Period Travel Tips: Navigating Menstruation on the Go

Period Travel Tips: Navigating Menstruation on the Go

I get it. Periods suck. They suck at home. They suck at school. They suck at work. They especially suck when they pop up on a beautiful trip you’ve been planning for months.

As the queen of bad periods and an avid traveler, I have had some extremely annoying and uncomfortable period situations around the globe.

Today, I am spilling all of my period travel tips. I am sharing some wisdom born of over a decade of menstruating on the go. Brace yourself for many pieces of valuable information and a little bit TMI.

8 Tips for Traveling on Your Period

When I was in middle school and fairly new to periods, I bled really badly while biking in Cape Cod with my family. I was too embarrassed to say anything to my mom, so I just pushed through. However, the universe was looking out for me. I crashed my bike and got pretty cut up and was able to pass any visible stains off as “part of the accident.”

I don’t know if this was good luck or bad luck, but this experience made me extremely nervous to travel on my period. I wanted to avoid it at all costs. I have talked to grown women who are scared to plan trips anywhere near the time of their period since so much is out of control when you’re on the go, especially if it’s with others.

Without medical intervention, you can’t just skip your period for a trip. If it comes, you have to deal with it.

That’s why I have decided to throw together some of the period travel hacks that have saved me from uncomfortable situations time and time again. Let’s get to it.

1. Pack the Products

I learned the hard way that period products can be hard to come by in some countries, especially ones where tampons are considered extremely risque. Sometimes, it isn’t that there is a shortage of products, but the packages are very small and can get expensive.

For example, in the Dominican Republic, tampons were so incredibly expensive (even though everything else in the grocery stores are relatively cheap). Pads were fine, but I know a lot of people have strong preferences either way.

I typically calculate how many products I’d need for the time of the trip. However, I do not typically buy a whole thing of pads and just stick them in my suitcase. I divide them up and put them in different places in my luggage. I do this for two reasons.

First, I like to have multiple sizes of pads and tampons easily accessible no matter where I am. If I have a backpack, purse and carry on, the products get divided between all of them. If any bag gets lost, you still should be good to go

Second, I do what I can to save space. Period products are the last things I pack because know that they can be shoved to fill small spaces at the end.

Of course, which products you use will depend on your preferences, but take into account the activities you’ll be doing on your trip. We will get a little bit more into this in a moment.

2. Play it Safe with the Liner

Do you want to know how many times my period has gotten funky while traveling? Too many.

If I know that my period is going to be coming at some point on my trip (even if it’s DAYS away), I wear a panty liner from the time I leave for the airport. Carrying around bloody clothes wadded up in your suitcase or putting a pad over bloody underwear for the remainder of a 15 hour flight is not the slightest bit fun.

Honestly, this is also a non-period travel hack for long haul flights that I have heard before. Since traveling around the world often promises a day or two of no showering, many people wear panty liners and change them regularly so that their underwear stay nice and fresh.

Either way, I feel like being prepared with liners are the way to go.

Oh, and one last thing to mention. Make sure you buy the liners with the wrapper as opposed to the wrapper-less ones in the box so that you can keep them sterile without taking up too much space.

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Traveling has a tendency to make you dehydrated. The plane alone dries you out, but I know when I’m on the go I tend to drink less water.

Combine this with your period and potential related symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea and all that fun stuff) and you’re heading down a dark road.

There are a couple of ways I combat that. First off, Vitamin C is my best friend. I use Vitamin C packets, pills and gummies before and during my trip. Vitamin C has a million health benefits, including aiding in hydration and the absorption of iron.

I also bring a metal water bottle when I travel. This helps me avoid buying tons of plastic water bottles but makes it convenient to bring water on the go.

At home, I am a Yeti girl. But on the road, I am a Zulu girl. I got my Zulu water bottle at Sam’s Club a few months back, and I love it because it doesn’t leak and it keeps my water cold. You can get a 2-pack on Amazon for under $30 which is super nice.

4. Black Leggings, Spandex and Bike Shorts

Looking cute when you travel is obviously the preferred way to go, but with all of the bloating and bleeding, feeling cute can be difficult.

Black leggings and spandex have been life saving in situations when I have been unable to use a bathroom for hours on end. Black leggings and spandex have been life savers.

I wear the black leggings when appropriate, but then I pack outfits (like t-shirt dresses) that can be worn with black shorts underneath. I have had many pairs of black spandex over the years, but my favorite are the Nike Pro style but from Under Armor. I am sure the Nike ones are just as good (if not better) but I do my best to avoid Nike for ethical reasons.

My favorite black leggings are from American Eagle. I really like their shiny move leggings and I have them in a million colors, but the black is the important one here.

Another clothing item that I have recently thrown into the mix is black bike shorts. These are cool because they have the effect of leggings (holding everything in, no thigh chaffing and hiding period stains if they are black) but they are shorts. They are typically long enough that my butt cheeks don’t fall out and they are a modest length for wearing in public.

I feel like bike shorts and big tees are the perfect period outfit because they make me feel like I am held together but not busting at the seams when I get super bloated. It’s also a cute alternative for boating, kayaking and other water activities that don’t necessarily need require a bathing suit.

I found my favorite bike shorts on Amazon. There are two brands I like, and they both have pockets! One is BALEAF and the other is Holure.

5. Period Friendly Swim Options

As I mentioned, I have been wearing oversized tees and bike shorts as a water activity alternative. However, swimming in your clothes is not fun.

I have two go-to black bathing suits for when a bathing suit is absolutely necessary on my period. I have one simple black one piece and high waisted black bikini. I also have a black crochet coverup.

If you notice, black is a common theme here. I do not love to wear black, but like I mentioned earlier: I have had so many period mishaps because I was unable to get to a bathroom for a really long period of time due to being on a boat or being out in the middle of nowhere. Of course, you’ll do what you can to protect yourself against leakage, but black is a great way to cover it up.

6. Preparing for Pain

I, for one, get the most painful periods. The first day typically consists of me writhing in bed and crying. I often have cramps so bad that keep me up all night, so that ruins a second day. Missing this much time of your trip can be absolutely frustrating.

If Midol, Pamprin or another period medicine works for you, make sure you pack it! I have been taking CBD and that helps. I was lucky to be in a Cannabis-friendly state during one of my last trips that was graced by my period and a low-dose of THC before bed actually did the trick. When in Rome, am I right or am I right?

If you suffer from bloating, I recommend carrying a couple bags of moringa tea with you. It tastes like green tea and relieves a bloat like no other.

For nausea or an upset stomach, I swear by doTERRA’s ginger digestive drops which are essentially cough drops made from ginger. You can get these on Amazon or from a doTERRA distributor.

Homemade heatings pads can also come in handy. Rather than packing your own (which would take up a ton of space in your luggage), you can make your own with some rice and a sock.

Other than the heating bad and THC, I would recommend getting all of these before you travel, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Buying medicine in a language that you only kind of understand can be dangerous.

7. Create a Period Travel Kit

In addition to packing the items I mentioned, I also recommend creating a period travel kit of sorts that is always easily accessible.

I stow a little pouch with a couple of pads and tampons plus an extra pair of underwear in my purse or personal item (usually a backpack) so that I don’t have to dig into my suitcase if I am in the airport or something like that.

You can go ahead and throw any meds in here if you want. What it comes down to is packing what works best for you.

8. Plan Period-Friendly Activities

When it comes to planning excursions and adventures, you’ll probably want to plan your most low-key ones on the worst day of your period.

You know which days are your heaviest or most painful. I don’t recommend going out on a boat or climbing waterfalls on those days (although I’ve done it before). Save those for when your flow is a little lighter and you don’t expect crazy cramps.

I know that staying active on my first few days help me, so a nice relaxed hike or nature walk could be nice. Honestly, do what makes the most sense for your body. You’re on vacation, and you deserve to have a nice time.

The Takeaways

I know nobody prefers to travel on their period, but I don’t think this natural process should hold you back. I feel like your period should not cause you to miss amazing experiences.

If you can plan travel around your period, that is great. If not, I hope these 8 period tips helps you travel with comfort during that time of the month.

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What My First Solo Trip Taught Me

What My First Solo Trip Taught Me
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I did it. I took the leap and went half way around the world by myself. It’s not that taking a solo trip was particularly scary for me, but it was definitely out of my comfort zone.

Everybody was curious as to who would accompany me on this huge trip. Many were shocked when I said I was going alone. The more people I talked to, the nervous I got. Just about everybody I talked to warned me of the dangers that lie overseas.

But made it through. I lived to this point, and I am here to share what I learned during my first solo trip.

7 Things I Learned During My First Solo Trip

I am not going to sit here and pretend that I had an Eat, Pray, Love sort of experience. But I definitely learned a lot during this trip.

I’m also not claiming to be any sort of solo travel pro. Really, I’m here to share quite the opposite.

My trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand taught me a little bit about myself and a lot about travel in general. Here’s what I learned.

1 – It Gets Lonely

The first two days of my trip were spent at a conference, so I assumed I’d meet people to hang out during the remainder of my trip. I was wrong.

As somebody who spends a ton of time alone (mostly because I work from home), this was a bit difficult. I am typically super social, but I have a hard time approaching people and making the first move.

Being 12 hours ahead of my friends and family at home meant there were a lot of times that I didn’t have anybody to talk to if I was desperate for some conversation.

Something that was great for beating the loneliness — and the occasional boredom that came with it — was doing Airbnb experiences. These are small tours and experiences lead by locals.

The groups were very small (most are capped at 10 people, but mine each had 5) so it was easy to get to know the other people. I spent time with people from around the world who had all different backgrounds and reasons for traveling.

One woman made a comment about how much she enjoys traveling alone because her job demands a lot of attention and interaction with others. This opened my eyes to the different perspectives of different travellers.

Learn more about getting discounts on Airbnb experiences.

2 – But Being Alone is Nice

Traveling alone really gives you the power to travel exactly how you want to.

I had a ton of quiet time to rest, work and do whatever I wanted. Despite the moments of boredom and loneliness, spending time alone was pretty refreshing.

I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. There was no coming to a compromise on where to eat or what to do. If I wanted to go to sleep at 9:00 PM, I didn’t have to worry about if somebody else wanted to go out.

There was nobody else to answer to or compromise with.

3 – Plan More Carefully

So, I pretty much booked this trip on a whim. Here’s how it went: I saw a post about the SEO conference, bought a ticket and booked flights all in a span of about 20 minutes.

While I am glad I booked the trip, I should’ve worked out the logistics a little better. I did not consider the dates I was traveling, and I missed a huge festival in Chiang Mai by about 24 hours.

I didn’t consider how rough the jet lag would be. My plane arrived the evening before my conference, and I slept through over half the work shops.

Next time, I will plan my layovers better because the 12 hour time change and full day of travel made adjusting really rough and I wasted so many days sleeping.

Since I was traveling alone absolutely all of the planning was up to me. I know now that I need to pay attention to even the smallest of details.

4 – Be Ready to Face Your Fears

For many, boarding the plan to head around the world is really scary, so even making the trip is facing a huge fear.

Booking my first solo trip was a feat in itself. It wasn’t that I was particularly scared of going, but it was a giant area of unknown.

I definitely had some small fears going into this trip and most of them surrounded food. I know it sounds silly, but I am not a brave eater. Ordering food from a restaurant was seriously the scariest thing to me.

It took an unreasonable amount of convincing and pep talks to get myself into stores and restaurants. But I did it. I was mostly nervous about the language barrier.

Approaching others was also way out of my comfort zone. This was a fear that I didn’t completely overcome on this trip. But I know next time I travel alone I’ll need to make a greater effort with this.

Something else that held me back at first was an overwhelming fear of accidentally offending somebody. Chiang Mai has a very unique culture, and I didn’t want to accidentally do something rude.

Getting to know locals who were open to my million questions was really helpful. I was able to ask them about common behaviors that I observed but didn’t understand (like people bowing to me).

If I learned anything from my solo trip, it was that I have to put myself out there, go beyond the confines of my comfort zone and face some fears.

5 – The World is Not Out to Get You

So many people — mostly people who have never really traveled — warned me of the dangers that I’d face overseas. I was told I’d be raped, kidnapped and killed. This is not to say that there are dangerous places on the other side of the world, but there are also lots of dangerous places here in the United States.

I actually felt safer in Chiang Mai than in NYC during the layover on my way home.

The only time I felt really scared was when I arrived early to a meeting point for a sunrise hike. I was on the outskirts of town at 5:35 AM and I couldn’t find where I was supposed to be.

I talked to 4 people and they didn’t understand what I was asking them. They did not come across as threatening. But they knew that I was lost in the middle of the night so it would’ve been easy for them to rob me or take advantage of me.

6 – But Be Safe

Even though I didn’t come across any danger, I know that it is there. I just don’t let the possibility of danger (which is absolutely everywhere) scare me from traveling.

You just cannot let your guard down.

Blending in rather than drawing attention to yourself is important. Don’t flash your money or valuables. Wear plain clothes.

Something that one of my professors said when I studied abroad was to not act like an American. In Asia, it was a bit difficult to hide my ethnicity because I am clearly caucasian, but in Europe it’s much easier.

She told us not to speak English too loudly. What it came down to was not being obnoxious or flashy.

Just pay attention to your surroundings and follow your intuition. And don’t be too trusting!

7 – Solo Travel is Not for Everybody

While I enjoyed my solo trip, I can see why others wouldn’t. You have to be confident and adaptable.

There is some extra effort that comes with traveling alone. All of the planning responsibility falls on you.

Also, if you hate being alone, you may not enjoy solo travel. It could also serve as a great experience for self-reflection as it gives you quite time to work out why you don’t like being alone.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to travel with pals.

What I learned on my first solo trip

The Takeaway from My First Solo Trip

If you’re on the fence of traveling alone, I’d say go for it. People will tell you all of the reasons you shouldn’t, but it’s really what you make of it.

If you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be fine.

During the first few days, I swore I’d never travel alone again. I was still super jetlagged pretty nervous about the whole food thing at this point, so I hadn’t gotten out to explore.

I enjoyed the freedom that came with solo travel. The down time to think and reflect were also very enjoyable.

I’m not really sure how long of a solo trip I could handle. But something that an older traveler I met stuck with me.

She commented on how traveling has changed as she’s aged and “gotten better” at traveling.

I love traveling now and I’m confident that I’ll get better at it with experience. I’m eager to plan another solo trip, but I’m definitely not opposed to traveling with others.

Traveling with my friends when we studied abroad was a blast, so I’d definitely like to travel with groups of friends again.

Since most of my friends are either in school or have jobs that are location dependent, I see lots of solo trips in my future.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to take your first solo trip?

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall
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Going Home to Rural Western Pennsylvania

Remember in Hannah Montana: The Movie when Miley goes back to Tennessee to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the #CelebLife and revitalize her soul?

Last week, I did that too. I made my way back to rural Western Pennsylvania, about an hour or so northeast of Pittsburgh.

Okay, so I’m definitely not a celebrity, but life has been crazy amd draining. Sometimes, traveling to familiar places can do wonders for you.

I spent nine days catching up with family and friends. Most of the time was spent with my grandparents, which was really nice. We ate at my favorite restaurants, visited my Amish friends in Smicksburg and took my little cousins for some fall fun at a local farm.

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The leaves were absolutely beautiful. I was there from the time some of them started changing until most of them were on the ground.

Fall is my absolute favorite season. We don’t have fall in Florida so I make a point to travel to somewhere that has a change of season every fall!

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Yes, my grandmother has three alpacas.

A Rural Pennsylvania Wedding

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Shop this look: Booties, Dress, Denim Jacket and Leopard Barrette (Not Pictured)

During my trip to Pennsylvania, I had the honor of attending my cousin’s wedding. He and his fiance were tying the knot at Fairman Family Farms, a little barn close to Indiana, PA.

We really didn’t know what to expect because it was literally being held in a barn. I was prepared for a full scale rural Pennsylvania wedding.

I kept thinking about the radio commercial that talks about a couple renting a barn for their wedding and then showing up and the animals are still in there on the wedding day. My imagination began running a little wild What I pictured the event to be was a little more country than I’m used to, but it ended up being absolutely beautiful.

I got to catch up with some aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was really nice that I could make it because so many of my cousins have been getting married and having babies, but being in school up until recently made it hard to drop what I was doing to attend those events.

Times like these, I am especially thankful for my career path.

Cafe Contrary: My Favorite PA Cafe

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It’s so strange how specific tastes bring back so many memories.

When it comes to breakfast, my standards are set high. My favorite restaurant from my childhood is called Cafe Contrary in Saxonburg, PA. It’s a simple cafe, but I crave it all the time.

When I walked in, the waitress who always took care of us when I was a child seated us. I didn’t think she’d recognize me without my parents because I’ve grown up quite a bit since we were regulars.

After she seated us and came back from drinks she asked how my parents were doing. She said she wasn’t sure if I was who she was thinking of at first. It was funny because when we first got there, I told me grandma that she had been there as long as I could remember.

They used to only make these godly cinnamon rolls on the weekends, but I went on a Tuesday and lucked out. The breakfast special and cinnamon roll were enough to send me into a minor food coma, but it’s always worth it.

leaves changing in western pennsylvania | Western Pennsylvania in the fall

It is always nice to visit the place that was my home for so many years. I can’t wait to go back next month!

Looking for an Airbnb to stay in during your trip to rural Western Pennsylvania? Check out this post to get $40 off your stay!


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