Travelling with incontinence: How to care for your loved one

Holidays are meant for relaxation, stress relief and spending time with family – travelling with a loved one with shouldn’t stop either of you from enjoying yourselves. All it takes is some extra preparation so that both of you are comfortable and stress free.
Having the right travel incontinence products is key to making sure your loved one is physically and emotionally comfortable. With TENA, you can choose the right product for any level of incontinence. Preventing leaks should mean the person you care for can feel more confident when en route to your destination.  
We have some practical tips on how to help your loved one stay dry when travelling, to make sure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible.

Coping with bladder weakness in the air

Air travel may seem daunting when dealing with an overactive bladder, but we have a few tips to make it easier for you: 
  • Book a seat near the front or back of the plane: Most airlines allow you to book your own seats. Try to book your seats close to the front or back of the plane, where the toilets are located, and try to get an aisle seat if possible. This way, if they feel an urge, they can simply get up and go as fast as possible. 
  • Seek advice about medications: Certain medications (such as diuretics) can cause urgency. If the person you care for is on any medication like this, speak to a healthcare professional for advice on how to avoid the risk of while you’re travelling.
  • Reduce alcohol and coffee intake before and during air travel: To avoid the need of frequent visits to the toilet while on the plane, try to reduce the amount of alcohol and caffeinated drinks your friend or relative takes in, as they can irritate the bladder. It’s important to stay hydrated, but it’s best to stick to water. 
  • Get ahead of the crowds: Avoid stressful queues and rushing by arriving early at the airport. This way, your loved one will have time to locate and use the toilet in peace before the flight. You could also try to get a pass that allows you to board the plane early, so that you can get settled and comfortable before everyone else boards.
  • Go before you fly: Be sure that the one you care for pays a visit to the toilet before the flight. They will be more comfortable once on board. If your family member or friend has faecal incontinence, sometimes a rectally administered laxative before leaving home can help them feel confident and safe on a flight.
  • Wear easy-to-change clothing and products: Wearing clothing and travel incontinence products that are easy to change will make life easier when changing in cramped aeroplane toilets.
  • Keep them comfy: A neck pillow and a light blanket can go a long way. Making sure your loved one is sitting comfortably during the flight can help them feel more relaxed and even have a little snooze. Some airlines will provide blankets and pillows on request. If you ask in advance you may be able to save valuable carry-on space by using these. Wearing compression socks will put gentle pressure on their legs and help to improve blood flow and reduce swelling.

Managing incontinence while on the road

  • Plan your route: If you’re hitting the road, make sure to plan scheduled stops at service stations. Apps like Google Maps, Toilet Finder and Flush can show you where the available toilets are along motorways and major roads, so you can put your mind at ease in advance.
  • Protective wear: When planning a long car trip, it might be worth to try using our product selector or request a free sample to test out some of our heavier protection ranges in the comfort of their own home, to find what works best for them before a trip. You can also add a protective sheet over the seat to help them feel more at ease.

How to pack for your trip

No matter your means of transportation, pack plenty of extra supplies such as TENA absorbent products (pads, pants or briefs) and TENA Wet (especially if you think such products may be difficult to get hold of where you’re going). Divide the products up and carry them in separate bags so that if for any reason one lot of products goes missing, there’s a spare lot available. Take some plastic bags for any used products. 
With some careful planning and the right products, travelling with a loved one who suffers from should be relatively stress free. Explore the full TENA range to find the right product for any level of incontinence. Good planning is crucial when you’re caring for a friend or family member, so check out our guide on how to make a good caregiving plan in order to give the best care you can. 

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Explore our range of products

We have a whole range of absorbent products designed specifically for men and women. Whether your loved one’s experiencing drips, dribbles, or heavier leaks, we’ve got the right solution for their needs.