Do you want to look stunning in your travel photos, so your grandkids will know you were a baddie in your prime? And make sure that you have the energy to see/experience everything your destination has to offer? Do you want to be more resilient and less panicked when a flight gets delayed, or the party boat leaves you stranded on an overhyped island tour? Or maybe you just want to get through one single family visit without losing your temper.
The path to all of the above can be found in your womb. That’s right, as always, the answer was inside of you all along! Today we’re going to discuss how to sync your travel plans to your menstrual cycle so you can have the smoothest vacation possible.
First, it’s important to review some useful information about the menstrual cycle. And please give yourself grace if you never learned this. Most schools do not teach comprehensive information about the cycle, because the science that we base our curriculum on has largely ignored health matters that primarily center women and non-men.
There are FOUR phases of the menstrual cycle: Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal, and Menstruation. You’re likely most familiar with menstruation and ovulation. But there is valuable information about your mood, diet, energy levels to glean from every phase. If you want to learn more about health and wellness based on the menstrual cycle, I recommend In the Flo by Alisa Vitti. This is the book that I used to build my foundational knowledge.
Start by Tracking your Cycle
When I was first starting out, I waited until my period so I could start tracking the phases. For those who have regular periods, you could do the same. If you’re one of those few who actually know the first day of your last menstrual cycle off the top of your head, then you can also reverse engineer your current phase based on that.
For those with irregular or no discernable bleeding, it is still possible to track and discover your phases. It will take a bit more legwork, but I invite you to tune into your body’s subtle energetic shifts to figure out where you are in the cycle. The ovulatory phase may be the easiest one to track in this instance. When ovulating, you tend to feel the most social and lusty. Look out for the ~3 days when you’re craving people the most. Alternatively, you could tell by your vaginal discharge, which tends to be more abundant during ovulation.
Once you start tracking and you know where you are – follow this next important step. Go outside after the sun has set, and look up at the sky. Note how the moon looks, is it a crescent, a cute lil gibbous, full, or not even visible? Keep this in mind as it will be not only a beautiful way to connect with nature, but also because it’s an easier way to track your cycle than remembering to put data into an app everyday for my neurodistinct friends who stay forgetting *coughs* it’s me *coughs*. In my opinion (and life), exchanging with the moon is the most neurodivergent friendly way to track your menstrual cycle AND it makes planning more of a visual exercise than a math or memory one.
If an app does work for you, absolutely keep doing your thing! Other ways include analogue writing it down in a bullet journal, calendar, or poster.
How to Use it for Travel
For the purposes of travel, I’m going to share what kind of vacation each phase of the cycle is good for and the types of activities that align:
Menstrual: This is the time for solo vacays or baecations where you prioritize relaxing, pampering, and introspection. You’ll want to prioritize spa-like activities, going to the beach or some body of water. And you need to be allowed to tap out of any activity as soon as you’ve reached your limit. No powering through or rallying.
Follicular: Best for creative retreats. If you’re trying to rekindle your artistic spark, or want to connect with your inner artist. The Follicular phase is when you’re most primed to dream big and vision forward. Additionally, your brain is seeking new experiences, so this is a generally great time to embrace exploration and discovery through travel.
Ovulatory: Girl’s trip!!! This is when you are most social, most attractive, and more energetic. So not only is the group trip in the cards, but you could also choose this phase to look for your foreign bae. Has a certain writer used this knowledge to go on many a date with gorgeous locals while traveling solo? Perhaps.
*side note, if you’re ever getting headshots or pictures taken (in general), please schedule it for your ovulatory phase. Your skin is gonna be clear, the pheromones popping – and yes we can smell them through the camera! Chances are, you’re going to feel very confident during this phase.
Luteal: Adventure gworls line up! In the first half of this phase, your body is primed to work. If you’re into climbing mountains or physically demanding sports, the ovulatory phase into the first half of luteal is a great time where you are particularly resilient and activated.
However in the second half of this phase, treat it a bit more like it’s the menstrual phase. You’ll want chiller activities and delicious, warming food.
Please keep in mind that these are very broad suggestions. Ultimately, you have to tune into your unique energy and carve out a framework that works best for you. You might be low energy your entire luteal phase, or you might not have consistent reactions to each of the phases which makes it harder to reliably plan. If you’re curios enough, you can even work with an OBGYN or your primary car physician to determine what works best for your and your body.
If you Can’t Make the Dates Fit your Cycle
Unfortunately, you can’t always choose what part of your cycle Labor Day weekend is going to fall on. But, you can plan ahead ways to take care of yourself based on what phase you’ll be in. If you know a major holiday is occurring during the menstruation phase, let partners, roommates, or trustworthy siblings/cousins know that you’ll need some extra TLC during that time. Find ways to build in extra rest and potentially caution people against tap dancing on your nerves, unless they’re ready to catch scientifically-justified heat.
I encourage you to apply these tips as the holiday season and/or family visits approach, so you have an accurate understanding of where you’ll be energetically and you can level set expectations.
Athena is a neurodivergent mystic who builds supportive frameworks through embodied insight. She roots in intuitive ways of being to share practical advice about emotional wellness.