Women of the world! Wondering how to survive your period while traveling? Your period on vacation can happen anywhere, any time. But traveling on your period does not mean you have to stop enjoying your journey.
I’ve picked up lots of period tips and tricks throughout my solo travels and discovered some amazing products, to make my own ‘period kit’. I pack it in my backpack and I’m always good to go. I’m going to share it all with you now, so take what you wish from it so you can make up your own period survival kit, unique to you.
How to survive your period while traveling
Let’s face it…traveling and backpacking on your period isn’t the most convenient thing. But since when has ‘inconvenience’ stopped you lady? We all have different needs when we’re menstruating, which is why this bumper period survival guide is for all of you.
I’ll show you:
♥ how traveling can change your cycle
♥ what’s possible whilst camping, hiking, flying, swimming and sleeping
♥ wonderful menstrual products (they’re brill!)
♥ and if you really want, I’ll show you how to stop your period for a week
Does travelling affect your period?
Can travelling make your period late? It sure can, especially if you’re changing time zones. Your menstrual cycle is sensitive to hormonal changes and boarding a flight exposes your uterus to the elements. You may experience jet lag afterwards (trouble falling and staying asleep, digestive issues, disorientation) and this causes stress on the body = menstrual cycle mayhem argh.
Traveling East to West is worse than West to East as your womb will be adjusting to a shorter day. Meh.
Increased/decreased exercise and weight loss can also cause your period to stop or skip a month.
What does this mean for your travel period?
It means that your period might say hello earlier or later than you expect. Make sure you’re armed with contraceptives if you’re not trying to get pregnant as you’ll be fertile at a different time to normal.
Because you could start your period at any time, check out my favourite period products below so you’re ready.
I also recommend keeping track of your period. One of my favourite travel apps is Period Tracker on iOS and Android. It makes recording your menstrual cycle easy!
Flying while on your period
Air pressure changes your flow. Up in the air it will be lighter. Yet, once you hit the ground, it’s going to be heavier! Can you bring tampons on a plane? Sure. But there are better ways to manage your period while flying.
Book the best priced aisle seat with Skyscanner, wear comfortable clothes to the airport and pack some hand sanitizer and a spare pair of pants in your carry on luggage.
For the flight, I like to use my Lily Cup menstrual cup or my reusable menstrual pads so I can see what my body and flow is doing. To manage your heavy flow when you land, it’s a great idea to wear some period panties so you’re covered.
Flying on Your Period
Wear a Lily menstrual Cup, reusable pads and period panties.
Camping on your period / Hiking on your period
If you’re camping while on your period in the backcountry, this means you’ll have no immediate access to waste disposal. This is where I really do recommend you invest in a Lily Menstrual Cup: there’s no waste you’ll have to discard! Please remember to travel responsibly and bury the contents of the cup in a cat hole you’ve dug 6-8 inches deep, 200 ft away from any water source.
Don’t feel worried about inserting and taking out the menstrual cup whilst camping or hiking on your period. Using a menstrual cup takes a little practice, but you can do it girl. Carry some soap, water and hand sanitizer with you to maintain hygiene. When you empty the contents of the cup, wash it with warm water and soap if possible or wipe it down with toilet roll. When you get back from your trip, you clean your cup completely in your accommodation.
Can’t bear the thought of using a menstrual cup? Use tampons without applicators or reusable pads and bring two plastic resealable bags: one for the new products, the other for the used.
Special tip! To keep bugs and wildlife at bay, put dry tea bags inside the plastic bag with the used products to keep nasties at bay. Apart from that, keep an eye out for stinging nettles and pointy branches when you’re squatting down to do your period business. Hehe!
How to go to the beach on your period
Can you swim on your period? Sure you can girl! Can you swim with a tampon and menstrual cup? Absolutely, and it is now possible to swim with a pad if you want to, thanks to the clever people at Ruby Love and their period swimwear. Hell yes.
Ruby Love have created underwear and swimwear which is 100% leakproof and discreet. So whatever your style (be it swimming with tampons, a menstrual cup or a pad), nothing is getting in your way. Being on your period, you can swim, paddleboard, snorkel or relax on the beach like a total boss. Sorted.
How to sleep on your period
If you’re struggling to get to sleep and wondering how to ease period cramps, it turns out the fetal position is good for that! Sleep well on your period by using the following products:
How to deal with heavy periods
There’s your period, then there’s the times when it can really start to waterfall. If you’re bleeding more than 60ml in your cycle, then you’re on the heavy end of the spectrum.
A menstrual cup holds three times as much fluid as a super tampon, so I always use mine on heavy days. Menstrual cups are healthy, environmentally friendly and a great way to measure how much you are bleeding so you can stay connected with your body. Investing in a menstrual cup will save you money in the long run too. For added protection, pop on a pair of period panties.
To deal with bad period pains, drink lots of water and avoid high-fat, sugary foods. If your period is interfering with your travels, I recommend speaking to a doctor (always have travel insurance when you’re on the road!). They might recommend hormonal birth control to help you out.
My favourite happy period products
When you get your period, this is what you can use to make your menstruation as stress-free as possible, so you can get on with your adventures. Wondering particularly how to manage periods without pads and tampons? I got you covered.
♥ Picking one of the products below means you will save more money to travel
♥ The environment will love you: less plastic, less waste
♥ You’ll be way more in touch with your body and cycle = girl power
Lily Cup Menstrual cup
I love using my Lily Cup menstrual cup. It’s a latex-free product, made of premium medical-grade silicone that does not cause sensitivity or allergic reactions. You can wear it internally everyday (or night) for up to 12 hours whilst it collects your menstrual fluid.
I am obsessed with menstrual cups for the following reasons:
♥ help you to connect to your body and flow
My Lily Cup is perfect for when I’m working out on my period. 12 hours of use means I can spend a whole day hiking, backpacking and having adventures. My thighs don’t get sore from having to wear pads too.
Lily Cup Compact
There are two types of Lily Cups. The Lily Cup Compact is collapsible, perfect for backpacking and ladies with a light to medium flow. Have a heavy flow? It’s still totally for you; you will just have to empty it more often. It’s also shorter, so great for women with a shorter vaginal canal.
Invest in a Lily Cup Compact here
The Lily Cup on the other hand, is great for all levels of flow. It’s longer i.e. perfect for higher cervixes, but it can be easily trimmed to make it shorter.
There are also different sizes in both of the cups. Size A is great for women who haven’t given birth or have given birth by Cesarean. Size B is great for women who have given birth naturally or have a weaker pelvic floor.
Inserting and removing a Lily Cup does take a little practice but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s easy.
Find out more about the Lily Cup here
Period panties are underwear which you pop on and directly bleed into if you’re a light to medium flow. No smell, no mess, no leaks. Just seriously awesome magical underwear. At the end of the day, I’ll take the knickers off, hand wash them in the sink of my accommodation, air-dry them out, then they’re good to go again.
I’ve been using period panties for quite a few years now and I freaking LOVE them.
A big pro for many women with period panties is that you don’t have to insert any product into yourself if your period is light to medium. BUT please note: for some ladies, period panties just aren’t enough and you’ll need extra protection on heavy days.
Reusable Menstrual Pads
Want to save money on menstrual products but not use a menstrual cup? How about trying reusable cloth menstrual pads? Reusable menstrual pads wrap around your underwear and snap into place. The bamboo makes these pads super absorbent, caring for sensitive skin and neutralises odours naturally. You can easily wash the pads in cold water with a little soap, dry them out, then they’re ready to be used again. Voila!
Try reusable menstrual pads here
Sea Pearl Sponge Tampons
Personally, I haven’t tried them yet, but I want to give you all the possible options! A sea sponge is inserted internally like a tampon and it absorbs your menstrual fluid. When you are ready to change, you remove it, wash it out and can then clean it to be used again. It’s not my favourite, because inserting and taking out these things can be messy. I just don’t see it as the best option if you’re on an adventure.
Yet, many women do love Sea Pearl Sponge Tampons for having sex whilst on your period. Pop it in and your partner will never know you’re menstruating apparently!
Check out sea pearl sponge tampons here
How to delay your period for vacation
Maybe you just can’t bear the thought of being on your period whilst you’re on holiday. If you’re going away for a short vacation and don’t want to be menstruating at this time, there are some ways to stop your period while on holiday.
I’m gonna be honest with you though girls. I don’t think it’s good to mess with your cycle and your hormones. There are a ton of ideas above to help you survive your period while traveling. Please consider these first before going down the ‘no period’ route. Still want to know? Mmm OK, but it involves drugs, a pill to delay period and a bunch of side effects.
How to survive your period while traveling on your period
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘period on vacation’ tips and advice! Traveling on your period should now hopefully feel like a breeze. Double check what you need with my period survival kit list below, and you should be all prepared and ready to face the world! Go conquer the world girl!
The Ultimate Period Survival Kit
- Hand sanitizer for cleanliness
- Triple Action Feminine Wash
- Vaginal suppositories to maintain pH levels
Pain during periods
Ziplock bags to put your sanitary waste in
28 thoughts on “How to Survive Your Period While Traveling on Your Period”
Some really great tips. I’ve heard a lot about cups and they seem like a good alternative for long term travel.
They really are Liliane. I love menstrual cups!
Thankfully, I never had many issues and now don’t have to worry about this ever again. Sometimes getting older is a good thing.
That was a very interesting read! Yet just as you said, I don’t think delaying your period is healthy nor safe.
I love my menstrual cup! I use it in everything; hiking, diving, snorkling, long walks!
I would suggest though to not change diets to hasten or delay periods. Let it flow and just manage it when it comes.
I agree with you Jen. I don’t personally like messing with my cycle. Best to be natural, healthy and go with the flow!
As a dude in a house full of dudes, this was insight I’ve never needed or at least thought would be useful. I now have new insight into the world ladies face and salute you.
Gosh. Who knew there were such things as period panties! Awesome suggestions and will definitely have to look into all of this. What other essential oils do you travel with?
Hey Anna. Yes it’s true! Period panties rock! Other essential oils I love are citronella for those pesky mosquitoes and peppermint oil for focus and alertness (great for long road trips where Starbucks isn’t on the corner).
So much information on periods and how to manage them on travel! I had no idea that so much of this stuff is available out there. Luckily, my days are smooth, so I sail through. Will share this post with a few friends.
Happy you’re gonna spread the word Punita! Some ladies don’t know what’s fully available to them so it’s great to spread the message <3
Have heard a lot about the cup. Would definitely consider that for longer trips.
I love the Lily Cup and I’m so happy to hear that you’re considering using it! As you can wear it for up to 12 hours, it’s a total lifesaver for backpacking and hiking :)
Really great to cover topics like this that most people don’t want to write about but yet are a practical concern for half the travelling population!
I’m all for the honesty and being straight to the point. All of us ladies bleed at some point. We all gotta do something about it. Bring it on.
Love love love this post! I am a dedicated user of the cup and reusable pads (there are some amazing ones available on Etsy). At times, it’s a little inconvenient / embarrassing to wash out and dry pads when you’re travelling but it’s worth a little inconvenience to stop throwing away all those products!
Hi Jane! Love your honest comment and am so happy to hear you are a fellow reusable cup / pad user! I think this is certainly one inconvenience – that women may not be used to seeing this in the bathroom (another lady washing out her cup for example) – that’s if you are in an indoors bathroom >< I think with time, women will learn more about these products and happily be even more accepting of them :)
Thanks so much for all those tips! Really do need those period panties, they are necessary for life, traveling or not!
Agreed! Love wearing them around the house just as much as I do when I’m on the top of a mountain!
Menstrual cups have made my outdoors and travel activities SOOOOO much easier. I just got back from backpacking while on my period. No problem! Sadly there are still a lot of women who don’t know about these products or are told they’re “gross” (honestly, being told how “weird” these things are delayed me from trying a cup for about a year). Therefore, I think it’s great when we talk about it to both educate and help erase the stigma.
This is an important topic that a lot of people don’t talk about! Thanks for sharing!
Wholeheartedly agree with you Kirstie :D Hoping that more women will hear about how they can manage their period so they have more freedom and less stress.
A very useful post! Having your period while traveling is not ideal and I have found it especially hard in more remote destinations and developing countries. But, it’s definitely no reason not to travel! :)
Never seen these before. I will have to look into them because I travel A LOT!
Hell yes! I wear a Diva Cup and could never ever travel without it! This is such a comprehensive post that I love! Very period positive!
Yay thanks so much Victoria! It’s great to hear that your supportive of the menstrual cups! I want to encourage women to not fret about their cycle and be empowered by all these brilliant products out there these days!
I’m past my period now but I used to have to travel with gigantic ziploc bags of tampons. These cups look so much better.
Hear hear Carol! Not only are cups awesome for the environment, they’re also awesome for minimalist packing :D