Travelling With a Stoma | Dansac AU

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Travelling With a Stoma

Having a stoma doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Whether you travel for pleasure or business, close to home or abroad, having a stoma won’t keep you from new adventures.

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Get tips on travelling with a stoma.

Travelling around the world and visiting interesting and exotic places is one of the great pleasures of life. A stoma need not keep you from those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You do, however, need to plan ahead, pack smartly, and consider the challenges of each form of travel when you have a stoma. 

Below are some tips for worry-free, enjoyable travel:

Get an ostomy travel certificate

An ostomy travel certificate is available from your stoma care nurse or local stoma association. If there is a need to explain about your stoma appliances when going through customs or airport security, the certificate will help save time.

Have contingency information

Always carry information on all of your ostomy products – manufacturer, name, number, size, etc. – in case you need replacements. Also, keep the telephone number of your stoma equipment supplier with you. 

If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, ask your stoma care nurse or stoma association how you could contact a stoma care nurse/local agent at your destination to get help if needed.

Be careful with food and drink

A change in drinking water, either in your own country or abroad, can cause a change in bowel habits. Drink only bottled water outside your own country. Check that the bottle seal has not been tampered with by holding the bottle upside down to check for leaks. To avoid “traveller's diarrhoea,” always be aware of what you are eating and drinking.

Other general travel tips

  • Pack twice as much stoma equipment as you would normally use
  • Bring even more stoma appliances if you plan on going swimming or spending long periods of time in the water
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and allow easy access to your appliance
  • Do not miss meals before and during travelling
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, as this may accelerate feelings of dehydration 
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, since they may increase flatus (gas) from your stoma


Hints and tips for different forms of travel 

If you have a stoma, every form of travel has its unique challenges. Here are tips to help you travel trouble-free no matter how you get to your destination:

Air

  • Always have enough ostomy products in your hand luggage, in case of emergency
  • Remember to cut and prepare your stoma appliances before packing because scissors can only be packed in the check-in luggage
  • Book an aisle seat, if possible, to make it easier to visit the toilet
  • Plan ahead. A meal trolley can make it difficult to get to the toilet.
  • Try to position the seat belt below or above your stoma

Sea

  • Cruise liners usually have medical staff facilities that can help you in an emergency

Rail

  • Most trains have toilets. If in doubt, check first.
  • Not all trains have buffet facilities, so make sure you bring along plenty of fluids to drink and something to eat

Road

  • There are usually toilets in service areas or petrol stations, and most coaches have toilets
  • Do not leave your supplies in the car in hot weather, as this may affect your skin barriers
  • An insulated pouch can be useful for carrying your stoma supplies