This article contains some general tips for women travelers. Tips for women at individual destinations (such as, say, appropriate dress when visiting a temple, especial safety issues) are addressed in those articles. This article covers more general issues for women travelers.
Women planning to be sexually active with men during their travels may want to consider taking steps to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Follow your usual contraceptive measures, but take into account any difficulty you might have obtaining contraception:
In some countries, contraceptives might not be available easily, particularly to women or unmarried people. Consider taking adequate supplies at home.
If you use hormonal contraceptives such as a daily pill, you might not be able to obtain your usual prescription at your destination. If you can it could be expensive. Ask your doctor or pharamacist about getting enough doses to cover your whole trip. Take them with you in the original packaging with a copy of your prescription. Women who need to visit a doctor for a dose, such as women who receive contraceptive hormone injections, might consider switching contraceptive methods for a long trip.
Safer sex methods (condoms for sex with men, and dental dams for sex with other women) should be used if women want to reduce any risk of being infected with, or infecting someone else with, a sexually transmitted disease.
Many women, particularly those between 10 and 55, travelling for an extended period of time will have their period while travelling. Some extra preparation might be needed to deal with it.
Pack enough supplies of your usual menstruation product (tampons or pads), particularly if you are going to a less developed country where they might not be available easily.
If you use any pain killers for cramps, take them along after checking their legality at the destination. If crossing international borders, leave them in their original packaging so that customs can determine what they are.
For women doing extended travel in areas where obtaining and disposing of normal menstrual products is annoying, consider reusable menstrual products. The primary products in this category are the suction cups: the silicone Diva Cup and the rubber Keeper. These are non-absorbant, reusable and do not even need to be rinsed before re-insertion every time.
Some women travelers (particularly athletes and honeymooners, but others too) might consider using the contraceptive pill to postpone or skip a period. Extended cycle pills such as Seasonale (one period every three months, rather than every 28 days) are approved for use in some countries, however normal monophasic pills can be used to skip periods as well, by skipping the different coloured sugar placebo pills. Discuss this use with your prescribing doctor.