Flying With A Leg Cast

Flying With A Leg Cast

We sincerely hope you don’t need this piece of advice, but for those like myself, who seem to be followed by injuries and accidents, read on.

On my recent trip back to Australia to catch up with family and friends and resolve some outstanding issues, I managed to rupture my Achilles tendon. Not a painful injury, more so a huge inconvenience with a lengthy recovery period. Whether you’ve broken your ankle, leg or done some serious ligament or tendon damage pre flight, you’re going to want to have a few things in place. I had a 24 hour journey ahead of me, returning to Germany from Australia so you shouldn’t come across too many longer transits than that.


If you’re a responsible traveller you should already have travel insurance in place. Should you be unable to continue with your planned travel, they will reimburse you for cancellations or changes to your itinerary in addition to covering your medical expenses.

Make sure you contact them and explain the situation to them as soon as you get the opportunity.


When you see your doctor or surgeon, make sure to ask them about the risks associated with flying. Especially if you are intending to fly within two weeks of an operation or doing your injury.

Your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) increases significantly if you are unable to move your legs and get the blood flowing. Essentially, the calf muscle acts as a secondary heart, the movement during walking helps to pump the blood from your lower legs back up to your lungs. Not moving your leg limits this effect and you’ll likely experience some swelling in your lower leg as the blood and fluid pools there. DVT is basically a blood clot that forms from a severe lack of circulation, and they can cause all kinds of difficulties for you.

It’s unlikely that they will be impressed that you’ll be travelling with your injury, but they can certainly assist to make the process easier. You should enquire about getting some blood thinning injections (far more effective than taking Aspirin) and a note so that you can get a better seat & treatment on your journey.

Anti-coagulant injections

For my injury, I managed to get a prescription for some Clexane injections to help thin my blood. These are easily self administered and really assisted since I wasn’t able to stretch my legs and move around the cabin as much. My legs didn’t swell up at all.

For anyone interested, I administered injections daily for the two days prior to flying, immediately prior to boarding my flight and daily for the two days post journey to mitigate the biggest period of risk. I hate needles with a passion but this was easy enough to do (only made difficult by my sweaty palms) – I’d recommend this to anyone in a similar predicament.

Ensure you also drink plenty of water during your flight, and stay away from the alcohol!

Splitting your cast

It is also highly likely that you will need your cast to be split (simply cut down the entire length) to allow your leg to swell without creating too much discomfort. Your legs can swell on a plane due to the lower pressure in the cabin and lack of movement preventing your calf muscles from pumping blood against gravity. Keep in mind you will likely need to have a new cast fitted once you arrived in your destination as a split cast tends to deteriorate far quicker.


Regardless of who you are flying with, you should absolutely let them know of your injury. I flew with Emirates and they were more than happy to organise wheelchair assistance at all airports and assistance with my baggage. Depending on your airline, some won’t allow you to travel within 48 hours of having a full cast fitted due to the risks, but there should be no issues with a split cast. Emirates also offer a multitude of seats for people with disabilities and these are aisle seats, closer to the toilets.

As I booked my seats with my injury in mind, I managed to get good seats in empty rows which helped keep my injury elevated, but if you have already booked your seats, your airline should be able to move you to a more desirable seat free of charge. Aisle and/or bulkhead seats will be invaluable.

On the plus side, my luggage was first off the plane which helped to beat the customs queue. Additionally, priority boarding and skipping the lines at security checks helped to make the journey a much more pleasant experience.


I had high hopes of a complimentary upgrade when I was checking in. And despite the business class seats being less than a third full, no offer was forthcoming. It is a possibility, but I think the airlines have certainly cracked down on offering upgrades to passengers free of charge.

Be sure to confirm the wheelchair assistance and ask whether your seat is suitable for your condition, or ask to be moved into a vacant row/with extra legroom. If these aren’t available I’d recommend an aisle seat, where you can stretch your leg out in the aisle.

You’ll want to arrive earlier if possible to have a higher chance of being moved to a better seat. And keep in mind it will take longer to navigate the airport.


Most airlines will offer priority boarding to passengers with disabilities. If you’re on crutches then it is essential to take them up on this offer. The aisles on the planes are difficult to navigate on crutches when empty, let alone with other passengers and bags blocking the path. So make yourself known to the airline staff at the gate. I found just sitting near the gate was enough for them to come and ask me to board first.


Unfortunately, the majority of airlines will stow away your crutches for take-off and landing, as they won’t fit into most of the overhead lockers or under the chair. I found the airline staff and other passengers to be pretty helpful and willing to get the crutches out once at cruising altitude. Of course, being seated close to the bathroom also offers the benefit of being able to hop to the bathroom when required. Make sure you ask for assistance to get your crutches back and don’t risk further exacerbating your injury.

As always, try to get some movement in your legs during the flight. With your leg in the cast, try to keep it elevated where possible and raising it above hip height will aid your circulation. Drinking plenty of water will help to keep your blood thinner and minimise the risk of a clot/DVT in your leg. The inevitable side effect of drinking plenty of water will mean you need to use the bathroom more often, so a seat close to the facilities will come in very handy. And don’t be afraid to ask other passengers to make space for you in the aisle.


This was the worst part of my journey. Especially after waiting half an hour to get through the visa check in Munich and having rude passengers pushing in front of me in line! The airport was meant to have organised assistance to help collect my baggage from the carousel and get it to my car, but there were no staff to be seen. With some help from other passengers, I managed to get my 27kg suitcase off the carousel and out to the foyer.

For those not lucky enough to have helpful fellow passengers or have help organised, definitely get someone from the airline or airport staff to assist you. I don’t recommend trying to do it yourself, it’s too risky that you will only further injure yourself. The airline should coordinate with the airport to organise assistance for you, as Emirates had attempted for me.

General Tips for Flying with a Cast

  1. Make sure the airline is aware of your disability and see your doctor before flying.
  2. Keep your essentials on your person. Wearing clothes with pockets will help keep you organised so you don’t always have to fumble about in your backpack for your passport or boarding pass etc.
  3. Make sure you are competent at getting up and down steps on your crutches. Sometimes there aren’t ramps to the aircraft or it is a long walk to the elevator.
  4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during your flight. Avoid alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine.
  5. Move your legs where possible and try to keep your injured leg raised where possible. Ask the flight crew if you can be moved to a free row or a bulkhead seat if one is available.
  6. If you’re travelling in countries that tip for services, be mindful that this is probably expected every time someone helps you, with your baggage or in the wheelchair. So keep some change handy!

Get better soon!! 🙂

Vatican City – the How-to guide

Vatican City – the How-to guide

Since the Vatican City is such a different destination, we thought we could provide some additional assistance to ensure you have the most fun possible during your visit here. As spectacular and impressive as it is, there are a few areas that may cause you some issues and detract from your visit – but don’t fear, we’ve highlighted these for you below.

Whilst the Vatican City is incredibly small, sizing approximately half a square kilometre, there is an awful lot to see & do here. We wouldn’t expect to spend any less than an entire day exploring the best parts!

Please see our blog post here: xxxx for the activities we most recommend. If you do spend a day here then there is time to see & do all of them at a casual pace.

Secondly, timing is everything. Heading to the Vatican as early as possible puts you in pole position over the busloads of tourists who show up from 9am. Getting there before them means less queues & more personal space!

The best bet is to enter the Vatican City and explore St Peter’s Basilica first up. Hopefully the morning sun is still coming through the windows – it creates some spectacular photo opportunities.
Buying your ticket to the Vatican museums (which includes the Sistine Chapel) in advance is also a great time saver. Skipping the queue with your ticket can save you up to an hour standing in line!

And that leads to our first point. Know what you want to see & do in the Vatican City in advance. Some of our recommendations require moderate fitness levels & if you want to see and do a lot then be prepared to spend plenty of time on your feet. Things like the Scavi tour, which we missed out on, require you to book in advance.

As some churches prohibit photography & film, we can assure you that cameras are welcome in almost the entirety of the Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel was the one place we found where photography was prohibited, so snap away!

Running shoes & respectable clothing (covering shoulders) are essential. Despite the small size of the Vatican City there is a lot to do. If you wish to make the most of your trip here then we don’t think you will be in and out in less than 5 hours. And there aren’t a great deal of spots to sit and take a rest once you’re inside.

Finally, and this is the most important point, eat a decent breakfast before heading in. And make sure to pack some water & snacks. There are very limited (we will go as far as to say ‘non-existent’) opportunities to get food once you are inside the city and you don’t particularly want to leave and return just for lunch. And if you’re on your feet for 5 hours then you’ll need something to keep you going.

If you aren’t confident doing the Vatican City yourself, there are reputable tour guides who can take you around for the day. The going rate is around 120 – 150 euros. They will ensure you get the most out of your day and ensure you don’t miss any details that regular visitors may overlook.
Alternatively, group tours can be booked inside the Vatican City if you are more budget conscious.

We hope this helps you get the most out of your experience in the Vatican City. Let us know if you have any additional information you think we might have missed!

Packing – the little things…

Packing – the little things…

Packing – The Little Things

You’ve had the countdown timer ticking away for a while now and the day of reckoning has finally arrived. Don’t let overlooked items put a dampener on your adventure or an additional expense, this money has far better uses.

Aside from the obvious destination specific items (hopefully you’re not going to forget your swimwear for a beach holiday… well at least not accidentally forget), health and personal preferences here are a few additional items we have found to help make travelling that little bit more relaxing.

Bottled water: Now that we have to deal with more stringent security checks, taking a bottle of water through security is impossible. Thankfully, taking an empty bottle through the check is fine and every airport we have visited has facilities to fill your bottle afterwards. Sipping water regularly helps combat dehydration caused by the reduced humidity in the cabin. If you need your bottle filled don’t hesitate to ask a flight attendant to fill it for you. And with the prices most airports & airlines charge, why wouldn’t you?!

Baby wipes are a low cost item that has come in handy more often than we care to elaborate on, and we don’t even have a baby! Eating something sticky and can’t escape easily to the lavatory? Or want to use your nice clean tablet/laptop without smudging all over the screen?

They are inexpensive and easily substitute for a makeup remover among other things.

Regardless of whether you’re a germophobe or not, hand sanitizers are also a good idea, especially in less developed countries.

First Aid items should also not be overlooked completely. Whilst you can’t really take a defibrillator along with you, the basics should be readily accessible to avoid losing time or opportunities. Pack some painkillers and at least some bandaids & disinfectant.

We have lost count of the times having a few bandaids & painkillers has saved us from missing a day of adventuring from blisters or a bad headache.

If you’re planning to do a lot of walking, you might want to pack a small container of moisturiser that will soothe your poor feet after a long day and also help with those blisters! Having moisturiser handy also helps during the flight, you lose a lot of moisture from your skin.

Packing a plastic bag or two into your bag is a great idea. Plastic bags have an uncanny way of being both useful and hard to find when you need one. Roll them up and they won’t consume any space and we guarantee you will find a use for one at some stage of your trip. Packing dirty clothes or wet shoes with clean clothes is more than enough to ruin a day.

Sunscreen is another inexpensive item that we have been guilty of leaving behind for conveniences sake. Pack some even if your destination isn’t sunny – you can just as easily get sunburn from the reflection of snow, ice or water.

We found sunscreen impossible to buy for a reasonable price in Italy during summer, street vendors were asking 15 euros for a 200mL bottle and the supermarkets & pharmacies didn’t stock it!! We managed to survive without it but life would have been much easier with some.

Ladies make sure you bring a scarf (or wear a t-shirt/jumper) to cover your shoulders if you’re going to visit churches. We had to return to the Vatican City on a different day to visit the Sistine Chapel because someone forgot to wear clothing that covered her shoulders!!

Almost all churches have this restriction on entry, and it applies to men aswell, so no singlets or flipflops.

Consider packing a satchel bag or backpack for your holiday. Convenient for day trips and prevents you from loading everything in your pockets. If you’re heading to a crime hotspot, there are excellent options that will prevent pickpocketing and deter theives.

Electronics are essential these days. To keep in contact with the outside world, share photos and have access to information. We invested in a pair of power packs that we keep charged in case we are unable to charge our devices when required. Very handy and take up very little space – there are some truly ingenious options out there if you care to spend a little more.

In addition to the power packs, we upgraded our car charger for the road & camping trips we have planned. We spent about 25 euros on the car charger to enable us to charge two USB devices at once at up to 2.4A. Easily charges mobile phones & small electronic devices.

One last and not essential item: If you love to enjoy a glass of wine or two while watching the sunset on the beach during your roadtrip you might also want to consider taking a corkscrew.

Plan ahead, be prepared and most importantly – have a great trip!


7 facts to know before travelling to Fiji

7 facts to know before travelling to Fiji

Before embarking on your dream escape to Fiji, take a few minutes to check through our list of things to keep in mind. Hopefully, these will assist you in planning the best possible experience in Fiji.


#1 Pronounciation

The capital Nadi is pronounced Nandi. There is a good chance people won’t understand if you don’t pronounce it correctly.


#2 Fiji Time is real

Fiji is a relaxed country and all times are very liberal approximates. So don’t plan a very time sensitive schedule – it just won’t work.


 #3 Rugby

Rugby is the main ‘religion’. Be careful not to offend.


#4 The people  🙂

The Fijian people are overwhelming friendly and courteous. They will go out of their way to make sure others are happy. The crime rate is also incredibly low. So you can leave the fannypack behind for this one.
I lost my watch at the thermal pools and without making contact with the resort, the watch made it’s way back to me – ready to be picked up at the airport on my home


#5 Kava

Kava is the traditional drink of the Fijian villagers and you WILL come across it in your time. Men MUST (well pretty close to it) drink the Kava and women can if they wish to. Women will only be offered a drink after all the men. It looks like dirty water and tastes like dirty water (it’s actually a ground root) and can numb your lips and tongue slightly. Despite common perceptions it isn’t a narcotic, although it has a strong dose of Vitamin B! Trying it is a part of the Fiji experience.


#6 Bugs   o.O

Bugs and Lizards in your room. The lizards most can live with but the bugs probably less so. It doesn’t matter if you stay in a dorm or 5 star resort, they will BE there. Just make sure the screens and doors are shut before turning on the lights in the evening – there is nothing worse than hunting mosquitoes in the middle of the night. I also took Vitamin B1 tablets to make me less appealing to mosquitoes.


#7 Drinking water

Drinking water. Some regions don’t have access to quality drinking water which will be an issue for Western visitors. This won’t be a problem at any of the resorts but keep it in mind when visiting more isolated destinations – ask if you are unsure, it’s better than the alternative…


Enjoy your trip!


You’ve also been to Fiji and think we should add something to the list?

Contact us or comment!



Pin It on Pinterest