Ever wonder why it's harder to have a regular bowel movement when you're on vacation? For most travelers, you may experience one of two digestive issues:
- Occasional Constipation
Neither condition makes for a pleasant experience. And since most of us look forward to these rare getaways and extra time with the family, it can definitely put a damper on plans.
Our kids are also prone to potty time blues while on vacation, which means constipation can quickly become a family affair.
So, what can you do to avoid occasional constipation while traveling?
Have you ever heard of the 3 S's of Sane Travel? You haven't?! Well, we think it's time you got acquainted.
Schedules. Snacks. Surprises.
Yup, it's that simple. But let's break this down even further!
Did you know that one of the main reasons we experience constipation during travel is due to changes in our routine?
Wait, isn't the whole point of taking a vacation to enjoy a much-needed break from the mundane?
Yes, but changes in routine, especially for our kids, can cause digestive issues. This includes changes to sleeping patterns, changes to activity levels (e.g., sitting in a plane/car for hours vs. playing outside), changes to bathroom times, and finally, changes to eating habits.
While traveling, stick to your routine as much as possible! We recommend trying to book an early morning flight, as there is less chance of delays that could leave your family sitting around, feeling bored.
If you're driving, get out on the road as early as possible to avoid heavy traffic. Try to stick to the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, too.
If your kids are active during certain hours, plan stops around those times, so they can get outside and run around.
Additionally, if your kids are used to going potty during certain times of the day, make sure you stick to that schedule, too!
"Eating meals, going to bed, and using the bathroom at different times than usual could increase the risk of constipation," (Medical News Today).
Changes to your eating habits play a big part in why you and your kids are experiencing occasional constipation.
Rather than rely on food options available at the airport or highway rest stops, try to prepare and bring snacks with you for the trip.
We understand that flying makes it tough to travel with snacks, so be sure to check your airport's TSA requirements for bringing food. Prepacked snacks are typically allowed on board, so remember to stock up on ones that contain real-fruit ingredients.
"Vacations are meant to be fun. But if you can, avoid excessive amounts of unhealthy snack foods and desserts like candy, cheese, pizza, processed foods, chips and ice cream. They can make your constipation worse," (Cleveland Clinic).
In addition to snacking, make sure your family is drinking plenty of water during the trip. Many of us tend to limit the amount of fluids we consume to prevent us from having to stop frequently and use public restrooms.
But another common cause of occasional constipation is dehydration. Therefore, it's important to keep hydrated throughout the trip.
This brings us to another reason why you, or your kids, are having constipation issues: using public restrooms. Many people like to avoid them, as much as possible. But they are there to serve an important purpose. Skipping the restroom when you have to go is a habit you want to avoid.
"If you’re concerned about using public bathrooms, try to give yourself time to relax and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Read a newspaper or magazine to relax or listen to music from your phone or other device with earbuds," (Cleveland Clinic).
If, for example, your child is used to reading, singing, or coloring while using the bathroom, try to replicate this same scenario while traveling.
Visiting a new destination is an exciting adventure for both kids and adults, but the time it takes to get there is less appealing.
In fact, waiting around often leads to boredom and restlessness. To help you kids pass the time, we recommend bringing a few surprises along for the trip.
Small toys, crafts, travel games, and other special treats are a great way to keep the kids occupied during travel and excited for what's next.
Rather than bring out all the stops at once, though, you can gradually surprise your kids with a few treats here and there to spread out the fun and excitement.
Travel Light and Free This Summer
Feeling constipated on vacation is no fun for anyone, especially our kids. To help them avoid the bloating and discomfort that often travels along with constipation, remember the 3 S's of Sane Travel: Schedules. Snacks. Surprises!
And if you need a little help with snack ideas, check out our shop page for delicious bite-sized treats that are perfect for traveling—not to mention helping your kids go #2 with ease!