Everyone loves traveling…exploring new destinations, creating lasting memories, and getting in some much-needed R&R. But then, out of nowhere, you get a knock at the bottom door. It’s Aunt Flo and she’s here to paint the town red…
All women experience their period differently. The lucky ladies experience minimal symptoms. The unlucky ones experience crippling pain.
Aunt Flo sometimes has a terrible habit of gracing us with her presence at the worst times, such as when we’re traveling, or on holiday. The prospect of traveling with the debilitating symptoms from your monthlies can present a unique set of challenges.
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Here’s how to make travel more enjoyable during your period:
Timing is everything
One of the primary concerns when planning a trip is timing your menstrual cycle.
Flights, long drives, and sightseeing adventures can be daunting while dealing with physical and emotional discomfort like menstruation. By keeping track of your cycle and planning your travels accordingly, you can avoid peak period days and reduce the chances of facing additional challenges during your trip.
Planning ahead can reduce anxiety and ensure a more comfortable travel experience. However, sometimes trips pop up suddenly like a business trip or an impromptu weekend away that you couldn’t plan for. This is when you need to step into survival mode.
Dealing with discomfort
Menstrual cramps, bloating, and fatigue can make traveling an uphill battle. The discomfort associated with periods can impact your energy levels and dampen your enthusiasm for exploration. It is essential to be prepared and pack necessary supplies such as pain relievers, heat patches, and comfortable clothing – very important.
Additionally, practicing self-care techniques like staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and indulging in light exercise can help alleviate discomfort and enhance your overall well-being.
Navigating limited access to restrooms
When you’re on the move, finding accessible and clean restroom facilities can be a challenge. This struggle can be even more pronounced when you’re on your period. It’s advisable to carry an ample supply of sanitary products, wet wipes, hand sanitiser and a discreet disposal bag to manage your hygiene needs.
Coping with changing routines
Traveling often disrupts our regular routines, including our menstrual care habits. Adjusting to new time zones, different climates, and unfamiliar surroundings can throw a spanner in the works. Remember to prioritise personal hygiene and change your sanitary products regularly.
If you’re concerned about privacy or convenience, consider using menstrual cups or period panties as they offer longer-lasting protection and can be more discreet during travel.
Managing those emotions
Traveling can be emotionally overwhelming as a whole. It can leave you feeling fatigued and a bit moody. The hormonal fluctuations during menstruation does not make it easier, as a matter of fact, it can heighten these feelings. Mood swings, irritability, and heightened sensitivity may impact your overall experience. It’s crucial to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion.
Allow for moments of rest and relaxation, engage in activities that bring you joy, and consider carrying a small self-care kit with comforting items like aromatherapy oils or a favourite book to help you unwind during your journey.
Curbing the cramps
Period pain can be cruel but period pain while on a plane is just punishment! With some proactive measures and self-care, you can find relief and continue enjoying your journey.
Pack pain relief medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate menstrual cramps. Make sure to pack an adequate supply in your travel first aid kit, so you have them on hand when needed.
Applying heat to the lower abdomen or lower back can help relax the muscles and reduce menstrual cramp pain. Consider packing a portable heating pad, heat patch, or even a hot water bottle in your travel essentials.
Tip: Carry an empty hot water bottle in your hand luggage and ask a restaurant or even the cabin crew for hot water to fill the bottle. This might just ease the cramping.
Drinking plenty of water can help alleviate bloating and maintain overall hydration so make it a habit to sip water regularly throughout the duration of the flight and while on vacation. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can contribute to dehydration and worsen menstrual symptoms.
Relax, take it easy
Stress can exacerbate menstrual cramps, so finding moments of relaxation can be beneficial. Take breaks during your travels to practice deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness. Carve out time for activities that help you unwind and reduce stress, such as reading, listening to soothing music, or practicing self-care rituals.
While in the air, watch a movie, read a book or listen to music or a relaxing podcast
Ditch the jeans! Opt for loose, comfortable clothing that allows for freedom of movement and reduces pressure on the abdomen. Choose breathable fabrics and pack items like elastic-waist pants or skirts that provide flexibility and ease.
Rest or sleep
Getting adequate rest and sleep is essential for managing period cramps. Listen to your body’s signals and ensure you prioritize restful sleep during your travels. Consider napping for the duration of the flight and be sure to incorporate downtime into your itinerary to recharge.
It’s how the cookie crumbles
Traveling while on your period might be an extra effort to uphold, but with a little planning and self-care, you can effectively manage period cramps while still enjoying your journey. It doesn’t have to overshadow the joy and excitement of flying and exploring new horizons.
Feature Image: Getty