Every girl knows the struggle of acting like she even remotely cares about the world during her time of the month. But she also cares about spring break, and more importantly, taking the best (cliched) beach pictures for her Instagram. So imagine my utter horror when I discovered a stain on the lovely bikini I was trying on the day before I was supposed to leave for my week-long stay at the sandy beaches of Goa. Of course I bought the bikini and rushed out of the store, my face redder than the stain on what is now one of my favorite bikinis. But I did survive the week, and if you find yourself in a similar spot, it really does not mean the end of your perfect vacation.
1. Pack light. What with nature bestowing you with terrible back pain in her generosity, the last thing you need is a huge suitcase to lug around everywhere. Even a large duffle bag would suffice. You know you’re not going to wear all of the clothes you carry.
2. Look for boy short bikinis. Not only does this hold your period supplies in place, but it also hides your bloating if it is high-waisted with a very vintage air. Less skin can be sexy!
3. Do not participate in adventure sports. Tampons may have saved you during the swim meet, but these sports won’t do you any favors. Not only is it harder to control your flailing clothes, but for people who strictly use pads, it may even lead to an embarrassing panty line or very visible stain.
4. Wear dresses. I had a pair of white linen pants that betrayed me terribly that week, showing every line possible. Dresses and skirts, especially if layered, run a much smaller risk of doing the same. No one wants to wear tight fitting clothing during her period, and dresses have the added benefit of letting your stomach extend as required as you gorge yourself on chocolates and ice cream.
5. Be careful with medication. Alcohol does not dull away the pain, medicine for your cramps does, and more often than not, these pills should not be mixed with alcohol. If drinking is an integral part of spring break for you, read labels carefully, and only take them if absolutely needed.
6. Watch your diet. Periods can cause all sorts of digestion troubles. Whether your stomach goes the constipation route or the diarrhea one, there is no need to add on to its troubles by eating Mexican food by the double order at 4 a.m. and drinking water of questionable origins. Follow basic tourist food rules and always drink basic hygiene. I wanted to eat everything in sight, but I stuck to (mostly) recognizable foods. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
7. Set up a support group. I told about five of my closest friends about it, and they were very diligent about coming and checking up on me throughout. One of them even bought me food. At the very least, if you are sharing a room with someone, which you probably are being on a college budget, let them know. You don’t want them to think you make sounds like a dying whale in general.
At least your swollen (and hurting) boobs look great! Work that bikini and don’t focus on making this the sole aspect of your trip. We only have a few spring breaks, after all!
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.