IBS – Tips for Your Travels

Even with the excitement of an upcoming trip, those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) know that traveling is not easy and can cause lots of challenges that are far from straightforward.  Planning and strategizing to help you be sure that your IBS is not aggravated over the course of the vacation is key because being in a new place, on a different schedule, and far away from your kitchen, can present difficulties and anxiety too. But don’t let that delay planning your trip; instead, consider the following tips.

Carefully Plan Food and Meals

While traveling, if you are not staying in a place with kitchen facilities, planning your own food is key for individuals with IBS. This will include making the best food choices off a menu in a restaurant and/or piecing together parts of the menu with side dishes you can always order separately. Especially if you are aware that certain foods that you eat such as greasy foods or not eating enough fiber will cause you difficulties, you will want to order carefully.

One tip is to carry around smart and healthy snacks that will carry you over until you get to a restaurant where you can choose your meals wisely. Also be sure to carry around a reusable water bottle so you are sure to get enough fluid intake through the trip from the very moment you leave your home.

Maintain a Schedule

Being sure to keep a good routine even while you are enjoying your travels is key. If you are in a different time zone, this always presents challenges to get your sleep and meal schedule in sync with your new location so that your gastrointestinal system does not get out of whack. Continue to eat your regular meals just as you would if you were not traveling. Be sure to get enough sleep and plan extra time for jetlag at the beginning of your trip.

Planning Bathroom Stops

It is a careful balance between sightseeing and running non-stop while also ensuring to able to plan time adequately for bathroom breaks. Check with tours to be sure how much flexibility there is with taking breaks and be sure to carry around small pocket-change in case you visit a country which charges for bathroom use. And most importantly, be aware of your body and do not ignore any symptoms that may arise. Be sure to address them immediately.

Leave as Much Worrying as Possible at Home

There is a lot of stuff around vacationing that is simply out of your control and with IBS, those pieces may become anxiety producing. Because there is a link between stress triggering episodes of IBS, it will be to your advantage to plan accordingly for your trip, but also recognize that it’s almost impossible to plan for everything. Be sure to talk honestly about IBS with the people you are traveling with so that they will understand what may be happening at any given time. Most importantly, enjoy the trip and the upcoming adventure and making new memories.