May 27, 2024

Navigating Time Zones and Birth Control for Your Summer Travels

Vacation Checklist Birth Control Planned Parenthood Direct

Sunglasses, passport, neck pillow: check, check, and check! But wait—don't board without your birth control

When you’re in vacation mode, the last thing on your mind is probably birth control. However, if you’re planning a trip this summer that’s in a different time zone, it’s important to take into account how the change might affect your birth control routine. 

It’s important to remember that taking your pill at the same time every day is a suggestion given to ensure that you take your pill every 24 hours. That said, if you are traveling somewhere outside of your usual time zone, you do need to adjust the time you take your pill to stay on schedule. 

For example, if you live in Virginia and you usually take your pill at 8 PM EST every day and you’re traveling to California for a trip, you should take your pill at 5 PM PST to account for the 3-hour ahead time difference. That way, your body stays on track no matter where your travels take you. 

We know it can be difficult to remember your pill when you’re on island time, so here are some tips to help you stay on schedule and ensure your birth control is still effective during your adventures: 

Set an alarm on your phone or use the Spot On app 

You can set an alarm on your phone that’s in your home time zone, and your phone will adjust accordingly depending on your location in the world. Or take advantage of the Spot On app’s calendar reminder feature to stay in sync no matter where you go! 

Keep your birth control close 

Carry your birth control in your bag with you while you go exploring to ensure you have it when you need it! Just be sure to store your pills in a cool, dry place and keep them out of excessive heat and humidity, and out of direct sunlight.  

Consider changing your birth control method 

If you’re planning a long trip and staying on track with your birth control while traveling across multiple time zones is too stressful, consider changing to a longer-term birth control method like the shot, patch, or IUD. You can request the patch or make an appointment at your local health center to get a longer-form method of birth control through the Planned Parenthood Direct app

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