Tips for Travelling with PCOS
Summer is in full swing, and July is the most popular month to go travelling.
Travelling can be stressful, and stress is something that can be detrimental for hormone balance, particularly if you have PCOS. It’s also a time when it’s easy to fall into bad food habits, or quitting good habits because our routines have changed.
Here are some tips to help you stay on track…
Bring Your Own Snacks
Whether it’s a road trip, train journey or flight, healthy snack options tend to be far and few between. Prepare your own snacks for the trip (preferably something filling) so you don’t have to resort to highly processed sugary snacks when hunger or cravings strike (because they will).
- Nuts and Seeds: Pack a mix of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. They provide a good dose of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, which can help keep you satiated and stabilise blood sugar levels.
- Fresh Fruits: Opt for portable fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, or berries. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being easy to carry and consume on the go.
- Greek Yoghurt: Choose individual portions of Greek yogurt or pack your own in a small container. Greek yoghurt is high in protein and can be paired with some fresh fruit or a sprinkle of nuts for added flavour and nutrients.
- Veggie Sticks and Hummus: Prepare pre-cut vegetable sticks such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, or bell peppers and pair them with a small container of hummus. This combination provides a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs: Cook a few hard-boiled eggs before your trip. They are a great source of protein and essential nutrients, and can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a salad.
- Homemade Granola Bars: Make your own granola bars using oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. This way, you can control the ingredients and avoid added sugars or artificial additives.
- Roasted Chickpeas: Prepare roasted chickpeas at home or purchase pre-packaged options. They offer a crunchy texture and are a good source of protein and fibre, making them a satisfying and healthy snack.
- Whole Grain Crackers: Choose whole grain rice cakes or crackers made from whole wheat or other whole grains. Pair them with nut butter, avocado, or a slice of hard cheese for a balanced and filling snack.
- Protein Powder Drink: Rich in protein, a protein drink is perfect for a road trip or somewhere you don’t have to worry about carrying weight or liquids around. You can quench your thirst and dampen your hunger in one go. Pea protein powder is a good PCOS friendly option.
Be prepared for aunt flow
That time in 9th grade when I wore white jeans on the last day of school and my period decided to show up in the middle of the day is etched into my memory forever. I wish I could say it was the first and last time that happened, but with PCOS you never really know when aunt flow comes knocking or how long she’ll be staying.
Instead of packing my bag full of pads and tampons taking up a ton of space, just make sure to bring a period cup wherever you go.
Organise your meds/supplements
As much as we don’t want it to happen - or think it will never happen to us - luggage often gets lost. Most of the time the lost luggage is relocated and delivered to the hotel, but that can take anything from a few hours to a couple of days. Along with an extra pair of panties and bikini, make sure to pack enough of your medication or daily PCOS supplements to last a few days just in case.
Find simple ways to exercise
Fitting exercise into your travel plans can be tricky, so try to incorporate it naturally into your travel plans. If you’re exploring a city, try to navigate by foot instead of relying on taxis and buses. If you’re on an all-inclusive holiday by the beach, take a walk along the beach after every meal.
Either Plan - or Don’t…
Wait, did I just contradict myself? Well, kind of. The thing is that planning less takes the stress out of the situation for some, whereas others feel stressed when a trip isn’t meticulously planned.
We’re all different, and what I’m saying is that if you feel like you can relax and be comfortable when you plan everything well in advance, then make sure you do. If planning makes you feel stressed out, then take things more as they come. Whatever you do, avoid stressing over it.
FAQs for Travelling with PCOS
Why is stress management important while travelling with PCOS?
Stress can negatively impact hormone balance, which is especially crucial for individuals with PCOS. Managing stress while travelling helps maintain hormonal stability and overall well-being.
How can I ensure healthy snacking options while on the go?
Bringing your own snacks is key. Prepare filling and nutritious snacks in advance to avoid relying on processed sugary snacks. Pack options like nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, Greek yoghurt, veggie sticks with hummus, hard-boiled eggs, homemade granola bars, roasted chickpeas, whole grain crackers, or protein powder drinks.
What are some recommended snack options for travelling with PCOS?
Recommended snack options include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, portable fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, berries, individual portions of Greek yoghurt, veggie sticks with hummus, hard-boiled eggs, homemade granola bars, roasted chickpeas, whole grain crackers, and protein powder drinks.
How can I prepare for managing my menstrual cycle while travelling?
To manage your menstrual cycle while travelling, consider using a period cup instead of packing numerous pads or tampons. It offers convenience and saves space in your bag.
What alternative options are available for managing periods while travelling?
An alternative option for managing periods while travelling is using a period cup. It is a reusable and environmentally friendly solution that can be easily carried and used throughout your trip.
How should I organise my medications and supplements while travelling?
Pack enough medication or daily supplements to last a few extra days in case your luggage gets lost or delayed. Keep them in a separate bag within your carry-on or personal belongings for easy access.
What should I do if my luggage gets lost and I run out of medication or supplements?
In case your luggage gets lost and you run out of medication or supplements, it's advisable to contact a local pharmacy or medical facility at your destination. They can assist you in obtaining the necessary medication or supplements until your luggage is located.
How can I incorporate exercise into my travel plans with PCOS?
Incorporating exercise into your travel plans can be done naturally. If exploring a city, opt for walking instead of relying solely on transportation. If on a beach holiday, take walks along the beach after meals. Find simple ways to be active during your trip.
Should I plan my trip in advance or take a more spontaneous approach?
The decision to plan your trip in advance or take a more spontaneous approach depends on your personal preference. If meticulous planning helps you relax and feel comfortable, then plan ahead. However, if extensive planning causes stress, it may be better to embrace a more flexible and spontaneous mindset. Avoid unnecessary stress during your travels.
How can I avoid unnecessary stress while travelling with PCOS?
To avoid unnecessary stress while travelling with PCOS, it is important to plan ahead, pack essential items and medications, have healthy snack options available, incorporate exercise into your itinerary, and maintain a flexible mindset. Prioritising self-care and managing stress levels will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience.