It only occurred to me recently that I could travel with a portable massage gun. I had always worked the cost of a spa treatment into my budget, knowing I would definitely be in need after adventures like Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro.
Though I’m starting to crave massage treatments more and more nowadays, even during fairly chilled out styles of travel; whether it’s from exhausted feet after walking a city all day, or pain and soreness during road-trips from driving long distances.
Maybe I’ve finally gotten soft, or maybe it’s the effects of old age (I swear I’m 32 going on 60!), but either way, I’m starting to really value the physical benefits of massage for making the most of my travels.
To date, I’ve just sucked up the high cost and been paying. Though it’s always a tough internal battle when you look at a spa menu and compare that cost to a flight, or a train!
And while there might not be anything which can completely replace a trained professional, why I didn’t realize I could spend the cost of one treatment to buy my own hand-held massage device is beyond me!
Reasons to Travel with a Portable Massage Gun
What is a Portable Massage Gun
A portable massage gun like the ExoGun is a handheld percussion massage device for high impact recovery and low impact deep tissue massage.
It looks quite a lot like a power drill, and is an electric tool which can be charged like a phone, with a selection of massage head attachments such as balls of varying firmness and finger-like tips (the ExoGun comes with a charging cable and 4 attachments).
You can easily switch between different speeds to manage the intensity (the ExoGun has 6), and different massage heads to customize the impact your muscles need and help relax different parts of your body.
Unlike with many other forms of massage treatments, it’s not only easy to perform percussive massage on yourself but it’s actually recommended. Using a massage gun you can completely control how much pressure you’re exerting on your body.
What is Percussion Therapy
Percussion therapy is a treatment for soft tissue pain and soreness through rapid, short duration pulses deep into the soft tissues of the body. You may have heard it called vibration therapy, for the rippling style effect it has on your skin.
This therapy boosts muscle function and recovery by penetrating deep into the muscle tissue with a series of rapid, concentrated pulsating strokes. It doesn’t completely eliminate muscle soreness, but it does increase blood flow to a specific muscle area which can help reduce tension.
If you’re experiencing muscle tightness, soreness, fatigue or pain – something which often comes with travel, especially active adventures, this may be a game changer for you. Especially as it allows you to hyper-target a specific problem area.
Percussion massagers are safe and effective (when used as recommended), and can be used 2-3 times per day. You can use them prior to activity to ‘wake-up’ your muscles, or after activity to treat your soreness or pain.
While they’re most popular among endurance athletes such as triathletes and ultramarathoners, they’re designed to be used by anyone, and are very simple (one button to turn on, one button to increase intensity). Being cordless, quiet, and ultra lightweight, they’re the perfect tool for travelers.
Here’s why they’re a great tool for travel:
#1 The Cost Savings
There are many countries in the world where massage treatments are incredibly cheap. Notably throughout Asia, where you can sometimes book in for a massage for as little as $10 for an hour.
On the flipside though, there are many more countries where spa treatments are incredibly expensive, and can cost hundreds of dollars per visit.
The average cost of a one hour therapeutic massage around the world is around $75 per hour. 90 minute treatments average between $90 – $175, and then you pay for add-ons like aromatherapy, and pay more for special treatments like hot stones or deep tissue.
The best money I ever spent was $35 on a 90 minute massage in Tanzania after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, but if you’re taking a luxury vacation and staying at a 4-5 star hotel, the costs can be expensive.
But even for therapies which are cheap enough to tempt you to book them every day, those costs really add up, and are recurring – you pay every-time you want a treatment.
Paying once for a massage device you own and can re-use as many times as you want, multiple times a day and for years into the future, is a no-brainer if money is a factor.
The Exogun is currently on sale for $159 USD (70% off). With the 10% coupon code MAM10 this cost comes down even further, to $143.10 USD (click here to buy at this discount now).
#2 The Convenience
There are some trips where you’re just so exhausted that you get back to the hotel at the end of the day, and there’s nothing in the world that could make you go back out again; that level of exhaustion where you so desperately need a massage treatment, but so desperately need to stay lying face down in the hotel pillows!
We’ve all been there!
Having a portable handheld device you can travel with means being able to get a deep tissue body massage, treat that pain and soreness, and relieve your muscles whenever you need to, without having to get up and go out.
You don’t have to pre-book for an appointment, or sit in pain in a waiting room until they’re finished with the previous client. You’re not running on anybody else’s schedule but your own.
There’s also the convenience of being able to get a massage in places where traditional services are unavailable; whether it’s in an airport during a long layover, camping in the middle of the woods (shock therapy from finding a snake in your sleeping bag doesn’t count!), or in a place which simply doesn’t have a masseuse.
In terms of logistical convenience when traveling, the ExoGun is lightweight at 2.5lbs (you’ll need to travel with it in your carry-on), and on standby, the fully charged 2400mah battery can last up to 1 month.
The voltage of the device is compatible with 110-240v. It’s very easy to clean when you’re on the move too – use a slightly damp towel and dry afterwards with another cloth (though don’t put it in water or allow it to get wet).
Photos of the Convenience / Ease of Use
#3 Privacy / Comfort
Along with the convenience of using your own device comes privacy and comfort. This is a device which can be used in the privacy of your own hotel room. You don’t have to be around any-one else, it’s very easy to use on yourself.
And then there’s the comfort. Ever experienced a massage which was a little too violent and a little too much pressure for your liking?
When you control the device (the ExoGun has 6 speed settings to to maximise the therapy for all muscle groups), you can set the intensity to what you require, and can change this throughout the treatment in direct response to how your body is responding.
A massage therapist ultimately has no idea how much pain you’re experiencing, or how much pressure they’re exerting on your body, so when you use a percussive device yourself, you have a lot less risk of causing real damage.
It is important to understand how to properly use the device though, so we highly recommend reading the instruction manual before use. You shouldn’t be in pain from using a percussive massage device, and if you are, you’re probably using it incorrectly.
If your skin becomes really red really quickly, it’s an indicator that you have a lot of blood flow in that spot, so you should move onto another part of the body. And if you use the massage gun on one spot for too long, you can risk discomfort and bruising.
ExoGun recommends use on the body by gently pressing for 60 seconds per area. It’s best to not hold the gun in a static position for more than a few seconds, and to move it around in a small radius in one area instead.
For the very large part, professional massage therapies are exceptionally clean and hygienic places to be. Most of the world follows strict hygienic guidelines which includes thorough cleaning of surfaces in-between each client.
However you can’t always guarentee or validate the level of hygiene applied in less regulated countries, and if this is something you worry about, using a device which only touches your skin is the most hygienic option.
You completely eliminate any risk, no matter how low, of cross contamination and coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces which may have traces of skin disorders or harmful virus droplets.
Massage therapists are doing a fantastic job at the moment of keeping their work spaces COVID safe, so the pandemic shouldn’t put you off from seeking out professional treatments. But having your own device is definitely more risk-free.
10 % Discount Code
The last reason to order an ExoGun is that you get a 10% discount!
Already discounted on their website from $599 to $159 USD, get another 10% off using the code MAM10 – an exclusive code for my readers the company agreed to after I verified the quality of the device.
The ExoGun offers 1200 – 3200 percussions per minute at a vibration speed range of 20-53 Hz, and a stroke length of 16mm. This means it’s among the most powerful and versatile percussion massage devices for travelers.
Click here to buy it at the 10% discount (put in code MAM10 at checkout).