Long lines, traffic jams, that kid behind you who won’t stop kicking your seat. Whether you’re going by bus, train, boat, car or plane, for business or for pleasure, travel can be stressful enough without your period tagging along. But don’t fret, and for goodness’ sake don’t stay home–we have some ideas for how to make traveling while bleeding just a little bit easier…
Pack period undies
If you’d rather not attempt the gymnastic challenge of changing your tampon in an airplane bathroom (or the hygiene challenge of changing it in certain public bathrooms), then period underwear has you covered. Dear Kate offers a range of styles in sizes up to 3X with a full or mini lining. If you’re at the start of your period, or tend to have a heavy flow, you might want to combine with your usual sanitary protection for added reassurance.
Start the day with yoga
Even if you wake up in paradise on the vacation of a lifetime, exercise is the last thing you feel like doing when bent double with cramps. But a little yogic stretching could ease the pain and put you in a more relaxed mood, and you don’t have to do a full routine. Child’s pose will stretch your back, baddha konasana (cobbler’s pose) opens out the abdomen and if all else fails, lying in corpse should provide a few minutes’ peace.
Take healthy snacks
You might feel like stuffing your face with fries and gummy bears, and no one would blame you. But eat only refined carbs and your blood sugar will crash, leaving you tired, cranky, and craving more. A packet of nuts and seeds will take the edge off any hanger and contains essential minerals and healthy fats that help your body’s ability to regulate hormones.
Drink more water
Not only will it refresh you and prevent dehydration, it can reduce bloating, cramps and hormonal headaches, and give you a little energy boost. It should also help with any period-related digestive issues you might experiencing – reducing constipation and replacing the minerals that are lost when you have diarrhea.
Dress for comfort
Unless you’re an Instagram influencer, you probably don’t need to be glammed up to travel or when hanging out at your Airbnb. Give yourself a break and slip into a long skirt, leggings, sweatpants, or whatever it is that makes you feel the most cozy and comfortable (and gives you space to bloat). You can always change into a cute dress and sandals once day two is done with.
Remember pain relief
Natural interventions are great, but if yoga, water and nuts only get you so far, that’s OK – there’s no need to be a hero. If you suffer with the cramps from Hades, made sure to pack the big guns: painkillers, those little heated pads, whatever it takes. Just always go for Tylenol or ibuprofen at this time of the month, rather than aspirin, which thins the blood so could make your period more intense, the last thing you need when you’re on the go.