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Go on a Good-for-You Mini Getaway

Are you escaping for the weekend? (Photo courtesy of Ford)

Half of all U.S. adults will take at least one weekend getaway this year, according to a Harris poll commissioned by Ford. Are you one of them? We're definitely down for a quick roadtrip, but after all the planning, packing and driving, 48 hours can seem like seconds. We talked to Julie Morgenstern, an organizational pro and author, to get tips to make your weekend escape as smooth-sailing and relaxing as possible.

Here's what you need to do before taking your car for a ride:

1. Always be prepared: Keep these things in your vehicle in case of emergencies:

  • Tools and a spare tire
  • Phone/iPod charger
  • Travel information (reservation documents, maps)
  • Change/dollar bills for parking and tolls
  • A small medical kit (band-aids, aspirin, Neosporin)

2. Snack smart: Bringing healthy snacks will help you save money and eat well on the go. A cooler or insulated bag will help keep fruit and vegetable slices fresh. Non-perishable foods like nuts and energy bars are also good for on-the-go eating.

3. Log on: Use programs like SYNC and MyFord Touch to input rest stop destinations -- food, bathrooms, landmarks -- into your navigation system. Ford’s innovative technology lets you  find hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations, visitor centers, with more than 14 million businesses in the directory.  "It’s best to plan to stop every one and a half hours to stretch and change scenery," says Morgenstern.

Read on for simple yoga techniques you can do in your car to stay stress-free.

When you are on the way to your destination, Morgenstern recommends doing a little yoga from the driver's seat when you're stopped in traffic to relieve stress  and stay alert and energized. Try these moves that Ford created in collaboration with Jeanie Carlstead, E-RYT-500, Founder and Director of La Jolla Yoga Center and its Teacher Training Program:

For your neck: With both hands on the wheel, keep your shoulders down and slowly roll your head in a semi-circle, from one side, down with your chin to your chest, and then to the other side, in both directions. Then, keeping both hands on the wheel, twist to the right and left, as if you’re checking your blind spots.

For your back: When you are at a complete stop, raise your hands up, and inhale deeply. While you exhale, fold your body forward so that your upper body is hanging over the steering wheel.  Take a few deep breaths. Once you are sitting up straight again, cross one arm across your chest and use the other to pull your elbow in toward the body, and switch arms.

For your hands and feet: At a complete stop, clasp your hands together and rotate them twisting in a circular motion. This will help to release tension and circulate blood flow. At a complete stop where you’re able to put your car in park, do the same with your feet, twist each foot in circular motions.

Bon voyage!