How to Plan a Stress-Free Holiday with IBS
With the warmer months coming up, we all start dreaming about our summer vacation. But if you have irritable bowel syndrome, vacations can quickly become equally as scary as they are exciting.
Being away from home, in unknown places and with unknown foods, is a big step out of the comfort zone for me as an IBS sufferer. The fear of getting flare-ups is real. But going on vacation isn’t supposed to stress you – it’s supposed to be a relaxing experience!
Fortunately, there is no need to skip your summer vacation, nor do you have to get back more stressed than ever. With a few simple tweaks, you can have the holiday of a lifetime!
Travel with people you’re comfortable with
We all know that IBS is largely triggered by stress. Therefore, the most important way to reduce stress levels on your vacation – and thus improve how you’ll be feeling – is to choose your travel companions wisely.
If you’re not 100% comfortable to get an IBS flare-up around your friends, skip on friend holidays. Instead, choose someone who’s not going to make you feel embarrassed, like your partner or a family member. The choice entirely depends on you – whether you like large groups or individual people, whether you’re really open about your IBS or not. But as long as you’re okay in the worst case scenario, you’ll definitely be fine with all the other scenarios.
It also goes without saying that your travel companions have to know about your IBS. Full disclosure is necessary so you’ll always have someone to stay by your side if things get bad.
As long as you’re 100% comfortable with your travel group, everything else will get a million times easier!
Know your IBS and plan around it
If you’re IBS manifests itself every morning, there is no need to plan an early morning activity on your vacation. You will probably have to miss it or feel terrible. And that is by no means what a relaxing vacation is all about.
Instead, know your IBS. Know what it needs to stay away, stick to your usual routine and keep unnecessary stress sources to a minimum.
The only thing that might cross your favorite routine is travel days. For this, remember that airports, airplanes, and trains all have bathrooms right next to you. Avoid long car or bus journeys unless you know that you’ll be able to stop and use a bathroom whenever you need to.
Know the risks
There are two main risks that you might come across on your vacation: new foods and the possibility of a random bad day for no reason at all.
When it comes to trying new foods, you basically have two choices: don’t do it, or do it at home. That is unless you feel comfortable using a restaurant’s bathroom in case things go wrong – then go for it!
As for planning your holiday, make sure to stay flexible. Knowing that you have to be at a certain place at a certain time creates exactly the source of stress that might cause a random flare-up.
And if things go wrong – just go with it. Stick it out, get better and get back up to explore the world.
Consider renting an RV
Here comes the most important tip for all road trip lovers with IBS. Road tripping with an RV is the easiest, least stressful way to tour the world. And it’s an incredibly fun option for your holiday!
What more could you ask for than driving around with your kitchen, bathroom, and bed all in one?
If you love road trips and you’ve been holding back because of IBS, be reassured that the RV life will be your perfect match.
Is gluten a trigger for you?