When you have incontinence, it can be a knock to your confidence and self-esteem. Many people feel wary about leaving their home and might limit how far they go. It’s common for people who have been diagnosed with incontinence to stick to places they know well or only spend a short amount of time away from home, so they won’t be caught short. However, if you take the right steps to prepare for a journey, you can ease your worries about travelling with incontinence. You might be planning a day trip or going on holiday for a week, but whatever your plans, you don’t have to limit yourself because of incontinence.
How Incontinence Can Limit Your Desire to Travel
Travelling can become difficult for many people who are diagnosed with incontinence. It’s not that it’s impossible for them to travel but that they are concerned about managing their incontinence. For example, some people might choose to visit only locations they’re familiar with. This is because it can feel easier to manage incontinence issues if you can easily locate the nearest toilets or it’s easy to get home. Some people limit the methods of travel they use, often choosing to drive instead of using other transport methods so that they have more control.
As well as limiting how and where they travel, people who suffer from incontinence can also change other aspects of their behaviour. They might drink less, so they need to go to the toilet less or change the activities they normally participate in to avoid exacerbating their condition. This can mean anything from avoiding exercise to travelling less.
Although suffering from incontinence might make you feel like you need to limit your travels, it doesn’t have to. With the right preparation, you can feel much more confident and secure when you take a trip.
Useful Items to Take on a Trip
Packing yourself a useful kit to take with you when you travel can help you to feel a lot safer. If you know you have everything you need to keep yourself comfortable and address any issues, it’s easier to face a long journey or fully enjoy your holiday without too much worry. What you pack might depend on your needs and the items you prefer to use when at home or out and about. Some useful items might include:
Pads and liners, or other incontinence products
Protective underwear or briefs to give you extra protection
Spare clothes, including underwear, in case you need to change
Disposable bags to make disposing of sanitary/incontinence products easier
How You Can Prepare for a Journey
Getting ready for a journey can make you feel stressed, but it can help to prepare yourself in advance. As well as preparing yourself physically, you can also get yourself ready psychologically. One thing you can do is look into bladder training, which might help you to strengthen your muscles so you can go longer between trips to the toilet. You can also be aware of how often you need to go so that you schedule breaks. To prepare in your mind, you might want to start with short trips to help you build your confidence.
Steps to Take While Travelling
While you’re travelling, you can take a number of different steps to manage your incontinence. One of the most important things for some people is to try to relax and avoid getting too stressed. Being nervous or anxious can make you need to go to the toilet more, so it’s a good idea to try not to get too worked up. One of the ways to ease your mind is to plan the practical aspects of your journey. Many people try to limit their fluid intake when they are diagnosed with incontinence, but this isn’t really a good idea. You should continue to drink water to stay hydrated. However, it is sensible to limit any drinks that can be diuretics, such as tea and coffee or alcohol.
If you’re driving, you can make plans to stop at service stations and other convenience places. If you’re flying or using public transport, you can check for toilet locations at airports and stations, as well as perhaps select a seat near to the toilet during your journey. It can be a good idea to have some change for any paid toilets too. Another useful tip is to download a toilet finder app on your phone, which makes it easier to seek out toilets wherever you are.
Being diagnosed with incontinence doesn’t have to mean you can’t travel. If you plan for your journey, you can still enjoy travelling.