Note: This post is for the ladies. So, if you’re a guy who stumbled upon this post by accident, you may want to move along to another post. I’m fairly certain that you won’t be interested in reading about the details of my period. Or, maybe you are?? I don’t know… Well, if you’re interested, guy or gal, feel free to read on. 🙂
Day 1 of my trip in Thailand – Oh, lucky me! On the very first day I land in Bangkok, my period starts. And let me tell you, this month’s visit from Aunt Flo was far from pleasant.
Prepping for Periods While Traveling
When you’re preparing for trips to foreign locations, you’re not always going to know exactly what you need to take with you.
Well, one thing I can tell you for sure is that you’re going to want to pack well for your period needs. Your tampons, pads, liners, special underwear, whatever it is that you normally use, make sure you take them with you.
I’ve heard and read people say that you’ll be able to find things when you get to your destination, so you don’t really have to worry about it. I don’t recommend that, at all.
Choosing the Type of Period Protection
My personal go-to’s for my period are tampons and liners for day time and pads for night time. When I started packing for my trip to Thailand, I wasn’t sure how much I should take with me. Also, even though I knew that they would have tampons and pads in Thailand, I wasn’t sure if they would have the kind I prefer.
Once I started packing, I noticed that taking a bunch of pads and tampons were taking up a lot more space than I wanted. I was only taking two carry-on bags for a 6+ month trip and I had to stuff A LOT into the two bags. I started looking into alternate options.
I asked around and a few of my girl friends highly recommended the Diva Cup – that that’s the way to go, especially when you’re traveling for an extended length of time or going to rural areas. So I ordered one of these silicone cuppy things off Amazon and was feeling pretty stoked about it.
My friends and all the websites I’ve visited said to make sure you try it out for a couple of period cycles to get the hang of using it. Otherwise, you may have trouble placing the cup in the right spot, and if don’t have the cup in the right place, you will leak. Did I listen to their words of wisdom? Noooooo. Needless to say, I ended up having a very unpleasant and embarrassing experience.
The Big Mess
We landed in Bangkok late at night and went straight to sleep. I used the tampons I brought then. No problem. The next day, we decided to go for a quick stroll around the neighborhood. “Great!” I thought. “This would be the perfect time to test out my Diva Cup! We’re only going to be gone for a short while. This is gonna be fun!”
Nope. Not fun at all.
The quick stroll turned out to be a much longer walk, and while we were walking around I noticed a dampness down under.
We were in the middle of a Thai market and I needed to find a restroom, fast! I started asking the vendors where the restrooms are and no one seemed to understand English. One lady finally pointed me to the back corner of the market, and I saw the “Toilet” sign. Whew.
I walked into one of the stalls and checked myself. Sure enough, I was leaking. Big time. I looked around for some toilet paper and there were none in my stall. I went out and checked the rest of the stalls. No toilet paper anywhere. OMG. Seriously? What kind of a nightmare is this?
I looked for toilet seat covers, or even a piece of paper towel, anything. I searched and found nothing. Only a small used hand towel by the sinks.
I went back into one of the stalls, closed the door, sat down, took a deep breath, and tried my best to re-adjust the Diva Cup. My fingers got slippery from the blood which made it extra challenging to get a good grip on the cup for the adjustment. I tried rotating it around a couple more times, and it felt like it got into a better position, but still not perfect. Oh well, there was not much more I can do at that point. I could only hope that it will hold enough of the liquids until I get back to my hotel. My fingers were so dirty. Ugh.
I was left with no choice but to use the inside of my shorts to wipe my fingers off. I opened my stall door and peeked out hoping no one was standing outside to witness me walking out with red stained hands. I quickly walked over to the sinks, washed my hands and scurried out.
Once I got back to my hotel, cleaned up, changed, and re-united with my familiar tampons, everything was fine.
I did continue trying out the Diva Cup for the rest of the days of my period, but I still didn’t get the full hang of it. I will need to keep trying a couple more cycles. Um, yeah, I should’ve tested it out back home first.
Moral of the story
Be prepared! Also, don’t be an idiot like me and think that you’ll get the Diva Cup right the first time around. And if you do go out somewhere during your first trial run, be sure to take some back-up supplies with you! Take a pad, a tampon, some tp. Something. Anything!
I hope my bloody story didn’t gross you out too much. I figured this could be a helpful precautionary tale for any of you out there planning a big trip, and/or thinking about trying out the Diva Cup. 🙂
Practical Travel Tips for Dealing with Your Mentral Cycle While Traveling
- Toilet paper: Be sure you have some toilet paper or one of those travel size tissue packs with you at ALL TIMES. You don’t want to find yourself in a bathroom with no tp. Bloody fingers + no tp = no fun. (Side Note: I later found out that most of the toilets in Thailand and SE Asian countries have a little hose next to them called, the Douchette. People use this to “rinse” after you do your thing instead of using toilet paper. If you see toilet paper in the bathrooms, it is used simply to dry yourself off after rinsing with the douchette. Not for wiping purposes. Anyway, I wish I knew about this mini shower hose when I was freaking out about there being no toilet paper. Lol.)
- Black bottoms: This one is kind of common sense, but if you are about to start your period, wear black for your bottoms. Or some other dark colors that won’t show if you end up having a little accident. This is one thing I did do right. I wore a sun dress and a pair of black shorts underneath the dress. At least I had extra layers of clothing to give me a little more protection.
- Tampons/Liners/Pads: Whatever you normally use, I would highly recommend that you take enough of these with you. You can buy these at most places, but depending on where you’re going, you may not always have access to a store that sells them in your immediate area. I took enough tampons and pads to last me for 1 period cycle, but I wish that I would’ve brought a little extra. I would recommend supplies for up to 2 cycles worth, that way you’ll have some time to find a store and not have to feel frantic while you’re on your period.
- Diva Cup: This is the most space saving of the options. Which was the main reason I bought one. But, If you do decide to go the Diva Cup route, please do yourself a favor and practice before your big trip. Don’t be a leaky hot mess like me. 🙂 You can find plenty of websites and videos that go into detail on how to use them. I’ve read and watched them and thought “I’ve got this. I don’t even need to try it out.” No, you really don’t “got it” and you really need to try it out, like multiple times.
- Exofficio Underwear: I would highly recommend these underwear for travel or even for regular use. I’ve heard a lot of great things about them from many travel blogs, but I was still skeptical. Johnny and I both purchased one pair to test it out and we both LOVED them. So we bought an extra pair each before we left for our trip. They don’t seem to hold much odor, they wick away moisture (very breathable), they wash super easy, and they dry quick. They are also some of the most comfortable underwear I’ve ever owned. In addition to the Exofficios, I brought a few pairs of my usual Hanky Panky undies, but I’ve been really loving the Exofficios and have been wearing them almost exclusively!
- Thinx Underwear: I was thinking about getting these and ended up deciding not to because it was yet another thing to purchase for my trip and I didn’t know enough about them to take the plunge. I kind of wish that I had bought them though. They would’ve been especially handy on the day of my “accident”. These are supposed to be like underwear with built in pads. They hold your menses, won’t leak, or smell. I probably will get a pair soon to test them out. If you’ve tried these and love them/hate them, let me know. None of my friends had tried them yet so I couldn’t get any feedback from my circle. But, if I had to do it again, I would get a pair of Thinx.
So there you have it, my travel tips for what to pack for your period. I hope this post was helpful.
Do you have any travel tips or tricks when it comes to dealing with your period while traveling? Share in the comments section below.