Travel Tips
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Tips for Traveling With a Cast

On my last trip to Europe in March of this year, I broke my leg mid-way through the end of the trip. What did I do? Honestly, I tried to ignore the fact that my foot was broken for at least five days. That being said, I learned that traveling with a cast could change your itinerary plans drastically.

If you’re doctor says you can travel, then canceling your trip would be a stupid things to do. Instead of canceling, here are a few tips to take into consideration when traveling with a cast:

1. Arrive to the airport at least three hours ahead of your departure time.

With this is mind you’ll have plenty of time to go through all the airport process. Traveling in a hurry, plus with a cast, sounds like a terrible idea! Do yourself a favor a plan ahead to arrive with plenty of time to spare!

2. Request a wheelchair at check-in.

You never know how far your designed departure gate is located. On my way back from Europe, my departure gate was the farthest gate in the airport. It was very painful for me to walk this huge and crowded airport with a carry-on and a backpack. I absolutely regret not requesting a wheelchair at the check-in counter! It is free so take advantage of this service if you absolutely need to. PS- Don’t forget to tip!

3. If your cast can be removed, be ready to take it off for security screening.

It was a surprise for me when the security officer asked me to remove my boot cast for inspection! I said that I needed to sit down to carefully remove my cast. The security guard then will put your boot/cast on the x-ray machine while you wait in the nearby sitting area with your broken foot exposed haha Security purposes, I understand.

4. If you’re traveling in economy, request to sit in the first row of the main cabin section of the plane.

On my way back from Europe, I was sited in the first row of the main cabin section of the plane. I was very comfortable regarding the fact that I had a cast on my left leg. The first row always has more space for your legs. But, on the plane ride from the US to Europe I had to sit further down the main cabin. I can even begin to describe how uncomfortable I felt during this plane ride. First of, there’s limited space for your legs so I couldn’t find a comfortable position for the boot. Also, It is very hard to accommodate the boot with this limited space. This was by far the most uncomfortable plane ride I’ve been in years!

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5. Buy compression socks! 

A must when traveling! Your leg’s blood circulation is compromised due to the plane’s pressure. That being said, with a boot/cast is 100 times worst. Its painless, but a very uncomfortable experience.

6. Do not stay at a hostel.

Hostels are fun to stay at because you meet a lot of people and other fellow travelers that are also adventuring the world just like you. For me, it’s part of the whole experience! Though, a cast can complicate things making your hostel stay very uncomfortable. I always like to wander all-day long when visiting a new city. Naturally, I leave my belongings at the hostel and explore all-day long until it’s literally time to brush my teeth and go to bed.

With a cast, time to rest is a must. For this reason, staying at a hostel can get very uncomfortable. In my case, I needed more space to get ready in the mornings, more bathroom/shower space and time. Most hostels have communal bathrooms and showers, which can make it very difficult for you to get ready when your ability to walk is compromised by a cast. On my second night, I decided to book a hotel room for the rest of my stay in Barcelona.

7. Take breaks in between activities to rest your foot.

Even if you can walk with the cast, walking excessively can be very painful. (At least for me it was.) I recommend taking a long lunch break to rest the foot and be ready for your afternoon activities. Also, I recommend to not party at night. Take it easy! Besides, the faster your bone heals the faster you can resume your travel adventures haha

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8. Do not book activities that involve hiking or walking for a long distance.

This was a huge mistake I did when in Europe! Leading to a very painful night plus lack of sleep and exhaustion on the next day.

Here’s a list of tour activities I recommend booking when traveling with a cast: Hop-on Hop-off bus tour, Segway tours and e-bike tours!

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Hope these tips are helpful!

Until next trip,

About The Author

Mariella Molestina Noboa

The art of saying "Yes!" can take you far away. Many people pass on opportunities for many reasons, one of them being fear. Through my life I've encounter many people that forget to live the present for something that might not even happen in the future. If you are constantly waiting for the right time to finally do something, like fulfill your life dream, you are going to spend most of your life waiting.

My name is Mariella and I created this blog as a source of inspiration for others to believe they can live the life they always pictured. The secret? Believe you can and take action. The world awaits!

13 Comments

  1. Damn those are some great tips here. I wouldn’t have thought of the hostel one actually but that is such a good call. Hopefully i won’t need to use these tips!

    • Mariella says

      Hopefully not, Stacey! haha but in case yo do, now you know 🙂

  2. Great tips. I have never had to travel that way, but I have been injured on trips way too much!

  3. Great tips and I was so close to needing them on our last trip! 9 weeks before we left I broke my foot and tore/sprained ligaments and tendons. I was so worried about my long awaited trip to Greece! All worked out in the end because the boot was off and I had a solid week and 1/2 of daily therapy…then wore a lace up ankle protector. Whew….that was a close one! I’m so glad to know that you can still manage with a boot!

    • Mariella says

      Hi Natalie – Same here! I didn’t let this boot stop or ruin my travel plans haha It was uncomfortable, but manageable at the same time. – Mariella

  4. Lisa says

    Aw bless you, that must have been quite an experience! Still, it’s great you managed to turn it into a positive, and write about it. Good tip about not staying in hostels; they’re not exactly the best places to stay at with a cast!

  5. This seems like quite an experience. Normally, when I’m sick or injured, I got for the private rooms in a hostel. Such a positive post btw. Many people wouldn’t have thought of going ahead with their trip.

    • Mariella says

      Hi Zinara – I know but I really wanted to go on this trip because It was my master’s degree graduation ceremony. I worked so hard over the year that I didn’t want to miss it! Haha

  6. What a bummer about your injury! But great tips here, solid practical advice. Definitely check in as early as possible as there’s nothing wee than rushing while incapacitated! This was nearly our experience when John broke his wrist but he got the cast off 2 weeks before our trip to Japan!

  7. This is an article I never read anywhere else before ( and hopefully I would never need your tips 😉 ) Respect for you that you still traveled and made the best of it and inspire your readers with it too!

  8. Riely says

    Such terrible luck to break your leg mid-way through your trip! I have not had this experience before, but your tips are quite helpful. A hostel would definitely not be the most comfortable option. Use it as an excuse to spoil yourself a little and get a nice hotel to stay in! Glad you were able to make the most of your trip.

    • Mariella says

      Haha yes, I had to learn the hard way. I can’t believe it never slipped my mind that I would be uncorfortable in a hostel lol

  9. I can only imagine how difficult this was and how much of a pain it was travelling around with a broken leg! I have had a compression boot the same as what is in your photos and it isn’t too bad but I would defo be at the airport at least 3 hours before check in like you said!

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