There have been a lot of times in my decade of living with these diseases, Crohn’s and Colitis, that I had trepidation about traveling, specifically flying, but even driving short or long distances was stressful at times. I have learned a lot over the years about the steps and actions I can take to make traveling less stressful and actually enjoyable. Some of the things seem simple, but by taking many of these little actions, it can make a trip from work or pleasure a great deal more comfortable and hopefully Fun.
When I was first diagnosed with the disease I was concerned with not being able to make it to a bathroom in time. In my experience, my body never seemed to fail me when I was in a social situation or surrounded by a public audience. I recommend that you always carry a spare outfit with you, including all necessities. Clothes that are easy to slip on if you are in the car or a plane bathroom. I like to carry a dress with me.
I think the most helpful coping technique is to be aware of what you are eating. Make good food choices during the time you are traveling. I am a fan of Food Supplement bars or drink supplements like Ensure and Drink Chia or G2 for hydration. They will give you the calories you need to maintain your energy levels.
I would stay away from raw fruits and vegetables while traveling if you have any urgency issues or frequent bowel movements.
I think another important part of traveling is making sure you are strategic with your seat location and bag location. Because Crohn’s is protected by the ADA, you can board planes early and ensure that your bag with your supplies and change of clothes make it on board. I also recommend letting the flight attendant know you have some health issues, so you might be in and out of your seat frequently. I try to always choose an aisle seat.
When traveling, it is very important that you remember to carry all medication in a labeled bottle, and that you have enough medication with you, so that you will not have to miss any doses while you are on your trip. I have found it helpful to even carry a few items that aren’t always a necessity, but can be helpful to ease the occasional uncomfortable moment. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Gas-X, Antacids, and my prescription medications are always with me, with an extra few days supply in case my plans change. I never want to be stressed if my plane is late or I want to extend my trip.
Finally, I recommend to always give yourself plenty of time during your travels, so that you don’t have to be concerned about taking the time to go to the bathroom, stop for food, parking, ensure you haven’t forgotten anything. I hope some of these planning strategies are helpful to you for your future travels. crohn’s disease, crohns, colitis, ulcerative colitis, uc, uc and crohns