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6 Tips for Flying with IBD

As I am sitting here waiting patiently in the airport about to travel home, I’m pondering some basic travel tips that many “Cronies” can use.  We have to remember that we need to make our trips as easy and painless as possible, and the less stress we bring upon ourselves allows us to relax a little bit more.  The last thing we need is to be running to the bathroom the minute we get to the airport.

  1. Look for Bathrooms by Security: You should always look for a bathroom by the TSA security checkpoint.  Most airports have them by the TSA checkpoints.  You should try to go before you get in line for security.
  2. When to Go Before your Flight: If you have to go to the bathroom and it is close to your gate, make sure you go about an hour before boarding (even if you think you don’t need to). It is always good to try. Do not wait until right before boarding, because all the people getting off the incoming plane will need to go.
  3. Stay Away from Coffee:  Even if you are craving it, do not drink coffee.  Regardless if it is hot or iced I am recommending you to stay away.  Coffee serves and acts like a laxative for me.  Have your coffee before you get to the airport if you need a caffeine fix. I have learned that drinking coffee right before a flight will cause me to be the first one to have to use the bathroom while airborne
  4. Try to Refrain from Drinks Aboard:  Sure!  Everybody likes complimentary drinks.  But try to refrain from drinking anything on your fight.  If it’s a short flight, there should be no need to get something that will make you run to the bathroom.  Liquids just hurry the digestive process.  If it is a long flight, avoid sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners.  Remember Crohnies, make sure you take “sips,” as needed.  This is not a chugging contest!
  5. Stay Calm!  Sometimes emergencies do occur.  For the most part, the person sitting next to you will be understanding.  If you have to go to the bathroom before the flight, or while in flight, just ask them to kindly to excuse yourself.  Hey, it happens to anybody.
  6. After the flight: Try not to go to the first bathroom you see when you get off the flight.  Remember, you and about two hundred other passengers have the same thing in mind.  If you can make it, go to the bathroom that is the furthest from your arrival gate.  I like the restrooms that are very close to the baggage claim. This way you are relieved, then you go receive your bag, then you are off to your destination, WORRY FREE.


How about you? I am wondering about other travel tips that those with IBD have come across.  I am interested to hear your feedback.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    10 months ago

    These are great tips!

    One I would recommend, is if you are in a flare and know you will be using the bathroom frequently while on your flight. Let the flight attendant know about your condition. They are ALWAYS so understanding and if there is a moment when you need the restroom and there is a line, the attendant will make sure you are next due to your condition. At least that has been my experience. Also, knowing they are on your side, lowers your anxiety.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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