Traveling can feel overwhelming at times. There's a lot to do between creating an itinerary, packing, making sure others are ready to go, and double-checking everything the day of or the night before. The challenges of traveling can be further exacerbated if you're traveling with urinary incontinence. Dealing with frequent urination while traveling can be a problem because a lot of waiting is involved, from waiting in line to board your flight to driving long hours in the car with infrequent roadside restrooms. Thankfully, a few preparations and planning can help relieve the stress of traveling with urinary incontinence.
Get Your Bladder in Better Shape
Although it isn't always possible to stop frequent urination while traveling, getting your bladder in better shape before you go is possible. These efforts work best when practiced over a long period. However, if you only have a few days or weeks before your trip, these techniques can still help if you're worried about traveling with urinary incontinence.
Schedule Your Bathroom Time
Create a bathroom schedule and stick to it at all costs. You should go even if you don't have a full bladder or feel like you don't need to use the restroom. A set bathroom schedule will help you take control by training your bladder to go at certain times rather than at random intervals. Eventually, this type of bladder training reduces the risk of accidents because you'll know exactly when you'll have to go.
Practice Your Kegels
Another way to get your bladder into shape is by doing Kegels. These exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, making it easier to hold your bladder when you have no choice but to wait to take a restroom break. Kegels are a great way to manage frequent urination while traveling, and they can also improve your sex life.
One of the best tips for traveling with incontinence is to practice delaying urination for extended periods. Delaying urination is especially useful for those with urge incontinence and can also be used to manage almost any type of bladder leakage. When you feel the sudden urge to urinate, delay going to the restroom for a set time. You can wait while staying near a toilet in the beginning if you're afraid of leaks, and you can begin with as little as a one-minute interval. Then, slowly add an extra minute onto your delay timer until you've reached your target, which should be anywhere from half an hour to 1 hour or more.
What to Consider When Planning Your Travel
The urge to urinate isn't always predictable, and you don't always have control over this. But you do have control over your schedule and traveling route. There are several ways to reduce the risk of accidents if you're traveling with incontinence. These tips are described in detail below.
Know Where the Bathrooms Are
You'll want to know where the bathrooms are wherever you plan on going during your travels. For example, if you're flying to your destination, check ahead to see where the bathrooms are in the airport and on the plane. The same goes for traveling by train or boat. If you'll be doing a lot of walking while sightseeing, figure out where public restrooms are along your route. Do your research because things may be different in other parts of the world. For example, pay toilets are popular in Europe and parts of Asia, so you'll want to ensure you've brought some appropriate change with you.
If your sightseeing includes venues like art galleries, museums, historical buildings, or theme parks, check ahead to see if there is a map of the facilities or grounds available. Make a mental note of where the restrooms are ahead of your visit.
Pick Your Own Seat
If you're traveling by plane or train, see if you can pick your own seat when you book your tickets. Although the window seat is usually the most sought-after, it's not a great choice if you're traveling with incontinence. An aisle seat allows faster and easier access to the bathroom, and it's even better if you can get a seat within a few rows of the toilet.
Get Familiar With the Language
If you're traveling to a foreign country or an area where English isn't the primary language, familiarize yourself with the terms you'll need. For example, learning where to ask, "Where is the bathroom?" is crucial. It also helps to learn polite phrases, such as, "excuse me," "please," and "thank you."
Choose Foods That Don't Irritate Your Bladder
Certain foods can irritate your bladder and make your urinary incontinence worse. Everyone's triggers are a little different, but a few foods or drinks tend to trigger most people. Examples include alcohol, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and caffeinated beverages. Avoid these foods to reduce the risk of bladder leakage while traveling.
Bring a Spare Outfit
Even with all of the preparations and planning in the world, the risk of bladder leakage still exists — albeit with much less frequency than if you'd simply hoped for the best. Bring a larger purse or backpack to carry while you travel, and include a spare outfit so you have something to change into if bladder leakage occurs. An extra pair of underwear and pants should be enough. You may also find it helpful to bring spare urinary incontinence pads or underwear.
Don't Forget These Things at Home
When traveling, you'll want to ensure you don't leave certain essentials at home. For example, you'll want to bring a few pairs of absorbent urinary incontinence pads or underwear. Wearing these may not reduce the risk of bladder leakage, but it does reduce the risk of your pants getting wet. If your pants stay dry, you can have confidence knowing nobody else knows you had an accident.
Another must-have for traveling with incontinence is barrier cream. These creams protect your skin from irritation, which can happen if your skin gets wet following bladder leakage. Skin irritation and rashes can become infected if untreated. Finding treatment for a rash while on vacation can be a big hassle, especially if you're in an area where English isn't the first language. You can keep one barrier cream in your hotel room and pack one in your purse or backpack while on the go.
The Bottom Line
Traveling is challenging, but traveling with urinary incontinence can be even more so. Thankfully, the preparations, planning, and tips above can help you travel confidently — no matter how often bladder leaks commonly occur. Protective urinary incontinence underwear by Nexwear can increase that confidence because you'll know nobody else can tell if an accident has occurred.
Shop Nexwear today and regain your confidence, so you can enjoy your vacation without worry. If you need year-round protection, consider a convenient subscription option that ensures you have the protective products you need, no matter how busy life gets.