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.
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
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:
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