Yay for your upcoming trip! ✈️ You must be sooo excited 😆, and rightfully so- you deserve to get away. But then again, you just realized your trip coincides with your monthly visit. Wa- waaaaaaaa. 👎🏼😩 Don’t worry, lady. I got you with these 10 tips below! 👇🏼
Our period can entail low energy, cramps, and a desire to curl up on the couch and isolate ourselves from others. When we travel, our period can throw off our regular “flow” of things. Pun intended. I wrote this blog post to help you prepare for traveling while on your period. I hope my tips improve your symptoms, boost your energy levels, and make your trip the best experience it can possibly be- don’t stress boo!
I’m sure that I have before, but I can’t distinctly recall a time that I’ve traveled while on my period. Part of this could be due to having amenorrhea (no period), for 3+ years, but that’s besides the point. This recent 4 1/2 day trip to San Francisco started out on day 1 of my period- of which day 1 and 2 for me are usually accompanied by low energy & fatigue, 1 night of cramps that wake me up in the early morning, temperature changes, and the desire to marry my couch & Netflix it up. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous that air travel, walking 15,000+ steps a day, and drinking and eating different foods than normal would exacerbate these symptoms, but I went ahead and prepared to the best of my ability and chose to remain calm and carry on with a hopeful and positive outlook.
Let me share with you ladies a few things that worked for me and that you can try and prepare for before you travel on your period. ✈️ 🚙 🚂 🩸
1. Pack the Essentials.
Whether you use pads, tampons, menstrual cups or discs, or period panties, pack what you need and then some. I typically use menstrual discs by Flex, and these last for 12 hours without having to change them. FYI: They also claim to reduce cramps for up to 70% of their users. With some of the outfits I wore, I wanted to ensure no leakage, so I also brought tampons as backup. Count what you average per day of your feminine product, then pack that number and some extra for peace of mind that you won’t run out. You can buy more wherever you are (usually), but it’s also nice to not have to worry about finding a nearby drug store. One less thing to worry about.
2. Prepare the defense.
In order to be prepared should symptoms arise, here are some other defense materials to pack:
- Ibuprofen (this helps with headaches, cramps, and abdominal pain)
- a heating pad
- refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go
- electrolyte tabs
- Magnesium gummies (to ease cramps, tingling legs, headaches, etc)
- Turmeric Curcumin capsules (to help fight inflammation)
- Zinc tablets (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
- Fish Oil capsules (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
- tea (raspberry leaf, peppermint, green tea, etc.)
3. Hydrate and preload with electrolytes.
Start hydrating 5 days before you travel. Try to consume more water than you normally would (about half your body weight in lbs in oz). Bonus if you drink coconut water with a pinch of salt and/or electrolyte tabs.
4. Absorb magnesium transdermally.
Another way to preload your body with magnesium is by taking a few Epsom Salt baths leading up to your trip to absorb the magnesium transdermally (through your skin directly into your bloodstream). Magnesium oil can also be used on your feet and tummy before or during your trip to quell cramps, headaches, tingling of the extremities and other symptoms.
5. Be mindful of salt and sugar intake on your trip.
While I didn’t restrict on my trip (because vacay mode-duh!), I was mindful not to consume foods too rich in salt or sugar to avoid fueling my cramps. I did drink, but I opted for lower sugar drinks (usually made with gin).
6. Make sure you’re getting enough omega 3s, B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc!
These specific nutrients can help reduce period symptoms significantly should you be receiving enough of each. Read my article on “5 Nutrients to Support Your Menstrual Phase” here, and let’s chat about needing to supplement if you don’t receive enough of one of these.
7. Engage in light movement.
There was one night (as expected) when I woke up at 5am EST with moderate cramping. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I was lying there wide awake in our hotel bed. My husband got up, turned the lights on, and gave me the okay to do my yoga in bed, so that’s exactly what I did.
Even at home, I do this 35-minute Yoga With Adrienne for Women video, and my cramps are usually gone or incredibly diminished by the time I am through. Truly, she’s THAT good. Even if you’re doubled over in pain, this yoga sequence is so gentle and easy on your body, it feels more like stretching and relaxing on pillows than anything. I did this in bed on day 2, and that was the only time I felt cramps. ✌🏼
In addition, light or moderate movement, such as walking, restorative yoga, stretching, etc. can promote blood flow and ease cramps and symptoms. Do what feels good to you!
8. Try Legs on a Wall to relieve heavy legs and cramping.
Legs on a wall, detailed here, can improve circulation, relieve heavy legs, and improve blood flow to your uterus to minimize cramps, among many other things. It is also very calming and be done nearly everywhere. Give it a go!
9. Remain calm!
Usually, we go on vacation to escape the everyday responsibilities that stress us the F out! Try to embrace this time and let go of everything that is plaguing you. Stressing less and planning/booking things in advance can help make your trip way more enjoyable, not to mention, it can help keep your cortisol and blood sugar levels steady Freddy! This means your symptoms will be easier to manage as well.
10. Have your caffeine with anti-inflammatory support.
Did you know that Midol contains caffeine to help support a woman’s energy levels during her period? It sure does! Look it up. I still need my caffeine to feel good during this time with low energy, but I also don’t want to overdo it…
This wasn’t planned, but I stumbled upon a lovely cafe by our hotel that offered a turmeric honey latte. Days 1 and 2 are usually the worst symptom-wise for me, and excess caffeine can really worsen my cramps and bloating, so I try to be mindful of my intake while still getting my energy boost. When I saw the turmeric latte on the menu, my interest was piqued, so I ordered it with soy milk and a shot of espresso (the best of both worlds!). I was already taking two capsules of turmeric curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) to help with inflammation, but I truly believe this beverage also helped start my morning out right.
If you don’t have a shop nearby that offers a turmeric or golden milk latte, you can make your own at your air bnb or go to a coffee shop and ask for warm milk and add your own turmeric, honey, etc. in there. Here is a recipe, but you can also purchase golden milk latte powder for convenience while traveling. The additional shot of espresso helped my energy without being too much to exacerbate my cramps.
Those are my top 10 tips on how to make the most of traveling while on your period. What did you think? Was this helpful? If so, please leave a good review below and/or treat me to my favorite ➡️ a matcha latte here!
Thank you for your continuous support. For more women’s health info, follow me @feed.me.happy on Instagram.