Incontinence can be challenging to handle when traveling during the holidays. By planning, making the right choices and being more mindful of your body, you can efficiently manage your incontinence and make the most of your travel time. Make up your incontinence bag ahead of time and pack it in a small carry-on to minimize the risk of damage.
Carry your incontinence care product and kit with you during the day, if possible. Take a spare pair of underwear or larger absorbent pads as well. Use disposable wipes to clean up messes and secure your incontinence care products. Consider using wearable incontinence liners or pads since they could be more comfortable.
How Should You Manage Incontinence While Traveling?
Check if your airline permits you to carry your incontinence care products when traveling by air. Make sure you travel with your doctor-prescribed bladder control products and any skincare items that help prevent skin irritation. If you have a prescription for your bladder leakage medications, request medication from your doctor before departing.
1. Plan Ahead
The more time you take to outline a plan, the greater your success rate will be. In addition to packing your incontinence products, you should get a stowaway travel bag that can hold items such as clothing and toothbrushes. Buy a carry-on case with wheels to minimize the risk of damaging your incontinence care products.
Look up your airline’s regulations. Check the airline’s website to find out if they permit bladder control products and if they have any other specific travel policies.
Plan to ensure you have the right incontinence products and accessories on hand. Have backup incontinence care supplies with you at all times, and check in frequently with your healthcare professional or caregiver to assess the effectiveness of your treatment plan.
2. Watch Your Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking food and fluids can increase the risk of leakage. Avoid eating and drinking large meals; instead, split them into two or more portions. Eat smaller meals several times daily, especially if you have trouble controlling your intake. Avoid beverages such as alcohol, fruit juice, hot chocolate, ice cream, carbonated drinks, soda pop, tea and coffee.
Be sure to eat foods that are soft and low in fiber to reduce the risk of constipation. Avoid hot foods, such as spicy dishes, and be careful with cold foods and ice cream. Eat fruits such as pears, bananas and apples, as well as vegetables such as carrots and corn.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking the right amount of fluids is vital to your overall health and well-being. Drink water frequently, and don’t drink too much water at one time. Check your body for any changes or problems that may arise from dehydration, including fatigue, headaches, chest pain, dizziness or obliviousness.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress and anxiety can cause or worsen incontinence. Try to relax when you are away from home or when feeling stressed and anxious. Get plenty of rest and take time out for yourself every day. Stress and anxiety can trigger your body’s fight or flight response, which can further cause or worsen incontinence.
5. Always Reserve an Aisle Seat if Possible
You should reserve an aisle seat whenever possible. This allows you to move more quickly and avoid being stuck in the middle seat. Consider taking a travel pillow and blanket, if desired, so you can use them if needed.
6. Practice Timed Voiding
To maintain a regular body schedule, try practicing timed urination, which means going to the restroom to empty your bladder every few hours. This can be particularly important for keeping your bladder and bowels empty. Remember to go before long activities, such as going for a ride or after eating and drinking.
7. Consider Catheterization
During long flights, you can consider using a catheter. A catheter is a tube put into your bladder via the urethra to drain urine. This can help to relieve pressure on the bladder while on the plane. Your healthcare professional or caregiver can help you learn how to use a catheter.
There are different types of catheters; some are only inserted to empty the bladder and then removed after, while others are left in for a few days or weeks. There are also condom catheters for men that are worn externally. It is vital to address this early to learn how to use the equipment properly and grow comfortable.
8. Use Apps To Help You Out
Apps and programs can help you track your bladder volume and time spent in between breaks. You can also create a schedule of when to empty your bladder.
These apps and programs can help you track other essential health issues while traveling. Several apps release similar information but with varying features. Some apps work well on an iPhone or Android phone, while others work best with a Windows PC.
9. Focus on Your Daily Routine
Take the time to sit down and plan your day before you go out. Know what you will be doing each day, including any long trips. You may want to pack extra supplies in case of an accidental leak.
Creating a daily routine will allow you to be prepared for all situations. Prepare a list of your items, including incontinence supplies and accessories, in a notebook or on an app. Ensure they are packed, organized and easy to access.
10. Consider a Backup Option
Consider having backup incontinence care supplies on hand. If you travel for an extended period, a bladder leakage treatment can stop working. It’s also possible to experience other health problems that make a prescription ineffective. Always take enough medication for your entire trip and check in frequently with your healthcare professional or caregiver.
Enjoy Your Travel
The key is to plan carefully and be prepared. Avoid drinking large amounts of fluids, eat soft and low-fiber foods, stay hydrated, reduce stress and anxiety and focus on a daily routine before you go out. An important note is to consult your healthcare professional or caregiver before taking any medications. You should also consult your healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions, such as heart conditions, high blood pressure or diabetes. Lastly, enjoy your vacation.