Dedicated Texas Podiatrists Share Insider Foot Care Advice for Vacation Travel

Vacation travel and sightseeing can put a lot of strain on your feet and ankles. For example, standing in line for an hour at an amusement park is worse for your feet than walking for an hour. It’s more tiring to stand because standing works fewer muscle groups in your legs and feet than when you walk. Walking helps prevent any single muscle from getting overused and over tired. Keeping your feet safe on vacation

The skilled podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists want you to enjoy your vacation without foot or ankle pain. But we understand that it takes a little bit of forethought and prep work to help ensure that you feel your best while on your feet. Our foot doctors have put together this list of important tips you can use to keep your feet in great condition throughout your vacation. With offices in Grapevine and Keller, our experienced podiatric team is here to meet your foot and ankle care needs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Why a Vacation Can Be Hard on Your Feet

Whether you’re walking a long strand of beach, exploring caves and other interesting places, or hiking wooded trails, your feet bear the burden. Experts estimate that every pound of body weight you have exerts approximately three pounds of force on your feet. Thus, if you weigh 150 pounds, you place 450 pounds of pressure on your feet. That’s a lot for your feet to absorb. But there are other reasons your feet and ankles can hurt while on vacation, including the following:

  • Sitting. Whether you travel by car, plane, or train, you will likely sit for long periods of time. All that sitting can lead to swollen ankles and feet. Additionally, when you’re legs and feet are inactive for long periods, they can become stiff. It’s important to elevate your feet whenever you can, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Prop your feet up on your luggage or sit where you can stretch out your legs. This will help with blood flow and reduce swelling.
  • Perspiration. When you’re on your feet a lot, you may perspire more, and the dampness can cause friction between your shoes and feet. This dampness can cause blisters or a bacterial infection to develop. Because both could cause foot pain, you may compensate by changing the way you walk and putting stress on your joints and bones. Pack extra socks, so you can change out of damp ones, and wear absorbent socks to help prevent chafing.
  • Time at the beach. There are many things that can hurt your feet at the beach. Jellyfish stings, sunburn, cuts from shells and glass, and foot and ankle injuries from playing volleyball in the sand can all happen while you’re having a fun-filled day at the beach. Even walking barefoot on the sand can put stress on foot tissues, especially the plantar fascia which connects the heel bone to the toes, causing them to tear and become inflamed.

5 Must-Pack Shoes and Supplies to Keep Your Feet Healthy

When you’re preparing to go on vacation, making plans to help keep your feet healthy and feeling good throughout your trip may not be on your to-do list, but it should be. Planning ahead can help you keep your feet feeling their best throughout your vacation. Getting ready to enjoy a foot-friendly vacation starts with choosing the right shoes to wear throughout your travels, as well as packing supplies you need to protect your feet. These can include the following:  

  • Comfortable shoes. It’s very important to select vacation footwear with comfort in mind. Whether you plan to stay in a city, hit the trails, or head to an amusement park, pack comfortable shoes that fit well and provide good support.
  • Shoes you’ve broken in.  It’s fun to buy new things to wear on vacation, but new shoes should be thoroughly broken in before being added to your vacation wardrobe. Otherwise, your trip could be ruined by blisters, corns, and calluses.
  • Orthotic inserts. Consider packing orthotic inserts to slip into your shoes. These inserts can help take the pressure off sore spots on your feet, help your balance, and absorb the shock of standing or walking for long periods of time.
  • Shoes for your specific adventures. Be sure to pack different shoes for the various types of terrain you may face during your trip, such as cobblestone streets, sandy beaches, or rocky trails. Having the right shoes for your daily outing can mean the difference between a comfortable, pleasant trip and a painful one.
  • Footcare first aid supplies. If your vacation includes more walking and exploring and less sitting at the beach, you may want to bring a small first aid kit that includes foot care supplies, such as adhesive bandages and moleskin. Keep them in your daypack or purse for quick blister prevention or treatment access.

Many people want to pack flip-flops to take on vacation as part of their footwear. These casual sandal-like shoes are good for lounging by the pool and helping to stay foot-safe in showers and locker rooms. But flip-flops provide very little foot support. Wearing them out sightseeing can contribute to issues like arch pain or plantar fasciitis, especially if worn for extended periods.

Tips to Promote Pain-Free Feet During Your Vacation

Packing the right shoes and supplies can help ensure your feet are protected on vacation, but there are other steps you can take when you travel, including the following:

  • Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is important for many reasons, including foot and ankle health. Drinking enough water is key to preventing foot swelling and cramping during trips that involve a lot of time walking or standing.
  • Sit down and put up your feet. Rest is critical during action-packed sightseeing adventures. Be sure to take rest breaks throughout the day, and set aside time to elevate your feet so they can recover from long periods of walking or standing.
  • Check your feet daily. Especially for those with diabetes, it’s important to check your feet every day. Look for signs of blisters, cuts, sunburn, or irritation, and get treatment right away if you see problems.  
  • Protect your feet from the sun. Spending time in the sun, whether you’re at the beach, the pool, or sightseeing in sandals, your feet may be exposed to harmful rays that can give you a nasty burn. Be sure to regularly apply sunscreen to your feet.
  • Keep your feet dry. When your feet get wet, they can be prone to blisters and fungal infections. Be sure to pack waterproof shoes for rainy days and change into dry socks if the ones you’re wearing get wet.

Take Steps to Protect Your Feet After Vacation

It’s important to seek medical attention from a podiatrist if you experience a foot injury or problem while on vacation. But it’s also important to consider how your feet are doing when you get home. If you are experiencing any kind of foot problem or ankle injury when you return home, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist. The earlier you see a doctor for help with foot issues, the more likely it is that any potential problem can be caught early and treated before the situation worsens.

Whether you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area or are spending your vacation in Tarrant County, Texas, our podiatrists are here to help with all of your foot and ankle care needs. Explore testimonials from our many happy patients to get an idea of how we may be able to help you enjoy the best possible foot and ankle health.

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