Taking vacations is good for your health. When the time comes to use that precious PTO, nothing should get in the way of your enjoyment — including your period!
Will you still be snorkeling and practically living in your swimsuit even if you’ll have your period (expected or…not) on vacation? We give that a hard YES, along with any other activity you want to do on your adventure.
What To Pack For An Easier Vacation On Your Period
- Menstrual cup or menstrual disc (to read about the differences, click here!)
- Backup period products (reusable pads, period underwear)
- On-the-go sanitation spray or wet wipes
- Pain relief medication
- Hot water bottle
- Water bottle for drinking
- Hand sanitizer
- Oil-free, fragrance-free soap or menstrual cup wash
How To Handle Your Period On Vacation
Some people with periods are able to use contraceptives like hormonal birth control pills to adjust or manage their periods while traveling, but there are plenty of folks for whom that’s not an option.
If you’re expecting your period while on vacation or experiencing heavy, irregular periods, there are a handful of steps you can take to make sure your menstrual cycle is nothing but smooth sailing.
Menstruation Management Options:
Tip #1: Be Prepared For Your Period
As is true with most things in life, a little planning ahead goes a long way in easing the task of having your period — especially while traveling.
Take a look at your itinerary. Is it all cities and hotels, or will you be visiting more rural areas? Staying in hostels usually means shared bathrooms. Not all supermarkets carry the same brands, especially if you’re vacationing abroad.
Tip #2: Use Reusable Menstrual Products
There are few things more convenient than tossing your compact, lightweight, 100% reusable menstrual cup or menstrual disc in your luggage or carry-on. Choosing reusable products to manage a vacation on your period means no dealing with trash, no panic purchasing or searching for your brand of tampons or pads, and more space in your luggage.
A menstrual cup or menstrual disc is really your period’s best friend for any type of vacation. Since they have up to 12 hours of wearability, you can easily get through most flights without having to empty your cup! Imagine having to change your tampon in those tiny airplane bathrooms — yeah, no thanks.
Tip #3: Always Pack Backups
Period underwear, reusable cloth pads, and extra pairs of regular underwear.
It’s a good idea to keep a spare pair in your purse or day bag for easy access if you experience any leakage or overflow and need a fresh pair of panties to change into. This also gives you a chance to rinse your panties right away and avoid blood stains.
On-The-Go Period Emergency Kit Essentials:
- Menstrual cup or menstrual disc
- Backup products (like period panties, pads, or tampons)
- Extra underwear
- Pain relief medication
Tip #4: Keep Moving, But Be Gentle With Yourself
Staying active has tons of health benefits, including staying active during your period week, but it’s totally okay to take it easy and skip out on the high-intensity exercise if you’re not up for it.
Light activities like walking, hiking, swimming, or yoga are great ways to keep your body moving, keep blood flowing, and boost happy hormones in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
Consider booking a guided walking tour of your vacation destination. You’ll get to take in the sites at a leisurely pace that will also benefit your menstrual health!
Tip #5: Plan Out Your Painkillers
If you’re someone who’s prone to period cramps during your menstrual cycle, you’ll definitely want to be able to find some comfort and relief from them — especially on vacation! Changes in elevation when flying or visiting different places can also affect period symptoms like cramps and headaches.
Pain relief medication like ibuprofen or aspirin is good to have on hand. Pharmacies in different areas may not carry brands, products, or doses that you’re used to. Save yourself the panic of not being able to find your preferred painkiller by adding it to your packing list off the bat. If you have a prescription for pain medication, set yourself a reminder to get it filled before you depart.
Hot water bottles are another go-to for abdominal cramps and are usually easy enough to fold up and add to your bags. Whether you’re hitting the trail for a hiking trip or headed to the lap of luxury, a hot water bottle will help to soothe you and relax the muscles that are tensing and causing cramps.
What if I Need To Empty My Menstrual Cup in A Public Restroom?
If you need to empty your menstrual cup in a public bathroom, go for it! But if you prefer to be a bit more discreet while doing so, you can absolutely re-insert your menstrual cup without washing it in a pinch. Just make sure you give it a rinse as soon as you get a chance. You can also carry menstrual cup-specific sanitizing wipes or use a little bit of toilet paper to give your cup a quick wipe.
If you really want to rinse it, you can carry a small water bottle in your purse, or bag, or into the bathroom stall with you to rinse your cup (and hands) over the toilet without even leaving your stall. This is a goof solution for travel, hiking, or camping trips where you won’t have access to running water or traditional bathrooms.