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Overseas Travel with mild urinary incontinence

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I am going on a month long holiday to Europe and seeking advice regarding disposable incontinence pads v reusable pads or washable pads/pants.
Restocking disposable pads in Spain, Portugal and ports of call on a cruise, I expect, will be relatively straight forward. I'm thinking that these would readily available in major cities. Is that people's experience?
As a comparison, I am wondering if reusable pads or pants with washable inserts would be better or more convenient. Is this a viable alternative in people's experience?
(At present, I am 18 months post prostatectomy. Leakage approx 200-300ml per day on average...Using 1 x Tena#3 and 2 x Tena#2 per day and 1 x Tena#1 at night)
Your advice, thoughts or recommendations will be very welcome.



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Dear Anon12341

Welcome to the forum and you have such a great trip planned. Glad to read you are not allowing your incontinence to prevent you from getting out and about.

Mint has a lot of experience travelling the world and he travels with pads packed as well. I’m sure he will be able to be to help.

Just another thought from Yazzie Anon1234. Are you receiving any funding for your products? You may be eligible for financial assistance. Please call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 and discuss this further with a Continence Nurse Advisor or visit http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au to look at the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)

Cheers Yazzie



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Thanks YazzieYes, I get my Tena pads courtesy of DVA through Independence Australia. My initial thoughts were to carry enough pads in luggage but this is impractical given the number required for a month.I'm sure I'll be able to purchase pads along the trip. So my question really is one of disposable pads in comparison to washable pads.....pros and cons....recommendationsetc when travelling overseas.I look forward to hearing about Mint's experience and to his response on this forum  

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Hi Anon 12341 and Yazzie


Allow me to join Yazzie in welcoming you to the forum and also commend you for becoming a victor over your continence issues and not a victim.


Thanks also for giving me the opportunity to add my tuppence-worth regarding your planned cruise, (which sounds incredible by the way). I am only passing on a few thoughts regarding your situation based on my own travel experiences and are not to be taken as absolute gospel, but will hopefully give you a few points to ponder.


You don't say how long it will be until you fly out but I assume it is not far off. What if you invest in washable pants and take them on the cruise only to find out too late that you don't really like them? The middle of the ocean is not a great place to find out that they are not suitable for any reason ……. So my first thought is to stick with the disposables that you know, if that is what is working for you, then you know what you are getting. Take the washables as a back-up if you want but don't rely on them until you have lot's of prior testing.


I have been on a cruise before, but only for 4 nights, so it was easy for me to take enough pads onboard to last the trip. However, I did find that I drank much more on board, (continually had a beer or a big blue cocktail in my hand), and as a result, I wet much more than I would at home. Because of that, it might be useful for you to think about getting greater absorbency capacities of the pads you like for the duration of the cruise.


The biggest question is, where will you get them from? You are hoping that you will be able to get sufficient supplies of the correct type and absorbency whenever you make landfall. Not only is that approach quite a gamble, but would also mean that you will be wasting much of your valuable sightseeing time searching for pads.


I would contact the cruise liner directly and ask them for the delivery details of the ship, then arrange for a big delivery of sufficient pads online from a supplier of incontinence products, giving the ship details you have been given as the delivery address. Also contact the ship bursar or doctor and ask him/her to keep an eye open for them then to let you know when they arrive. You will then have the peace of mind that you have sufficient supplies of increased absorbency pads, suitable for your cruise, even before you go.


Communication is the key, so contacting the cruise liner liaison officer for info as to how you should go about this would be an excellent way to start.


Hoping that some of this might be of some use.


Do keep us in the loop regarding developments and how things are working out.


Have a great holiday.


Best regards






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Gday Mint
Thanks for your thoughts. My trip isn't for two months or so but I'm just thinking things through and getting organised.
I have decided the best way to go is with disposable pads. Reusables would pose problems with washing and drying whilst travelling.
After emailing Tena and further research on their European websites, I've found that the exact same Tena pads that I use are readily available in the countries I'm visiting. These are stocked there in supermarkets and pharmacies. Nonetheless, I am not going to fully rely on this but intend to take a decent back-up supply - particularly Tena#3 courtesy of DVA -  in my luggage. (As regards this, I have found that I can compress pads to about half volume by hand. I will now try using those compression bags. Hopefully these will save heaps of luggage space.)
I think I've zeroed in on answers to my initial post. I will keep you updated as I go. Thank you for your input.


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