Whether it's a day trip or the trip of a lifetime, traveling with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be an anxiety-provoking experience. Unfamiliar situations, strange foods, and new environments that disrupt your daily routine can all potentially worsen gut symptoms. If you've ever found yourself desperately searching for a public bathroom in an unfamiliar place, then you know the kind of travel stresses we're talking about.

So, does living with IBS mean you should avoid traveling altogether? Of course not! You just might need to plan your holidays, weekends away, and business trips more carefully than somebody with a reliable digestive tract. 

Read on for some trip-saving tips to make your next adventure less stressful.

Travel planning: Before you check your bags, check for toilets

Think about your route beforehand and check the facilities along the way. Different mobile apps can prove very handy when locating the nearest public bathroom, for instance, SitOrSquatBathroom Scout, and Flush.

If you are traveling by plane (assuming you're some place where plane travel is still A-OK. Thanks, COVID), make sure you leave early to avoid unnecessary stress at the airport. Ask for the aisle seat close to the toilets. Carry with you an emergency bag with a change of clothes, wet wipes, and toiletries, as well as any medication you might need. 

Talk to your doctor before your trip and ask about any medications you could use if your symptoms become severe, either en-route or once you get to your location. Sometimes just having medication available can feel reassuring. 

In addition to packing the right things, it can also help to get into the right state of mind. Try mentally preparing yourself for the trip, for example you can visualize your journey to prepare the body for the upcoming change. 

In much the same way, hypnotherapy can help you mentally prepare and respond to stressful travel situations by helping you relax and lower the body's stress responses. Portable hypnotherapy programs, such as the Nerva app, are easy to use while you travel. 

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Calm your IBS in 6 weeks

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Take the IBS Quiz
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
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Take the IBS Quiz
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
Take the quiz
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Take our free assessment to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start assessment
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Take our free assessment to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start assessment
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Take our free assessment to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start assessment
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Take our free assessment to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start assessment
Fix the miscommunication between your gut and brain
Manage IBS with gut-directed hypnotherapy
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Food planning: Leave adventure on the map, not your plate

While that spicy paella might look delicious, traveling may not be the best time to experiment with new foods. If you're likely to be tempted to try the local cuisine, decide how much risk you want to take and give yourself time to recover should you experience a flare. If keeping your digestion in check is a top priority, it's probably best to eat smart, avoid your trigger foods, and plan your meals. Also, don't forget to stay hydrated!

Some other things that can make your journey more comfortable include:

  • Eating regular, small meals 
  • Keeping your breakfast as consistent as possible 
  • Bringing some IBS-safe snacks with you in your daypack/handbag
  • Checking the online menu before you get to a restaurant so you'll know if they have something IBS-friendly to order

Travel companions: How an honest talk can solve a stressful trip

If you feel comfortable enough with your travel buddies, tell them about your condition and how it may affect your trip. Being upfront can reduce tension and make you feel more relaxed. Plus, if you're open about your needs, it'll be easy to discuss making changes to plans later on — especially if you need to swap something like a hiking adventure for a recovery day. 

Other tips for traveling 

  • Always carry some coins with you. In some places, you might need change to pay to use a public bathroom. 
  • If you are traveling abroad, find out how to say, "Where is the nearest toilet?" in the local language. It can also help know the words for foods you want to eat or want to avoid. 
  • Stretch your legs whenever you can, and keep up your exercise routine. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes that won't restrict your gut while walking.
  • Adventure may be calling, but try and avoid too many late nights if you know sleep deprivation aggravates your symptoms. 

And, of course, don't forget to have as much fun as possible!

The Wrap Up

Don't put your travel plans on permanent hold because of IBS. With a little bit of pre-planning and open conversations, you can ensure a safe, happy, and healthy trip. Some small changes, like packing emergency medications, checking for bathroom locations in advance, and sticking to trigger-free foods, can make a big difference to your overall comfort. Importantly, remember to talk to your travel companions about your condition and your needs to cut out extra stress and make more room for fun. 

What if you could calm IBS in just 6 weeks?
Take the quiz and find out if you can manage your flare-ups by fixing the miscommunication between your gut and brain
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters from Monash University
Start quiz now
Quiz: Could hypnosis help you quit smoking?
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Want to calm your IBS in 15 minutes a day?

Take our free quiz to discover if Nerva's gut-directed hypnotherapy program can work for you.

✅ 89% success rate
✅ 80,000+ people helped
✅ Created by gut health experts
❌ No appointments or waitlists
❌ No pills or diet change

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Hot Flash Relief

Manage your hot flashes in just 5 weeks.

✅ Science-backed & effective
✅ Natural & safe option
✅ Created by Dr Elkins
❌ No appointments or waitlists
❌ No medications

Learn more

Hypnotherapy

Unlock the power of your mind and embrace better health.

Find out how

Refer, monitor and grow

A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.

Let's Connect
Think it could be IBS?

Take the Quiz.
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
Take the quiz
Download your free guide to managing IBS with hypnotherapy
Calm IBS related pain
Break the stress-IBS cycle
Manage IBS symptoms without diets or drugs
Download Now
Think it could be IBS?

Take the Quiz.
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
Take the quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Fix the miscommunication between your gut and brain
Manage IBS with gut-directed hypnotherapy
50,000+ people helped
A calmer gut and mind
Start 7 day trial
Manage hot flashes in just five weeks
Hormone free
Low risk
Evidence based
Start Now
Manage hot flashes without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Start Now
Sleep better, without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Start Now
Receive your Clinician Pack
Full access to our apps, white papers, and more
Referral scripts with a 15% discount
Free discovery call with our health specialists
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Interested in hypnotherapy?
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Contents

Calm IBS in 6 weeks

Take our free assessment to discover if Nerva can work for you.

✅ 89% success rate
✅ 50,000+ people helped
✅ Created by Dr Peters

Start

Hot Flash Relief

Manage your hot flashes in just 5 weeks.

✅  Scientifically proven
✅  Natural & safe option
✅  Created by Dr Elkins

Learn more

Hypnotherapy

Unlock the power of your mind and embrace better health.

Find out more

Refer, monitor and grow

A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.

Let's Connect
Could it be IBS?
Take the quiz to find out.
Free guide to managing IBS with hypnotherapy
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
What if you could calm IBS in just 6 weeks?
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters from Monash Univeristy
Could it be IBS?
Take the quiz to find out.
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Manage IBS with gut-directed hypnotherapy
Start free trial
Sleep better, without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Manage hot flashes in just five weeks
Start Now
Manage hot flashes without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Refer, monitor and grow
A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.
Get your pack now
Interested in hypnotherapy?
Learn how hypnotherapy works on the brain and how it is changing healthcare.
Find out how