How to Ensure Comfort on Long Drives During Your Period
Periods are never convenient and can be challenging to deal with even from the comfort of your own home — but traveling while on your period can be even worse. Unfortunately, you can’t really control when you have your period, and sometimes, it might sneak up on you when you least expect it.
So if you’re planning a long road trip, it’s best to always be prepared just in case. Sitting in the car for long durations can make your period symptoms worse. However, that doesn’t mean you have to simply grin and bear it or cancel your trip.
With a little extra preparation and mindful planning, you can ensure a more comfortable drive during your period.
1. Keep An Emergency Period Kit in Your Car
First things first, you should always keep an emergency period kit packed in your car. Even if you aren’t taking a long trip, having a period kit on hand can save you any time you are out and about when your period comes unexpectedly.
What you want to pack in your kit is ultimately up to you, but some essentials to consider can include an extra pair of underwear, an extra pair of pants, some tampons and pads, and some wipes in case you need to clean up. If you tend to have painful periods, you can also pack some painkillers in your emergency pack as well so you’ll always have some on hand just in case.
2. Reduce Stress
Medical studies show that stress can impact the hormonal pathways, leading to a more painful or irregular period. So it’s important to find ways to reduce stress as much as possible while on your trip.
Try listening to relaxing music and driving with the windows down if you can, as the fresh air can also help relax your body. You can also travel with essential oils that help with relaxation, such as lavender oil, and mix it in with some lotion or simply waft it under your nose.
Something that can also cause stress on a road trip is having to deal with car troubles or getting lost. Use GPS and keep a traditional map on hand in case you lose service to keep you from getting lost. Also, make sure you prepare your car for the road trip by having it inspected.
Nothing will stress you out more and potentially make your period symptoms worse than getting stranded on the side of the road. The main things to check before a road trip to ensure everything goes smoothly are your tires, battery health, the brake system, the lights, and essential fluids.
3. Pack Extra Period Products
Even with your emergency period pack in your car, it’s always a good idea to pack extra period products when you go on a trip. Whether you know you will be starting your period or not, it’s better to have some extra pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or whatever else you use just in case.
4. Bring Essentials for Cramps
If you are someone who has painful periods, don’t forget to pack the essentials to help with cramps. This can include painkillers, heating pads, hot water bottles, or other cramp-alleviating products like NannoPads.
If you know you will be on your period during your road trip, you can pack these things to take with you. However, it’s also worth considering adding them to your emergency period kit so you always have them on hand for those times when your period comes unexpectedly.
5. Take Frequent Breaks
Sitting in one position for too long can compress blood vessels and hinder circulation, which can lead to more painful periods. So make sure you take frequent breaks to allow your blood to circulate.
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Get out and stretch, walk around, maybe even do a little bit of yoga if you can. It’s also a good idea to stop regularly to check if you might need to change your sanitary products, as leaving them in too long can be bad for your health.
6. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is always important, but it is particularly beneficial during your period. Studies have shown that drinking more water during your period can help ease discomfort as it can help prevent bloating, support circulation, and reduce fatigue.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to drink less water when they are driving, whether that is because they simply forget or because they don’t want to stop frequently to use the bathroom. But if you are on your period, it’s okay to stop more frequently if you need to as it is more important for you to stay hydrated.
7. Dress for Comfort
Comfort should always be a top priority when going on a long road trip, but it can be even more helpful when you are on your period. As you likely well know, your period can make you feel pretty crappy, so it’s important to prioritize your comfort to help you feel better.
Don’t worry about what others think. If you want to drive or ride around in sweats and yoga pants all day because that is what makes you feel best, go for it. To that point, it might also be beneficial to consider wearing period underwear as they may be more comfortable than sitting in the car all day while wearing a pad or a tampon.
8. Avoid Night Driving
There are many reasons why night driving can be more challenging, but did you know that driving at night could also make your period symptoms worse?
One of the biggest issues with night driving is that it often results in fatigued driving, which can be dangerous, and fatigue and poor sleep also make periods worse at night. So if you can, try driving during the day and stop at a reasonable hour so you can get a good night’s rest before hitting the road again.
9. Use Wipes and Sprays to Stay Fresh
Maintaining good hygiene during a road trip isn’t always the easiest, but it’s important to maintain your menstrual hygiene to avoid complications. You can’t count on rest stops to have what you’ll need to keep yourself clean, so make sure you bring things like wipes and even sprays to help you stay fresh. As mentioned previously, it’s also a good idea to change your sanitary products regularly to avoid bacteria buildup and infections.
10. Pack Healthy Snacks
What you put in your body can also help alleviate your period symptoms. So instead of reaching for your road trip snacks that are loaded with sugar and sodium, try something a little healthier.
Some snacks to consider include fruits, dried ginger, dark chocolate, nuts, veggies, and yogurt. Other foods that have been shown to help with periods that you can try to eat more on your road trip include leafy greens, chicken, fish, quinoa, beans, lentils, and tofu.
There are numerous ways your period can impact your life and increase your discomfort, and those impacts can be worse while traveling. So don’t be afraid to speak up and prioritize your needs while traveling on your period. You can still have a fun and enjoyable road trip. It might just take a little extra consideration for your needs. Go easy on yourself!
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NannoPad® is a must-have for a healthier period. Super thin and absorbent, NannoPad is developed to help with your menstrual discomfort in a holistic and effective way. See reviews here. Incontinence version NannoDry® is available too!
Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on X.
NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Nannocare. Nannocare is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the author of this article, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates.