I can’t tell you how many times while traveling, I’m surprised by the inability to find tampons. I’m there, in some fantastic tropical locale, trying to enjoy some beach time and “Aunt Flo(w) pays a visit”. I stop into the local convenience, grocery, market, pharmacy, peruse the isles and finally hit the area where such things live, only to find that in this place, “such things” are pads…and they just aren’t for me.
You’re right, I could probably plan ahead a little better, but when you like to pack as light as I do, you’re bound to make a few assumptions about what you can leave “here” in favor of buying “there.” The problem is that what gear is available to take care of your monthly visitor can be culture-bound and influenced by a broad range of things such as local religion, customs, and access.
So what’s a girl to do when you’ve sufficiently embarrassed enough local women on the road with questions and gestures to learn your lesson, but you still want to pack light? You can do yourself and the earth a favor and eco your Aunt Flo(w)!
I’m talking about a little gem called the menstrual cup. These little numbers are made of medical-grade silicone or organic natural gum rubber, and there’s a good argument for switching to them no matter what type of product you currently use, and whether you’re abroad or at home.
Longer use- up to 12 hours
Less in the landfill- Billions of tons of pads and tampons are dumped into landfills each year, while menstrual cups are reusable
Save money- women in the U.S. spend approx. $150-200 annually on pads & tampons, while a reusable menstrual cup is $35 or less and can last up to 10 years
Eco & woman friendly- most models are phthalate-free, plastic-free and BPA-free, and if you’re allergic to latex, you can choose a latex-free model
Check out the literature and see if one’s right for you. You may be able to reduce, reuse, recycle and pack a little something that will ensure you’re always good to go and prepared for Aunt Flo(w).