Tips for Travelling on Your Period

If you are a frequent traveller, you just know that “aunt flo” is going to coincide with one of your trips sooner or later. I generally plan my trips around this and try to avoid booking flights for when my period will be due. Grrr! As someone who gets very bloated and fatigued around this time…it’s not ideal. So I thought it would be interesting to share some tips for travelling on your period.

1. Do Light Activities

I think it’s important to relax and not do too many things if you are menstruating during your trip. Naturally, people want to explore and see as much as possible, but it’s also important to remember that we lose a lot of iron during our period. So I would suggest taking it easy during the first couple of days of your flow. Try doing activities that do not involve too much walking like a boat trip, a sightseeing tour by coach, going to the beach, or visiting a botanical garden (there are usually benches in there to sit down).

2. Wear Dark Coloured Clothes

This might seem like an obvious one…but wear dark coloured clothes for extra safety (especially if you tend to have a heavier flow). I once made the mistake of wearing a light coloured dress to the beach in Italy on the first day of my period. It was light in the morning, so I thought I would stay light until Mother Nature decided to present me with Niagara Falls! So we went straight back to the hotel and I got changed because I could just tell it would be a messy period. Also, consider packing things that are not too tightly fitted…especially if you get bloated during this time. Loose flowy dresses and palazzo pants are perfect.

3. Change your diet

The food we eat can greatly impact how we feel during our period. If you want to minimise or avoid cramps, avoid eating too much fast food or sugar. Try to eat foods that are high in omega-3 (fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds). Bananas, spinach, pineapples, ginger, and dark chocolate are also good at minimising cramps. Try to eat more of these things in the week leading up to your period. It’s also worth taking a magnesium and zinc supplement the week before your period is due, just to get that extra boost. I tend to do this myself and have noticed a big difference.

4. Pack Disposable Sanitary Bags

I say this because not every country has menstrual bins in the bathroom. Some countries also don’t have toilet paper either, as they prefer to use water. So for this reason, I think it’s always good to come prepared with disposable menstrual bags, tissues, and wipes. As women, we all know there’s nothing worse than being on your period and entering a toilet with no tissue…or a full sanitary bin :-/.

5. Delay your period

I’m not a strong advocate for messing with nature’s natural processes…but sometimes it can help you have a happier holiday. You can purchase “norethisterone” pills which are used to delay your period. If you are from the UK, these pills are available in Boots, Superdrug, and pharmacies (but you will need to complete an online consultation to get a prescription first). Please also double-check whether it’s legal to bring any medication you have into the country you are visiting. Some countries have very strict requirements for medicine.

Please note: There is always a chance that your cycle could do a complete 180 and arrive earlier than expected. Travel can disrupt your hormones due to changes in time zones, sleeping patterns, and diet. This happened to me last year. I deliberately planned a trip a week before my period was due. But Mother Nature had other plans and it arrived on my flight back to England (8 days early!) I wasn’t expecting or prepared for this.

Did you know?… In Poland, many cities provide free menstrual products for residents. There are pink boxes around the cities for women to access sanitary towels.

Did you know?… In many cultures, menstruating women are considered “impure” and therefore not allowed cook, clean, or enter religious buildings.

Did you know?… In Cherokee culture, menstruating women were considered to be powerful and sacred.

Did you know?… In some parts of Ghana, when a girl starts her first period, she is given a boiled egg to swallow (to celebrate fertility).

Did you know?… When a girl gets her first period in the Philippines, there is a tradition where the mother will smear the menstrual blood on her daughters face. It is believed that this will prevent acne.

Did you know?…In Israel, girls are encouraged to lick a spoonful of honey when they get their first period. It is believed that doing this will make future periods easier.

Did you know?… Canada has an old-age tradition that requires girls to do a berry cleanse when they first start their period. They are not allowed to eat berries for a year.

Did you know?… In Croatia, a girl celebrates her first period by drinking a glass of red wine.

Happy Travels! ✈

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