Have you ever had anyone telling you that you can’t – or should not – travel when you’re on your period? If yes, run away from them and towards your next flight. Because not only can you run on your period – you can do pretty much anything – including travel.
If you are an individual who menstruates and you’re wondering how you can have an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience when you’re on your period, this blog is for you.
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Seven Tips to follow for a comfortable period-time travel experience
1. Plan your schedule around your cycle
Start by tracking your cycle consciously. You can mark your calendar on the first day of your cycle. By charting your cycle duration, you can know when to expect your next period. Try to book your holidays on dates that avoid your expected period dates. That way, you can enjoy your travel without worrying about cramps and general discomfort.
We recommend that you download apps like Fitbit and Strava, which have in-built menstrual cycle trackers. Just input your previous cycle date, and you’ll get approximate dates for the subsequent 2-3 cycles. Plus, if you input your PMS symptoms, these apps will give you tips on preventing having a bad period during your next cycle.
2. Do lots of cardio exercises
If your ideal travel schedule falls sometime during your period, that’s okay. You can reduce the pain and discomfort you normally get with the proper exercise.
For example, did you know that cardio exercises like walking, running, and swimming are excellent for reducing PMS and cramps? This is because cardio exercises stimulate blood circulation and release hormones called endorphins. This relaxes your muscles and relieves back pain and cramps. Plus, cardio is excellent for reducing water retention in the body – which automatically reduces bloating.
Amping up your cardio workouts the week before your travel can help make your period significantly more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your holiday.
3. Carry medication to beat PMS and cramps
Cramps and PMS are a reality, even if you do a lot of cardio. So, what can you do about the general discomfort you experience while on your period?
We know that many people recommend postponing your periods using pills. While that may help you travel, it isn’t an ideal long-term solution health-wise. Research has shown that consistent and extended usage of period delay pills can damage your body by exposing it to strong chemicals.
So, the following best alternatives when traveling on your period are pain relievers and PMS maIn addition, nagement pills. OTC medication such as Motrin & Advil contains ibuprofen, which relieves cramps and reduces bloating.
It’s best to keep an entire strip of your chosen medication with you for easy access. But most pharmaceuticals worldwide offer these medicines – or safe alternatives – which you can instantly purchase.
4. Pack the products you need
Not every country has access to the same kind of menstrual hygiene products. For example, while tampons are readily available in the United States, the same isn’t true in many other countries. Plus, if you’re going camping or trekking for many days, you may not find any shop that sells feminine hygiene products.
So, it’s essential to research what may be available at your destination. A simple google search can help you figure this out. We recommend that you find out which brands are available at the goal, too, as usage instructions may be different for each brand and may come as a shock to you if you’re unprepared.
Ideally, we recommend you carry a box of your preferred menstrual hygiene products with you on your travels. Menstrual cups and washable/reusable pads are the best products for hassle-free journeys. You only need to carry one or two of these, and you can travel comfortably without having to worry about running out.
5. Carry the right disposal materials for your used products
While on menstrual products, it’s also important to cover disposal methods. If you’re staying at a hotel or a rental during the holiday, disposal of used products won’t be much problem. But what if you are outdoors camping or in a place without a proper sanitation & disposal system?
In that case, we recommend you carry a couple of zip lock bags and waste paper. Once you use the product, wrap it in paper and put them in the zip lock bag. This will prevent the smell from leaking out, and you can store the zip lock bag somewhere until you get access to a garbage bin. For example, if you’re using a menstrual cup, you can quickly pour the contents down the outdoor toilet pit and clean the cup for reuse.
A note on product disposal. If you’re going on a long train/bus/plane journey, remember to consciously track the hours to change your products. While this may be uncomfortable to do when in a transit location, not changing your products every 3-4 hours (tampons) and 5-6 hours (pads) can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.
6. Test your period clothing before you pack them
As a general rule, always test the clothes you wish to use when on your period before you pack them for travel. This includes everything from inner and outer garments to make sure they are leak-proof and don’t show stains easily. Also, make sure your heating pads work well and aren’t faulty.
Always remember to dress for your most bloated self. Your clothes will not be too uncomfortable or restrictive when you travel.
7. Take care of your nutrition
Finally, take care of what you eat and drink. Water can be beneficial in reducing PMS and cramps. So hydrate often. Ginger, dark chocolate, chamomile, spinach, soybean, oatmeal, nuts, and whole grains contain Vitamin D, anti-inflammatory nutrients, other minerals, natural pain, and PMS relievers.
Being mindful about what you eat can help you have a pain-free travel experience when you’re on your period.