Planning a trip away can be a huge challenge when you live with IBS. The uncertainty of travel and the accessibility of toilets can cause a lot of stress. But with forethought and preparation, it is possible to enjoy time away, without letting your IBS spoil your plans.
Read our blog post to help you feel more confident, comfortable and in control of your IBS this summer.
Most people would agree that they don’t look forward to packing, but it has to be done! If you give yourself plenty of time in the weeks before, the chances are, you’ll feel more in control and avoid forgetting the most important items. Go through your IBS emergency kit supplies and see what items you need to include before your trip. The IBS Network has a summer travel pack to help you better manage your IBS this holiday season.
The pack includes, paper soap, five coin towels, single sachet hand gels, a can’t wait card (including the international travel card) and a RADAR key.
All for just £12.90, including second class postage and packing.
Plan meal and snacks
Skipping meals to avoid going to the toilet is very likely to make your IBS worse. Taking a few gut-friendly snacks and water with you can help you manage your symptoms better until you can eat a proper meal. If you are travelling to a country where you haven’t been before and want to try the local cuisine – do your research beforehand. If you are travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s very helpful to create a list of translations for trigger foods to avoid and those you know are safe.
Don’t forget your Can’t Wait Card with international travel card
If you worry about getting access to a toilet when you need one, our Can’t Wait Card is available to help you gain access to toilet facilities when you most need them. Simply present the card in public places or stores and ask if you can use their toilet. Although the card is not guaranteed to give you access to toilets, they are becoming increasingly widely acknowledged and accepted.
The international travel card, which comes with your Can’t Wait Card, contains a number of translations of the ‘Can’t Wait’ message, which can be used to find a loo in countries from Germany to Pakistan. Perfect for travelling or taking on your holiday. Be sure to pack yours this summer.
Members of our network receive a Can’t Wait Card as part of their membership. You can join from just £24 a year.
Or you can buy the cards in our online shop. Purchase your ‘Can’t Wait’ card and international travel version here.
Keep your mind busy
Take the stress out of travel by occupying your mind with reading, watching a film, or doing a puzzle to make the time go faster and distract yourself. If you’re more relaxed. you’re less likely to experience IBS symptoms.
Keep a wellbeing diary
Write down what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. Our 12-week wellness diary is designed to help you better understand your symptoms and triggers. Purchase one here.
Don’t forget your go-to treatment
If you have a medication that helps you calm your symptoms during a flare up, be sure to pack it. That way, you’ll be prepared and hopefully better able to cope if you have a flare up. Remember to keep your medication in its original packaging in case customs want to check them. (Just to be sure, you might like to check whether the customs in your destination country have any restrictions on what you can bring with you.)
Drink plenty of water
It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re travelling or seeing the sights, but it’s important, especially if you have IBS-C. Hot weather can also increase the risk of dehydration, so be sure to drink extra non-alcoholic fluids.
Learn to meditate
Meditation is a term used for a variety of techniques that involve focusing your attention on the here and now. It induces calm and relaxation, removing stress and anxiety. Meditating will help you better cope with the day-to-day stress of living with IBS. Find out more in The IBS Network’s self-care programme. https://www.theibsnetwork.org/the-self-care-programme/
Once you’ve done all the packing and preparation, sit back, relax and enjoy the anticipation of your forthcoming holiday. Concentrate on what you are looking forward to doing and seeing when you arrive. Do not catastrophise scenarios. Enjoy your holiday!
Don’t forget to order your summer travel pack. They’re designed to help you better manage your IBS this holiday season.