How To Prepare for a Vacation When You Have Incontinence
by Gary Sattin on Oct 13, 2022
The word “vacation” comes from a Latin term for being free from service and able to seek out leisure. In the modern day, this means cross-country road trips to far-off states, cruises that bounce between a handful of interesting ports, and international plane rides to new countries. There are so few limitations on where you can go.
That’s why urinary incontinence is so disconcerting—your stress about managing it goes up right as you starting planning a trip away to relax and/or explore. In short, even when you have license to rest, it doesn’t come easy. That’s why fighting for an enjoyable vacation untarnished by an accident is a high priority. And the best way to fight is to build a rock-solid plan. To help in this regard, read through our guide on how to prepare for a vacation when you have incontinence.
Pack Plenty of Products
As a baseline, pack plenty of incontinence products. If you don’t know already, count up the average number of garments you go through a day and multiply that by the number of days in your trip. That’s how many disposables you need. Tack on a few more to be safe. When flying, store as many as you can in a carry-on bag for easy access at every point. This also guarantees you won’t be out of luck should the airline mix up your bags and send them hundreds of miles in the other direction.
If you prefer to buy in bulk when you arrive at a destination, ensure you have plenty to tide you over for your travel. Depending on where you go, you’ll also need to understand how other countries’ incontinence products or packaging varies and where you can buy them. It’s as important, for your purposes, to have this kind of fluency as it is learning your vacation locale’s native language or vernacular.
To cut down on packing space without needing to buy products elsewhere, invest in reusable adult incontinence products. The rub here is you must find a place to wash your incontinence garments, but this is usually easy enough.
Don’t Forget Waterproof Sheeting
One understandable worry for someone with bladder leakage is how to handle sleeping. Renting a room means stressing over the uncomfortable pressure of preserving a bed that’s not yours. While you have several methods for reducing your risk, including wearing a booster pad to up your capacity at night, waterproof sheeting creates a barrier around the bed itself. TotalDry’s sheets are durable, absorbent, and excellent at containing odors. By packing these, you avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with your hotel or host.
Enjoy Eating Out (With Restrictions)
You don’t want your urinary issues to stop you from being adventurous. And so, the goal when it comes to eating is finding ways to step out of your palate’s comfort zone without sacrificing potential urinary regularity. Many know caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, acidic citrus fruits, chocolate, and more go on the laundry list of food and drink to stay away from to avoid irritation.
Try to frame these restrictions as a challenge rather than a bother. Working with limitations and finding something on a restaurant menu that fits is truly satisfying. That way, you can pursue adventure while combining your health-mindedness. Knowing you can avoid compromise in nearly any setting allows for tremendous freedom. That said, if you want to bend your diet some for the sake of the trip—maybe you always dreamed of eating a certain meal there—prepare to manage any worsening symptoms afterward.
Plan Routine Bathroom Breaks
Perhaps your most powerful tool when preparing for a vacation when you have incontinence apart from your products is planning your bathroom breaks. There are several facets to this: regular water intake, mapping out different places, and being ready to ask for directions.
Maintain Regular Water Intake
Consuming a consistent amount of water allows you to predict how often you’ll need a bathroom. Using the same bottle regularly and drinking an approximate amount each hour staves off bladder irritation that develops when you go without for too long. Resist the urge to drink less in an effort to steer clear of the bathroom. Over the whole trip, this will likely backfire on you. Steady intake is best.
Plan Bathroom Breaks
As you drink water consistently, you can then determine the frequency that you’ll go to the bathroom and where that’s viable. Going every 90 minutes is a good benchmark, but you know best how long you can go before risking leakage. Bathrooming as you leave restaurants, museums, and other spaces is crucial, as is finding public spaces along your walking route that are safe. Preempting your body in this way restores a sense of control at a time you really need it.
Communicate with People
As you build a plan, now’s not the time to be shy about asking questions. Call up friends who traveled where you’re heading so they can help you scope out restrooms. If you’re unsure about a country’s bathroom policy, research online and contact prospective restaurants and other spots. Furthermore, be ready to advocate for your needs in the moment, too. If a store owner doesn’t understand the situation, be clear about your needs rather than beating around the bush. Your symptoms don’t have power over you unless you stay quiet about them in a way that hurts you.
Consider How COVID-19 Complicates Things
Now, COVID-19 restrictions enter another variable into this stressful equation. Part of communicating with people in another locale means understanding how their building’s availability changes due to the coronavirus. They may have different hours, restrict people without masks, or enact other protective policies. The hardest part is the fact that conditions change in a matter of days. The more up-to-date your prep is, the easier it is to move about freely.
Focus Hard on Fun
Our last tip is to focus on the fun you’ll have rather than stewing on what you can’t do. While feeling down is natural when traveling with urinary struggles, these thoughts too often crowd out the joy you may feel. Constant prep before having a good time is stressful when you can think of nothing else. While preparation gets you ready to enjoy the moment, endless preparation keeps your eyes on the future and out of the pleasant present.
Though it’s hard to let loose while you’re away, practice saying yes to little bits on enjoyment when you’re out. Chaining these good things together leads to a more memorable trip without incontinence at the forefront.