alt=An SUV with luggage packed on the roof with mountains and trees in the background. A checked-off list and map indicating bathrooms along the route frame the car.

Travel and Vacation Tips From IBS Advocates

Traveling and going on vacation is usually something people look forward to. Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. With IBS comes unpredictable symptoms, including urgency for some and constipation for others. Who would want to be trapped on a beach or resort with pain and bloating, far from the comforts of home? Some people in our IBS community do not bother traveling at all.

Depending on your situation, you may find yourself relating to some of the following articles we have compiled for you here. They are all written by real people living with different types of IBS who decided to go on that trip and share what they learned. Let us know in our forum if you have any tips or tricks when you travel.

Camping tips

We know what you are thinking: Camping?! No way! In this article written by Laura, she offers 5 tips for going camping despite living with IBS. One of those tips is accepting our limits as people living with the condition.

“I am never going to be the person who goes camping in the woods for a week. I just can't due to my health issues (which doesn't only include IBS). I used to beat myself over this and feel like less than because the image of myself that I wanted to project didn't pan out,” Laura writes.

Traveling in a group with IBS

Traveling in a group can mean sharing the same bathroom as others you may or may not be close with. Depending on your situation, that could prove really stigmatizing. In this article, an advocate shares the planning and outcomes of traveling with her boyfriend’s family. We hope you know that by reading this, you are not alone.

“I just kept telling myself that everything would be okay anyway. Whenever I felt like I couldn’t do something, I told myself that I could, and I would at least try. Even if that meant not having breakfast and using bathrooms at the train station in order to take an early morning train, or being hungry for most of the day because the food didn’t suit me.”

How to ease IBS-C naturally while on vacation

There are many sides to IBS. While some people live with diarrhea dominant IBS, or IBS-D, others live with constipation-dominant IBS or IBS-C. There are some who experience mixed episodes and fluctuate between the 2, which is referred to as IBS-M. And while the jury is out on which is worse to travel with, all types of IBS come with their own issues.

In this article, written by Hannah, we get a glimpse of what traveling with IBS-C is like. She offers tips on fiber and more.

“If you decide to go a little crazy at the breakfast buffet, order 1 too many cocktails and laze around by the pool all day, you may find that this actually helps your IBS symptoms because you are relaxing and letting go of stress, but if you find that all of the changes are blocking you up, then these tips may help…” Hannah writes.

Road trip tips

What comes to mind when you hear “road trip?” For 1 advocate, it is exciting – the adventure, the unknown, and the sights! But it requires some planning if you live with IBS. In this article by Karina, she offers tips for enjoying your road trip to that perfect destination. That includes knowing where all the restrooms are along the way.

“I would have stressed much less if I knew right away that every gas station seemed to have a bathroom – as well as every touristy town we went to. It’s always good to know where you’re likely to find a toilet!” she writes.

General tips for vacationing with IBS

But let us be real: Sometimes, the thought of going on vacation can be stressful. In this article by Elizabeth, she offers 5 general tips before you head out the door. From making restaurant reservations in advance to bringing safe foods, and packing extra underwear, she has got you covered.

Basically, bring your go-to tools for getting through a flare, because there is nothing worse than being out of town and not having anything to turn to when you are not feeling well.

Share with others

How about you? What tips do you have for those traveling with IBS? Participate in our forum by clicking below.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Does your IBS prevent you from attending public events?