Travel Hygiene for Women

Contributed by TripaSista.

Let’s face it – travel connects you with people (and their germs!). I’m loving this great #packlist from Tripasista to keep it clean while you’re on an adventure.

Never expect that the country you are travelling in to have the same “hygiene standards” that you would find at home.

Warning – this story is not pretty!

There is nothing like a pilgrimage through India to break down a Westerner’s expectation that toilet paper and toilets “go hand in hand”. Indians consider the use of toilet paper to be unhygienic and douche instead. I had packed my own supply, however, when the bus driver pulled over for a toilet stop some 5 hours in to our trip – I discovered that I was NOT prepared at all.

So violent was the explosive case of diarrhoea that overcame me – women gathered around me to create a modesty curtain of sarongs. You see, the toilet stop was roadside. Technically the toilet was “the bushes”.

If you’re properly prepared, you’ll be ready for whatever trial comes your way: stained and rumpled clothes, showers without water, sleepless long haul flights and clogged pores.

Here is Tripasista’s #Packlist to keep it clean!

1. Always travel with tampons, toilet paper and a sarong or shawl – these are indispensable.

Many women have been surprised by irregular timing of their menstrual period. Remember – tampons and pads are not readily available in all countries and sanitary disposal bins not always available.

2. Buy a travel water filter bottle.

The world is drowning in plastic water bottles – buy a travel water filter bottle instead, and avoid Bali belly!

3. Pack Imodium.

Anti-diarrhoea medication. If you need it, you’ll be thankful you have it!

4. Pack rubber flip flops.

For public showers.

5. Try body wipes.

Body wipes cleanse skin and remove odor with no water or rinse required. Safe for the face, body and feminine area. Also safe for sensitive skin.

6. Antiseptic wipes.

Great for wiping down seats, tables, menus, hands as you go.

7. Pack a towel.

We highly recommend a lightweight towel or sarong.

8. Even small nicks and cuts must be promptly cared for to prevent infection!

Pack band-aids, Tea Tree antiseptic lotion, antibiotic cream, anti-inflammatories and pain medication.

9. A stain remover pen such as Tide To Go.

Tide To Go stain remover pen does a pretty amazing job of eliminating unwanted stains.

10. And finally!

Remember – if you are eating street food – join the queue of women and their children rather than eat at alone at a “Western” restaurant.


Written by Susan from TripaSista.

Susan is an avid traveler, trained architect and co-founder of TripaSista. Her working life has inspired global travel with lengthy stays in London, New York, Sydney and recently Glasgow. Susan has lived with Buddhist nuns, worked on organic farms and sailed the seven seas (well the Pacific).

TripaSista is an online directory, shop and community that helps women planning a travel experience connect directly with female focused tourism operators.