What you don’t want is aching feet!
Are your shoes made for walking?
It is essential to have comfortable footwear on your tour, as most Small Group Tours involve quiet a bit of walking. A small group tour is usually from 10-16 days duration. Walking is the best way to explore new places, meet the locals and be involved in the culture of the country you are visiting. Your shoes need to provide good cushioned support for your feet. Most Asian and European countries have cobbled and paved streets. The cobblestone and paved streets become very hard on your feet after you’ve been walking for a good few hours sightseeing.
Buy footwear you consider will be comfortable, at least four weeks before your planned trip. Then, go for regular walks each day to break them in and test them out. It is essential that your footwear is comfortable and gives good foot and ankle support.
Your motto should always be Travel Light, only essential footwear on a Small Group Tour.
Since you need to travel light on any overseas trip, it is a good idea to limit your footwear to no more than two pair of shoes. If you encounter wet weather you will need a second pair of shoes. A second pair of shoes is also good to have to change into at the end of a long day.
Joggers are great footwear, in the fact that most give really good support, however they can be bulky to carry and take up much more room than normal shoes. If you search around you will find other shoes that also offer good foot support and comfort. From my experience on a small group tour, I suggest you take only one pair of joggers and than another type of shoe which still gives good support. This is to provide a change if needed, and also a more suitable footwear for visiting a museum, dinner or evening entertainment.
When packing, another essential item is a large sealed plastic bag for your footwear, just in case your shoes get wet or muddy, and you have to move on the next day. You don’t want your footwear contaminating other clean/dry items in your suitcase. I find the outside compartment of your luggage is the best place for carrying joggers or shoes. If they are wet or muddy, place them in the sealed plastic bag inside this compartment. Wear your heaviest article of footwear on the plane, on the day you leave to join up with your small group tour. Essential, yes, this means less weight in your luggage.
When packing to return home after your overseas trip, shoes can come in handy to pack small souvenir items in and avoid that wasted space inside each shoe! I always maintain each time I head of on a small group tour, that I will not buy any souvenirs, but I always seem to manage to come home with heaps. It is so hard to resist creative items from another culture, and my grandchildren just love these unusual little gifts.
Happy holidaying. Please leave a comment if you find these tips useful, or a query if I can help you with anything else in preparation for a small group tour or overseas trip.
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