Those with urinary incontinence shouldn’t let that stop them from enjoying life and the activities they love. Traveling by car, train, or airplane can be a bit worrisome, but with a little forethought you can learn how to make traveling easier if you have urinary incontinence.
A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
Whether you are going on a dream vacation or to visit family, planning ahead is essential if you have urinary incontinence. If your journey is by car, do some investigating and map out where rest stops with available facilities are along the way.
If your trip is by air, book ahead and attempt to get an aisle seat near a restroom. That way you don’t have to bother fellow passengers each time you have to “go.” Use the restroom right before boarding or get priority boarding to give you time once you find your seat.
Be sure to take advantage of down time or what’s known as “hurry up and wait” time to use a restroom even if you don’t feel the urge to urinate.
Balance How Much Liquid You Drink While Traveling
Most people with urinary incontinence are well aware of their triggers. It might be coffee and tea, carbonated drinks, or alcohol. Keep those drinks to a minimum and opt instead for water. Not only is that a more healthy choice, but it’s important to stay hydrated. A long flight can make you susceptible to dehydration and a urinary tract infection. That is not something you want during a trip away from home.
Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated but not too much to increase your need urinate. You can always use the color of your urine as a guide. Too dark means drink more water. Your urine should be a light straw color.
Inform Your Doctor
Let your physician know if you are experiencing symptoms and especially if you are planning a trip. Start any medication well in advance of leaving, as most medications need a few weeks to be truly effective. Also be sure to pick up any necessary prescriptions a few days before departing for your trip so that you do not have to worry about it at the very last minute.
Always Take a Carry-On Bag
This is an essential part of traveling with urinary incontinence. Any number of snafus can occur to delay your arrival or create problems like mechanical issues, inclement weather, and lost luggage, all of which are out of your control. Your back up plan is a carry-on with all the essentials you may need if your trip is delayed for any reason, such as:
- An extra change of clothes
- Plastic bags for soiled undergarments
- Flushable wipes
- Extra underwear or pads
- Roll of toilet tissue
- Hand sanitizer
Consider what other essentials you would require should your trip be delayed or you lose your luggage. Thinking this through will eliminate any extra anxiety.
Select absorbent and dark clothing as part of your wardrobe. These will hide any leaks, absorb any telltale odors, and you can easily wash and wear them again. Also be sure to pack enough protective undergarments or pads. It never hurts to have a few extra ones along for the ride.
Don’t Grin and Bear It
If you are suffering from constant discomfort and frustrating urinary symptoms, seek the care and treatment of a urologist. You don’t have to deal with this alone.
Discuss your options with Miguel A. Mercado, MD at (281) 351-5174 if you are planning a trip and suffer with urinary incontinence.