Having an ostomy shouldn't stop you from traveling. You may, however, need a bit of time to adjust to having an ostomy and feel ready to travel. Start by taking short trips, and see how it goes from there.
Whether you are traveling by car, ferry, train or plane, it’s important to be well prepared. Pack a small, travel changing bag and keep plenty of extra pouches and any other supplies you may need with you.
If you are flying, make sure you pack plenty of supplies to take with you on the flight and for while you’re away, plus extra for contingencies. Divide up your supplies in different bags just in case your luggage is misplaced or your flight is delayed. Don’t forget that scissors aren’t permitted in carry-on luggage, so cut all of your barriers to fit your stoma before you fly.
Don’t be concerned about your pouch expanding due to the change in cabin pressure. Ostomy pouches have been designed and tested to withstand pressure changes.
Before you travel abroad, check your travel insurance policy to see how your condition and circumstances are covered while away.
In warmer climates, you may perspire more and thus need to change your pouch more frequently. Always make sure your skin is completely dry before applying a new pouch to ensure a good secure fit. If necessary, use a hairdryer to dry the area – but be careful not to have the heat setting too hot.
You may also be at increased risk of diarrhea or dehydration. Drink plenty of water, and consider bringing medicine to treat diarrhea, just in case.
Once you are on vacation, remember that you can still do all of the same activities you did before, and relax and enjoy yourself.
- Store stoma pouches in a cool place
- Use bottled drinking water to change your pouch when out and about
- Apply suntan lotion after you’ve put your pouch on, as the creams may affect the adhesive
- Seal and empty used pouches and dispose of them with normal trash
- If you feel a bit self-conscious about leaving pouches in your hotel room, use public trash cans
- Before leaving for your vacation, find out where you can get professional healthcare assistance at your destination, just in case.