Updated: Dec 18, 2022
Anyone who has dealt with chronic constipation knows that traveling can be a real doozy!
The change in diet, increased sitting, stress of traveling and dehydration is the perfect recipe for more constipation.
But fear not, here are my top tips for taking care of you pelvic floor and GI while traveling.
Dehydration can be a real issue, especially if you are not wanting to have to climb over 5 strangers to use the toilet every couple hours on your international flight.
This goes for car trips as well, who wants to constantly pull over and pee at every sketchy small town gas station?
That said, the less water that goes in your system, the harder your stool is going to be coming out. I recommend sipping water slowly throughout your travel and decrease your intake of alcohol in the air.
Try to drink enough to pee at least every 4 hours. Plan ahead with your seating arrangements or quality rest stops if possible!
Fruit with a high water content such as grapes can help you get fiber and a little more water in your system.
If you are driving it's a little easier to pack fresh fruits and vegetables for your trip. If you are flying a short distance this shouldn't be an issue either, but if you are flying long-distance this can be a challenge.
You can usually find some apples or a pre-packaged vegetable snack at an airport Starbucks (I know, groan). But it's better than surviving on airline food, trust me.
Snacks like carrots and hummus, apples, berries, and cucumbers can go a LONG way in keeping you regular throughout your trip! My pro-tip is to always have a bag of baby carrots on hand. They travel well and really help move your system.
This doesn't just go for travel time. Try to incorporate fresh fruits/vegetables throughout your trip.
This is relevant unless you go to a country that's not safe to eat fruits and vegetables, in this case, pack some stool softener and thank me later.
Sitting for hours on end can be really tough on your pelvic floor. If you are already suffering from tight pelvic floor muscles, especially around your tailbone, you might consider bringing a donut cushion with you.
I once got so desperate on a flight to Vietnam that I started using my neck pillow to sit on. Next time, I will have that cushion!!
Gentle, regular movement is really healthy for your system. Walking every evening after a meal can help regulate you while traveling. Walking around the terminals instead of sitting can be helpful for long flights.
Taking breaks every couple of hours from your car ride can be helpful as well.
Get Your Feet Up
A squatty potty is a stool that goes around your toilet to help elevate your feet and relax your pelvic floor for bowel movements.
When you reach your destination, you can get pretty crafty in mimicking a squatty potty at home.
You can recreate this by turning a trashcan on its side, or placing a couple of toilet paper rolls under your feet.
If you're driving someone, don't be afraid to pack your squatty potty!
Last but not least, spending time every night doing some belly massage can go a long way in keeping you regular on your travels.
To perform this, lie on your back and gently massage your belly using a broad/flat hand. You will start from your right hip and make a circle around your belly button, descending down toward your left hip.
Make little circles with your hand as you go!
Travel can be tough on your system no matter what. We are creatures of habit and routine, and although travel is totally worth it, it can be hard to mix up our diet and lifestyle.
That said, these tips can go a long way it keeping us regular, decreasing constipation, and keeping our pelvic floor muscles from getting overly tight.
Don't be afraid to give a few of them or all of them a try this holiday season!