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Pack Your Bags (Literally!), It’s Travel Season!

Danielle Gulden, Co-Founder of "Double Baggin’ It" is our guest blogger this week. 

Summer is here! …And I’ve already been traveling quite a bit! As a patient with ulcerative colitis and a permanent ileostomy, I’ve had 28+ years to perfect my travel routine. Here are a few tips to remember when traveling with an ostomy and chronic illness:

An image of man and a woman holding passports on a yellow background

1. Make a list and check it twice! Be sure to bring all medications and ostomy supplies!

  • I always bring twice the amount of supplies I would usually use during the duration of my travel.
  • Bring your medication in its original prescription bottle, and make sure it is NOT expired.
  • I make a list of all my travel meds on an index card and place it in a clear gallon bag with my meds. When I’m packing, this makes for an easy checklist.

2. Pack your essentials (ostomy supplies and medications) and valuables in your CARRYON luggage.
  • Recently, I’ve been reminded of why it’s so important to pack your essentials and valuables in your carryon! My checked bag (thankfully only full of dirty laundry and full sized toiletries) went on an adventure to a city that wasn’t even on my travel agenda!
  • I always bring a back pack and my carryon suitcase with me. My most important items are placed in my backpack - in case the airplane runs out of overhead space and I’m forced to check the carryon suitcase.
  • In my backpack I bring:
    • Ostomy supplies (precut)
    • Medications (un-expired and in original containers)
    • Hydration packets/snacks
    • Masks and hand sanitizer
    • Extra underwear and pants
    • Wallet/ID/travel documents
    • Phones/chargers
    • Laptop, charger, headphones
3. Arrive to the airport early, and empty your bag before heading to the security checkpoint. Some people tell the TSA agent that they have an ostomy before going into the scanner. I do not. It’s up to you. IF the scanner shows my ostomy, I let the agent know about it and they do a quick pat down. Usually, they have you run your hands (over your clothes) over the bag area and then swab your hands. …and then you’re off to your gate. Easy peasy!

4. Stay hydrated! I always bring hydration packets with me and mix one into a bottle of water after I get through security.

5. HAVE FUN!

What are your best packing/travel tips?

For more information about navigating life with inflammatory bowel disease, ostomies or chronic illness, please visit Double Baggin’ It at:
FB/IG/Twitter: @doublebagginit
Doublebagginit.com
DoubleBagginIt@gmail.com

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