Sorry fellas, this post is just for the ladies! I suggest you stop reading here. I’ll be resuming normal content in another day for you to enjoy, but until then, you can go and check out some of my previous posts! :)
Today I wanted to talk about something that isn’t covered a whole lot in the travel community– and it should be. I’m talking about being a female and traveling.
And no, not all that wear a fake wedding ring so you aren’t harassed and other bs or solo female travel rocks mumbo jumbo, but the real down and dirty of being a female on the road.
Let’s face it, one of the things that sucks the most about being a girl is, of course, dealing with your period. Add in changing time zones constantly messing with your body’s cycle and not being able to find menstrual products when you need them, and it sucks even more.
Over the years of traveling I’ve learned that there are two things that always stress me out when it comes to packing: birth control and Kotex.
The fact of the matter is, you can’t take these items for granted. Just because these items are readily available in your country doesn’t mean they will be everywhere– or maybe they are but in a completely unfamiliar way.
When I first moved to Asia I didn’t bring any sort of pads or tampons with me, assuming I’d just stock up when I was there. Er, that was a mistake.
And I stressed and stressed trying to get my doctor and insurance to cooperate to get a year’s supply of birth control before moving to Hong Kong, only to find out it’s over the counter everywhere there (and for SO much cheaper than in the US!).
Yet, when I went to Central America we noticed that birth control, whether in pill form or simply condoms, was pretty much nonexistent due to the religious beliefs that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy.
Did you know some countries don’t even have products like tampons or pads? Yikes.
Add in traveling anywhere that requires you to take doxycycline, an antibiotic used to prevent malaria that negates your birth control, and you can see how traveling as a female can quickly turn into one giant frustrating nightmare; causing more uncomfortable moments than you’d ever imagine.
With my next big trip quickly approaching, I’ve been start to make a packing list to ensure I have everything I need since I’ll be traveling for two months across seven different countries.
Since I’ll be traveling in Asia, I now know how to be prepared.
That means stocking up on Kotex (because the stuff in Asia just isn’t the same!). Lately, I’ve been loving the U by Kotex line because they’re small and light weight for packing, they have fun packaging so you don’t feel embarrassed by them in your bag, and they’re super comfortable for those long plane and bus rides.
And as for birth control, I’ll continue taking my current pills, but I won’t stress out if I lose them or don’t bring enough knowing that I can easily buy them over the counter there.
Just a little food for thought for all you female travelers out there, because it’s good to start conversations and start thinking about this sort of stuff BEFORE you set off on your travels. Don’t get caught unprepared like I did when I first started traveling.
Traveling as a female doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be uncomfortable. It just takes a little more thought and research.