If you have ever traveled anywhere, let alone traveled on an airplane, to a different time zone, or a different altitude then you can probably (secretly) agree that at one point or another some part of your body has not agreed with the travel choices.

The whoa’s of digestion while traveling…

The Whoa's of Digestion While Traveling-Flying Image Hope Zvara

I love to travel, but sometimes my body takes a few days to catch up on the enjoyment. I’m just going to say it- constipation sucks. There is nothing worse than not feeling regular. And if it’s not constipation then worse could be…. well….diarrhea. The CDC says that travelers diarrhea affects 30-70% of travelers (CDC). Now I understand that many won’t admit it, at least out loud, but keeping tummy troubles at bay while traveling is a real concern. There is nothing worse than trying to see the sites and trying to poop at the same time. And with the rise of non-available public bathrooms and what is has been saved for paying customers only makes for a tricky travel situation.

I have traveled my fare share already at just 32 years old and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. And over the years I have learned a few things that have helped tremendously to keep my body happy, healthy and reduced the body adjustment time to a minimum so I can have fun and my belly can too. The whoa’s of digestion while traveling are now far and few in-between now that I have my back pocket full of tips and tricks to keep me out of the bathroom more than need be.

Here are 4 tips to help with the whoa’s of digestion while traveling:

  1. Drink up! Water that is. Travel, especially air travel dehydrates you drastically and if you are traveling to an environment that is dryer or at a different altitude than what you are use to, already being short on H2O will only make things worse. Typical configuration for how much water you should be drinking is .06 x your body weight in oz, but when you travel it may be wise to drink up a bit more. Those little cups of water on the plane just won’t cut it. Consider carrying a water bottle with you through security and filler-up at the water bottle station (in most airports built into the bubbler/water fountain). Things like foggy vision, headache, cramps can all trail back to lack of water. If traveling to areas where water is questionable, when in doubt buy it bottled. Now time to drink up.
  2. Travel with pre- and probiotics. For so many of us we have gut issues and don’t even know it, we have accepted the issues as normal and so when things get worse yet, our digestive tract may be screaming for help. A good quality pre- and probiotic should be able to travel down to the small intestine where we need them most. Regular use of probiotic improves digestion, metabolism, but even more importantly improves the quality of nutritional absorption, something most of us in today’s world truly struggle with. Check out Hope’s pick for pre- and probiotics.
  3. Recognize what you are eating. Consider following the travelers mantra: The traveler’s mantra, attributed to colonial explorers, goes something like this: “Cook it, wash it, peel it or forget it.” This can help you steer clear of tummy trouble causing foods.
  4. But if you just can’t avoid the plague and you are less that travel worthy in your favorite destination following B.R.A.T.: Banana-Rice-Applesauce-Toast. These suggested foods can help calm you unhappy stomach and hopefully help you reduce your time laying low. Don’t push it once you find yourself on the mend. Stick to bland foods and plenty of well sourced water.

So next time you are planning your dream vacation or just hopping the pond for a weeks stay, consider also planning for your tummy’s trip too. Because if your belly ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.

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