Never on Vacation: Tips for Vacationing with Incontinence

Pete Health Guide
  • I just returned from a week-long family reunion on the Gulf coast. No oil while we were there although it did start washing up the day after we left. There were eleven families, for a total of 41 people. We rented three houses with three to four families in each house.


    When you are incontinent, vacations like this can present some challenges, particularly, as in my case, when most of your family members are not aware of your condition. How do you stay dry without giving your secret away?


    I was lucky in that I had a room with a private bathroom. However, I did not know that I would have this until we arrived at the house. Having stayed in this house before, I knew the "bathroom arrangements." There are a total of 4, but only two are private. (There is also a washer/dryer available, but I assumed I would not want to be washing underclothes in front of my family!) To be on the safe side, I assumed I would not have a private bathroom and planned for this:

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    • At least two changes of underwear for each day (I took 16 pair. We were there Saturday to Saturday, which is actually eight, not seven, days.)
    • Plenty of absorbent products (I use a thin liner)
    • Plenty of plastic grocery bags
    • A length of plastic rope to use as a clothes line
    • Draw sheet

    The last item needs a bit of clarification. I suffer from stress and urge incontinence, so with careful toileting I am normally not incontinent at night. However, I didn't want to run the risk of damaging the mattress if I did leak a bit.


    As I do at home, I was careful to rinse my underwear out at night. I have to use "stick" glue to help hold my liner in place. (There's not enough sticky glue on the pad, and I don't want the glue to stop up the clothes washer.)


    We had a walk-in closet and so I was able to string a clothesline to hang my clothing to dry, so it wouldn't sour. Fortunately my daughters are aware of my problem, so I didn't have to explain to them why I was doing this.


    To ensure that no one would be aware of my used liners, I changed the plastic bag in the trash can every morning, taking the old one to the garbage can outside. That way, during the day, there was never more than one in it. Guess my family thought I was a clean-freak!


    With this effort, I was able to enjoy spending time with my family on the Gulf, without giving my little secret away. Perhaps others can use some of these tips, or provide a few of their own!

Published On: July 19, 2010