Summer is getaway season, but the prospect of traveling far from home can create anxiety and tension for those suffering from incontinence. Fortunately, there are concrete steps that can be taken to make travel less of a stressful experience, and many of them relate to packing. So let’s get to the meat of this article: packing tips that will make your forthcoming trip an easier, more relaxing journey.
Before beginning, remember that it’s important to know as much as you can about the place you’ll be visiting. Is it a hotel or home of a friend or family member equipped with a laundry facility? Knowing this will inform your packing decisions with respect to your ability to rely on washable, reusable clothing, which will save a lot of room in your suitcase.
- Make a packing checklist. Creating a packing checklist can prevent you from leaving out a critical item that you might find difficult to replace once you hit the road. Making a checklist is easy – it can consist of items written in a notebook, text notes on your mobile device, or, if you want to get fancy, an Excel or Google Sheets file.
- Bring enough supplies for the out-and-back. What kind – and how many — incontinence control supplies do you (or the one you’re traveling with) use on a daily basis? Unless you’re methodical enough to maintain a log recording supply consumption, you may only have a foggy idea about your daily needs, which can lead to trouble while travelling because one of two things can happen: 1) You’ll under-pack and run out before you make it back, or 2) You’ll over-pack, which means you’ll be dragging extra supplies around with you. If you’re having trouble coming up with an estimate, it may help to study supply receipts for products you order regularly.
- Dark clothing is the way to go. While light tones are popular during the summer, it’s best to be practical with respect to the clothing you bring. Because dark clothing hides accidents better than light tones, it’s a much safer – and more relaxing — choice for the incontinence sufferer.
- Pack the right way. “Roll, don’t fold” is a mantra among seasoned travel experts for a good reason: rolling your clothing — instead of folding it as you would when it’s in your bureau — saves space and avoids the folds that can look ironed-in once the clothing emerges from your bag. You can save even more space by placing foldable items into Ziploc® bags, pressing/squeezing them, and, once the air has been forced out, sealing the bags. By the way, Ziploc® bags (or generic equivalents) are great friends to the traveler because they’re large and strong enough to store a wide variety of items, including mobile phone cords and accessories, personal cleaning supplies, and other sundries. Also, the fact that they’re transparent means it’s easy to determine the contents of each bag without having to open it.
- Embrace the two-bag strategy. Because wet clothing and used incontinence control products will need to be managed and kept separate while you’re on your trip, it’s best that these products be consigned to separate bags. Your “dry” bag will contain your fresh clothing, plus any cleaning/deodorizing supplies needed, and your “wet bag” will contain used supplies. If you’re travelling by air, you’ll need to modify the two-bag strategy, at least for the duration of your flight, because carry-on luggage is limited. Bring a soft carry-on bag that’s small enough to stow under the seat ahead of you. In this bag should only be the supplies you’ll need for the air leg of your trip, for example, one pair of underpants, plus any soap, deodorant, and ointment necessary for your immediate personal comfort. Used supplies can be tucked into a sealed Ziploc®, placed within this bag, and sealed for the duration of the flight.
No getaway, even if it’s planned to a T, is completely free of stress, but if you act on the packing tips listed above, your trip will be a much more relaxing experience for all concerned