Crohn’s Disease and Travel: The Top Traveling Tips for Those With Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease and Travel: The Top Traveling Tips for Those With Crohn’s Disease

Experts estimate that between 593,000 and 780,000 people in the United States currently suffer from Crohn’s disease.

Are you part of this group? Do you have a big trip coming up in the near future?

Traveling with Crohn’s disease can be tricky. Being in a new place, eating new food, and simply breaking from your daily routine can easily throw your health off and leave you feeling less than your best.

You don’t need to cancel your trip just because you struggle with Crohn’s disease, though. You just need to a little extra planning before you leave.

Here are some great tips that will help you travel safely while living with Crohn’s disease.

Talk to Your Doctor

Before you leave for your trip, schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about your plans and get suggestions on what you can do to keep flare-ups at bay.

Even if your symptoms are totally under control, travel can create extra stress that throws your system out of whack.

Your doctor can write you prescriptions for stronger medications that you can take just in case you experience a flare. They might also recommend certain vaccinations or antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. 

Be sure to schedule this appointment with your doctor as far in advance as you can. That way, you have plenty of time to fill your prescriptions and get your symptoms under control before you leave.

Find a Doctor at Your Destination

It’s also helpful to find a doctor at your travel destination. When you meet with your current doctor before your trip, he or she might be able to recommend someone. Your health insurance provider may also be able to recommend someone.

In a perfect world, you won’t need to see a doctor while you’re traveling. But, in the event that something goes wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re traveling internationally, you might also want to consider buying travel insurance that also covers medical care.

That way, if you do experience a flare-up and require medication or other treatment, you’ll have access to whatever you need to get well again.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Everyone should have some kind of emergency kit with them while they’re traveling. But, an emergency kit is especially important for people who suffer from Crohn’s disease.

The following are all good items that you ought to pack in your emergency kit:

  • All your prescription medications (stored in their original bottles)
  • Over-the-counter medications (antacids and antidiarrheals)
  • Any nutritional supplements you might need to take
  • Disposable wipes and tissues
  • A bottle of hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing wipes
  • A clean outfit and change of underwear

It’s also a good idea to pack a couple of meal replacement bars. Stick to varieties that you have had before and know won’t upset your digestion.

That way, you’ll always have something to eat, even if the food on the plane or at a specific restaurant isn’t good for you.

Plan Ahead

Be sure to plan ahead and prepare as much as you can for potential issues. Some steps you can take to prepare for your trip include:

  • Book an aisle seat on your flight so you can get to the bathroom easily
  • If you can, custom order meals that suit your dietary preferences 
  • Choose hotels and restaurants that can accommodate your health needs easily
  • Try to stay somewhere with a kitchen so you can prepare your own food whenever you can

If you’re staying in a developing country, be sure to avoid tap water and raw fruits and vegetables. These could contain bacteria that could contribute to flare-ups.

Arrive at the Airport Early

If you’re flying to your destination, be sure to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight.

This will give you plenty of time to get through security, use the restroom, and get settled in at the gate before your flight takes off.

While you’re waiting at the gate, you might want to spend some time doing mindfulness or relaxation exercises. This can help you feel more at ease before you board your plane.

Keep Your Diet in Check

Try your best to stick to your Crohn’s diet plan while you’re traveling. Traveling, in general, can be hard on your digestion — going too far off your diet will likely make things worse.

Pack your own food (you can bring most types of solid foods on airplanes without any problems) so that you have plenty of recognizable, easy-to-digest items to choose from.

Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, too. Bring an empty water bottle with you as you go through airport security. Then, you can fill it up when you get to your gate.

Speak Up About Your Condition

It can be awkward to talk about your symptoms. But, if you’re open about your condition while traveling, it will be easier for you to get the accommodations you need to feel your best.

You don’t need to share all the details, of course. But, letting your hosts, flight attendants, and others know what you need can be very helpful. 

Find Ways to Fit in Exercise

Finally, try to make exercising a priority while you’re traveling.

Research shows that exercise can be very beneficial to some people with Crohn’s disease. And, if exercise is already part of your routine, don’t give it up just because you’re going out of town.

Some of the best forms of exercise for people with Crohn’s disease include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Resistance training
  • Walking

These are also all great workouts that can be done anywhere with little-to-no equipment.

Want to Learn More on Living with Crohn’s Disease?

Traveling while living with Crohn’s disease can certainly be stressful. But, there’s no reason why you should let your condition hold you back from enjoying your vacation.

If you keep these tips in mind, traveling with Crohn’s disease will become a lot easier. 

Want more advice on managing your illness effectively?

Be sure to check out the Crohn’s disease section of our website for more helpful tips and tricks.


  • magreat

    September 27, 2019 at 7:01 am Reply

    These valuable tips will help those with Crohn’s disease not to panic when they need to travel. I believe seeing a doctor or meeting with a doctor at the end destination will be very helpful.

  • Obalade Damilola

    September 27, 2019 at 9:46 am Reply

    Living with crohn”s disease can be tough..travelling with it is a whole different ball game..arriving at the airport early and travelling with essential kits is really important.. This way,you can be prepared for anything…Great article..

  • AJ

    September 27, 2019 at 10:06 am Reply

    I could never imagine how horrible it is living with such a condition, and I feel very bad for people who have to endure this. It’s true and is always wise to be prepared for it, if you have this disease and you need to travel. It may be even harder to prepare for, but at least you will have peace of mind and not worry too much in case something goes wrong.


    September 27, 2019 at 11:51 am Reply

    Walking and Yoga should be the best form of exercise for people with Crohn’s disease. Thanks

  • Meldred Judith

    September 27, 2019 at 1:52 pm Reply

    It is really a need to get a doctor wherever you go. You must not be complacent about aby disease. Medical attention is always needed.

  • Peter Honny

    September 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Travelling for those with Crohn’s disease is a big deal because of the disease . There should be a plan far ahead and of course an emergency kit should be carry along too incaee it is needed.

  • Rosemary

    September 27, 2019 at 5:08 pm Reply

    Thise are great tips to help the people with Crohn’s Disease to feel better during the flights. I Heard that Yoga can be very helpful for this cases

  • Alex

    September 28, 2019 at 4:27 am Reply

    Speaking up means a lot whether it is this disease or any other for that matter. From the gist of it it is a gastro disease if I am not mistaken. That said perhaps travel with a company as suppose to being alone. Help is faster that way with more people there.

  • Oyeyipo Oladele

    September 28, 2019 at 12:22 pm Reply

    Anybody with critical disease and wish to be fly out should just link up with for proper and that best trip to treatment. This article is well detailed to really help teach and safeguard us all on any related stuffs like this. Thanks for this post.

  • Femi Logo

    September 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm Reply

    The tips shared in this article are really of great value. Although I don’t know of anyone with Crohn’s disease, but what I learn today would be a great help later.

  • Roy

    September 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm Reply

    The best course of action when traveling with Crohn’s disease is to consult with your doctor. The doctor’s advice supersedes everything.

  • Meg W

    September 28, 2019 at 9:40 pm Reply

    Organizing for a doctor beforehand at your destination can help a great deal. This means you will have someone to take care of you when you land.

  • Patricia

    September 28, 2019 at 9:42 pm Reply

    The importance of traveling with an emergency kit cannot be overstated. You never know when you may need it!

  • Oliver

    September 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm Reply

    Arriving at the airport early enough is a very good idea. This way one is able to do all that is necessary to be fully prepared for the flight. It also relieves anxiety to some level.

  • Daphne

    September 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm Reply

    It is a good idea to let the flight attendants know about your condition. This will help them monitor and give you specialized attention should you need it during the flight.

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