Well, if that wasn’t stupid. I had packed my travel compression socks from Brightlife Go and forgot to put them on during my 10 hour flight from LA to London. I have been travelling so much and on increasingly long tours, via bus across the USA or via plane spanning countries, that it was time to look more carefully after my health and take some precautionary preparations. My worries turned out to be quite right. Only in a different way than expected.
A Day in a Blogger’s Life
I had used the travel compression socks a lot before, on my long day walks, tedious bus journeys and plane rides, but this time I didn’t even though I could have worn them underneath my jeans and added an extra layer of warmth. It turned out to be especially freezing on the flight and so I woke up shaking from the chill and thus trying to run it off later by briskly striding through London’s street.
All the while I was catching up with fellow bloggers Gloria from A Blog Abroad and Maaike from Travellous World as well as instagrammers and twitter champs and finding a new hostel as the one I had booked was suddenly shut down and I was not keen on sleeping on a park bench. In short, I was super busy and active.
So far, nothing special but this also meant that I did not stick to my usual water drinking volume. Add to that the fact that England does not have near as many water fountains as the USA and I tried to keep my cash close for more Cadbury chocolate. So I ended up not drinking enough. Long term flights with being freeze-glued to the chair and running around without rehydrating was not good at all for my weary legs and they soon told me so.
When the Pain Strikes
With a piercing pain and a sudden leadenness in my calves, I grew a tad worried and when I basically hopped from bench to bench while in the new Tate, I decided to get myself checked out. And after some futile doctor searching on a Saturday afternoon in London, I ended up in the emergency ward.
On the positive side, this meant I did not have to worry about payment as emergency treatments are covered by the British Health Care, but on the negative side, it took three hours until I found out what was wrong. Turns out, I did not have to worry about thrombosis after all, it was just a very bad case of dehydration.
This was a lesson for myself and could be for you as well: always drink enough, especially when you are very active. This is nothing new but I, who is always preaching about 2 litres a day, failed to follow my own advice. It is quite easy to not fill up your tanks when you are in a rush all day.
Could Travel Compression Socks be the Remedy?
And especially when you are travelling a lot and during the times you come to rest, such as on busses and planes, your legs suddenly stand still as well. And so the second lesson I learnt is to not only pack my travel compression socks but also use them whenever my legs are not exercised.
I had always been a bit weary of compression socks, knowing them only to be used with elderly women in horrendous nude tones or pregnant women in screaming pink and purple colours. And when I stumbled on the travel compression socks from Brightlife Direct I was convinced otherwise. Playful patterns, colourful combinations and you could even us them for sports.
Before you order some for yourself, get your measure tape out and get your own measurements since buying travel compression socks is different than getting regular socks. The same goes with tights. I think I made the classical rookie mistake and got the wrong size as it tore slightly in the crotch. I should have read the beginner’s guide to compression socks more carefully.
Another thing I’ve learnt is to not put on the compression socks or tights like regular tights. By crunching the whole thing up, you’ll only enforce the compression strength and your arms will get sore for trying so hard. Good that a little illustrated manual came with it (imagine me awkwardly hopping across the room with only one calf dressed to get it).
In case you are new to all of this like I was but consider adding some stylish travel compression socks to your travel wardrobe as well, here are some more rules for wearing compression socks:
- Take your exact measurements of your tight, calf, ankle and the length between your knee and foot sole preferably in the morning. You can use a soft tape or piece of rope.
- Do not crunch the socks or tights when putting them on. (It will enhance the compression and make it that much harder to put on)
- Smooth the material out to avoid crunches or folds. (This will interfere with your blood circulation.)
- Do not mess with the material by cutting or tearing it if in case it does feel too tight.
- Don’t wear while sleeping.
- Try out one size first before buying multiple compression socks or tights.
Have you ever tried travel compression socks yourself or would you consider it? Let me know in the comments.
A big thanks to Brightlife Go for making such cute compression socks and for letting me try them out on my travels. As always, my opinion remains honest, friends.