How to Travel with Crohn’s Disease

It’s happening: that dream trip that you’ve been planning for ages is finally booked. Does the idea of travel fill you with excited butterflies? It should. With a digestive disorder like Crohn’s disease, however, the idea of traveling can be a stressful one that causes some patients to avoid travel altogether. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Planning can make traveling less uncertain and allow individuals living with Crohn’s disease to explore their surroundings with less worry about potential health issues.

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Photo Credit: Sherry Lipp

Tips for Travel

Whether traveling by air, by rail, or by car, there are things that one can do to make the travel process easier.  Here are a few tips to take as one prepares to travel:

  • Find a doctor early. Knowing where a doctor is in the destination city can lift a huge worry off of a Crohn’s patient’s shoulders. Ask your regular doctor for a recommendation.
  • Take enough medications along. Ensure that you have enough crohn’s medication for the whole trip, and take extra, just in case something happens. Keep pills in the original containers if you’re flying.
  • Pack copies of prescriptions and take a typed physician’s statement.
  • Create a low-stress itinerary.  Consider booking a travel package or deal from a company with a good reputation in order to minimize travel problems and stress. Also, book flights that are nonstop or have few connections.
  • Talk to your health insurance provider. Know your coverage and its limits, especially if traveling abroad.
  • Let flight attendants know of your condition. If you have Crohn’s disease, letting your flight attendants know might convince them to allow accommodations like access to the first-class restroom if necessary.
  • Create a Bathroom Kit.  Keep the kit with you and include things like extra undergarments, hand soap, toilet paper or wet wipes, and plastic bags, just in case you encounter a bathroom that is not stocked properly.

These tips may lessen the stress that travel can bring, and the potential for a stress-related Crohn’s disease flare up.  So, pack your bags, find a doctor, and enjoy your trip! For more information about Crohn’s contact

Samantha Gilbert
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