This post is sponsored by Depend, but as always, all opinions are my own.
Who misses travel? I know I do. I miss seeing new places and experiencing new adventures. But I’ve also had a break from experiencing incontinence while being so on the go during this recent stressful last year. I know my incontinence may differ from yours. I usually have a strong urge to go most of the time, as well as light bladder leakage, so I have to be mindful of this while I travel. Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to plan travel adventures with this, I just have to be a planner. You can be sure you can keep traveling confidently with incontinence. Here’s how I handle things.
Things I do to Travel Confidently With Incontinence
Scouting Out the Restrooms:
When I go into a museum or an unfamiliar building, I always scout out where the restrooms are and make a trip first. There are maps of places that you can consult before you even leave your home, but I usually don’t plan that far ahead. Keep in mind, because of recent events, a lot of restrooms in buildings may be closed, leaving only 1-2 restrooms that may be open.
On my recent trip to Philadelphia, we were in a science museum and we encountered closed restrooms. I had to go back to the restroom I had passed earlier and was able to use that. This is also the case at public attractions like zoos, so many things have changed now.
Most people will understand that knowing where a restroom is important and will direct you if you have trouble locating one. I used to be one of those people who would just hope that I could find a restroom on my own, but now I know that I have to be bolder and make sure I can find an open one I recommend downloading a bathroom locator app before you go. Some popular options include Where to Wee, Flush, Bathroom Scout and Fake Shower.
Most restaurants that you stop at will offer a restroom and I’ve used restrooms that we have no intention of eating at. Just go in confidently and most of the time, they will not stop you.
On the Open Road:
Going on road trips makes it pretty easy to find restrooms. If you are taking a road trip, you may also need to stop the second you see a rest stop. We recently traveled down to Philly and there were so many rest stops, which definitely made me relax. However, that isn’t always the case. When we travel to see my in-laws, there aren’t many rest stops, but I’ve traveled that route often enough that I know where to stop. I also try not to drink in the car, but once we get to our destination and I know there are restrooms, I will drink more.
In the Air:
While I haven’t flown since 2019, I usually make a point to scout out restrooms in the airport and on the plane as the first thing I do. When we resume flying, I will make sure to do the same.
Packing for Incontinence During Travel:
I usually pack an extra Depend or two per day (my preference is Depend Silhouette Underwear), plus wipes, a Ziploc bag (in case I have to hold any refuse), tissues, and hand sanitizer. I do feel more secure knowing I can wear Depend and not worry about my light bladder leakage. The soft, smooth underwear allows me to be comfortable for all-day confidence and trusted protection
Don’t forget to do your Kegel exercises! According to WebMD, this can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which will help with leakage for women and men during travel. WebMD recommends “Tightly squeeze the muscles you use to start and stop urine flow for about 3 seconds, then relax them for 3 seconds. Try to do three sets of 10 Kegels per day.”
Freeze and Squeeze:
WebMD also recommends trying the Freeze and Squeeze exercise for those with overactive bladders. “Stop and focus on what you’re feeling in your bladder, and do two or three pelvic floor contractions. This should help lessen the urgency and give you more time to get to the toilet.”
Also, avoid foods that you know are going to irritate your bladder when you’re traveling. As much as I love my coffee and ice teas, I tend to go lighter with it when I travel as it’s going to dry me out and I’m going to need more water to drink and then I will need to use the restroom more. WebMD says, “Coffee and other caffeinated drinks, alcohol, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, and spicy or acidic foods are often bladder triggers.”