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Dealing with Hot Flashes on the Road

Hot flashes are an unavoidable and unpredictable part of menopause. They can come on anytime and anywhere. Because you can’t predict hot flashes, you might be faced with one when traveling – in your car, on an airplane, or on a train.

If this happens to you, there are several things you can do to help reduce the intensity of these hot flashes and find some relief.

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Cool the air

The first, and perhaps most obvious, line of defense from hot flashes while on the road is to open the window. This is a simple and effective solution in your car and even on some trains.

Airplanes offer another solution — individual air vents. If you feel a hot flash coming on, or even if you don’t, fully open up the air vent and aim it directly at your face. The cool air can help reduce your body temperature and make the enclosed air in the airplane cabin a little less stuffy.

Turning up the air conditioner is an option when traveling in the car.

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Dress in layers

Dressing in layers is a hot flash solution that requires a little foresight. If you know you’re going to be traveling, and therefore confined to an enclosed space for an extended period of time, dress accordingly. Pair a light cotton top with a light sweater and maybe even a jacket. When you feel a hot flash coming on, you can remove your clothing layers accordingly to help cool your body down.

This isn’t the only benefit of dressing in layers, however. A hot flash is often followed by a period of cold chills. When you feel your body temperature start to drop, you can replace the layers you took off to warm your body up again.

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Have a beverage handy

Cold beverages work wonders for hot flashes when traveling. Keep iced water or iced tea with you at all times during travel. You can sip on this cold beverage regularly throughout your travel to help keep your body temperature from rising.

Iced beverages also create a cool condensation. When you feel a hot flash coming on, place the iced beverage against your forehead or your neck to use this condensation to help cool your body down.

If you’re traveling for several hours, consider freezing some water in a bottle the night before. This creates a portable ice pack that can be applied to your head and neck when you’re heating up. In addition, the water will eventually start to melt and serve as your cold beverage on your journey.

Eat smart

When traveling, choose foods that won’t trigger or worsen hot flashes. Avoid hot foods, like soup, and opt for cold foods like salads and sandwiches. Avoid spicy foods, which can increase body temperature and lead to hot flashes.

Article resources
  • Edelman J. (2010). Menopause matters: Your guide to a long and healthy life. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Hudson T. (2008). Women’s encyclopedia of natural medicine. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  • Manson J. (2007). Hot flashes, hormones and your health. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Hot flashes: Overview. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hot-flashes/home/ovc-20319434
  • Nedrow A, et al. (2006). Complementary and alternative therapies for the management of menopause-related symptoms: A systematic evidence review. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.166.14.1453
  • Seamen B, et al. (2008). The no-nonsense guide to menopause. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
  • Smith P. (2010). What you must know about women’s hormones. New York, NY: Square One Publishers
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