Traveling With Incontinence: 7 Tips to Follow
Having an overactive bladder can be a great inconvenience when planning to travel. Some people develop anxiety when traveling because of the risk of experiencing embarrassing moments. However, incontinence should not deter you from getting out and traveling, whether for leisure or business. Traveling with incontinence can be a successful endeavor with a little forethought and planning. You only need to follow a few tips for a carefree trip. Follow these seven tips when planning your trip, and enjoy your journey.
1. Dress for the Trip
While wearing something comfortable during your journey, you must also wear some incontinence protection. Depending on the incontinence, wearing an absorbent pad or brief is a good idea, especially for long trips.
For example, you can wear backup incontinence protection to avoid any embarrassment. Even with control techniques and the right medication, avoid wearing light clothing because small urine drops can leak. Wearing adult diapers when traveling can help maintain independence when having an incontinence issue.
2. Limit Liquid Intake
Before you leave for your trip, limit your liquid intake. Soda, caffeine, and even alcohol can increase the frequency of finding a bathroom while traveling. Try to avoid such liquids four hours before traveling and use only plain water.
Also, ensure you eat the right foods since some can irritate the bladder. For example, avoid spicy foods while traveling because they can irritate the bladder. The food is worse when you have an overactive bladder because you must urinate more frequently.
Sometimes the right seat belts and changes in cabin pressure can put extra pressure on the bladder and force you into frequent bathroom breaks. Notify the flight attendant of an incontinence issue before take-off to help whenever there is a plane delay.
3. Map your Route
Familiarize yourself with the destination you are heading to by scouting the location. This will help you handle any potential problems that may arise. For example, learn about public toilets if you are traveling to a different country. Also, identify freeway exit guides that list rest areas and plan regular stops for bathroom breaks.
Google Maps can show every rest stop along the route to know when and where you can go for a bathroom break. Consider using GPS when driving by road to navigate traffic delays and minimize the time in the car. The GPS can also alert you where to find restaurants and restrooms if you need a bathroom. Account for pit stops when timing the drive to ensure you arrive at your destination on schedule.
Should you travel by plane, know the layout of the terminals at the airports. This knowledge can help you visit the nearest restaurants before boarding and immediately after landing.
4. Have an Emergency Plan
You will need an appropriate emergency plan to deal with any out-of-control situation. The different ways you can prepare for an emergency, such as by bringing odor-free trash bags. Since soiled incontinence products can smell, you can change them and put them in trash bags.
Have a spare set of clothing when setting up an emergency plan because you don't want to sit on a flight with clothes filled with urine. If accidents occur, wear clean clothing to stay clean and dry. When you experience an emergency, you can remove the current clothes, put them in the trash bags, and change them into a clean set. Your emergency plan should also include medication in case of any complications along the way.
5. Pack Accordingly
When dealing with an incontinence issue, ensure you pack everything you might need. If you are planning a long trip, pack plenty of extra incontinence products. If it's an overnight stay, include disposable underpads to ensure the mattress and furniture stay clean and dry. Keep some incontinence supplies with you when packing for a trip to overcome lost luggage and delays.
Your luggage should contain extra supplies, such as a change of clothes, extra incontinence supplies, and some plastic bags to contain coiled clothing if an accident occurs. For example, include plenty of incontinence protection, such as absorbent liners, adult briefs, and pads. Also, carry any medication you need for the trip and ensure you've prepared for any inconveniences.
6. Train your Bladder
When you plan a trip, train your bladder to strengthen the muscles and control incontinence. Train your bladder when planning to travel to manage an incontinence problem. Several exercises can help manage incontinence, such as time voiding, where you empty your bladder on a strict schedule, whether you feel the need to urinate.
Kegels are another exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and bladder muscles. The freeze-and-squeeze method allows you to manage your incontinence without panicking. If you need to urinate, give yourself more time by doing a few Kegels before going to the bathroom. You also need an emergency plan, even with bladder training, because you may face an emergency.
7. Talk to a Doctor
You can sometimes consider catheterization if you are worried about incontinence. These devices can empty the bladder to manage your incontinence with dignity. Talk to your doctor about whether or not catheterization is right for you. Urologists can recommend intermittent catheters sparingly throughout the day or indwelling catheters that work longer.
An overactive bladder is characterized by a frequent need to urinate. Several tools can help you manage incontinence while traveling. If you're planning a trip with an overactive bladder, you won't have to worry as long as you make preparations and practice bladder training. Incontinence products like adult diapers can help you enjoy your social time without worrying about leaks or embarrassing situations. We have provided several tips to help you travel with incontinence.