5 Tips For Traveling with IBD
Traveling with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be tricky and very complicated. Traveling internationally even more-so. It can be hard and intimidating at first. Enough to make you really question yourself and if the trip is even worth it at all. While it was difficult, I managed. I managed to finish my first international trip successfully and I could not be more ecstatic. I've come up with some helpful tips to make things go a little smoother on your next trip.
Pack Meds Efficiently:
I was able to get all of my meds through airport TSA four times! I also went through 3 countries' customs. For medications, I have a special container with the days marked out. It's travel size and very quick to track and pack! I highly recommend finding a container that works for you. It makes it much easier when all medications (that you are able to store in one place) are stored together. It also helps to prevent loss or stolen meds too.
Hydration is very important! Especially living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It's extra easy to become dehydrated while traveling. Because of this, you want to be sure you have refillable water bottles or at least have a method of storing liquids for yourself. If you need to keep liquids with you at all times, you may want to bring a doctor's note as most airlines/airports will not allow you to bring drinks. (You can still bring empty water bottles to fill once you've been through security).
There is so much to see! I know we want to experience as much as possible, but it's so important we remember to pace ourselves. It may feel fine at the time, but we don't want to over-do it with all of our adventures at once! Instead of trying to fit a full schedule within a short time frame, try to spread out activities over a week or two. It should help.
Talk to Your People:
Whoever your people may be, talk to them. Whether it's asking your doctor for an early refill on your med, notifying your family of your whereabouts or phoning a healthcare professional when necessary. Keep your phone charged and keep in touch with your healthcare providers, family, and friends pre and post trip (as needed).
Don't forget to pack small snacks for the road! No matter how far you're going it's always a good idea to have a backup plan for food. In case you start randomly feeling hungry, or maybe just need an energy boost, small snacks can so helpful and delicious!
Remember you're more than Inflammatory Bowel Disease. You're much more than a patient. You're human! You deserve to have a good time and be happy just as much as anyone else. It might take a little more time and effort than everyone else, but remember why you came (in the first place). Prioritize your health, but don't forget to add your happiness to that list. Do your best to have fun and just live in the moment.
I hope these help you when planning your next getaway!
How open are you about being diagnosed with IBD?