We know that travelling with a bedwetter is complicated. Whether it’s you who or your child who struggles with frequent urination while travelling – we’ve put together this resource for you to make the most of a not-so-ideal situation.
We’ve kept our tips general enough to apply to any age or type of incontinence, that way you can adapt them to your specific situation – so if it’s you, your child or another loved one who wets the bed – you’ll find the right advice to help you manage travelling with an overactive bladder below.
Planning Your Stay
There are a few things you can do in advance of your trip to make sure you have a smooth vacation (well, as smooth as any vacation can be). Bedwetting might be worse than usual if you or your loved one is jet lag, so be aware of this as you plan your trip.
Start a Voiding Journal
Start a journal that tracks what you eat & when, and then when you wet or don’t wet the bed. This is useful for adults who are looking to manage or decrease incontinence. The more insights you can gain about when or how often you’re bedwetting, the better prepared you can be. Use what you learn from your voiding journal to apply to your lifestyle while on vacation.
If you’re travelling for a few weeks, you’ll have to do laundry regardless of incontinence, so check in advance for laundromats near your destination. And remember to read the reviews! Not all laundromats are created equal.
Prepare Your Hotel Stay
Call the hotel in advance and ask if they have mattress protectors, and bring your PeapodMats as well. This will give you twice the protection.
If it’s your child who wets the bed, ask the hotel if they have roll-away beds available. These will be twin-sized beds that they can include in your room – sometimes for free or a nominal fee. This way, if you have a few children, you have one less thing to worry about – the child who who has frequent urination while travelling can have their own bed, while the other(s) can share the bigger bed(s). If your child will be staying in a tent instead of enjoying the luxury of a hotel, read our post on bedwetting at camp.
The Bedwetting Traveller is a great resource for hotel reviews around the world. Their goal is to help out fellow bedwetters find accommodation that meets their needs by rating each hotel's incontinence friendliness.
Plane Seats & Airport Considerations
Choose your plane seats wisely – book an aisle seat close to the bathroom. And after you go through security, put on protective underwear or a diaper.
Use the bathroom at least once before boarding your flight, and if you can board early, you can take a moment to lay your small PeapodMat on your seat. It is the perfect size for a chair!
The PeapodMat is discreet – no one would know that this is a bedwetting mat if they saw it. If anyone asks, you can simply answer that you’d rather sit on your mat than on a plane seat.
If you have a reliable online supplier for diapers and you know their shipping times well, you can plan to have your order delivered to the location you’re staying. Call the hotel or host in advance to make sure they can accept a delivery for you. Thankfully, many of these supplies come in discreet packaging so that no one will be the wiser.
For longer trips, check the area where you’re staying in advance and see if there’s anything you can leave to purchase after you arrive. Call stores ahead of time to ensure they’re stocked on your particular brands and products.
What to Pack or Purchase
Like any traveller, you’ll have to manage how much you bring with you. There are a few additional items that will help you manage frequent urination while travelling. Here's a few handy tips to make your load lighter while you keep yourself or your loved one dry and protected.
Bring a travel-sized bottle of laundry detergent for doing small loads in the sink or bathtub where you're staying. We recommend you pack this in advance, but if you forget, you can purchase a small bottle or use the hotel shampoo.
If you’re travelling during the summer, bring baby powder. This can be helpful to keep you cool and dry and prevent skin rashes. We recommend purchasing this at your destination.
Bring a few large sealed plastic bags – this will be for anything you want to bring back home with you. We recommend you pack this as you likely won’t need a full pack.
Bring compost bags – these will be for anything you want to dispose of. Compost bags are lightly scented and strong enough to hold heavy liquids, so you can easily and discreetly toss disposable incontinence. We recommend you purchase this at your destination as they come in small packs.
If you or your loved one uses medication to help alleviate bedwetting, make sure you bring some in ample supply along with some indication of what the medication is, in case Customs or airport security would like more information. Pack this or have your prescription transferred if you’re not too far from home.
For a longer trip (more than two nights), you might decide to bring two PeapodMats with you, so that you can rotate them between washings. We recommend you pack this with you.
Sleeping Bag Liner
For camping, bring a waterproof sleeping bag liner. We recommend you pack this with you.
While on Vacation
We mentioned that you should find laundromats at your destination ahead of time. But, for smaller items and “freshly soaked” garments (underwear, bedwetting mats, and PJs), use the hotel or Airbnb sink or bathtub.
Most accommodations will come with clothing hangers – use them to hang your items to dry on the shower pole. Bonus: if you have control over the heating, turn the heat up in the bathroom and close the door to dry your items faster.
Find the Bathroom
If it’s your child who wets the bed, make sure they know where the bathroom is. This seems obvious, but when they wake up disoriented in the middle of the night, they might have forgotten they’re not at home and get confused. Moreover, keep the path from their bed to the bathroom clear so they don’t bump or trip on their way.
Bring an accident kit with you as you go about your vacation days. This will help you manage frequent urination while travelling like a pro!
Your accident kit should include:
- Sanitary wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Spare underwear
- Travel soap
- A water bottle (don’t dehydrate in an effort to minimize wetting, doing so can irritate your bladder and lead to other issues)
Maintain normal nightly routines – if that involves some journaling for you or reading for your child, it’s always a good idea to stick to your routine as best as you can while you’re travelling. You do this to give them a sense of normalcy while they’re away – this helps with stress and with jet lag, both of which contribute to nighttime enuresis.
And as always, use the bathroom a few times before bed – an hour before bed, fifteen minutes before bed, and then one last time right before going to sleep. This is a useful tip at home and on the road, since incontinence can be due to not fully emptying the bladder.
And a Few Miscellaneous Tips
Thankfully when you’re travelling in the summer, hotels are air-conditioned, so you can stay cool while you sleep with extra layers for protection.
While you’re out and about, remember to use the washroom before you leave one location for the next (restaurants, theatres, etc). You never know when you might see another bathroom. Better yet, plan ahead where you can use public toilets (in Europe, you can find pay-per-use bathrooms that are clean and well-maintained, just be sure to have the right currency on hand).
And lastly, make sure to have fun! Frequent urination while travelling might make your trip a bit trickier to plan, but it shouldn’t interfere too much! Make sure to do everything you love to do and enjoy yourself out there.