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How to Prepare for Vacation When You Have Incontinence

How to Prepare for Vacation When You Have Incontinence

May 22, 2014

It’s estimated that some 25 million people in North America experience incontinence, which is described as accidental or involuntary urination. The severity of one’s incontinence varies – sometimes incontinence is even temporary – but there’s no reason why people who experience incontinence can’t still live a perfectly normal life and do perfectly normal things… like go on vacation.

That’s right, while some people who experience incontinence may be hesitant to venture off on a vacation for the fear of an accident in unfamiliar territory, there are many ways to combat incontinence issues to enjoy a stress-free vacation, while being discreet about your condition in the process.

With that being said, here’s a vacation planning guide for someone who has incontinence issues:

What to Pack

A stress-free vacation all starts beforehand, during the packing process. Here’s a look at some items to pack so incontinence doesn’t take the fun out of your vacation:

  • Absorbent pads: Be sure to pack plenty of these.
  • Extra clothing: This is a given, as it’s always better to have extra clothing in the event of an accident or two than not enough clothing. Hint: Try to pack dark colored clothing, as those hide wet spots better than light colored clothing.
  • Disposable bags: For easy disposal of your pads when you’re away from the hotel.
  • Incontinence undergarments: Special incontinence underwear is now available and it can come in particularly handy when you’re out and about for long periods of time.
  • A backpack or daypack: This is essential for holding any incontinence pads, undergarments or anything else related to your condition while you’re out and about. A daypack allows you to discreetly hide such items, while they’re just a quick reach away. Think of daypacks as incontinence security.


Getting There

Now that you know what to pack, there’s the issue of getting to your vacation destination. If you’re traveling in your car, then you can leisurely go about your own pace and handle your incontinence on your own accord. It’s when traveling by air that things become a little tricky, especially if you’re on a long flight. Here are some flying tips:

  • Use the restroom before you board and equip yourself with pads and undergarments accordingly.
  • As you board, look to see where the restrooms are and estimate how long it will take you to get to them.
  • Always book an aisle seat on an airplane to better deal with any issues you might face while in the air. If you are waiting on a seat assignment, check with the airline while you’re at the airport and request an aisle seat. You can even get a doctor’s note that discreetly requests such to present to the airline.


Incontinence Medicine

It’s always good to travel with the items we listed earlier in this piece to be fully prepared to handle any incontinence issues that you might encounter while you’re on vacation, but you might also try to take medication prior to, and during, your trip to combat issues.

Always check with your doctor before taking any medication and begin to take the medication before you leave for your trip. That’s because most medication takes about 24 hours to kick in and about three days to fully reach an appropriate level in your body to help you battle such issues. Usually, taking the medication at least five days before leaving for your trip will ensure positive results.


Just because you experience incontinence doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the finer things in life, like a little rest and relaxation. All it takes is a little more planning and preparation.

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