Nobody should be forced to have a ‘staycation’ (spending your holiday at home) this festive season because of a bladder weakness. With some careful planning you can also enjoy quality time out and about with your family.
It’s holiday time and everyone’s excited for their December trip – whether it’s a drive to the local botanical garden or a bus ride to another province. If you’re anxious about travelling long distances because of a bladder weakness then these tips are for you.
TENA, a leading manufacturer of incontinence (loss of bladder control) products, shares useful information on how to deal with bladder issues.
- Before you even book your tickets, talk to your GP about medicine that might help with bladder control while you’re away. If you’re already on medication, make sure you have enough to take with you for the days you’ll be on holiday (take extra in case you stay away for longer than planned for).
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask your travel agent to book you a seat closest to the toilet when you’re travelling by bus or plane. If there’s no toilet on the bus, ask for a seat near the front so you can easily exit first at pit stops. You might need to show the airline or bus company a letter from your doctor so always travel with your necessary documents.
- If you’re travelling by plane, inform the airline that you’d like to board first. This will give you time to arrange your continence products, clothing and carry-on luggage discreetly and calmly. By the time everyone else boards, you’ll be organised.
- Plan each stage of your trip, making sure you pack extra protection pads or disposable pants in case of transport delays. Also find out whether you’ll be able to buy your regular products at your destination. If not, arrange for extra luggage allowance so you can bring a large supply.
- Wear dark clothing to avoid obvious leakages. Choose items that are easy to remove and comfortable to wear, like longer shirts.
- Ladies can carry a sarong or pashmina (scarf) which can be used to hide leakage. Even a jacket or jersey can be tied around your waist. A small bag with a change of clothing or even just a new skirt or pair of pants is also a good idea.
- If you’re travelling by car, plan for toilet stops so you can feel fresh and confident for the entire journey.
- If you’re on medication, take some lozenges or sweets with you. Some medicines used to treat bladder weaknesses can cause a dry mouth, and sucking a sweet can help.
- Remember to drink bladder-friendly beverages; water really is best. Caffeinated, fizzy or energy drinks and alcohol are all bladder irritants. Spicy and acidic foods must also be avoided.
- Carry a small supply of toiletries with you in case you need to clean yourself up. Wet wipes are an essential, and they’re great for mopping up spilled food.