18 inches wide. My chair pad is 18 inches wide, so it may be up to an inch too wide from some seats. It’s foam and will crush a little bit to fit.
Beyond that you need to check with your airline to see if they would allow you to use the pad or not.
Other Uses for a Magnetic Chair Pad
A magnetic chair pad isn’t just for making comfortable car seats. Back when I had a regular job, I used my pad in the car, carried it inside to use all day in my office chair, then brought it back out to use in the car again on the ride home.
I also sleep on a magnetic mattress pad, but it’s too big to take when I travel (king-size bed). The chair pad works as a good substitute for my mattress pad when I’m away from home.
Disclosure: I am a distributor for the magnetic chair pad (and mattress pad) that I use. I may earn a commission if you order through the links in this post. My commission doesn’t affect your price.
What Do You Do When You Travel?
Do you have comfortable car seats, use a chair pad, or does your butt go numb when you travel? Let me know in a comment below.
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