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Having a stoma should not stop you travelling
The key to travelling with a stoma is to make sure that you plan ahead and that you take enough supplies.
Stoma supplies for travelling
If you use the SecuriCare home delivery service, we can provide you with a complimentary travel pack. Your travel bag should probably include the following:
- Enough stoma pouches to last your whole trip - remember to allow for any unexpected changes
- Dry wipes or swabs
- Cleansing wipes (for hands: these should not be used on the stoma itself)
- Anti-diarrhoea and re-hydration tablets
- Disposal bags
- Some drainable stoma pouches (even if you usually use closed ones) so you can empty more easily when travelling, or in case of an upset tummy
- Accessories that can help when travelling such as ostomy deodorant, motion management sachets and antibacterial cleanser.
It might be best to take these supplies in your hand luggage, so that if your hold luggage gets lost you still have what you need.
General travel tips
- Drink plenty of bottled water, especially in hot weather
- Do not take ice with your drinks unless made with bottled water
- If you are worried about the effect of heat on your pouches, take a cool bag to protect your supplies.
- Some airlines will let you take an extra 5kgs luggage for your supplies – check with them if you are eligible
- Take a travel certificate with you. These can be downloaded here or obtained from your own stoma care nurse or home delivery company and they contain information about your stoma in different languages
- For temporary visits to European countries, you can obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to reduced or sometimes free medical care
- Remember no sharp instruments such as scissors can be taken in hand luggage, so it's best to cut all your pouches beforehand
Flying with a stoma
Flying can occasionally cause lower pressure, resulting in more air in your stoma pouch. You can keep yourself as comfortable as possible by:
- Avoiding fizzy drinks and foods that you know increase wind or make your output runny
- Not skipping meals before you fly
- Eating a low fibre meal before or during your flight
- Emptying your stoma pouch just before boarding your flight
- If you need to go to the toilet, try to go before the in-flight meal is served as there will be fewer queues than after
- Making sure your filter cover is not on, to ensure that wind escapes and does not build up
Long car journeys with a stoma
- Do not keep your ostomy supplies in the boot of the car in the summer as they may become very hot
- Take a portable toilet/disposable urinal for long car journeys if you are worried you may get caught short: you can empty your full pouch into it. The collection bag can be used for both solid waste and vomit. These can be purchased from pharmacies.