Managing Bladder Incontinence When You Travel
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Here at Depend.com, we hear from community members who deal with the practical aspects of incontinence so that they can do physically demanding work, take on extreme sports and live very active lifestyles. It’s inspiring, as the emotional challenges of bladder control problems can, at first, seem overwhelming.
Fear can get in the way of leaving the house – fear of accidents, fear that others will discover your condition, or even fear of what “might happen” if you venture too far from home. It’s easy to become a homebody since it can feel so much more comfortable with your supplies at hand and your routine firmly entrenched.
What if you’re new to the demands of bladder control problems and you want to travel, not just to work or the store, but on a day trip or even a cruise?
Here are a few suggestions for getting out and about, whether it’s a day at an amusement park or a trip around the world.
[b]1. Plan for more supplies than you think you’ll need. [/b]It’s not unusual these days to carry an extra messenger bag or backpack, so don’t worry about what people will “think” you’re bringing. If you’re travelling by car, put some extras in a box in the trunk.
Take at least 30% more supplies than you anticipate using, including your usual urinary incontinence products, extra clothing, disposable cleansing wipes, a barrier cream and sealable bags. Throw in a few garbage bags, too, in case your clothes get wet or finding a place to dispose your used products is challenging. You might also bring along a small container of baking soda to help kill odors.
If your trip is going to be exceptionally long, perhaps a few weeks or a month, you may be able to have extra incontinence products shipped to your destination or use a store locator to ensure you’ll be able to get what you need where you’re going.
[b]2. Scout out the restrooms ahead of time.[/b] Knowing what to expect and where the restrooms are along your travel route can bring a strong sense of security. There’s a mobile app called Have2P that can help you plan for bathroom breaks. Plus, Charmin has a new website and free mobile app called “Sit or Squat” that allows users to find and rate restrooms around the world.
[b]3. Make a pact with your fellow travelers.[/b] If you’re travelling with others, it’s okay to confess that you have a “small bladder” and agree to stop for frequent breaks. You may find out that your companions also appreciate not having to “hold it.” (No, you don’t have to reveal the details of your bladder condition, unless you’re comfortable doing so.)
[b]4. Don’t veer too far from your routine. [/b]When you’re traveling, it can be easy to lose track of your needs, like eating and drinking in ways that make it easier to manage your bladder, doing your pelvic floor exercises or practicing other self-care methods. Get enough sleep. Keep your cool if you encounter any travel hiccups. And keep up your normal schedule as much as possible.
[b]5. Always bring water with you[/b] so you can avoid bladder-irritating caffeinated beverages and soft drinks. (If you’re going through TSA at the airport, you’ll most likely have to buy it once you’re through the security screening.)
[b]6. Don’t be afraid of “trial and error.”[/b] Many people with urinary incontinence don’t let their condition stop them from doing whatever they want. They may have to try several different ways to manage the practical aspects, though it’s worth the effort. It may take a bit of experimentation, though you’ll only learn how to do it by doing it! Start with a day trip, then perhaps a weekend and eventually, you’ll be comfortable traveling to far off places.
[b]7. Enjoy yourself! [/b]When going on vacation, the idea is to relax and get away from it all. While you may not be able to “get away” from your bladder control issue, you don’t have to let it stop you.
[i][b]What about you? Do you have any tips for travelers with bladder control issues?[/b][/i]