Travelling is a thrilling adventure that opens up new horizons and experiences. Whether exploring bustling cities, hiking scenic trails, or relaxing on pristine beaches, your feet play a crucial role in making your journey enjoyable.
However, neglecting foot health during travel can lead to discomfort and potentially ruin your trip. To ensure your feet are happy and healthy throughout your trip, here are some essential foot care tips for travelers.
Choose the right footwear
The foundation of healthy feet starts with the proper footwear. Prioritize comfort and support over style, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. Invest in well-fitting shoes with good arch support, cushioning, and breathable materials to prevent blisters and discomfort. Break in new shoes before your trip to avoid surprises or issues like blisters.
Wear compression stockings on the flight
When we fly, we’re often in cramped quarters for long periods of time, often sitting with our knees bent and unable to move. This affects our veins ability to function, leading to fluid build-up in the lower extremities which causes our legs to swell and feel “heavy”. It can also lead to thrombosis (“traveler’s thrombosis“) in severe cases, which is a serious medical concern. That’s why one of our top foot care tips for travelers is to wear graduated compression stockings during your flight – even if you don’t have a history of circulatory issues. Your legs will thank you!
Pack moisture-wicking socks
Moisture-wicking socks help dry your feet by drawing sweat away from your skin. This can prevent fungal infections and discomfort caused by dampness. Pack enough socks for your trip, and consider bringing a few moisture-wicking socks for days when you’ll be on your feet for extended periods.
Practice regular foot exercises
Long flights, train rides, or even extended periods of walking can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Perform simple foot exercises like ankle circles and toe stretches to improve circulation and flexibility. These exercises can be done discreetly, even sitting in a cramped airplane seat.
Keep feet clean and dry
Maintaining good hygiene is an essential component of foot care for travelers. Wash your feet daily and thoroughly dry them, paying attention to the spaces between your toes. Wet and dirty feet are more prone to infections, so carry a small towel in your travel kit.
Elevate and massage your feet
After a day of exploring, give your feet some well-deserved rest. Elevate your feet to reduce swelling and improve circulation. For instance, one tactic may be using a foot hammock on a flight that keeps your lower legs elevated. Alternatively, consider wearing compression stockings to help reduce inflammation, especially on long-haul flights.
A gentle foot massage can also help relax tired muscles and enhance blood flow. Consider using a foot roller or a small massage ball to alleviate tension.
Protect against the sun
If your travels involve beach activities or outdoor adventures, protect your feet from the sun and potential injuries. Apply sunscreen to your feet to prevent sunburn, and wear appropriate footwear to shield against sharp objects or uneven terrain. A small first aid kit can also come in handy for minor cuts or blisters.
Stay hydrated (before, during, and after travel)
Proper hydration is essential for overall health, including the well-being of your feet. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and increased foot discomfort. Drink enough water throughout your travels to adequately hydrate your body – including your feet.
Evidence shows that long-haul flights promote fluid shifts to the lower extremities and induce changes in blood viscosity, which may accelerate dehydration.
Know when to rest
Listen to your body and recognize when to take a break. If your feet feel tired or sore, find a comfortable spot and rejuvenate. Whether a short break during a city tour or a leisurely afternoon nap, allowing your feet some time can make a significant difference.