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Why Do My Feet and Ankles Swell when I Travel?

Looking for why do my ankles swell when i travel? It can be really frustrating. If so, there might be a reason for it. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of feet swell when traveling and give you tips on how to avoid it.

Feet and ankles swell common and are usually harmless during travel. Inactivity during travel by car is the most likely cause. When you travel, your feet and ankles may swell due to elevation and humidity changes. Swelling is generally a result of fluid accumulation in the tissues and can range from mild to severe. Severe swelling can cause discomfort, impaired movement, and even an inability to walk.

In This Article

Why Do My Feet and Ankles Swell when I Travel

Your feet and ankles may swell when you may vary depending on your individual physiology. However, some of the most common causes of swollen feet and ankles when travelling include:

Why Do My Feet and Ankles Swell when i Travel

1. Long Periods of Sitting

Long periods of sitting in a car lead blood to collect in your leg veins. When you sit, the posture of your legs raises the pressure in your leg veins. This causes fluid to leave the blood and travel into the soft tissues around the foot, causing oedema.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration is a common problem when travelling and can lead to swelling in any part of the body. When you’re dehydrated, your body retains more water than usual, leading to swollen feet and ankles. Drink plenty of fluids while travelling to keep your feet and ankles hydrated

3. Exposure to High Temperatures

Exposure to high temperatures can result in loss of fluids and salts. The high temperatures can also cause swelling in your feet and ankles. Try to take frequent breaks in cool areas to let your body adjust and reduce the chance of swelling.

4. Altitude

Ascending to high altitudes can cause fluid retention and swell in your feet and ankles. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while travelling to avoid discomfort or medical issues.

5. Change in Air Pressure

The air pressure outside the aircraft is much lower than the air pressure inside when you fly. This difference in pressure causes your body to retain water and salt to maintain equilibrium. This includes water and salt that would normally flow out of your feet and ankles, leading to swelling.

How to reduce swelling in feet while Travelling

There are a few things that you can do to minimize the swelling and make your travel experience more comfortable. Here are a few tips to reduce swelling in feet when travelling.

1. Wear Compression Socks

Compression socks are specifically developed to provide pressure to your lower legs, supporting the maintenance of blood flow and reducing discomfort and oedema.

2. Drink plenty of fluids

When travelling, it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids so that your body has enough fluids to fight against dehydration.

Hydration is essential when travelling, especially if you’re travelling in a hot climate. It will help you avoid dehydration, but it will also help reduce swelling in your feet and ankles.

3. Apply Anti-swelling Ointment

If your feet or ankles continue to swell after following the tips above, consider applying anti-swelling cream or ointment. This can help to decrease inflammation and pain while providing temporary relief from a foot or ankle swelling.

4. Take Frequent Breaks

Even if you’re travelling for shorter periods, make sure to take frequent breaks to stretch and loosen up your feet and ankles. This will help reduce swelling and tension in these areas and, overall, should make your trip more comfortable.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

When you’re travelling, it’s essential to wear comfortable and supportive shoes. Look for shoes that have good arch support and cushioning for your feet.

6. Check your Travel Plan

Ensure that all of your planned activities fall within the safe range for humidity and temperature changes. This will help minimize your risk of developing swelling.

Hopefully, these tips will help you make your travel experience more comfortable and avoid potential injuries!

Q. Why does my body swell when i travel?

Ans- There are a few potential reasons why your body may swell when you travel – dehydration, the change in humidity, and changes in air pressure can all contribute.

Dehydration is the most common reason for swelling and can be caused by drinking too much water or not drinking enough while travelling.

The change in the humidity can also lead to dehydration, as sweat will not evaporate as quickly in humid environments. Changes in air pressure can also cause fluid retention.

In Closing

You now understand why your feet and ankles swell up when you travel. If you experience any swelling, be sure to consult your doctor as soon as possible!


  1. Swollen Feet and Ankles”
  2. Leg edema: clinical clues to the differential diagnosisPubMed
  3. Seasonality of Ankle Swelling

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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