Keep swelling at bay
Airplanes and vehicles seldom leave sufficient leg room, and being cramped in a seat for hours on end can leave your feet swollen. Avoid this problem with these tips:
- Get up and move around as often as possible. On a plane, walk up and down the aisle or visit the bathroom every hour. When you’re in a car, stop at rest areas and take a quick walk. It’ll help energize you and prevent excess blood from pooling in your feet.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration leads to fatigue, and increases your risk for swollen feet. Also, dry air that circulates in a plane or car will often raise your requirements for extra water. Keep a bottle with you if you can, and avoid consuming caffeinated beverages.
- Minimize salt intake. Salty foods increase your need for more water, and make you more likely to experience swelling in your extremities.
- Move your feet around. At times when you’re confined to your seat, do gentle foot flexes and toe curls to prevent swollen feet.
Consider your traveling footwear
If you know you’ll be walking around for most of the day, pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Though you may be tempted to throw in a pair of flip flops or high heels, your feet could retaliate with blisters, sores, or muscle aches and pains from improper support. Wait until you return home to break in new shoes you’ve never worn before, because if you end up packing them, you’ll be stuck with them for your trip if they’re uncomfortable.
Pack shoes that have proper arch support you know you can tolerate for long days spent on your feet. Make sure they’re not too tight and constricting so you can stay comfortable in the car or on the plane.
When you fly, wear a pair of socks to the airport. Most security checkpoints require you to remove your shoes, and going barefoot could leave you susceptible to fungus like athlete’s foot, or cuts and injuries if you accidentally step on a pebble or sharp object.
With a few simple precautions and basic foot care, your feet will reward you with an enjoyable trip without discomfort or other issues. If you’re experiencing foot pain, see your podiatrist before traveling to get any problems evaluated.