Ask The Expert: How Do I Manage My Incontinence While Traveling?

Ask The Expert: How Do I Manage My Incontinence While Traveling?

Question:  I’m headed across country over the holidays to visit some family. What are your tips for managing incontinence while traveling such a long distance?

Answer:  This is a common concern for people with incontinence. Being in an unfamiliar environment, especially one that may have limited bathrooms or restrictions on when you can use them can create anxiety in anyone who has trouble with bladder control. But follow the two main tips tips and you’ll be on your way to a leak free holiday!

Preparation

As with most things, preparation is everything.  Knowing that you have some backups in place can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable about your trip. Think ahead to your trip and think about what you might need. Are you traveling by car or flying? Each presents it’s own challenges for someone who is incontinent.  If you’re flying, try to get an isle seat so you have easier access to a bathroom. Traveling by car? Plan your route where with some designated bathroom stops built in so you’re never going too long without a break.  Think about the type of traveling you’ll be doing, and plan accordingly.

You also may want to limit your fluids – within reason. Drink enough so that you don’t feel thirsty, but don’t down that big gulp right before you hop in the car or get on a flight. Use some common sense here.

 Packing

This one kind of goes along with preparation, but think about what you use on a daily basis to manage your incontinence and be sure to pack plenty of supplies.  Make sure to bring an extra set of clothes with you, as well as extra absorbent protection or medication if you use it.  You never know when your travel plans might change due to canceled flights or weather and you don’t want to be stuck without these items.  If you’re flying, pack some of these supplies in your carry-on so that you have them with you in the event your flight is delayed, or your luggage gets lost. 

If you’re staying at a loved one’s house, consider if bedding protection is needed. Waterproof pads can be a great thing to bring along and will give you peace of mind at night.   You also may want to bring along any laundry detergent or plastic bags to put soiled garments in, if needed.

By planning ahead and packing accordingly, you’ll be one step ahead of the game, and will have some peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for whatever your travels may throw at you! 

Happy Holidays!

How TO Be Prepared In A New Environment

How To Be Prepared In a New Environment

Going to a new place or an event you’ve never been to, can be challenging if you struggle with continence. Not only do you need to consider the normal variables when you’re on the way, like weather and parking, but once you get there you might want to be alert to restrooms, exits, vending machines, and customer service personnel.

Here’s our best advice for being able to find what you need in a new setting:

  • Check out the location’s website and see if the page offers a web tour so you can get a lay of the land
  • Call ahead and ask for the manager. Ask them to spend five minutes going over the basic locations of your highest need items
  • Arrive an additional 15 minutes early and give yourself your own tour
  • Introduce yourself to staff and ask them about any quirks or maintenance that may cause areas of need to be closed or filed off

At the end of the day, you’re just avoiding surprises. Everyone has similar needs when they go out to new places, so be proactive about ways you can improve your experience in a new place.