By: Guest Author
Published: June 13, 2018
Contributed by Brooke Faulkner- Guest Contributor
If traveling is a part of your life, you may find yourself having more difficulty with it as you go through perimenopause or menopause. Sitting for too long can get uncomfortable, you may need a bathroom when there isn’t one available, and hot flashes can make already-long plane rides or road trips even more unpleasant.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel, or even that traveling won’t be fun anymore. All it means is that you need to plan out a few extra details before you hit the road to make you more comfortable. With a bit of foresight, you can have the relaxing vacation you deserve.
Getting to Your Destination
Some might say that the journey is more important than the destination, but when you are going through menopause, the journey can really suck – but it doesn’t have to. To ensure you have a comfortable ride to your destination, all you need is to think ahead a little bit.
When travelling, bring an empty water bottle and fill it up before you board to stay hydrated, or purchase one at the gift store after security check. Also, bring a travel fan to help with hot flashes, and wear loose layers to stay comfy and cool. Don’t forget a jacket though, as you can lose body heat after a hot flash, and you don’t want to be cold after.
Bring headphones and something to distract yourself on the ride there, like an audiobook, music, podcasts, downloaded TV shows or movies on a tablet, or non-electronics such as books, magazines, or puzzles. Make sure you pack extra pads and/or tampons with you at all times.
When traveling on a plane, you will want to take a few other things into consideration. If you are flying, keep the following in mind:
- Be aware of medication not allowed on flights.
- Try to get an aisle seat when possible.
- Avoid the middle seat.
- Try to get a seat close to the bathroom.
- Check if the fan is working; ask to change seats if it’s not.
When travelling on a plane,
- Try to plan out bathroom stops.
- Don’t pass up a stop – even if you don’t have to go right then.
- Bring pillows and blankets.
Planning rest stops is not an exact science, but you can still look at your route and mark all possible rest stops so that you know you are prepared. You should also face the reality that, if you are travelling through a stretch of highway, you may not find a rest stop, so make sure to bring toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer, and even a jug of water and hand soap if you like.
Enjoying Your Vacation
When you’re on your trip, try to schedule in a couple of relaxing activities, like getting a massage or facial. If you can, try to avoid too much physical activity, but do include light exercise which can help reduce stress. Also, don’t forget your usual survival tips:
- Stay hydrated.
- Keep bedroom cool at night.
- Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine; these can bring on hot flashes.
- Get plenty of rest, stay as close to your regular sleep cycle as possible.
- Take time to focus on yourself, don’t worry about others too much.
- Keep lists and use your phone to text yourself of any reminders.
Additionally, you should try to reduce your stress levels when possible. Travelling can typically be stressful, but by practicing some stress-relieving techniques before you leave, you can stay more relaxed. One thing you can do is practice your breathing: breathe in for four counts, hold for seven, and release over eight counts. This will help slow your heart rate and give you something to focus on.
In Case of Emergency
Anxiety is common with menopause, and you may worry that your symptoms are indicative of something more serious. To ease your worries, go to the doctor before you take off. This way, you can leave with the peace of mind that you are in good health, or at least be informed of and prepared for any possible complications that can come up.
If you are still anxious about travelling and are going out of the country, you can look into getting medical travel insurance. This is especially recommended for frequent flyers. If you are staying in the country and do not need medical travel insurance but you want to be more prepared, you can check to see how close a walk-in doctor’s office is to your hotel. Though you likely won’t need to go, it can make you feel better to know there is one nearby.
Going through menopause can require you to throw in extra considerations when travelling, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from going. Remember, there will be resources when you get to your destination, so if you forget something at home, you can likely find it at your destination. Likewise, most issues that you might run into can have a solution and shouldn’t stop you from having a great time.
Author Bio: Brooke Faulkner is a mother of two and animal lover from Portland, Oregon.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.