Tis’ the season to be jolly. But what if your gut is nervous about traveling?
Anxiety while traveling with digestive health issues is a real thing. And with holidays just around the corner, the same old thoughts pop into our heads…
What happens if I have a flare-up? What happens if I eat something wrong? What happens if I do not have access to the things that I need? For the most part, I’m sure many of you can agree that these issues consume our minds pre-travel, especially when dealing with IBS or IBD.
So how do we properly prepare ourselves for holiday travel without being burdened by the ‘what if’s?’
PACK THESE SUPPLEMENTS…
- Probiotics – Find a highly recommended one that will help support gut flora.
- Magnesium – Great for migraines, body aches, insomnia, and digestive pain.
- Digestive Enzymes – Take with a meal to support digestion of foreign foods.
- B12 – To maintain energy levels and gut flora balance.
- Ginger – To help alleviate GI discomfort, or bloating from traveling and eating.
PLAN YOUR TRIP…
Traveling by car? Pack a big cooler bag with all of your gut-friendly snacks, including bottles of water to stay hydrated. Map out stops along the way, so that you have plenty of opportunities to go to the toilet and walk around.
Traveling by plane? Both domestic and international travel allows some food onto the plane, so find out your restrictions and work around it by preparing yourself gut-friendly meals for the trip. Also, get an aisle seat! You’ll thank me later.
KNOW YOUR DESTINATION…
Get on the internet and start researching everything you need to know about your destination.
Find out where the local supermarket is, where the local chemist is, where gut-friendly cafes are, and where you can get access to anything that’s going to make your stay a lot easier. Don’t do this at the last minute, it can cause more anxiety.
CHOOSE YOUR ACCOMMODATION WISELY…
Accommodation can make or break your vacation. So think wisely.
Staying in an Airbnb? Perfect! Make sure that it has a usable kitchen, so that if you’re ever ‘stuck’, you can cook something before heading out. Or you can meal prep for the day.
Staying in a hotel? Check out the hotel menus to see if they’re ‘you friendly’ find out if they do room service, and if they have access to a delivery service if there’s nothing that you can eat.
Staying with friends/family? Ask them for a nearby supermarket that you can go to before arriving at the house. That way you’re stocked up and ready to go. Or give them a list of foods you can eat.
GET YOUR SLEEP…
Sleep is such an integral part of maintaining a happy, healthy gut.
Traveling a long-distance? Although you may be jetlagged, it’s still very important to try and get as many hours sleep as possible. Otherwise, we recommend that you drink purified water, as dehydration (caused by traveling) can make jetlag worse.
Not really traveling? While you may not be traveling far, your body will most likely be exposed to new foods or routines that might upset your digestion. Sleep helps restore the body, giving it time to digest and heal from foreign substances.
PLAN FOR THE WORST…
For some of us, it’s more than just ‘stomach discomfort’. Having IBD can be like carrying an extra human around, so prepare yourself with the following:
Have plenty of back up medication: Holiday season work hours can be inconsistent. Don’t rely on your doctor at the last minute. Plan ahead and have plenty of back up medication.
Pack spare underpants: This is a no brainer, but so easily forgotten! Be prepared for ‘everything’. Especially this one!