How To Avoid Travel Constipation

How To Avoid Travel Constipation

Constipation is defined by a person who has not had bowel movement in a few days. Lacking bowel movements while on a trip is referred to as vacation constipation or travel constipation. This can be highly inconvenient and uncomfortable, and it is usually brought on by alterations to your normal routine. Drinking less water, eating meals at odd times, and other alterations can mess up your digestive system and back you up.

What Causes Constipation?

There are several things that can cause constipation. Sometimes, more than one cause at a time is backing you up. The following causes can result in constipation:

  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders (IBD or IBS)
  • Not going to the restroom when you feel the urge
  • Certain vitamins or medications
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Lack of fiber in your diet 
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Slow stool movement through the colon

What Causes Travel Constipation?

It is possible for the same causes of regular constipation to cause travel constipation. There are usually other factors at play, though, some of which include:

  • Your bowels have not adjusted to your destination
  • Changes in the size and timing of your meals
  • Increased time spent sitting
  • Lack of hydration
  • Travel-related stress that affects digestion
  • Your sleep schedule is off, due to changing time zones
  • The long journey on a plane or road trip limited access to comfortable bathrooms
  • Jet lag affects the body as it crosses time zones
  • Changes in your exercise routine

If you take the right steps, you can avoid travel constipation and stay regular, wherever your plans take you. Continue reading for tips on how to stay regular while traveling.

Listen To Your Body

This is the first rule to follow because you should go when you feel the urge to go. Ignoring this urge can lead to travel constipation very quickly. If you ignore your body’s urge to eliminate, the stool material stays in your rectum and gets harder. The harder the stool, the harder it is to pass. If you don’t feel comfortable using a public restroom for a bowel movement, try listening to music in your headphones to help you relax and let go. Do your best not to strain! If you can’t eliminate after sitting on the toilet for five to 10 minutes, get up and try again later. 

Move, Eat, And Drink Water At Your Destination

How often your move and what you put in your body dictate how easily and regularly you have bowel movements. Consuming the right foods, drinking enough water, and moving your body can help you avoid constipation during your trip. You don’t have to hit the hotel gym or do HIIT workouts in your room; rather, walking from point A to point B can encourage elimination. Sip water throughout the day, but be mindful of water sources depending on where you’re traveling. Try to incorporate fiber-rich foods, including vegetables, oatmeal, fruits, and legumes into your meals, while also indulging in local delicacies. 

Eat A Good Breakfast

It can be tempting to avoid breakfast while you are on vacation because you either want to sleep in or get the day started. Most people tend to have a bowel movement in the morning, and you’ll enhance that natural urge by consuming a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast. Try to eat a balanced meal and avoid meals that are starch- or protein-heavy. You should, however, consume foods that are rich in healthy fats because they help stimulate the release of hormones that trigger the urge to have a bowel movement.

Drink Lots Of Water

It is very common for people to exert a lot of energy or sweat while traveling, especially in warmer climates. Despite that, it is very common to avoid water, or only drink it when necessary. If you feel that you need water, you are already in a mild state of dehydration. If the body doesn’t have enough fluids, it draws water from fecal matter in the intestines to compensate. That can make stools hard and difficult to pass. While traveling, make a conscious effort to drink plenty of fluids, including water and electrolytes. Regarding fluids, not all fluids are kind to your bowels, such as milk, which has a reputation for causing constipation.

Try To Stay On A Schedule

If you are like most people, then you have your bowel movements narrowed down to a time of day. The body’s internal clock determines hunger, sleep, bathroom needs, and other life patterns. If you keep your body on a consistent schedule, you will help your bowels out a great deal. Whenever possible, make sure you have enough time for a relaxed bathroom visit. That will take less pressure off you and give you a similar bathroom experience to the ones you usually have at home.



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