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Choosing a Feminine Hygiene Product when Traveling

Updated on February 11, 2015

We've all been there: searching through your clothes drawers, bathroom drawers, or purse for the pad or tampon you know you have. But, what if you're on vacation and haven't packed enough? You use something or stick your old one back in/on and run to the store, only to find they don't carry your brand.

But what if you're in a foreign country? How do you know which product to use, or even what your options are? Will the product you choose have the same protection?

Within the U.S. or Canada

When traveling in the U.S. or Canada, you can usually find an acceptable alternative to your brand in a convenience store. However, there are two alternatives you might see and consider.

1. Biodegradable alternatives

If you are camping, hiking, or on a similar nature adventure, consider a biodegradable product. Natracare and Seventh Generation both offer environmentally-friendly tampons and pads that decompose if buried or put in compostable toilets.

2. Menstrual cups

Cups are an insertable alternative to tampons, and last longer. The company Instead SoftCups offers a disposable option, available in some stores.

Visiting other countries

If you are visiting another country, first decide whether you will have access to grocery stores. If you do, then you can try out the local products, although the protection may vary.

If you won't have access to grocery stores, then you can plan ahead to purchase some of the following:

1. Cloth pads

Reusable cloth pads are the original pads, of course, and the origin of "on the rag". You don't have to use rags, though! There are velcro, snap-on, and pin versions available. GladRags and Many Moons pads have inserts so you can adjust the thickness for light- to heavy-flow days. With the modern versions of cloth pads, just wash with soap and water (you can add vinegar, too), dry, and reuse for 5 years or more.

2. Menstrual cups

In addition to the disposable cups, there are reusable versions. The Keeper and the Diva Cup are the most well-known in the U.S. and Canada, although other countries have their own brands. These are insertable alternatives to tampons, and you can wash them with soap and water and reuse, up to 10 years.

Alternatives even when not traveling

Even if you're not traveling, you might want to try out one of the alternatives listed here. If you are a tampon user, switching to a cup means no more risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome). If you are a pad user, switching to cloth means less cramping, shorter periods, and lighter days. Even just switching to the biodegradable options means you are also doing your part to reduce what goes in landfills.

What do you use?

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    • KT pdx profile imageAUTHOR

      KT pdx 

      9 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      I use GladRags cloth pads.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what do yu use?

    • LondonGirl profile image


      9 years ago from London

      If you are camping or doing some hiking, or some other non-suitable activity, it's possible to take the pill wihtout a break and miss a period altogether.


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