Travel is slowly starting to pick up again since the Coronavirus pandemic started. Restaurants, shopping centers, and tourist attractions have started to welcome people in again. Many have been cooped up in their homes for months and have a strong desire to get out and visit friends and family, go on a well-deserved vacation, or appropriately celebrate the holidays. This often involves a certain amount of travel, whether it’s by car or plane. Besides the fear some of us have about the safety of flying with many other people in close proximity or traveling by car and having to use a public restroom, there’s another obstacle that some people have to deal with while traveling: incontinence. The thought of having an accident when in the car or flying can be stressful, but with a little preparation, your travel plans don’t have to be ruined.
Here are some tips to make traveling with incontinence manageable.
Map Out Restrooms
If you are traveling by plane, you can get access to the particular airport’s layout simply by searching on Google. Many layouts are printable to take along with you. When booking your flight, also think about choosing an aisle seat. Once you are on the plane, you’ll have better access to the restroom without disrupting any of the other passengers.
Should you be traveling by car, try to identify where the rest stops are along your route. Think about how you will be sedentary for long periods of time and the length of time you usually have between releasing the contents of your bladder. Starting a Bladder Journal a few weeks prior to your travels can come in handy.
You can use Google to map out your rest stops. Here is a quick video tutorial on how to do that.
Pack Enough Incontinence Supplies
Diapers, Protective Underwear, & Pads
You’ll want to pack a sufficient amount of incontinence supplies such as diapers, protective underwear, and pads when traveling with incontinence. Choosing a variety of incontinence products with different absorbencies can be a good idea to cover whatever kind of incontinence episodes you may run into. Underpads, bed pads, or chux, can also be beneficial in the car to protect the seat from an unexpected accident.
Packing enough disposable bags is important to keep embarrassing odors away when traveling with incontinence. The soiled incontinence products can easily be disregarded at one of the many rest stops on your car route or in one of the public restrooms at the airport if you are traveling by plane.
Maintaining cleanliness is an important part of good hygiene, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hand sanitizer kills harmful germs that can cause viruses and is an easy item to get as a travel size. When traveling with incontinence, it is a good idea to keep hand sanitizer accessible at all times.
Personal Care Wipes
Personal care wipes are a versatile hygiene product to keep the whole family clean. They are an inexpensive way to stay clean and are conveniently packaged to take with you on-the-go.
Personal care wipes can be used in a variety of ways such as:
- Wiping your face free of food, sweat, or makeup.
- Cleaning dirt and grime from your hands.
- As a substitution for toilet paper. Note: Only flush wipes that are marked as ‘flushable’
- To disinfect a variety of surfaces such as doorknobs, steering wheels, toilet seats, and more.
Packing spare clothes that are easily accessible is a good idea just in case there is an incontinence accident or the airline loses your luggage. You’ll want to be able to either reach for these spare clothes in the car or have them in your carry-on bag on the plane. Having an unexpected incontinence episode and not being prepared can cause embarrassment. You never know what kind of an incontinence episode you might have, so preparing for an entire change of clothes from head-to-toe can be wise.
You’ll want to make sure you pack these extras:
- Longsleeve or shortsleeeve shirt
- Shorts or long pants
- Underwear, boxers, or boxer briefs
A Backpack or Duffle Bag
To stay organized and carry all of these essentials, you’ll want a large enough bag to accommodate everything. Keep in mind the size limitations if you are traveling by plane. If you are traveling by car, try to keep it somewhere easily accessible and not in the trunk. You may not be near one the rest stops on your route when you have an emergency.
Before your travels, you might consider speaking to your doctor about the different types of catheters that are offered as an additional tool to help manage incontinence while traveling. Some catheters are inserted to empty the bladder and then immediately removed, while others can be left in for a few days or even weeks. Men are given another option that is convenient and non-invasive called a condom catheter. This type of catheter is worn externally to treat incontinence in men and can be worn for several hours between emptying the collection bag.
Talking with your doctor about considering catheterization as an option while traveling with incontinence should be done well in advance of your travels. It may take some time to learn how to properly use the recommended catheter in order to become familiar with the new routine.
Bonus Tip for Packing
Packing healthy snacks will help you avoid the sugary convenience store foods on the road or expensive airport snacking options. Not only are healthy snacks better for you, but they can also help prevent your bladder from getting aggravated.
Some of the healthy snacks you might pack are:
- Baby carrots
- Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes
- Protein bars (look for natural ingredients and low sugar)
- String cheese
- Mixed nuts (watch the salt!)
- Dark chocolate
- Tuna and crackers
Don't Let Traveling With Incontinence Ruin Your Plans
If travel with incontinence makes you unsettled, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, planning ahead can make all the difference. With a little preparation and the proper incontinence products, you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy your travels. Getting away and spending genuine time with family and friends will far outweigh the stress involved with managing incontinence.
For questions related to any of the home delivery incontinence supplies we offer, contact us or give us a call and one of our Personally Delivered Product Experts will be happy to speak to you. Incontinence can be manageable whether you are at home, work, or traveling and we can help!