Traveling with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be intimidating. Dealing with sudden urges or needing to make frequent stops to the bathroom due to irritations is the primary reason why many with IBD choose to avoid travel. Yet the holiday season has arrived and for many, that means taking trips to visit family and spread holiday cheer. I come to offer some simple solutions to your biggest traveling concerns and challenges. This way you can travel with confidence this holiday season.
4 Tips for Traveling with IBD
1. The Devil is in the Details
The first thing that you need to do when preparing to travel with an inflammatory condition such as IBD is to plan ahead. Taking the time to unravel the mystery and make the unknown known will decrease stress. This will also allow you to pack, and plan your travel itinerary properly. Simple things like choosing a seat on the airplane that is close to the lavatory. Or, if you know you’re going to be on an extended road trip mapping out rest stops with bathrooms along the way.
Be mindful and conscious of your unique triggers and symptoms and plan for them as well. Packing additional clothes and extras just in case there is an emergency. If you need space and don’t feel up for crashing with the family in the small atmosphere because it just doesn’t allow for the privacy and relaxation you require to manage your condition. Book a hotel nearby in advance. These small little details can be really helpful in helping you establish and create a routine while you’re away from home.
2. Create A Safe Foods List
Are you going to be doing a lot of dining out? Will you be eating a lot of home-cooked meals? Do these meals and foods increase your risk of having a flare-up? Knowing what to do in regards to your meals and what you’re going to eat during the holiday season will help you with better managing your symptoms. Researching ahead of time what restaurants serve foods that align with your dietary goals. Knowing what you will be consuming as you are traveling to your destination. Can the meals on the plan be modified to fit your dietary needs? Do you need to prepare meals and snacks in advance?
Also being honest and real with family before the big holiday dinner. Do they stick to a regular menu each year? Are they open to creating dishes that are IBD friendly? Find out ahead of time what the answers to these questions are so that you can decide what needs to be done and plan accordingly.
3. Keep Medical Information Close at Hand
It’s important in the event that something serious happens to you have your current medical information. Before you travel out of town make sure you have your doctor refer you temporarily to a doctor in the area that you will be visiting just in case you need to schedule a doctor visit while you’re away or have an emergency. Also, have your doctor create a detailed document that explains your medical and health history and includes a list of any of the medications you are taking as well as the dosage. Include prescription information with this document as well.
As part of the preparation process make sure that you refill all necessary medications and pack more than enough to get you through your visit. Avoid taking medication out of its original container to prevent getting it confused with other medications and double dosing. You can carry a small pill container in which you can place your medication that you will be taking for the day.
4. Create an Emergency Kit
Sometimes despite the best planning and efforts, things happen. You are triggered by something and have a flare-up unexpectedly. Make sure you plan for these little unfortunate emergencies. Create an emergency kit that you keep with you at all times in order to ensure that you are better prepared for those situations.
Things to include in your emergency kit are:
- Doctor Recommended and approved anti-diarrhea medication
- Flushable Wet Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Soap
- Change of Clothes including Underwear
Making Travel with IBD Easier
While traveling with IBD may not be as easy or simple as traveling without an inflammatory bowel disease it can most certainly be done. With thoughtful planning, and mindful consideration it is possible to travel this holiday season. Being prepared and ready is the key to making traveling with IBD easier.
Hi, my name is Kathleen but you can call me Kat. I am an Anti-Aging Coach and I am super passionate about empowering women. I encourage women like you to take charge of their reproductive health and anti-aging wellness. You can accomplish this holistically and naturally. You can create healthy habits with your nutrition, fitness skin health and wellness. I create educational content here on this blog. I also create content on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
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