1. Before travelling, visit a podiatrist if you ARE experiencing any pain, problems or discomfort with your feet or ankles. Foot pain is NOT normal.
2. To condition your feet and legs, begin a regular walking programme wearing the shoes you plan to travel with – include hills if your destination has hilly terrain – at least four weeks before your trip.
3. Review your travel itinerary and the activities planned to determine the kinds of shoes you will need to pack.
4. Take a few pairs of supportive, comfortable shoes and plenty of appropriate socks so they can be changed frequently. Try not to take new shoes that have never been worn.
5. When travelling, periodically flex feet at the ankles, wiggle toes, unlace shoes if feet swell, keep legs uncrossed and move around if possible (especially during airplane travel – get up and move around once for every hour on the plane.)
6. Be prepared: in case of a minor foot problem, pack adhesive bandages, talcum powder, antibiotic or first aid cream, tweezers and nail clippers in your toiletry bag.
7. If you injure your foot or ankle while away, seek professional attention from a podiatrist. People often assume that if a toe is broken, it doesn’t require immediate attention. That is not true. When travelling within a specific country, contact the national or local podiatry medical association to obtain a referral to a podiatrist or go to wwww.fipnet.org to locate the podiatry organization from the FIP Find a Podiatrist link on the home page.
8. Limit walking barefoot to safe, sandy beaches or close to the pool. Walking barefoot exposes feet to sunburn, as well as the plantar warts virus, athlete’s foot and other infections.
9. Regularly apply sun screen to the tops of your feet.
10. Treat your feet well after a long day of sightseeing, shopping or hiking; massage them and keep them elevated.