So you’ve booked your holiday, bought your essentials, created the WhatsApp group with the gang, and you’re ready to go. Then it dawns on you… your period is due.
We’ve all experienced the gut-wrenching heartbreak of this realisation and cursed our new white bikinis, but with a little forward planning, you can make your upcoming trip just as relaxing as you’d hoped, period or no period.
Look at your calendar and figure out the exact arrival and departure date of your menstrual friend, then plan your holiday activities around the light and heavy flow, the cramps, the PMS, and all that other fun stuff. But! Remember travel plans can be stressful, and stress can lead to cycle disruptions, so try not to be annoyed if things don’t go to plan.
This guide should help you get organised for all occasions and possibilities, no matter what type of holiday you’re heading to.
1. The Happy Camper
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and can’t resist a few nights in the middle of nowhere, then period planning is useful as there may not be toilets or pharmacies nearby your campsite. You can take your trusty tampons and towels with you, but a reusable cup could be worth a try as they can be left in for up to 12 hours, making them perfect for the loo-free wilderness.
When it comes to staying clean, baby wipes are a popular choice for a camping trip that’s lacking showers, but best steer clear if you are prone to bacterial vaginosis (BV) or other infections. Keep anything scented or soapy away from your vagina and simply use water instead. And of course, clean your hands with sanitiser before and after changing your tampon or cup.
The key is to be at one with nature, not contribute to its litter, so don’t throw away any used menstrual products. Instead, put them in a plastic bag, seal it, and take them back to civilisation. Luckily, Yoppie tampons are applicator-free, meaning there’s less to take home.
2. The Active Adventurer
Keen for an adventure-filled holiday that’s a little more active than your average? If your activities are fairly remote, then the camping rules above will apply, plus you’ll want to think about how your period typically reacts to an increase in exercise.
After all, physical exertion can change our period characteristics; you could experience anything from a heavier flow to skipping a period to excess discharge, so you’ll want to pack for all possibilities.
Tampons are always a solid choice, but if you tend to see excess discharge when exercising you may want to bring some liners too, to help you feel cleaner throughout the day.
3. The Beach Seeker
Jetting off somewhere warm and beachy? You lucky thing, you! On those warm, poolside holidays, most opt for tampons as they’re a nice discreet option for when you’re wearing a swimsuit, plus they are trustworthy for going in the water.
Blood doesn’t tend to flow outside the vagina due to counter-pressure from the water (think of it as a temporary seal), but most people feel more confident using a tampon to avoid accidental leaks. If you’re worried about a heavy flow, sometimes a small liner (like this Yoppie one) can be discreet enough inside your bathing suit, and make you feel more secure while taking a dip.
Having your period doesn’t mean you must sit out the family water volleyball game. Prep in advance, and be confident that you can join in the fun regardless. Worst that could happen? You leak a little and grab a nearby towel to clean up. No big deal.
4. The Travel Backpacker
Longer-term travel means that, chances are, you’ll be bleeding at some point during your trip. With lots of essentials to fit into your backpack, the aim of the game is saving space and keeping it light.
Count out the number of tampons you’ll need for the time you’re away, plus a few extras, and grab a compact travel pouch to keep them in. The applicator-free Yoppie range is a backpacker’s dream; they’re small, travel-friendly, and made with 100% certified organic cotton which naturally breaks down much faster than plastic. While travelling, you can dispose of them in the bin guilt-free, knowing they’re planet-friendly.
Other holiday essentials
As well as sanitary products, there are a few other things you’ll want to add to your bag if you’re expecting your period. Here’s our easy-peasy packing list:
- pH balanced soap for cleaning "down there"
- Hand sanitiser for on-the-go hygiene when changing tampons
- Toilet paper or tissues to clean while camping
- Pain relief for holiday cramps/headaches
- Your birth control!
- Spare underwear for unexpected leaks
- A laundry bag to keep used knickers
- Your favourite snacks, so cravings don't catch you out!
Does your period fall during the week you’re on holiday? Let us know your tips and tricks, and how you got on, over on Instagram at @itsyoppie!