Right now I am headed to Spain. The entire journey will take me about 24 hours. And I am on my period. Though I am only an hour into my journey (just 23 more to go!), I feel that I have mastered the art of traveling while menstruating. I’d like to share some tips for those women headed out on a trip with Aunt Flow in tow.
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Tips for traveling while on your period:
Every woman has her favorite brand and type of pads and tampons. I personally hate using those fat, clumsy pads with no wings, and prefer to double-up with a Super tampon (the Wal-Mart or Target brand suits me just fine) and then the long ultra-thin pad as back-up. I find this pairing to be comfortable and accident-free. Whatever period products you prefer, make sure to pack plenty of them in your carry-on. And don’t just throw the whole pack into your rolling bag. Put a few into your purse that you will keep at your feet, and keep them in something cute and discreet so you can carry it to the bathroom. I forgot to do that, so I’m going to have to hide mine in the corny beige traveler’s waist belt that I have on under my yoga pants. I’m also a big fan of WetOnes (or your favorite wet napkin enclosed in plastic brand). They keep me feeling fresh (and keep me from offending whomever has to pick me up when I land in India). Also be sure to pack whatever else medicines you may take while on your period. I’m one of these people who just tries to will the cramps away with copious amounts of water.
Dress cute but comfortably.
My friend Sunflower Jones inspired this outfit. We have flown some long flights together and she always wears: a form-fitting long-sleeve shirt over a camisole, yoga pants, and cute tennis shoes. I’m wearing that exact same outfit today ($6 dark grey long-sleeved shirt from Rainbow, no camisole, $20 black yoga pants from Target, and $60 black and baby pink Pumas). I can see why she likes it so much. I am so comfortable! BUT I don’t look like an oversized toddler going night-night (like some of my fellow passengers trying to fly comfortably). Thanks for setting such a great example, Sunflower!
Bring snacks that will make you feel good.
My mom made me a fantastic mixture of pecans, raisins, and granola for my flight so that I won’t eat greasy chips and other snacks that will make me feel bloated. Those trail mixes tend to have peanuts (which I don’t like to eat unless they are smashed into a cookie) and too much sodium for my liking. To stave off cravings (that you might not be able to even satisfy on a long flight), make sure you have lots of delicious goodies and water. I’m drinking some local Texas spring water, but I also suggest spending the money on Evian. The pretty label will make you feel happy while you drink it.
Buy 4 magazines—whichever ones you want.
Hopefully you plan better than I do and just bring your magazines that you have subscriptions to from home and enjoy those. I’m a last-minute packer (well, last-minute everything) so I bought all my magazines at the stand. To address the many sides of Kaneisha, I bought Cosmopolitan because the cover was pink and promised to teach me how to “thrill every inch” of my man’s body, outsmart an attacker, and get a healthy, sexy vagina (what is an unhealthy, sexy vagina like?). I bought The Scientific American because it highlighted a special report titled “Fall in Love and Stay that Way” as well as an article titled “Social Networks; What they Do to You”. Love and social networking? I couldn’t resist it. I bought Essence because I wanted to read the new Steve Harvey column and see what the best beauty buys were for Black women. Finally, I bought Body + Soul because it had some delicious-looking smoothies on the cover–and I just discovered that Elizabeth Gilbert is dishing on her new book! Exciting! I wonder if I can get a review copy… The last magazine I bought was Entertainment Weekly, so I can start to learn who all these Hollywood people are (since I so often claim to want to be one of them one day). Anyway, all that was to show you how I am going to be super-entertained throughout my long flight and my mind will be so dazzled with learning about falling in love, delicious smoothies, and healthy vaginas, that I won’t have time to be irritated that I’m traveling while on my period.