How to travel with cloth pads
Guest blogger from Uplandmama and a Tree Hugger Cloth Pads User.
I am a planner. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down with a new notebook, a set of colorful pens, page flags, highlighters, and an objective. For those fans of a certain wizarding fandom, I am most certainly of the house of raven persuasion. 😉 It should come as no surprise then that when planning any sort of travel, I dive into the deep end. I order catalogs from the places we are going, buy a new atlas each year (listen, I love google maps, but I need the book IN MY HANDS OK, it just isn’t the same), and plan out a full itinerary with flexible options. I make a packing list of everything we need and mark it off as I pack. I take that with me and do the same coming home. I’ve never forgotten anything. Ever. I am that obsessive. I am of the mindset that when it comes to travel, there is no such thing as being too prepared. I take that same outlook when planning for my period while on the road.
We all know that our dear Aunt Flo is a stubborn woman and absolutely waits for no one. She will visit you whenever she darn well pleases. Not going to be home? Well too bad. She’s coming on vacation with you. So, it is best to be prepared for her whether we want her there or not. I know the first instinct may be to reach for disposables to make do while you are on the road. Don’t. You can still use your beloved cloth! I’ve made several trips while continuing to use my lovely cloth pads and found them just as easy as using at home. You just need to do a little planning. Here are my steps to having a successful trip while using cloth:
1) Know your period. You know what your flow is like on each day you are menstruating. If you aren’t already charting it, start! Plan for those needs. Pull out the absorbencies you know you will need while gone and leave the others at home. No need to pack the entire bathroom.
2) Know your trip. The length of stay you have combined with what you flow is like will determine how many pads of each absorbency you will need to take with you. If you are just staying overnight, a few pads will be enough. However, if you will be gone the entire length of your period you are going to need plenty more.
3) Know your travel. If your destination is only a couple hours away and you are driving, you likely won’t need to stop and change your pad while on the road. If you are driving for several hours or taking a flight that changes things. Figure out how many pad changes you may need based on flow for the days you are traveling and pack a small wet bag for your purse. I LOVE the purse-sized wet bags from Tree Hugger Cloth Pads for this. I can keep a couple of clean ones in the front zipper and toss my dirty ones in the back one when I change. Pad wrappers are also great for jotting in and out of a restroom quickly. Keep a clean one in there and just swap it out for the dirty when you change. They tuck right into a pocket and leave your hands-freee! There are especially handy if you hate carrying around a purse. Just keep a wet bag in the car to toss them in. You also want to know the route you are taking if driving. Scout out the rest stops beforehand so you can plan to stop as needed. The last thing you want is a leak in the middle of nowhere. I also tend to up the absorbency of the pads I travel with just in case. I can relax more and enjoy the journey when I’m not stressing over when the next bathroom is. My bladder does that enough for me.
4) Know your destination. Are you staying at a hotel? With family? Do you have access to a washer and dryer? These can all change how you pack for your period when traveling. I’ve done both. When staying in a condo where I had my own private bathroom, I just used my hanging wet bag like at home. It hung out by the toilet the entire time. I did have a washer and dryer so I could have only taken a few pads and washed each day, but I just grabbed the lot of them and washed when I got home. When I am staying with my mom however, we have a house full of people that share two bathrooms. Even though they are aware that I cloth, I just carried my wet bag from my suitcase to the bathroom and back whenever I needed to change. No big deal. Again, I could have washed there if I wanted, but I just waited until I got home. Take where you are staying into consideration. If you either don’t have access to washing facilities or don’t want to wash while gone, just pack more pads and perhaps an extra wet bag.
5) Prep ahead of time. Taking all of this into account, lay out your collection of pads and wet bags and take note of what you need to pack. I pre-pack my wet bags, (1 hanging, 2 Purse sized), and any pad wrappers I may have. I stuff my pad wrappers and get them into my purse as well. It makes everything easier so you aren’t pulled over at a rest stop digging through a suitcase trying to find a pad.
So whether you are traveling for work or fun, for just a night or a week, don’t panic if dear Aunt Flo decides to crash your party. A little planning and a little prep and she’ll be happy and traveling into the sunset before you know it.
The biggest take away from this post is that wet bags make it easier but travelling with cloth is totally do-able!
*Important note: Tree Hugger Cloth Pads will NOT set off metal detectors in airports! Our snaps are entirely plastic and you do not need to worry about beeping and being called out for wearing a pad.