I am currently in the middle of a 3.5 month trip through some pretty rustic countries, and there have been things in my toiletry and medical kit that have been sent from the Heavens, and others that I acquired and was happy that I did.
So, I'm going to share with you, ladies, the items that are extra important for females that are traveling through lands of squat toilets, rare showers, and long days of transport.
Men, this is not for you, so you've been warned!
It seems that I never have to take antibiotics until I'm traveling. This time around I was extremely worried because I didn't pack any probiotics, and as a woman, taking antibiotics always has the possibility of leading to another female issue – thrush.
Luckily, I was able to ask for some at the local Kyrgyz pharmacy, which I started on as soon as I finished my course of antibiotics.
The probiotics help replace the good bacteria in your gut that some antibiotics might kill off, specifically the bacteria that keep the yeast also in your body at bay.
Probiotics – the kind that you don't have to refrigerate do exist – are also said to help keep your gut regular when you travel, and even lessen the effects of traveler's diarrhea (the minor kind).
It definitely is something that I've packed preemptively in the past, but didn't for this trip.
Traveling in rough conditions, with few showers, getting extremely ill, taking antibiotics, or just sweating in India's unforgiving climate can all lead to thrush.
It might not be something that ever happens to you on the road, but if it does, it is so much better to be prepared. Nothing quite like being in the middle of nowhere and being in agony, right?!
Before traveling, I like to stop off at the doctor to see about getting some extra medical supplies, such as a course of antibiotics and a thrush treatment in tablet form.
I know in the United States that tablet is called Diflucan, and a single tablet can take the place of those messy creams.
Besides those face wipes that act as my “bath in a bag” after long flights or on days when I can't get to a shower, I also pack a travel sized packet of toilet wipes.
If I'm feeling particularly scuzzy, have just sweated heaps, am on my period, or am having tummy troubles – these wet wipes for your private parts are worth their weight in gold.
Plus, getting clean when you can helps to minimize the risk of more female issues, like bacterial or thrush infections.
Period Pain Tablets
I'm sure most everyone packs a pain relief medicine for travels – for headaches, backaches, etc. – but a tablet that's targeted to period pain is another important one for females.
Midol is a popular brand in the US, and it not only helps with the cramps, but it also helps with the bloating and irritability that come with a visit from Aunt Flo.
If you're someone that suffers from strong periods, then adding this to your packing list is a no-brainer.
If you follow along on my Her Packing List, you will know I am a huge supporter of the Diva Cup – a reusable menstrual cup that is great for travel.
I know it might not be for everyone, but as a female traveler, the Diva Cup gives me peace of mind. It's suction seal prevents leakage, even on long travel days when you might not be able to make it to a proper toilet.
Travel styles do vary, though, and ladies that are into active hiking/trekking might find regular tampons to be a more hygienic option.
Cranberry pills hold the acidic benefits that help to prevent UTIs (urinary tract infections) in women.
If you are prone to getting UTIs, then you should consider packing some cranberry pills, especially when traveling to destinations where cranberry juice might not even be an option.
The acidity of the cranberries help to flush out the urinary tract, helping to keep harmful bacteria (like e. coli) from hanging around and causing an infection.
And the last thing that I suggest to female travelers to have in their toiletry/medical kits would be condoms.
Even if you are on the pill, your birth control can be rendered useless if you have to take some antibiotics.
Sure enough, Amoxicillin, like what I took for my chest infection recently, interferes with birth control.
If you don't want babies at this moment in your life, do yourself a favor and pack a few!
Did I miss any big ones, ladies? Feel free to share your tips below!