How many spare pairs of knickers do I realistically need to pack based on the chances of pooing myself during this trip? Is one box of peppermint tea per day definitely going to be enough? What if the hotel room doesn’t have a fridge for my Symprove bottles? Will people think I’m pregnant in this swimsuit?
I honestly feel pretty envious thinking about those who can shove a whole heap of clothes, a couple of bikinis and a fabulously oversized hat into their suitcase and off they go on holiday. Without a second thought of what their gut will be up to over the next week or so.
However, over the past few years I’ve built up my confidence when it comes to travelling with IBS and there’s a few things that I never go away without…
With the combination of the heat and eating and drinking more than usual, sometimes bloating is inevitable and the last thing I want to think about whilst I’m already a hot mess is having to squeeze myself into a tight dress. I find that knowing that I’ve packed purely comfortable clothes that make me feel great, whether I’m bloated or not, really helps take the anxiety away from the evenings. If I do have a few options that are slightly tighter I tend to wear them at the beginning of the week and save my most comfy for last.
I never travel ANYWHERE without this little bottled bestie. And my top tip if you don’t have a fridge in your hotel room - ask for a champagne bucket and ice. Pop it in there and top up with more every couple of days.
An absolute essential if you have dietary requirements and are unsure of the hotel or supermarket offering. Even just a few bars and a pack of bread rolls to tide you over if you get stuck.
Allergy and intolerance cards
A bit old school now we have Google Translate but I always make sure I screenshot the translation for “I’m allergic/intolerant to... Can you cater for me please?” It’s also a good idea to pop the hotel or any restaurants you’re planning on visiting an email ahead of time to ease any anxieties.
A little bit obsessed with this stuff and I spray it on my pillow wherever I go to help me relax.
My number one emergency bloating aid. I carry a box in my suitcase and always have at least one in each hand bag.
Medication and supplements
From lactase enzymes to medication, I always make sure I’m fully stocked up for the dailies and the emergencies.
A full itinerary
I’m a researcher through-and-through, and having IBS only fuels that. I find it difficult to just walk into the first restaurant I see so always spend an hour or two before we head off scouring the internet for the best places to eat, best things to see and where the closest toilets are!
I definitely think we should be given an extra 10kg luggage allowance for all the extra crap we have to pack right?
One thing I do know is that if I can get my brain to relax, my gut usually follows suit. So the more things like the above that I can do to make me feel less anxious about going away; the more comfortable I’ll be whilst I’m there. Enjoy your holiday!