Periods are pretty much unavoidable. And tbh I like to think of them as a healthy sign that everything is working as it should down there. That aside, there’s no denying it can be a pain in the arse when you’re lapping up the sun a million miles from the safe haven of your local Boots.

If you’re planning a big trip, here’s some top tips on how to survive your period while living out of a backpack.

Be prepared

This section can be broken down into two parts informally known as ‘pads’ and ‘pants’ – a girl’s two best friends when her period decides to say hello.

Firstly, pads: this may seem obvious but whatever your sanitary go-tos, make sure you stock up. Despite living the dream there are times when travelling can be tough and you’ll really crave your home comforts. Particularly when your period strikes. As you’ll most likely be a long way from your favourite duvet and Netflix series, my advice is to make sure you have a load of your favourite tampons and pads on hand to make it all a bit more comfortable. They’re light and don’t take up much space so raid your local stores and build a stash fit for a queen. Of course, periods are universal, so you’ll always be able to pick up supplies somewhere but if you’re anything like me and your period can make you just a little grouchy… you’ll be thankful for the assortment of supplies at your fingertips.

Pants: everyone has their trusty pair of period pants. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say my collection is vast. Once again it all relates back to achieving maximum period comfort. No one wants to be squeezing into a cute pair of lacy pants mid-period bloat. When it comes to comfy knickers, the more the merrier. You’ll thank me later.

Be educated

Hunting for ‘le tampon’ or ‘el sanitary towel’ could be a waste of valuable tanning time. My advice would be to locate the nearest pharmacy in each town you visit. That way, a few days before you come on you can stock up on everything you’ll need. From pads to paracetamol, a pharmacy will see you through. They also tend to have pretty good snack sections… just saying.

It’s also never a bad idea to learn some phrases to explain period-related symptoms or sanitary products in general. This will help avoid awkward incidents in which you and the pharmacist have to play a game of period charades. Re-enacting period cramps in an Argentinian supermarket in front of a queue of gawking strangers was really not how I pictured my acting debut…

Be chilled

Girl, you’ve done this whole period thing a hundred times before so don’t let a change in location get to you. So your period arrives unexpectedly, no problemo, just carry on as normal. When you’re away for a long stretch you’ll have plenty of time for a few chill days, so if you’re feeling groggy just rejig your schedule and spend the first day of your period relaxing in a hammock at a hostel. When you’re constantly on the move you can easily become tired, so having a much needed pamper day will give you the chance to rejuvenate and catch up with friends, family and those all-important z’s.

Although our bodies tend to be pretty intuitive when we’re changing time zones, the weather and other factors can definitely mess with your cycle. No one knows your body better than you do. If your period is late don’t be alarmed, Mother Nature may simply just be taking her sweet time to catch up with your new, adventurous lifestyle. If the problem continues, don’t be shy, just talk to the local pharmacist.

Be bold

A menstrual history lesson revealed that some women were forced to remain bed-bound during their period. But a lot has changed since then, honey. You may never get to experience these wonderful places and things again, so put on your trusty period panties and face the day head on. Trekking the Amazon rainforest will still be amazing, period or not, trust me, I’ve been there. Do not, I repeat, do not let your period stop you from having fun.

Image: Katie Edmunds

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of spending far too long Insta-stalking *that* blogger’s dreamy travel pics, green with envy but hooked nonetheless. Well it’s time to put on your big girl pants (however granny they might be) and get some travel plans into action. It’s a cliché but its true, travelling will change your life. So pack your bags, grab your bestie and go!

1. It’s easier than you think

Millennials, we don’t realise how lucky we are. ‘Back in the day’ packing your bags to go on a six month adventure around the world would have been madness. But ignore your Gran ‘cos it’s just not true. Thank you, internet. There are thousands of websites at your fingertips that offer loads of advice to make travelling stress-free, not to mention amazing deals on flights and hostels. Travelling is so achievable; save the money, do the research and live out your adventure.

2. Friends become family

Right, so you’ve said goodbye to your sobbing mum, promised your dad you’ll be safe 1,000 times and successfully boarded the plane – here’s when the fun really begins. One of the best parts of travelling is meeting people from all around the world who are just as fun lovin’ as you. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these people become your family as you spend every day creating memories together. You’ll learn about their lives, their cultures and the best part? You’ll have free accommodation the next time you’re in Amsterdam, Sydney, Mexico City…

3. You’ll get an actual, fun education

Alright, I’ll hold my hands up and say it, I’m nowhere near as ‘cultured’ as I would like my Instagram followers to believe. Of course, I’m interested in learning about all sorts and visiting a diverse range of places but there really is no better way to fully understand another culture than to immerse yourself in it. Physically seeing the world will give you an education that school could never provide. Simply walking through the streets, talking to the locals and trying the food will help you learn so much about the place. And you’ve got to see it to believe it! This brings me nicely only to my next (and favourite) point…

4. You get to eat. A lot.

Food is a big one for me. Seriously. Scrolling through my camera roll I noticed 90% of my pics are of local delicacies devoured seconds after the photo was taken. A country or city’s culture can be shown through its food and sharing the same grub as the locals will make your trip a whole lot more authentic (and probably a lot tastier). Plus you’re travelling so all diets are off. Demolish the churro, it’s educational.

5. It’ll make you stronger

‘Comfort zone’ is usually a meh term your parents chuck around when they are trying to force you to start a new hobby or join them on a hike in the Lake District. But when you’re travelling this illusive phrase gains a far more realistic meaning. There is nothing ‘safe’ or ‘ordinary’ about travelling. I mean sure, it has its duller moments, but even doing your week’s washing sounds exotic in Rio De Janeiro. Travelling challenges you to burst the little safe bubble you’ve been happily floating around in until boarding that plane. There will be some testing moments, whether it’s applying for seriously confusing visas or resisting the tears when you miss your bus, but you’ll come out the other side stronger. Pinky promise.

6. You can learn a new language (or at least how to say ‘hello’)

There’s no better way to learn a language than to be constantly surrounded by it. And you’d be surprised how much you pick up asking for directions, booking bus tickets or ordering yet another taco… Throwing around a bit of the language in front of other travellers will definitely earn you some street cred and it feels great when you know you’ve aced it in front of your new mates. Even if you don’t, the locals will admire you for your efforts. Be brave and embrace the sexy Spanish señorita you were always meant to be.

7. You’ll gain a new perspective

Spending quality time travelling with friends, old and new, really opens your eyes to how other people see the world. Sitting round a campfire or on a (slightly less glamorous) bus seat for 21 hours, you’ll have some d&m’s (deep and meaningful’s, guys) with people, which might just shake up the way you view things for the better.

8. You can become even more kickass

It’s not everyday you can go pony trekking through the mountains or ride a quad bike through the desert. The best way to travel is to say ‘yes’ to everything, even if it scares you (within reason, obvs). Face your fears, girl. You got this.

9. You’ll learn a lot about yourself 

You’ll meet people who will share stories of how they found the meaning of life while practicing mindfulness on a rock in the heart of Patagonia *eye roll*. My advice is to nod in agreement, smile and politely move the conversation on. ‘Finding yourself’ probably won’t be anywhere near as soul consuming as some seasoned travellers might try to convince you. Travelling the world will just throw you into a thousand situations you’d never imagined and it’s these moments that teach you so much about yourself. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

10. You’ll get a serious sense of accomplishment 

Planning and saving is one thing, but the satisfaction of seeing this crazy plan through will put a grin on your face that could trump the Cheshire Cat. You’ve daydreamed about it, bored people chatting about it and now it’s finally happening. Savour every moment, it might just be the best experience of your life.

11. You’ll have a book of cool stories

And if nothing more, the next time you’re at a boring family party or on an awkward first date you’ll have plenty of cool stories to spice up the conversation. Talk about maximum party points…

Words: Grace Baxter

For many of us, the place where we grew up is awesome. That’s where our friends are. That’s where our family probably is, too. We all tend to know everything about the best places to go. The best things to see. Oh and let’s not forget, the best places to eat.

There are all the memories too, like that tree that you fell into when you first rode your bike, or that bit of park where you took your pet dog. Or that piece of road where you chased your best friend for hours each day during tig or tag or blocky or whichever other silly game got you giggling for hours.

But you know what else is also really cool to check out? The rest of the goddamn planet.

Sure you might have been on a few holidays, and heading off on a six month round-the-world trip might not exactly be an option right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about magical destinations, far off beaches or huge adventures right now. This instant.

And what can really help us with our travelling daydreams is putting on a film that’s about travel or adventure or exploring faraway destinations – or maybe even fantastical ones. So pack an imaginary bag, bring your imaginary passport and don’t forget to pack your imaginary swim stuff. We’re going on a journey!

1. Brooklyn

The story of a girl who moves from a small town in Ireland to the bright lights of New York, New York in the 1950s, Brooklyn is a rather epic (and also extremely emotional, you have been warned) film all about travel. But it’s less desert island, wall-to-wall sunshine and lazing around on a beach and more about exploring a different city and finding out who you are and what you want in the process.

Does her heart belong in the big city or back home in Ireland? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

2. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Any keen readers amongst you might know that this film is based on the book by Ann Brashares. It’s the story of four of the bestest best friends who have to spend the whole summer apart. In order to stay close and feel connected, they share the same pair of pants (which magically fit them all perfectly, because fiction).

One character heads to Greece, one stays at home, one goes to Mexico and the other heads off to the other side of the US, meaning there’s something for every level of adventure you’re craving.

3. Stand By Me

This classic film (and probably a firm favourite among a lot of your older relatives) is less about travel, but all about adventure. Four 12-year-old boys hear that a boy from their town is missing, so they trek off into the forest to find him. Sure, it sounds like a really simple plot, but it’s a classic growing up story with lots of wilderness and heartwarming tales of friendship thrown in for good measure.

4. Madagascar

Madagascar is about four best friends, who just happen to be a lion, a zebra, a griaffe and a hippo that live in New York Central Zoo, and unexpectedly find themselves on a boat to Africa. Eek! When their boat is hijacked, the animals have to quickly learn what it’s like to live in the wild.

It’s a great story about adventure, discovering new places – even when you don’t want to – and learning to adapt when stuff gets a bit too much too quickly. Or you find yourself on a boat unexpectedly, which might always come in handy too.

5. Up

The main character in Up is Carl, who has always always always wanted to go to South America, but never made it. The film is all about how Carl, now in his 60s, heads off on an adventure of a lifetime helped by a load of balloons and a little boy, teaching us all that it’s never too late for a big adventure.

(Just don’t use it for transport tips.)

6. Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound has a tragic beginning – especially if you’re a fan of your pets – when two dogs and a cat are left behind by their owners. Ahh we know, we know. It’s somehow sadder than actual humans left on their own, isn’t it? Sorry, Kevin from Home Alone.

The trio of pets don’t know what to do, so they decide to embark on a huge adventure across the country in order to find their owners. But there are all kinds of obstacles along the way, like rivers and, of course, lousy humans.

7. Life of Pi

Also based on a really popular book, Life of Pi is the story of one boy’s journey across the sea. At first he starts off with his family and their huge hoard of zoo animals in cages, but he finds the tables turn quite spectacularly after a big storm pulls their boat apart.

It’s one of those positively fantastical movies that moves between real and emotional and beautiful and magical. If you’re anything like us, you’ll feel like you’re watching a dream the whole time.

8. Letters to Juliet

This is the story of an American girl with big dreams of becoming a writer, who heads off on her travels to Verona in Italy, which is where Romeo and Juliet was set. While she’s there, she finds lots of letters people have written to the fictional character of Juliet. There are lots of people who sit there and reply and this our lovely main character becomes one. It’s a story about romance, writing and discovering a new place, all wrapped up in the legend of the Shakespearean classic.

9. Back to the Future

We couldn’t write a movie list about travel and not include time travel, now could we?

The main character, Marty McFly, is accidentally sent back in time by the quirky scientist Doc Brown. It’s a classic. And although it won’t make you want to travel the world, it teaches us a lesson in seeing things differently. Oh and it’s really fun. Did we mention the fun? So much fun.

10. Spirited Away

This is a truly fantastical, spectacular movie about what it feels like to move from one place to another. But there’s a twist. And that twist is in the form of spirits! Witches! Gods! Goblins! Spider people! Oh, and fairies! Featuring some truly brilliant illustration, it’s the perfect daydream film to get lost in.

@BeccaCaddy