How to travel Stress-Free when you experience leaks
You’ve decided this is the year that you and your partner are going to go on the bucket list trip that you’ve been dreaming about for years. You finally have the time, and you’ve saved up financially. But there’s trepidation. You feel more nervous than excited. What gives? As enthralling as journeying somewhere new, taking in the sites, sampling the cuisine, and mingling with locals can be, for those who experience bladder leakage, travelling and vacations can be a daunting proposition. In fact, a recent CARP survey found that 30% of respondents reported that having bladder leakage meant that they spent less time participating in activities they enjoy – travel being a key one. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To gain back the confidence you need to pursue new experiences and build lasting memories with family and friends – despite bladder leakage – a little thoughtful preparation can go a long way! Let’s look at some valuable tips to help you take back control and get back to relishing everything travel has to offer! Talk to your doctor about bladder leakage management options. Well before your trip, tell your physician about your concerns around bladder leakage. Not only can they give you valuable information on your symptoms, they can help determine what bladder leakage products are right for you - whether it be an absorbent undergarment, pad or prescription medication.
This gives you an opportunity to test the products before your trip, instead of in the midst of a journey in an unfamiliar place. Exercise bladder control on-the-go.
A few physical exercises and tricks can help manage bladder leakage, but you need to begin doing them regularly (as with any exercise) for it to be effective. It takes approximately 12 weeks to train your pelvic muscles, so plan ahead of your departure and get those muscles into shape. One technique is called timed voiding. In other words, you get into the habit of urinating by the clock, or whenever you get the chance, whether your bladder is full or not. With practice, this will decrease the problems of urgency, frequency, and leaks. For both men and women, doing Kegels is an effective workout of the pelvic floor muscles that governs your bladder - and strengthens the muscles can help prevent leakage. Tense up the muscles you use to start and stop urine flow for about three seconds, then relax for three. Three sets of 10 Kegels per day ought to do the trick!
Pack supplies for less surprises.
A small shoulder bag packed with key items to keep travel comfortable has many benefits. Not only will it help you face those potentially 'less-than-pristine' public bathroom situations in foreign places, it can be your safety net in the event you experience bladder leaks.
Your kit should include:
- Sanitary wipes
- Travel-size package of Kleenex®
- Reusable water bottle
- Travel-size soap or hand sanitizer
- Plastic zipper bags
- Light sweater and spare set of clothes
Bladder leakage protection products:
Sleek, comfortable disposable undergarments like Depend® Silhouette® Briefs for Women or Depend® Real Fit® Briefs for Men are exactly what you need, to keep you focused on your travels and sightseeing rather than worrying about leaks. These briefs comfortably deliver maximum protection with a super-absorbent core that instantly turns liquid into gel and locks in odours. Their premium, cotton-like breathable fabric and close-to-body fit, feels like real underwear and offers seamless discretion so you can look and feel great while staying protected at all times, anywhere!
Alternatively, there are options that work with your underwear such as Depend® Guards for Men. Their discreet, cup-like shape with a super-absorbent core fits comfortably inside your underwear and, the strong adhesive, locks the guard in place so you can be assured of maximum protection against leaks and odours at all times, irrespective of movement. Poise® Thin Shape PadsTM for women are another option that offer outstanding protection and extraordinary comfort for women who experience light bladder leaks. The pads quickly wick away wetness and lock in odour to offer security and peace of mind.
Book early. Arrive early.
Booking early gives you the flexibility of choice and the option to secure an aisle seat or a seat near the bathroom. A window seat may have great views, but the aisle gives you unfettered bathroom access. No “excuse me.” No bothering others or yourself. You just slip away as many times as necessary with no one noticing or being interrupted.
It’s also a good idea to arrive early to empty your bladder before boarding. It should always be a rule of thumb to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before any excursion, so you can use the bathrooms.
Choose food and drinks wisely.
As a rule, caffeine and alcohol can overwork the bladder but some may not know that artificial sweeteners and spicy or acidic foods can do the same. Limiting intake of foods that irritate the bladder can help ease any uncomfortable situations en route, or while on excursions. It is also beneficial to keep meals light, especially since travel and adjusting to new time zones can sometimes throw your entire body off balance. And though many naturally assume avoiding fluids is the right call, sufficient water consumption is actually a great way to help prevent bladder leakage. Avoiding water causes urine to be more concentrated which, in turn, can increase bladder sensitivity. So always keep a water bottle on hand to remind you to drink enough to stay properly hydrated.
There are many different ways you can take control of your bladder leakage and learning how to confidently and discreetly manage your leaks will allow you to continue to enjoy your time when traveling. Investing the time to act on these tips can allow you to continue to live your life uninterrupted and see the world in all its glory – just like you always wanted to!