Mon 05, Dec 2022 , Bridge Magazine
- Write a list of all the supplies you will need for your trip e.g., continence pads, condom drainage or catheters, wipes, hand sanitiser, tissues, scented rubbish bags, change of clothes, bed protection, travel urinal (male or female). Work out how much you need to take with you and what you can buy easily on your trip (regular continence pads are often available throughout Australia and in many overseas countries).
- If staying overnight, pack a disposable absorbent sheet (bluey) or washable bed pad to protect any bed linen. This may help to give you peace of mind.
- Order your continence products in advance as some suppliers are closed over Christmas or delivery may be delayed due to increased demand.
- Talk to your doctor about medication for the trip. This may include things like anti-diarrhoeal medication for loose bowel actions, laxatives for constipation or medication for overactive bladder (needing to rush to the toilet and going often). If a medication requires a script, take the script with you if you are going away for an extended period of time as you may need further medication.
- Be aware that a lot of people may experience constipation from a change in routine or prolonged sitting whilst travelling. Diarrhoea or gastro after eating something that upsets your stomach may also occur whilst away from home. Discuss ways of managing this with your doctor, especially if you are inclined to experience either of these.
Travel Around Australia:
- If going on a road trip or travelling in Australia, access the National Public Toilet Map so you feel confident knowing where you can access public toilets around Australia and what facilities the toilets have. You can then plan your trip so you are confident you can find suitable public toilets.
- Have a copy of the Toilet help card with you to alert people if you need to use the toilet urgently.
- Call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66, for advice on travel and bladder and bowel control.
Air, Bus or Train Travel:
- If travelling by plane, bus, or train on a long trip, always keep enough continence supplies for 48 hours in your carry-on luggage. Don’t pack it all in your suitcase in case your bags go missing.
- Dress comfortably with clothes that are easy to change or pull up and down.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks and carbonated fluids on the plane. This may affect your bladder and the amount of gas you pass.
- Sip fluids regularly, preferably water, to gradually fill your bladder and keep hydrated.
- Respond to any urge to use your bowels and don’t ignore it as this may result in constipation.
- Move as much as you can to help stimulate your bowels when you are awake.
- Book an aisle seat close to the toilets to allow easy access as needed during the trip.
- If you are comfortable to do so, speak to the travel staff to inform them if you need quick access to the toilet or support using the toileting facilities.
- If travelling overseas, learn how to ask for a bathroom in the local language.
- Find out if there are any costs, customs, or different features about the toilet facilities you will be using.
- Always carry a bag with your continence supplies including tissues, wipes, and hand sanitiser.