Travel is loved by many people of all ages around the world. Whether you’re a snowbird escaping to a warmer climate, an avid adventurer seeking traveller, or a family vacation enthusiast looking for some much needed relaxation, the COVID-19 pandemic halted global travel. Now that these international travel restrictions are beginning to be lifted, you may be looking to brush the dust off your suitcase and plan your next adventure abroad.
For those managing incontinence, travel can be intimidating. You may feel like you are limited to certain activities and fear that you may find yourself with embarrassing leaks while on an excursion. These are normal concerns and feelings, but if you’re well prepared there’s no reason you can’t travel and manage incontinence. Here are a few helpful tips and reminders for those who are managing incontinence while travelling.
Tip #1: Pack Necessary Supplies
It’s very important to ensure you have everything you need to ensure you stay leak-free and comfortable. Make sure you pack more than enough supplies; have more than what you think you’ll need. It’s also a good idea to bring a small bag or pouch with you to carry extra supplies for when you’re out exploring.
You should also bring disposable bags for soiled products in case you’re unable to properly dispose of your incontinence product while out and about. If you’re concerned about having leaks during your daily vacation activities, you should consider bringing a change of bottoms and/or underwear as well as adult incontinence wipes for a good emergency cleanup.
If you’re travelling to a warm destination and you know you’ll be spending time in the ocean or a pool, remember to pack a swim diaper or underwear. With both disposable and washable options available, a well-fitting swim product will ensure you can enjoy swimming worry-free.
Tip #2: Consider Your Travel Medium
This is something that many people often forget about. Different travel mediums have different restroom availability, which is something to be mindful of when planning a trip.
If you’re going on a roundtrip and will be spending time in a car or on a bus; plan pitstops for washroom breaks. Check for enroute stops with public washroom facilities prior to leaving.
If you’re going to be travelling on a plane or train for an extended period, consider wearing highly-absorbent and long-lasting incontinence products. Having to change a soiled incontinence product in a small bathroom can be a challenge, so wearing a product that will require fewer changes is a great idea. It’s also a good idea to bring a disposable plastic back with you into the washroom for your soiled product, as the restroom disposal systems may be limited.
Tip #3: Research Your Destination
Doing research about your travel destination is always a good idea. Knowing about where you are going and what to expect is a good way to put your mind at ease.
You check online to see restrooms available at destinations you plan to visit while away. There are also mobile apps, like “Flush”, which will provide a map of public washrooms based on your chosen location. You can also look at local retailers to see if they sell your brand or a comparable incontinence product in case you run out. If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, you should be able to find out online if laundry services are available.
Tip #4: Plan Vacation Activities Accordingly
While it’s important for you to enjoy your holiday fully, you should also be mindful of certain activities so you’re well prepared. For example, if you’re managing bowel incontinence and plan on spending time poolside ensure you have a well-fitting swim brief with you.
If you’re travelling to a warm destination and wearing absorbent products, the humidity combined with a lot of time on your feet may irritate your skin. To be prepared, it’s a good idea to pack an incontinence barrier or moisturizing cream. These products will work to reduce skin damage and irritation due to humidity or chafing from consistent walking.
Tip #5: Monitor What You Eat and Drink
If you’re spending a lot of time doing physical activity while on your trip, make sure you stay properly hydrated. That said, it’s important to not over hydrate to help better manage your incontinence.
You should also do your best to avoid foods and drinks that will irritate your bladder. Alcohol and caffeine are examples of beverages to avoid. You can also check out this list of 10 Foods and Drinks to Avoid if You’re Managing Incontinence for more insight.
We hope these tips will help you plan your next trip with confidence! If you are planning to travel soon, we wish you a happy and safe journey. Always remember that Healthwick is here to help, if you have any questions or need some assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
I wore a Northshore Megamax brief both ways on the seven hour flight to England. The one I wore on the way over was sufficient enough to tide me over through customs at Heathrow and the Tube journey to my hotel – at least ten hours.
Seniors and those with health issues should check in advance to see whether they can be processed separately through security and also to check with the airline about bringing a change bag and supplies as a separate carry on as permitted with medically necessary supplies or equipment, such as a CPAP machine. It saves using valuable space in your carry on or luggage.
Rather than pack a bag of adult diapers I purchased a supply when I landed in England. Boots has their own StayDry brand of adult diapers (referred to as a slip rather than a brief) as well as underwear (referred to as pants), liners, and pads. The slips were absorbent enough for both day and night use – though I wore an absorbent cloth brief and plastic pant over top and had a bed pad as insurance against leaks, They reserve the term “nappies” for children’s and infant’s incontinence products, though the general public may refer to adult products by this term.
There are public washrooms with attendants in the inner city and some of them require a small fee to use. Whether it was because I was a tourist or a senior (or both) the attendant at the washroom near Westminster Abbey saw that I did not have the exact change and let me use the facility for free.