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Traveling with IBD.

Traveling with IBD

As I pass my ninth year anniversary of having Crohn’s Disease, I am experiencing the fun milestones of all my friends’ lives. Two of my friends are getting married this summer, and you know what comes with weddings right?  Yep! You guessed it! Bachelor parties. I am going to two bachelor parties this summer! I live in the generation that everybody wants to travel to a destination for his or her bachelor’s parties.

As the talks of the destination started, I had a million things going through my head.

What time is the flight? Who am I going to be sitting next to when I am on the airplane? What about these long lines at the TSA checkpoint? What happens if we get stuck on the airplane, and they won’t take us back to the gate?

I felt at this point that I really did not want to travel. I sometimes can be my worst enemy.

As my friends are planning where we are going, I am thinking about one thing: I am worried about traveling and my stomach. When I found out that we are going to Austin, Texas I started to get nervous. One thing I noticed with Crohn’s Disease is that my body has trouble getting used to traveling via air, and the time difference. Even though it will be one a one hour difference, my body really doesn’t do well! I find myself running to the bathroom more.

At first, my friends wanted to travel outside the country for the bachelor’s party. That really scared me because of the different parasites that are in the drinking water. The last thing I need is Montezuma’s Revenge on top of Crohn’s while I am on vacation! I might has well just live in the bathroom for the trip!

Ok, ok, lets get back to being serious. I had to call my friends and explain to them my concerns. I wanted to be part of this wonderful milestone, but also take precautions as well. I told them that I didn’t feel comfortable traveling outside the United States. At least if I had flare in the states, I could get reasonable healthcare until I was able to get home. I also explained the whole water deal.

Rest is very important. Because I take lots of medication that lower my immune system, I can’t get run down. I plan on resting a bit during the get-a-way weekend. Even it if is a twenty minute catnap, it will make a big difference. And of course, whatever activities we do, I need to be near a bathroom. That’s the obvious!

My friends, being the best friends in the world, completely understood. We decided to go to Austin, Texas. Although I won’t be drinking and partying as much as them, I am still looking forward to having a good time. As long as I travel prepared, with the correct medicine, I will be just fine. I just have to pay attention to my body, and try to stay on my routine as much as possible. Finally, I must enjoy myself for a change!

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.


  • LrayBeaches
    10 months ago

    I’ve had Crohn’s disease most of my life, I am now 51.. I’ve had to travel for work, attend conferences and meetings out of state, and the occasional leisure trip. As others have mentioned, being prepared is most important. When I fly, I ask to pre-board due to Crohn’s – SW Airlines uses a blue sleeve – I pre-board, choose an aisle seat close to the bathroom; I don’t eat very much during travel days, and keep an eye out for public places with bathrooms. I’ve learned to not be shy about this disease – the end result is please let me use the facilities, or we both will be embarrassed about a mess to be cleaned up.. I’ve learned to slow down when I need to, and opt out when I’m really sick. I keep my medication with me at all times.. I’m currently planning a trip to Puerto Rico – my first trip abroad with active disease.. I’ll keep you all posted.. I am looking forward to a wonderful time at the beach, site-seeing, and visiting with friends and their family.. I love to eat, and cook good food – this is pure irony at this point.. but, I am learning what I can and cannot eat, which is a mystery most of the time.. I have recently learned that if I am on immunosuppressants, I cannot have live vaccines.. this requires much advance preparation – the CDC and the national health institute has a lot of good information regarding what diseases to look out for while traveling abroad.. Check your health insurance and doctor availability where you will be traveling.. It’s all about being prepared.. It’s all about being your own advocate and educating others.. It stinks and is a pain in the rear, pun intended.. but I can’t let it define who I am, it’s just a condition I have to live with and make adjustments for.. Advocate for modifications, drink bottled water, watch what you eat, have medication handy, get plenty of rest..

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