Seven Tips for Traveling with IBD
Travel is stressful enough without worrying about an IBD flare. Use these tips to travel with more peace of mind.
Prepare your gut
The day or two before a big trip (maybe a week before depending on the length of the trip) be especially careful of the foods you eat. Avoid any foods that have caused an IBD flare in the past or you think you might have a sensitivity to. Better safe than sorry.
It sounds simplistic, but staying hydrated while traveling (for anyone) is always a good idea. Keep a collapsible water bottle with you at all times, but remember to have it empty when you go through security if you are flying.
Pack your own food
You are much more aware of your own food sensitivities and triggers than any line cook in a diner along the freeway. Don't take a chance with food on the road; pack your own meals and snacks.
Inform necessary parties
While it may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, it is best to inform the place you stay or people you are staying with of your condition if they will have any part in preparing your meals. It is OK to be vague on the reasons for your "food sensitivity" as long as they know you have them.
Gather medications ahead of time
Should the worst happen and you do 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 go-to medicine in the event you need it in a pinch.
Find 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 before your departure. This will ensure you are not scrambling to an Emergency Room right away if a flare up becomes particularly bad.
Remember that trips, especially vacations, are supposed to be fun. And, stress is a known trigger of IBD flares. Take a breath, relax, and enjoy yourself.