By Alyssa Kropp
Everyone knows the signs: you have cramps, you feel bloated, you may cry unprovoked. And then there’s the inevitable sign in bright red: you’ve gotten your period.
When traveling, your period isn’t part of that dream trip.
But it happens to all of us, and there are few key things you can do to make your travel better, even when your period emerges at the worst moment.
1. Pack what you need.
When traveling, the different cultures you are visiting might not have the amenities you are used to, especially if you’re going to a developing country. While tourist havens will most likely have supplies, if you’re in a more rural setting, finding a tampon might be harder than you think. Finding your favorite could be downright impossible.
That said, being prepared is key. This includes packing necessities such as tampons, pads, extra underwear, and any other products you use (like Midol) for your trip. You know your body best, so packing two boxes of tampons for a short trip when you only get your period for three days isn’t necessary, but you do want to make sure you don’t run out. Take the length of your trip and where you are going into consideration, then squeeze those things into your suitcase. After all, who wants to go hunting for tampons when you could be exploring the Colosseum?
Extra tip: Placing backup or emergency supplies in daypacks will make surprises easy to deal with on the go!
2. Keep plastic bags, tissues, and hand sanitizer with you.
These are the three things you need to bring with you besides tampons/pads. In some countries, you can’t flush things down the drain, which means holding onto your used pieces until you find somewhere to dispose of them. If this is the case, toilet paper may be hard to come by, which leads to the next two: tissues and hand sanitizer. You get the idea.
3. Think comfort first, then fashion.
When traveling, we all want to look our best. However cramps, bloating, and other parts of getting your period can make you feel like just putting on pajamas and crawling into bed. Crawling into bed is not an option on vacation, so to make things easier be sure you pack and wear comfortable clothes. Yoga pants, harem pants, loose dresses, and flowing skirts are the traveling girl’s best friends. Plus, you’ll look great while not having to fear the dreaded squish of tight jeans on your temperamental stomach.
4. Healthy snacks and water are your best friends.
This doesn’t apply just for when traveling, but is definitely key for ensuring you have a good time while abroad. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and try to stay away from junk food. Bringing a reusable water bottle is essential, and while chocolate may be calling, try local fruits and snacks that will make you feel great and will also give you a dose of the culture!
5. Have fun!
The easiest way to travel with your period is to have fun. If you’re enjoying yourself, the cramps will fade away and you’ll be more focused on making friends, taking photos, and practicing your language skills!
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.