With Trio’s Travel Tips with an Ostomy we hope you will feel more encouraged and positive on taking a trip.
Nobody with an ostomy should ever feel discouraged from travelling, for it to be restricted or too much of a challenge.
Trio Travel Tips
Be Prepared and Make a Checklist
A good guide is to pack twice your normal usage amount and pack it in 2 different locations (in case a bag goes missing). Split pouches and essential items across hand luggage and checked luggage. If you have a travel companion you can even give them some supplies to carry.
Trio have made a downloadable checklist which may be of assistance: Download Trio Travel Checklist
If you are in the US or Canada download your UOAA travel communications card. This has useful contact and gives additional information to TSA personnel.
If you are based outside of the USA, there may be different travel communications cards/certificates to achieve the same goal. UK for example has a travel certificate which can be obtained from your Doctor.
Pre-cut pouches mean that you will not need any scissors but ensure your sprays and liquids are all under 100ml and packed in a clear bag for inspection.
Be aware and pack liquids according your carriers rules – 100ml (3.4 Oz) containers of liquid, gel, paste, aerosol or cream must be in a single transparent zip lock bag. Certain medical conditions necessitate larger quantities which are allowable, but these must be declared at security and are subject to additional screening – Additional allowable quantity
Pre-pack some return items so that you have not used all items during your trip. This way you do not have to remember to keep some for later.
Empty your pouch before arriving for your trip.
At the airport and during the flight
Very importantly – if you require extra time for security, arrive early!
Allow extra time to get through security and keep your certificate to hand should it be required. If the airport security staff require a body search, you should notify the searching officer that you wear an ostomy pouch meaning extra care should be taken around that area. Show your Travel Certificate / UOAA Travel card and indicate the page with the appropriate language text for the country on it.
You can request a private search in order to avoid any embarrassment. If at any point you feel that you are not being listened to or feel that you are being treated without dignity or respect, you can request to speak to a supervisor.
Any traveller who requires special accommodations or has concerns about the security screening process can ask for a TSA passenger support specialist. Simply call 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to your trip and provide your flight details.
It is worth considering a TSA pre-check – lines will be shorter and if you have limited mobility you do not have to remove shoes, belts, light jackets, belts or liquids (in 3-1-1 format).
If your flight is longer than 3-4 hours, it may be a good idea to wear loose clothing for comfort. The pressurized cabin can cause your bag to expand (though this is not very likely) but do make sure that your filter cover is NOT on as it will create a pressure difference with the surrounding cabin (like a water bottle) and expand your pouch.
A car journey may feel like you are more in control of any unforeseen circumstances. It can be an extension of your home and you can take what you need with you. Just some planning and preparation will ensure you have a stress-free time even if you do not go abroad this time.
Keep an eye on the service distances so that you do not become anxious about missing the last one.
Keep your supplies in an accessible place that is cool. The heat can affect the adhesion of your pouch, although it doesn’t affect Trio Silicone in the same way.
Take twice the amount of pouches than you normally use, although if you use Trio Pearls® Gelling and odour Control Sachets you may be able to go longer without the need to drain or the risk of leaks.
Keeping hydrated seems obvious and often you do not realize how much fluid you may need. Dehydration can occur quite quickly in hot weather or if you are having a cheeky cocktail by the pool! Even a change of food can put anyone at increased risk of diarrhea which can lead to dehydration.
- Take rehydration sachets and medicine to treat diarrhoea just in case.
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, you never know when you may need it.
- Ice may be made from tap water so ask for drinks without ice unless you know the ice is made from pure water. Tap water in some countries is not as pure and can cause an upset tummy
- Fruit and salad may have been washed in tap water so be aware if you think this may cause you a problem. This will be less of a problem in Europe, USA, Canada, resorts and on cruises.
It is important to use sun tan lotion when spending any time in the sun. Apply your suntan lotion after attaching your pouch because if you get the lotion on the area where the flange attaches it may affect its adhesion. This is also true for after sun, moisturising shower gels and ointments for calming skin down.
If your skin is a little sore or itchy, then spray or wipe it with Trio Elisse® Sting Free Silicone Skin Barrier. It has a soothing effect and can calm sore and itchy skin.
Anyone can suffer from an upset tummy when travelling. Hot weather, food and water can all affect us and cause diarrhoea. As an ostomate, you could be more likely to suffer than most, but if you are prepared you don’t have to let it ruin your holiday. Ask your nurse about anti-diarrhoea medication and directions for use.
If you have a colostomy, you can take some drainable pouches so you can empty easily in case of an upset tummy. It is good idea to take Trio Pearls® Gelling and Odour Control Sachets which can be added to your pouch if you have a very liquid output.