Top
Best things to do in Saint Lucia

One of my goals with Lucy On Locale is to talk about all aspects of travel, not just the glamorous parts.

So let’s talk about an important topic for female travelers…periods. Our periods are usually just a nuisance at home, but things can get more complicated when you travel, especially when you travel outside the United States.

Knowing you’re going to have your period on a trip doesn’t have to put a damper on your travel plans. You just need to be prepared to travel with “Aunt Flo.”

Here are my best tips and advice for traveling while on your period!
page-divider-blue
Tips for Traveling With Aunt Flo

Buying Feminine Products Outside of the U.S.

Many women from the U.S. are surprised to learn that tampons aren’t readily available around the world. In fact, getting period supplies can be a nightmare in some parts of the world. You can find tampons in Europe and Australia, but they won’t have plastic applicators – they’ll have cardboard ones or no applicators at all.

In Asia and the Middle East, tampons are rare. Usually, you can only find pads.  

So, I always recommend bringing enough of your own period supplies for your whole trip.

Pro Tip: always pack period supplies in your carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost or delayed.

page-divider-blue
Tips for Traveling With Aunt Flo

Places With Restrictions When You’re On Your Period

Places With Restrictions When You’re On Your Period

You can’t visit Komodo Island when you’re on your period. Komodo dragons can smell even the slightest hint of blood, which would put you, your guides, and your traveling companions in danger. So if you want to visit Komodo Island, schedule it when you can guarantee (as much as possible) that you won’t be on your period.

Some temples throughout Southeast Asia don’t allow women on their period to enter. This is usually done on the honor system. These temples will have attendants ask you if you’re on your period before you can enter, and your purse or backpack might be searched for pads or tampons.

page-divider-blue
Tips for Traveling With Aunt Flo

Tampon and Pad Alternatives

Tampon and Pad Alternatives

Menstrual cups can last for years, and you only need one for your entire period. You can wear menstrual cups for up to 12 hours at a time, and they’re easy to clean for immediate reuse. But if you’re visiting a destination where access to clean water is limited or where Hepatitis A & B vaccines are required, then you won’t be able to use menstrual cups.

Pro tip: try menstrual cups before you leave for your trip. There are a variety of options, and one type might be better than another for you.

Period panties are my favorite alternative to tampons and pads. You can buy panties for different flow sizes, and they feel and look like regular underwear. I always have at least three or four pairs with me on my trips, so I can always have a clean one on-hand. You’ll hand-wash this underwear in a sink or shower, then let them dry while you use a new pair.

Both of these products are easy to use, and they’re both zero waste options.

page-divider-blue
Best things to do in saint lucia

Situations That Can Be Tricky When You’re On Your Period

Situations That Can Be Tricky When You’re On Your Period

Squatty potties, which are common in the Middle East and Asia, are a real challenge when you’re on your period. There’s nothing to sit on, and unless you have thighs of steel, you usually need to hold on to something for balance. You’ll need to practice or think through what type of supplies – tampons, pads, period underwear – will be the most manageable for you with squatty potties.

In most countries, you can’t flush tampons or pads. So you’ll need to make sure your trash is emptied more often in your hotel or Airbnb. When you’re in public restrooms, there might not be a trash can, in which case you’ll need to have some ziplock or waste bags on hand for your supplies. Then you can throw this away at the next trashcan you find.

When you’re on your period on a beach, sailing, scuba, or any water-oriented trip, you need to change your tampon EVERY time you get out of the water. You’ll also want to change into dry swimsuits or clothes between water activities. This is to keep you from getting UTIs.

page-divider-blue
Tips for Traveling With Aunt Flo

Know Before You Go

When traveling, you need to keep things as hygienic as possible, so always have sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer with you. In many remote or developing destinations, toilet paper and soap can be less common than you’re used to.

If you take medication to regulate your period or relieve PMS or menstrual symptoms – birth control, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. – then you should bring your own supply when you travel because these might not be readily available where you’re traveling.

Your period can suffer from jet lag, just like your digestive system and sleep cycle. Long-distance travel can cause your period to come early or late, so be prepared for this possibility.

page-divider-blue
Shop My Travel Essentials
page-divider-blue

This article about traveling with Aunt Flo is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of the links in this guide on traveling with Aunt Flo are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

post a comment