Even post-Thanksgiving, there’s a lot of traveling you might have to do. The December holidays, as well as New Year’s Eve celebrations, not to mention skiing or snowboarding trips, can mean more flights and/or bus rides coming up. As you pack your bags and try to remember every single item you may need, we have a few extra suggestions for you. The following “Top 10 Tips for Traveling Feet” will (hopefully) remind you that your feet, which carry you everywhere, will need some care while taking you on your travels:
- Pack comfortable walking shoes. Depending on the reason for travel, you’ll likely need at least two pairs of shoes. Comfortable walking shoes that fit properly are a must, especially if you’ll be doing some exploring or spending more than 10 minutes walking around your travel destination.
- Pack activity-specific shoes. If you are going for a formal event, you’ll want to pack your fancy shoes, but don’t depend on them for regular use. Are you going hiking during this trip? You’ll want to bring the activity-specific shoes so that you don’t risk injury because you’re wearing the wrong shoes.
- Buy a pair (or 2) of orthotic inserts. This is especially important if your walking shoes are not providing enough support, as well as for formal shoes, like in high heels. Orthotic inserts can help reduce pressure on the midfoot.
- Bring a pair of flip-flops. Even in the winter? Yes. If you can bring a pair of clean flip-flops, they will be useful in so many ways: on long-distance flights, walking around a hotel room and shower, keeping your feet off the dirty or cold floors of your relatives’ home, and especially if you’ll be using any communal showers, like at a gym or spa (to prevent contracting foot diseases).
- Pack extra socks. If your feet tend to sweat a lot and cause foot odor, you’ll want to change your socks at least once each day. Staying in soggy, smelly socks will not only be uncomfortable, but can also make you more prone to chafing and infection.
- Wash your feet each night. This is something you should do each night anyway, but while traveling, it gives you a chance to relax and inspect your feet for any issues.
- Treating cuts or blisters. Earlier is better than trying to deal with them later when you get back home. You may want to bring (at least) some antibiotic ointment if you won’t have access to it at your travel destination.
- Stretch and massage the feet. Have you had a long day of walking around? Danced the night away? Stood all day helping with cooking for the holiday meal? Thank your feet for supporting you by stretching them and giving them a nice rub.
- Keep your feet moving. If you’ll be sitting or standing for a long period of time (such as on the plane or waiting in line shopping for deals), wiggle your toes, make foot circles, and whatever else you can think of to keep blood circulating to and from your feet to prevent swelling.
- Rest. If you have foot issues, it’s important to schedule rest periods. Overworking feet with weak or painful ankles, for example, could lead to more painful issues later.
For questions regarding travel and your feet, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your feet and ankles to give you tips for a smooth trip. Make an appointment today at any of our offices in Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX!