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You might not know it, walking into my 195 sq.ft. micro apartment – with it’s simple, modern lines, neatly stacked boxes and baskets, and clean surfaces, devoid of clutter (okay, maybe not completely devoid, I mean, there are those dishes in the sink, and dog toys everywhere, and maybe some laundry on the bed that I haven’t put away yet…) – but I used to be a hoarder. Really, my mom can attest to it.
I loved collecting things, and I never got rid of anything. I’d hold on to every scrap of paper, outgrown clothes and toys, outdated electronics, wrapping paper from years ago, candy that was too pretty to eat, everything. Because I might need it later – not that I would EVER be able to find anything I needed, but it was there! I had it, probably. Just in case.
As I’ve gotten older, and having moved five times in two years, two of which were across the country and back, I’ve gotten rid of a LOT of stuff. And my views on what I need around have changed a lot. I’ve discovered that I like not moving stuff a lot more than I like having stuff to begin with. And that includes packing for travel. The lighter I can travel and still be comfortable, the happier I am.
This past summer, I did a lot of traveling. Well, more than I normally do, anyway. And I think I’ve finally almost figured out how much clothing I’ll need for how much time, what things are absolutely essential for camping or couch-surfing, and maybe most importantly, what I need in my toiletry bag in order to stay clean and comfortable. This includes my period kit – which I was not expecting to need to use the past two trips I went on, but totally ended up needing, because travel can do weird things to your body, including making your period come earlier or later than it normally would.
If you are a person who menstruates, I really encourage you to bring a period kit with you any time you go on a trip, whether you think you’ll need it or not. It can be a blessing when you’re in the middle of the woods or a small town where they roll up the sidewalks at 5pm and are faced with a surprise! I think I’ve pretty much got this down to a science now, so here are the essentials that I keep in my period kit for travel, to keep me comfortable and confident, so I can concentrate on the trip!
What You Need In Your Period Kit
An Extra Pair of Black Underwear
In case you start unexpectedly and are not near your regular clothing at the time – such as when going hiking or being on an airplane.
These are a good idea to bring with you when you’re traveling anyway, especially if you’re camping! This might be your shower for days at a time, so they’re super important for staying fresh.
Just a small, purse-sized pack is good. These go hand-in-hand with wet wipes and can double as toilet paper. I found these very handy at a festival I went to where some of the porta-potties were out of toilet paper. They could also be helpful when camping, or at rest stops.
Tampons & Liners
Of course the most essential part of your period kit is going to be tampons and panty liners (or pads, if you prefer). I like the U by Kotex Click tampons, because they are compact, so they won’t take up a lot of space in your bag, but they still offer full-sized protection. I also like to have the extra assurance of Barely There liners, especially when traveling. They’re super thin and comfortable for sitting and moving around.
It’s not always possible or convenient to find a good place to dispose of tampons and liners. When this happens, you can wrap them up and stick them in a sealed plastic bag until you get to a proper garbage can. If you started unexpectedly, these are also handy to keep those underwear I mentioned earlier separated from your clean clothes until you can wash them.
Also integral to your period kit (provided you are not allergic to it). I prefer ibuprofen to other pills which are made more specifically for menstrual cramp relief, because those formulas often contain a diuretic – something that makes you pee. I understand the reasoning for this, but I’d rather not have to pee all the time when I’m traveling! Ibuprofen is a pain reliever, and also reduces swelling, so it does the trick for me!
For extra comfort from cramping. Pair this with the ibuprofen and you’ll be good to go wherever you want to! This type is activated by air, so you can use it anywhere. Use the adhesive to stick it to your abdomen, wherever you feel discomfort and the heat will ease the cramping. If it’s chilly outside, this is a toasty warm bonus!
And of course, bring some treats and comfort foods with you. It’s best not to gorge on sugary or salty things, but having snacks is important for keeping your energy level up. I like to keep raw, unsalted almonds around, and a snack bar that has a little chocolate in it… because, chocolate.
I’m a big fan of tiny, compact, travel-sized everything in my life. All of this fits nicely into a small makeup bag, pencil bag, or clutch, so you can pack and carry your period kit with you discreetly, wherever you go. Did I miss anything? What are you essentials for traveling? Anything you think I should add to my period kit?