As you know, my last blog post was part 1 of travelling abroad with Crohn’s disease. Although I originally planned to share some tips of my own, I decided instead to reach out to some of my favourite IBDers across the worldwide web (most http://healthyglobetrotting.com/traveling-abroad-crohns-disease-part-1/of whom have much more experience than me in travelling abroad with crohn’s and IBD) and ask them to share some of their own advice instead. I hope you find it useful and as I mentioned before, keep your own tips coming via my twitter, or by commenting below.
Aaron Blocker from the Facebook page Life Takes Guts (click link to follow)
‘When it comes to traveling or going on any vacation or holiday you have to plan ahead, but when you have a digestive disease such as Crohn’s Disease you really have to plan ahead in advance. When I travel I make sure I have all of the medicines I need, I call my doctor and get refills and stock up as much as possible. If you are flying and are on a medicine that requires you to inject yourself with a needle such as Humira for Crohn’s you also have to contact the airport and make arrangements for that, they have special stickers and carry things for the medicine especially if it has to be kept chilled. I had to do this when I flew last summer. So Tip #1 is Be pharmaceutically prepared! Seems like a given but I have gone on many trips and realized I left an important medicine at home. Also when I travel especially if it is a big trip that is busy I make sure that I have time in my schedule to rest or time set out just in case I get sick. I try not to travel when I am in a bad flare, but there are those times I feel fine and travel then get sick on the trip and I have not adequately set time apart to rest or recover and I have to either cancel some things or just push through the sickness (which is never good!) . So Tip #2 Have times where you can rest! Even if is just 30 minutes a day where you can just sit. You do not want to over exert yourself and then make yourself sick.). I hope these help!”
Jenna Rines AKA Colitis Girl (follow on twitter here)
1. Drink LOTS of water and always carry water with you! If you’re like me (I have an ileostomy), I get dehydrated fairly easily. I carry a reusable 1 litre water bottle with me most places I go, and try to get it filled up along the way or purchase bottled water depending on where I’m travelling – especially if I’m doing exercise-intense day trips or travelling to places with a warmer climate. Electrolyte or rehydration packets that mix into water are also a good idea to carry with you in case you start feeling weak.
2.If you’re taking medication, know their side-effects, as these can be important for when you’re travelling! The medication I’m taking, Humira, advises that you make sure you’re not out in the sun for too long and to use sunscreen, which is important to know if you’re planning on being outside for long periods of time.
3. Travelling with your medication and budgeting the right amount of medication, especially if it is injectable or needs to be refrigerated, can be stressful. I’ve done it a few times now with no problems – if you’re worried, you can always speak to someone about travelling requirements for the country you’re travelling to and/or the airline you are flying. This goes for ostomy appliances as well – I always carry those in my carry-on and make sure I have at least one appliance for each day I’m going to be away, just in case.
4. Listen to your body. You know your body best – what works for me may not work for you, so please make sure you are making informed decisions based on what you know is right for you. Safe travels, take care of yourself, and have fun!