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portugal & menstruation

November 19, 2023

Portugal – what to pack

Portugal is rapidly escalating as a popular destination, especially around summer. As a native myself, I totally understand the urge for sandy beaches, toasting weather, delicious food, fragrant coffee, and full-bodied wine. But if your period is due to arrive at the same time as the second pastel de Nata, you might want to plan your packing differently.

Here is my list of musts when packing for Portugal

  • Lots of tampons. I divide them between all the different bags I will be carrying to always have supplies with me.
  • Underwear like I’m packing for the Armageddon.
  • Sunscreen!
  • Period panties.
  • Cycling shorts to wear at the beach if I don’t feel comfortable.
  • A few (dozens of) swimsuits and bikinis.
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Euros – not every establishment will accept cards and it’s handy to have in case you come across a paying toilet. They won’t cost you more than 0,50 and you’ll find them mostly in central Lisbon, if at all. It’s also how we tip in Portugal. Just leave the money on the bill trinket!
  • Sunglasses and a hat

Buying supplies

If your period has come off schedule and you’re out of supplies, you can go to any supermarket (Pingo Doce, Continente, etc) or small grocery shop (mercearia) and get them. Unbranded products are very decent, too.

Toilets in Portugal

Toilets around the country vary wildly, depending on your whereabouts. Sadly, most public toilets in Portugal don’t have sanitary bins, just general waste ones – not to mention the occasional lack of toilet paper. This is not a country where you’ll find a vending machine with period products or, much less, a free selection of them at your disposal. But the good news is that you will find a toilet nearby easily. Every café and restaurant will have one that you can use, and most train stations too – you just might have to request the key from the staff.

Check The M Scale for the best nearby toilet to get changed and you’re ready to enjoy the day!

Maria Hasse

Maria works in the creative industries and loves to hop around from country to country in search of an ever-ending Summer. She's passionate about demystifying taboos and shedding light on underrated topics through different mediums.

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