When we first created the Ruby Cup, we already knew what boon a menstrual cup is for our bodies and the environment. But little did we realize just how liberating it would be to travel with a menstrual cup.
No more bulky pads or a box of tampons taking up luggage space. No more hoarding used disposable products on long treks to avoid polluting forests. And no more hunting down a public restroom every couple of hours to change a soaked pad when we’d rather marvel at the views from the Parthenon or have fun island-hopping around Fiji.
You, too, can experience newfound freedom when traveling with a menstrual cup. So read on to discover the benefits of menstrual cup travel, our foolproof tips, and why Ruby Cup is the best menstrual cup for your future voyages.
BONUS: Scroll down to find a handy infographic of this article that you can save and consult when you’re on the go.
Benefits of traveling with a menstrual cup
Whether you’ve just switched to a menstrual cup or are still deciding if it’s the right choice for you, the pros of traveling with a menstrual cup far outweigh the cons. Here’s why:
Menstrual cups hold more blood than tampons or pads
Holding 3 times more menstrual fluid than pads or tampons, menstrual cups give you more time to enjoy your travels because you can wait up to 8 hours before emptying them. Say goodbye to all the extra bathroom breaks needed with disposable period products.
And since reusable menstrual cups come in a variety of sizes to handle all types of flows, you will feel unstoppable whether you’re enjoying a day tour of Rome or backpacking Southeast Asia.
Menstrual cups save space in your luggage
"I really like that on holidays - as well as on all other days - my period is just not much of a big deal as long as I am wearing my Ruby Cup. When traveling I like to carry as few items with me as possible, and it is nice to not have to factor in extra period products. This is especially true for day trips where I only carry with me a tote bag or a small backpack." — Mynte Bahora (Digital Growth Analyst at Ruby Cup)
We remember how much space a week’s worth of pads and tampons could occupy in our luggage. And how annoying it was to fill half a carry-on or backpack with disposable products when we needed to travel light. A menstrual cup changed that for us.
All you need is one cup that you’ll either be wearing as you travel or you’ll tuck into your bag to use when your period arrives while you’re on the road.
Menstrual cups are more convenient
With a Ruby Cup, we’ve gone swimming, scuba diving, camping, hiking, and mountain climbing without worrying about menstrual cup leaking or needing to empty our cup as frequently as changing a pad or tampon.
And as pioneers of menstrual cup donations with our Buy One Give One program, we know how difficult it can be to find period products as you travel through countries where menstrual products are scarce. With the practicality of a menstrual cup, you’ll never worry about running out of pads or tampons again, no matter where you are. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can use your cup again and again.
Menstrual cups are more comfortable
You can also travel more comfortably with a menstrual cup vs a tampon or pad. A menstrual cup respects your natural vaginal flora because it collects blood rather than absorbs it. Using a menstrual cup won’t dry your vaginal tissue like a tampon and will leave you feeling fresher in tropical climates than a sticky pad would.
Menstrual cups let you save money
Yes, a menstrual cup has a higher initial cost, but one that pays for itself in about 4 or 5 months with the money you’d have spent on pads or tampons. And you can spend your future savings on travel and discovering new cultures instead.
Menstrual cups can prevent unneeded stress
We can remember the countless times our periods have come early while on our trip. And we only had one tampon or pad handy.
Instead, when you pack a small cup for emergencies, you can forget about having to look for a drugstore with disposable period products and risk missing that gondolier ride through Venice. Keeping a menstrual cup with you helps make your vacation epic.
Menstrual cups help protect the environments you visit
A sanitary pad comprises 90% plastic and takes a long time to decompose in landfills. When you add the plastic packaging and applicators used for disposable period products, you’re leaving a trail of waste behind you as you discover the world.
Instead, when you switch to a menstrual cup, in one year you can save the atmosphere 5.3kg of CO2, and reduce your carbon footprint as you travel.
Are there cons to traveling with a menstrual cup?
If you’re a longtime cup user, there are no cons to traveling with a menstrual cup because you already know how convenient they are.
But if you’re new to menstrual cup use and need to travel soon, use these tips before you go:
Embrace the learning curve. Know there’s a learning curve with using a menstrual cup for the first time. But with our guide on how to use a menstrual cup, you can master cup use quickly. Just practice before you go to feel more confident and serene.
Find the right cup. You may not find the right cup on your first try. But when you use our menstrual cup sizing guide you’ll discover the right cup for you. And if you have a flow that varies from heavy to light, buy our Duo Pack to have both sizes for worry-free travel.
Manage a heavy flow. Traveling with a heavy flow means more frequent changes of pads and tampons. Though our Ruby Cup Medium is one of the best menstrual cups for a heavy flow, you still might need to empty it more often than our recommended 8 hours. Try emptying your menstrual cup more frequently until you understand how quickly your cup fills. And you might be surprised that you can still go most of the day without worrying about it at all.
Adapt to all bathrooms. Having a water bottle always handy will help you clean your menstrual cup in a public bathroom. Just rinse your cup over the toilet, or over a hole you’ve dug if you’re enjoying outdoor travel, then reinsert. If you don’t have any water, use tissues or toilet paper to wipe your cup clean before reinserting.
“I was camping in Kenya in the wild - no toilet, no running water. We dug a hole in the ground to use as a toilet. I always carried a water bottle with me when I had to change my Ruby Cup plus paper for wiping and it worked out great - much better than having to keep used tampons in a garbage bag for several days before we would return to civilization for disposal.” — Julie Weigaard Kjær (CEO at Ruby Cup)
How to clean your menstrual cup while traveling
We’ve never used menstrual cup wipes and we never will. One of our fundamental goals is to protect the environment and using special menstrual cup wipes or wet wipes is not a sustainable choice.
We always keep a reusable water bottle with us during our travels to clean our Ruby Cup. Just remove your cup and use the water to rinse it over the toilet, then reinsert. Yes, it’s that simple. You can also use the water to rinse away any blood left on your hands.
But you may also want to keep some tissues handy too, in case you run out of water and find yourself in a public stall without toilet paper. Use the tissue to blot or wipe your cup clean, then reinsert. You can rinse your cup later when you’re back in your B&B or when you have access to clean water.
“I had been using Ruby Cup only for a few months when I went on holiday to Zanzibar. I was on my period and using Ruby Cup, and I was very glad it was the case, as I noticed that most of the toilets at the beach and the swimming pool did not have any bins. It would have been a hassle to have to store used tampons the whole day until I could get to a bin later in the day!" — Amaia Arranz (COO & Social Impact Director at Ruby Cup)
Can I wear a menstrual cup on a plane?
Since you can wear a menstrual cup for up to 8 hours, you can wear it on a plane and may not have to empty it at all during your journey unless it’s a long-haul flight. Follow our expert tips to be prepared for long plane rides:
- Avoid using airplane tap water to rinse your cup because it may contain bacteria.
- Bring bottled water to rinse your cup or use toilet paper to wipe it clean.
- Pour the blood in the middle of the toilet bowl, and not on the sides because it may not flush away. An airplane toilet works with very little water and a strong vacuum that sucks waste from the very center of the toilet. Aim well.
- Above all, be extra careful not to drop your cup in the toilet (and bring an extra cup as a backup just in case).
How to store your menstrual cup while traveling
If your period finishes while you’re on vacation and you don’t have access to boiling water to sterilize your cup, no worries. Just wash your menstrual cup with water, then store it in a cotton bag. You can boil it once you return home.
A Ruby Cup comes with a breathable cotton storage pouch where you can store it when traveling. If you’ve lost your bag or forgot to bring it with you, any natural-fiber bag will do. You could even wrap it in a cotton t-shirt.
And avoid storing your menstrual cup in airtight plastic containers because your cup needs to breathe.
Tips for traveling with a menstrual cup
Period mishaps and misadventures can occur anytime, anywhere. But they are especially disarming when you’re away from home. So here are our tried and tested tips for stress-free travel with a menstrual cup.
- Take Two Cups: Pack 2 cups in case of an emergency. You might drop your cup in the toilet or a hole you just dug along a hiking trail to empty your cup. Instead of risking a vaginal infection, just rinse your fallen cup with water and store it. Use the second one to continue your zero-waste and worry-free travels.
- Bring Backup: If you’re a beginner cup user and worried about leaks, you can wear a reusable pad or a period panty besides your menstrual cup. But if you’ve chosen the right size cup and created a seal, your cup won’t leak. And an eco-friendly backup will help you rest easy while you learn how to use your cup while traveling.
- Have H₂O Handy. Never leave home without a reusable bottle you can fill with clean water while you’re traveling. Not only is water indispensable for rinsing your cup, but it will also come in handy to rinse your hands when water isn’t available.
The best menstrual cup to wear on the go
We know we’re biased, but we believe Ruby Cup is the best menstrual cup to use when you’re jet-setting the globe for work or play. Here’s why:
- Sustainable: Made of 100% medical-grade silicone and plastic-free, Ruby Cup can last you up to 10 years and help you live a zero-waste lifestyle everywhere you go.
- Reliable: With our 100% money-back guarantee, you can try Ruby Cup for 120 days before asking to return or exchange it for another size, no questions asked. You’ll also have the support of our customer service team if you need advice.
- Fuss-free: With 3 times the capacity of a pad or tampon, you can wear a Ruby Cup for up to 8 hours before emptying it, allowing you more free time for sightseeing, trekking, or camping.
- Body-friendly: Free from bleach and toxins, Ruby Cup won’t alter your vaginal pH, leaving you naturally lubricated. You’ll feel fresher than you would with a pad or tampon wherever you go, even in the hottest climates.
- Comfortable: Ruby Cup is one of the most comfortable and best menstrual cups for beginners. Its medical-grade silicone is soft enough to fold and easy to insert, yet firm enough to pop open and create suction for leak-free use. It also has a firm, ribbed stem for better grip and removal.
- Affordable: One Ruby Cup is already affordable because it costs the same as 4 or 5 months’ worth of disposable products yet is reusable for up to 10 years. But you can also save 20% with our Saver Pack that includes 2 Ruby Cups and the collapsible Ruby Sterilizer so you can have the essentials you need before you leave.
- Vegan: Ruby Cup is 100% vegan. Ruby Cups and Sterilizers are not tested on animals or made using animal derived ingredients.
- Life-Changing: If you’ve ever traveled to countries where period poverty exists you’ve had difficulty in finding disposable menstrual products. A menstrual cup is life-changing, which is why we’re so committed to our Buy One Give One program. For every Ruby Cup you purchase, we donate a cup to a person without access to period products. You’ll not only change your life but the life of a young person who menstruates.
How to travel with a menstrual cup
Now you know just how eco-friendly it is to travel with a menstrual cup and how much time, money, and stress it saves as you explore the world on your period. Add a Ruby Cup to your travel packing checklist and remember to use our top tips for traveling with your cup:
- Pack a reusable water bottle to rinse your menstrual cup on the go.
- Throw a small cloth bag in your luggage to store your period cup when your menstruation finishes.
- Wear your cup everywhere. Whether you’re on a plane, on a hiking tour, or scuba diving, a menstrual cup is always leak-free.
- Take an extra cup along in case you drop yours in the toilet or it falls on the ground.
- Bring one or two reusable pads or panty liners if you’re a beginner cup user for worry-free travel until you get the hang of your menstrual cup.
Want a zero-waste and fuss-free period even when traveling? Now you can. For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now.
FAQs about travel with a menstrual cup
Here’s all you need to know about traveling with a menstrual cup.
How do you remove a menstrual cup without mess?
Gently squeeze the base of your menstrual cup to break the seal, then hold. Maintaining a firm grip, rock your menstrual cup back and forth as you pull down. This will help you remove your cup without spilling or making a mess.
Do you need a menstrual cup travel case?
You don’t need a special menstrual cup travel case. All you need is a breathable cotton bag or pouch like the one Ruby Cup comes in. Avoid plastic containers as these are airtight and not suitable for your cup.
Can you go camping with a menstrual cup?
Lots of people go camping with a menstrual cup. If you have access to communal bathrooms, you can rinse your cup over the toilet with a bottle of water then reinsert. Or just wash it out in the sink. If you’re camping in the woods, blood is 100% natural and can be emptied safely in nature.
How do you empty a menstrual cup when backpacking?
To empty your menstrual cup while backpacking, first dig a small hole and empty your menstrual cup over the hole. Then rinse your cup with clean water over the hole—this helps to dilute your blood into the dirt and will avoid attracting predators. Reinsert your cup and cover the hole.
Does period blood attract bears?
Even though more studies are needed for polar bears, current research shows that period blood will not attract bears or other predators. One best practice to empty your menstrual cup in nature is to:
- Dig a hole.
- Empty your period blood into the hole.
- Use water to rinse your cup and dilute your blood.
- Cover the hole.
Can you use a menstrual cup before your period starts?
We can often feel when our period is coming, so it’s okay to wear your menstrual cup before your period starts. This way you can travel serenely during long-haul flights or long trips where you might not have easy access to a bathroom. Always remove your cup after 8 hours, rinse, and reinsert.
Can I use a menstrual cup without boiling it?
Always boil a brand new menstrual cup before wearing it, then in between cycles. During your period, it’s enough to rinse and scrub your menstrual cup with clean water. If you’re traveling, always carry a bottle of water with you to clean your cup on the go.
Travel with a menstrual cup: Infographic
Download or save this infographic to always know how to travel with a menstrual cup: