Gearing up for a trip? Traveling abroad? Believe it or not, one of the biggest complaints travelers have is suffering from constipation.
Ooh! Do we have to talk about constipation? YES! Whether it’s temporary or chronic, constipation is nothing to ignore. Preventing it is your best bet, but having a way to overcome it is second best, especially on the road.
Being constipated at home is bad enough, but being constipated on vacation – in foreign territory – is no fun and can completely ruin your travel plans.
What’s a Savvy Traveler to Do?
1. Drink More Water! – The most important thing, if not THE most important thing (Yes, you read that right!), is to drink more water. Water can’t be stressed enough! Your body needs it for many things and one of them is moving your bowels. It’s not uncommon to drink more alcohol, sodas, and coffee when you travel, but your body needs water. Commit to drinking water on vacation and save the glass of wine for dinner ONLY if you’ve had enough water that day.
2. Stick Close to Your Regular Diet – One of the best ways to stay regular, assuming you already are, is to eat the foods your body is normally accustomed to eating. Don’t throw good habits out the window just because you’re away from home. Excessive amounts of meats, cheese, and desserts will lock you up. Feel free to try the local cuisine but make sure you’re getting your fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
3. Eat Fermented and Cultured Foods – Traveling to exotic places? Take advantage of the local fare. Many fermented foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut, or cultured foods, like yogurt and kefir, provide essential probiotics that keep your intestines functioning optimally and, in some cases, provides the exact culture your body needs to digest some of the new types of foods you’ll be eating.
4. Exercise – You want to relax and take it easy when you travel. We get it! But too much laying around sets you up for constipation. You don’t have to go to a Zumba class, but a vigorous daily walk will certainly keep things moving. You could even do some simple yoga poses, like child’s pose, gentle twists and lying in bed and hugging your knees into your chest, which helps to compress the bowels and push things along.
5. Pack a Fiber Supplement – You’d be surprised what a daily serving of fiber in a glass of water can do for you when you’re traveling (or at home too). It’s not expensive, doesn’t weigh much, and packs easily into Ziploc bags.
6. Take Advantage of Restrooms – Gotta go?! Don’t wait until you arrive at your hotel, resort, or AirBnB. Most constipation begins in the traveling phase of your journey. Holding “it” until you get there allows your body to reabsorb more water, hardening your stool, and locking up your bowels. Rule of thumb – see a sign, use the potty!
7. Emergency Measures! – So, you let your vacay run away with you, living the high life and ignoring all these tips, and suddenly find yourself bound up tight. No worries! Here’s a quick fix that works like a charm – eat some beets, prunes, raisins, and bran. Not necessarily together! All of these, especially beets, have a gentle laxative quality when combined with proper amounts of water.
Enjoy Your “Regular” Vacation
Nobody wants to deal with constipation and its sidekicks, gas, bloating, and hemorrhoids, when they’d rather be taking in the sights. Thankfully, there’s no secret to staying regular when you travel. You just have to pay attention to what you’re doing, eating, and drinking.
Some simple planning and a commitment to follow through with it will ensure you have a great time and return home in great shape.
More Commonsense Health for You:
Foods High in Fiber & Fiber Rich Foods
High Fiber Foods List for a High Fiber Diet
Unhealthy Food to Avoid & Foods NOT to Eat
Natural Home Remedies and Diet for Constipation