6 Simple Tips to Avoid Travel Constipation
Here's how to stay comfortably regular on your next vacation or work trip.
Photo: Patrick Foto / Getty Images
The only baggage anyone wants to have to deal with on vacation is a suitcase or two. But oftentimes you get stuck carrying extra baggage in your digestive system as well. And that's the worst: Bloating, gas or stomach pains while trying to make it through the airport, manage a long car ride, or relax at the hotel. So we set out to find the best tips for keeping traveler's constipation at bay whether you're road tripping to the coast or jet-setting over international waters.
Feed Your Gut
A few days before your trip, consider stocking up on probiotic foods or supplements to keep your microbiome strong. This will not only help keep your digestive system regular, but it will give your immune system a much needed boost before traveling!
Some of our favorite fermented foods include yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh and kefir, all of which pack plenty of healthy probiotics. You may even want to check out our 1-Day Raw Probiotic Meal Plan a day or two before hitting the road.
You might not want to hear this, but water should take priority over lattes when traveling. It's worth bringing a reusable water bottle with you to fill up throughout your travels, making it that much more convenient to stay hydrated.
Water is essential for keeping everything flowing properly through your intestines, and while coffee can certainly help kickstart a morning bathroom trip, it's best to stick to one or two cups max when traveling. Curbing your caffeine consumption early will also help you get better rest upon arrival that night.
Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber is also an essential part of staying regular, so it's important to eat high-fiber foods like produce, whole grains, nuts, beans and seeds throughout your trip when possible. Vacations and work trips are often times where people decide to go wild and ditch healthy eating, and while there's nothing wrong with indulging yourself in a new city's cuisine or world-famous desserts, try not to make it a habit at every single meal.
Bringing whole fruits or veggies and hummus as travel snacks are a great start, and you may want to consider ordering a vegetable side or salad at meals when dining out on your trip to keep things moving. Fiber is also a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good gut bacteria in your body, so it will do both your digestive and immune systems a service.
Related: 5 Easy Ways to Eat More Fiber
Stretch Your Legs Whenever Possible
While an eight-hour road trip or four-hour flight doesn't exactly allow for lots of movement, try to sneak in walking breaks when you can. Take a few laps around your terminal during a layover or extend your lunch break on the road to enjoy the scenery. It can seriously improve digestion.
Simply sitting in the same position for hours on end can lead to bloating and constipation-and the air pressure changes on a flight can have an effect, too. Don't sweat it if it seems too difficult to move en route though. Just make sure you can schedule some physical activity when you arrive and over the course of your trip. Simply skipping the Uber and exploring a new city by foot is one of our favorite ways to sneak in extra steps!
Seek Out a Routine
Traveling is going to throw you off schedule no matter where you go or what you're doing, but it's important to seek out sticking to a similar routine during your trip. This includes waking, sleeping and meal times-plus sneaking in a little walk or other workout at some point in your day.
Your bowels like to stick to a schedule whenever possible, so doing anything you can to keep in the swing of things is sure to help. You might even want to schedule out certain bathroom times if you know you'll have a hectic day. This might sound a little crazy (especially for our Type B friends), but it's worth a shot to help facilitate proper digestion!
Related: 8 Foods to Help You Poop
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Whether you're going on an exotic vacation or headed to a work conference, traveling can be seriously stressful-especially when you add kids, co-workers and other people in the mix. High stress levels are bad in a million ways-they affect your sleep, your weight, your immunity, to name a few-and stress can even affect your digestion.
Depending on the kind of trip and travel you're taking, it's important to take time for yourself to rest and to remember that a lot of things are about to be out of your control-so just focus on the things you can. Being willing to be flexible as you travel and prioritizing moments (or a whole week!) of self-care will do more than just your digestive system some good. Happy travels!