Off jetsetting to anywhere this season? As summer approaches, our feet are just itching to explore. Knowing our luck though, our periods will start just as we take off, or while we’re swimming! Being on holiday while bleeding can throw the best of us off, so we’ve come up with a list of 8 top tips for travelling while you have your period.
Keep them Clean!
When you’re travelling, your bag becomes full of all sorts of weird and wonderful things. A pretty shell you found on the beach… bottles of greasy sun cream… the stick from the middle of an ice-cream… If you want to keep your period products fresh and undamaged, put them in a tin or little pouch. It’s good to carry a mixture of spare pads, liners and tampons with you. If you carry around a few different options, you can match your flow as the days of your period go on.
If you want to freshen up while you’re out and about exploring, keep a packet of Natracare intimate wipes in your bag. These are especially good if you’re a pad user and don’t have the opportunity to have a shower between waking up and heading out for a day on the dusty track.
You can see our full range of wipes here – all of them are biodegradable and made with organic and natural ingredients.
Do you have a go-to Natracare product that you like to use during every period? That’s great! But be mindful that your favourite period products might not be available in different countries. In some countries they’ll sell tampons in every shop you go into – and in some countries tampons might be frowned upon. The same goes for applicator tampons vs. non-applicator…
There are lots of factors at play – which is to be expected with a topic as culturally sensitive as menstruation. If you’re planning on buying products while you’re away, do your research before you arrive.
Here’s a handy interactive map of all the places you can buy Natracare products. Our products are sold in 80 countries so there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll notice us along the way. If you’ve seen us while you’ve been exploring, please do send us a photograph!
Save Space with Reusables
If you’re going to be away for a long time and you don’t have much space in your luggage, consider packing a reusable product or two, such as a menstrual cup, period pants or reusable pads. Bear in mind that with some reusable products, they need to have somewhere to soak between uses. A ziplock bag full of water is a handy and discreet way to soak a reusable menstrual pad before you chuck it in with your washing.
Try Before you Fly
If you are going to try a new method to manage your period while you’re away, make sure that you try it before you go away! You may find that the one you’ve chosen really isn’t for you. Better to find that out in your bathroom at home, rather than a shared bathroom in a hostel in the middle of Chiang Mai.
Stock up on Painkillers
If you get bad period pains, make sure to pack plenty of ibuprofen and paracetamol. Packing painkillers in advance means that you won’t have to go searching for some while you’re already in the full-throes of period pain, or have to navigate different languages on packaging. If you’re not a fan of taking painkillers, here are our favourite ways to alleviate pain naturally
Avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome and Change Your Tampon!
If you are going to be travelling to your destination for a very long time, don’t forget to change your tampon regularly. Toxic Shock Syndrome can be life-threatening and occurs after wearing a tampon for too long. The recommended amount of time is between 4 – 8 hours. It’s easy to forget how long you’ve been wearing a tampon for if you’re distracted by the excitement of travelling. Set an alarm on your phone if it helps you to remember. If you do start to feel ill in the ways described here, make sure that you get yourself checked out by a health professional as soon as you can.
Toxic Shock is much less common with 100% cotton tampons. You can read more here
Natracare’s range of tampons are 100% organic cotton – from the core to the string.
The taboo around periods and bleeding is present in most cultures. From women hiding a tampon up their sleeve on the way to the toilet or calling their period obscure names like ‘the crimson wave’, you can see the taboo’s effect in workplaces, schools and in other public spaces in the West.
In some countries, the taboo is greater and affects women’s lives a lot. In some places, women who are on their periods aren’t allowed to enter certain spaces, such as religious buildings, or take part in certain activities, like preparing food, because they are deemed unclean. In some cultures, women who are on their periods are banished to small huts away from other people.
While you’re away, be aware that not everybody is going to feel the same way about periods that you do – so tread carefully when talking openly about menstruation.