7 Tips for Traveling with Crohn's Disease

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Avoid certain foods

The day or two before a big trip (maybe even a week before depending on the length of the trip) you should be especially careful of the foods you eat.  Avoid any foods that have caused a Crohn's flare in the past, or anything to which you believe you have a sensitivity.

Drink plenty of fluids

It may sound obvious, but staying hydrated while traveling is always a good idea.  Keep a collapsible water bottle with you at all times although you need to make sure it's empty when you go through security if you are flying. 

Bring your own food

You are much more aware of your food sensitivities and triggers than an cook in a diner along the freeway.  Don't take a chance with food on the road; pack your own meals and snacks. 

Keep others informed

While it may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, it is best to inform any friends or hotel staff of your condition if they will be involved in preparing your meals.  It is OK to be vague on the reasons for your "food sensitivities" as long as they know you have them.

Have backup medications

Should you experience a flare up during your trip, you don't want to be looking for your medications while you are sick.  Make sure to pack at least two day's worth of your medicine in the event you need it in a pinch.  

Have a "destination doctor"

If you will be away from home for an extended period of time, it's a good idea to locate a doctor, or at least an urgent care clinic, near your location in the event you need medical attention. This will ensure you are not scrambling to an emergency room if a flare up becomes particularly bad. 

Keep calm

Remember that trips, especially vacations, are supposed to be fun.  And stress is a known trigger of Crohn's flares.  Take a breath, relax and enjoy yourself.