All about Feet and Travel

A little bit of an unusual post this week. This is an important one, however. Love your comments/feedback.

Before Travel


  • Consider what shoes you will need. Are you going to be sitting around the pool? Exploring cities on foot? Attending dinners and functions?
  • Practice walking in your shoes before you travel. Wearing your new sneakers on day one of a Paris walk is not a good idea!

In the air

  • Don’t take your shoes off during take off and landing. Wear closed in shoes that will protect your feet if you need to evacuate
  • Avoid taking your shoes off if you have just been walking for miles. Sitting next to smelly feet passengers represents one of the biggest frustrations of passengers
  •  I try to change into a new pair of socks in the aeroplane lounge. Some airlines -thank you Korean and Asiana, provide passengers with slippers
  • Don’t use your airline seat for a pedicure, foot buff or nail cutting session. I have seen all of these done in an aeroplane seat and I am sorry, its gross
  • On the subject of gross, do you really want to go to the lavatory without shoes. Half the men “miss” and the floors on some planes can represent a soupy yellow mess
  • During long journeys, with the muscles of the legs are not active, blood tends to pool in the veins of the legs, and some fluid passes into the subcutaneous tissue of the lower legs (under the skin) which causes swelling. The swelling may not go down until a few days of activity. It is not usually harmful but see your doctor if concerned.
  • Get an aisle seat on the plane and go for a walk. I go every two hours for a lap of the plane
  • It looks dicky but every hour, I try to move my ankles around, circling, pointing toes, and pulling my feet up and down


  • Try to allow enough time to rest without stress. Plan and take breaks for refreshments. This will give your feet a chance to recover and relax but also expose you to a new part of a city’s culture
  • Don’t keep walking when your heels are rubbing and turning red or that you might be developing a blister. Applying a plaster may help
  • I take off my shoes as soon as I enter my hotel room. You would be amazed what you walk through in some countries!
  • Have a nice smelling foot scrub in your toiletries for an end of day relax. They can come in quite small bottles
  • Get a foot massage. The best I have had are in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Hawaii and New York!


  • Some cultures have significant taboos about feet -Thais for example consider them to be  profane and in India,  it is insulting to show people your soles of your feet. Think what you are doing when waiting in airport lounges, for example
  • In Asia and the Middle East, when sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor or, if you cross your legs, make sure you keep your soles point towards yourself.
  • Be aware, of responding appropriately if you accidentally touch someone with your foot. In India or Nepal, touch your heart and your forehead with the right hand or in Thailand, bow slightly with your hands pressed together
  • To be safe, never point or gesture using your feet at religious icons or images
  • Avoid stepping over people or food. In some cultures, this is enough to throw the food out
  • Many temples and mosques require you to remove your shoes and leave them at entry. Despite the many urban myths that your shoes will be missing on return, I have never been able to substantiate this. Help yourself by not wearing a very expensive pair of shoes
  • Watch where you walk in holy places
  • If you are invited to a person’s home, you may be asked to remove your shoes at the door. Sometimes slippers will be provided. sometimes not. This is not the time to discover your smelly feet, holey or mismatched socks or stockings. Be prepared.
  • Do not refuse to take your shoes off when asked

Happy walking!

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Travel Tip: Take No Toiletries

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  1. Thank you! nice post! Very interesting. I believe I share the same shoes/feet beliefs with you. Always closed in shoes and not taking off my shoes during landing or take off.

  2. Wearing shoes during take-off and landing is a good point. Only a few airlines explicitly instructed passengers on this i.e. Singapore Airlines, Bangkok Airways

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