Period Travel Guide
Planned a trip but bonked by your periods? We know how annoying that can be!
As uncomfortable as it sounds, dealing with your periods while traveling can be a breeze if well-prepped. If your uterus tends to surprise you before leaving or in-between your getaway, then this guide will make sure your period doesn’t suck.
Here’s how you can make your periods easier to handle:
· Keep a period kit handy: Whether on vacation or not, period kits are a life-saver. Carrying your period kit at all times may come in handy for you or someone who needs it! You can use a medium-size makeup bag or a packing cube.
What to include:
o Menstrual cup/pad or tampon (*Recommended to use cups since they’re easier to clean and can reduce waste)
o Extra underwear
o Painkillers, if you need them
o Your go-to stylish period pants
· Watch your diet: Try eating healthy like fruits and veggies and keep yourself hydrated enough to make cramps easier. While you’re at it, a little comfort chocolate never hurts anyone. Stick to your regular routine and schedule meals like you normally do.
· Stress control: Have a blast but don’t forget to relax. Take enough rest to avoid a painful experience or after-effect.
· Ditch tight/fit clothes: Tight clothes tend to make you uncomfortable; now top it off with your periods = Messy day and Irritated mood. Pack comfy, breezy and stylish clothes like:
o Flowy dresses
o Over-sized sweatshirts
o Comfy T-shirts
o Flowy shorts/pants
· Consider skipping your period:
If you want to avoid periods while traveling, you can choose to skip your cycle using the appropriate and gynac-approved birth control. This option goes well with short trips. Alternatively, if you are hesitant or cannot opt for birth control, you may plan your vacation according to and around your period cycle to avoid menstruating during your fun days.
While these are pretty much the factors you can control, can traveling affect your period and flow? Yes. Especially if you’re changing time zones.
Some fun facts (or menstrual cycle mayhem):
· Your menstrual cycle is susceptible to hormonal shifts and your uterus is exposed to all those elements when you travel or board a flight, which directly links jetlag to your period.
· Your womb will have to adjust to a shorter day if you travel from east to west.
1. Flying: Air pressure changes your flow. It’s lighter up in the air, and heavier as soon as you hit the ground.
Solution: Book a pleasant aisle seat, wear comfortable clothes and pack a pair of spare pants. Menstrual cups and reusable pads are the most suitable option to manage your period while flying. You can also switch to period panties once you land!
2. Camping: The first thing that comes to mind here is ‘where do I dispose of the waste?’
Solution: If you’re using disposable period products, bury the waste in a 6-8-inch hole, 200ft away from any water source. Carry soap, water, and a hand sanitizer.
Recommended product: Menstrual cup.
Pro tip: To keep your used products protected from bugs and wildlife, put dry tea bags inside a bag with the products.
3. Swimming: You can swim on your period. Using a cup while swimming poses no issues. Nothing gets in your way and you can swim away from your worries like a boss!
To prepare for a surprise period visit, add additional medicine to your medical kit. Midol, ibuprofen/paracetamol, or painkillers, which you will need a prescription for, may require this.
Natural remedies like chamomile tea, an anti-inflammatory, also help during your periods.
Though exercise helps with cramps, it's not always possible to go for a run when you’re traveling. Pack a heating pad if you plan to catch a flight on your cycle days, which will help relieve any of the discomfort you're feeling in your back and abdomen.
Travelling can throw your usual cycle away, especially when you deal with time zones. If you're not on the pill that controls your period, then it's best to still have some things in your handbag or daypack as a backup. There is nothing worse than being on your period on a long-haul flight, train or car ride. It’s difficult to get comfortable when all you want to do is curl up in a ball. If you’re flying, try to walk around every few hours to keep the blood flowing. Don’t sleep for too long or forget you’re wearing a tampon. Set an alarm to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Bring important disposal items, including bags, tissues or toilet paper, and hand sanitizers with you on the ride. It would be safer to have a newspaper bags, just in case the bathroom does not have a trash can and you have to hang on to your used sanitary products before you find the right spot to throw them away.
Bottom line, don’t let traveling on your period stop you from having the time of your life!
Have a bloody good trip and a bloody good period!
Written by Nibha Patil
Cover by Khyati Patkar