8 Travel Tips For Ostomates

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Having an ostomy should not stop you from traveling anywhere in the world. At first, you might be reluctant to travel with a stoma. You might be worried about running out of ostomy supplies, not finding a proper place to change the ostomy pouch, or facing an embarrassing situation during your journey. But with a little planning, you can be prepared for challenges you might face while away from home.

Here are a few tips which will make traveling with an ostomy a lot easier:

1. Stay Hydrated

Becoming dehydrated is never fun, especially when you’re on vacation. If you have a stoma, in particular an ileostomy, this puts you at a higher risk. So, make sure to drink plenty of water during your journey.


2. Keep Pre-Cut Skin Barriers On Hand

If you are using cut-to-fit skin barriers, it is important to pre-cut some of them at home. This will make changing your pouch much easier while traveling.

Keep Pre-Cut Skin Barriers On Hand

3. Bring More Than You Need

Pack extra ostomy pouches, skin barriers and accessories so that you are never short of supplies and can change your pouch whenever required.

Important Tip: Make sure to carry some ostomy supplies in your carry-on or handbag in case your luggage is misplaced.
Bring More Than You Need

4. Make A Menu For Your Trip

Trips can be overwhelming and can often make you eat what you are not supposed to. Make a list of the foods that don’t cause digestive issues and stick to it. Avoid gassy foods like cabbage and spinach to prevent gas buildup.

Make A Menu For Your Trip

5. Plan The Route When Traveling By Road

Knowing where rest areas and restaurants are along the way is a great idea for everyone, but especially for an ostomate. Knowing where you can change your pouch, find the right food or get some bottled water will save you from a lot of unnecessary stress

Plan The Route When Traveling By Road

6. Carry A Travel Communication Card

This card is issued by the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) and contains a brief description of your ostomy. This will help you get through airline security quickly.

Carry A Travel Communication Card

7. Check The Weather At Your Destination

If you are headed to someplace warm, the adhesiveness of your skin barrier can be affected. Check the weather beforehand and be prepared.

Check The Weather At Your Destination

8. Store Ostomy Products Properly

Avoid storing ostomy products in hot and humid places. If possible, you may want to carry them in a small cooler that you can take with you.

Store Ostomy Products Properly

Travel Tips For Specific Ostomy Type

Depending on the type of ostomy there are some special tips which will help you make your trip comfortable and successful.

Tips for Ileostomy

  • With ileostomy there is always a chance of fluid leakage at night. Carry plastic sheets or mattress covers to protect the mattress.
  • Dehydration can be a problem in hot climates. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

Tips for Urostomy

  • Dehydration can become a problem with urostomy as well. Make sure to stay hydrated. If there are extended periods between pouch emptying, drainage or leg bags can help and will also reduce the risk of accidents when you are asleep.
  • In warm weather, take special care of your skin around the stoma. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice anything unusual.

Tips for Colostomy

  • A change in diet or cabin pressure in a plane can cause gas to develop in the body. Avoid foods that create gas such as cabbage, spinach, carbonated drinks, etc. Eating too quickly can also create gas.
  • You can opt for irrigation to empty your bowel at a time that is convenient to you. This is especially helpful when you have limited access to bathrooms.
  • Using an Ostomy pouch with a filter can also help. It has a small vent with a filter in the top that absorbs odors and allows trapped gas to escape.


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