If you suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), you understand the fear and anxiety fellow sufferers have about traveling. The worry that you could have a flare-up at any time would often keep you from enjoying vacations with friends and family.
However, you can enjoy these moments of leisure if you take the necessary precautions and prepare adequately. Here’s a checklist of the essential things you need to get done:
Getting Ready for Your Trip
You must consider a couple of things before you even begin planning for your trip. First, how severe is it, and how often do you get treatment for your IBD? Second, what kind of trip are you planning? The more extreme or unusual it is, the more planning you’d have to put into it.
Either way, the rule of thumb is that you’re stable enough to travel to lessen the risk of infections and flare-ups.
Talk to Your Doctor
The first thing you need to do, of course, is to talk to your doctor and tell them your travel plans. Your doctor is an excellent source of information. They can tell you many helpful things, such as the names of doctors you can contact and possible remedies during an emergency.
They would also know which vaccinations you would need, depending on where you’re going and taking into consideration your particular IBD diagnosis.
Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Regardless if you’re planning a trip abroad or domestically, you need to have travel insurance so that you’re financially covered for any eventuality. Be prepared to provide a note from your doctor confirming that you are fit to travel.
Consider Your Mode of Transport
Are you going by car or planning to take the scenic route on the train? Or are you going abroad and planning to fly? Let’s examine each mode more closely.
Plan your route according to the location of toilet facilities. You could try searching for these online or talk to fellow sufferers who are familiar with the area you are visiting. You can check out support groups or online forums for this information. Alternatively, you can opt to bring your travel potty.
Train travel might not yet be as popular in the USA, but if you’re planning a European getaway, expect that you’ll be traveling by train a lot. It will be a good idea to know in advance if the train you’ll be traveling on has a toilet onboard. You could also call in advance to let the station know that you would need help, such as carrying or storing your luggage, for example.
You need to communicate with the airline well in advance to ensure that you have the smoothest check-in possible. Different airports have various security measures in place, but most agents are trained to help people with disabilities. Talking to your airline in advance would also give them time to accommodate any diet restrictions.
As with your insurance provider, make sure you carry a note from your doctor stating your fitness to travel. If it’s a long-haul flight, it would be best to take all your medications with you instead of in your luggage. Also, request an aisle seat whenever possible.
This might seem like a daunting task for IBD sufferers, but preparedness is critical. If you’ve been dealing with this disease for a long time, you are already familiar with things that could cause flare-ups, and you most likely have personal remedies to call on when they happen. Stick to your routines as much as possible. Be more vigilant about your food and water consumption in an unfamiliar land, and you’re sure to enjoy your vacation with minimal fuss.