If you’re reading this post, I feel for you. It’s taken me years to figure out what kick starts my digestive system once I leave on a trip and I’m still learning about my body and new ways to stay healthy on the road. Travel messes with everyone’s digestive system differently- I’ve come to terms with being a chronically constipated traveller but if you have the opposite problem (i.e. you’re running to the bathroom several times a day) check out Sami’s post about traveling with a sensitive stomach.
Below are the 7 tips I’ve found most helpful in getting myself regular while jet setting around the globe.
1. Drink MORE water than usual
Yes, everyone talks about staying hydrated while traveling, but nobody mentions that you need more water because you’re doing more activities.
When I’m at home, I usually drink about a gallon of water each day. When I went to Morocco last week, we were constantly on-the-go and catching plane after ferry after bus for a few days in a row. I realized four days in that I had been drinking about half a gallon each day (in July…in the dessert…). And once I doubled down and consciously drank several liters of water each day, my digestive system was shocked back into business.
I know it’s hard to think about water when you’re out having so much fun, but it’s important and something I’m constantly trying to improve on myself. Carrying around a water bottle definitely helps remind me to sip throughout the day. And if I’m staying in the same place for two or more days I’ll buy a giant 5 liter jug of water to refill my bottle every time I get back to my room.
2. Give your sleep a boost
I’ve mentioned lavender essential oil in several blog posts because. it. works. A full night of sleep is extremely important in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but when you’re not sleeping in a bed or if there are unfamiliar noises/smells/people around while you’re trying to get some much needed shut-eye, you’ll probably miss out on a great night’s sleep. This dreamy trio of lavender essential oil, a sleep mask, and earplugs will ensure that you get the rest you need and deserve on any trip.
3. Probiotics are key
Taking one or two probiotic capsules each day has been a game changer both at home and while traveling. Each vegan capsule contains 10 strains of acid-resistant probiotic bacteria to relieve bloating and keep me heading to the bathroom regularly no matter how many time zones I’ve hopped or how little sleep I’ve gotten. Make sure to get one with at least 25 billion cultures. Yes, you read that right- billion with a B.
If you happen to be traveling to a place where probiotic foods are available, load up! Kombucha, kimchi, jun, and apple cider vinegar were some of the best things we found while traveling throughout Central America last summer.
4. Spike your water with magnesium
This magnesium supplement will definitely get you going to the bathroom, but be careful with how much you take. A cup once or twice a week will be more than enough- anything more than that will just give you cramps and diarrhea, which is exactly the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish here. And just a warning: you will be amazed/horrified/super excited about what comes out of you a day or two after trying it for the first time.
5. Eat REAL food
It’s temping and convenient to eat packaged foods while traveling but I challenge you to try eating whole foods when moving from place to place. Fruits (both fresh and dried) and nuts are my go-to snacks when we hit the road. Destination Rogue trips tend to involve a lot of bus/train/car travel because we like to explore less popular destinations, but eating packaged foods for multiple days in a row takes a huge toll on our energy levels and health (I get migraines, Sami tends to get nauseous).
6. DO NOT take laxatives
Taking traditional laxatives on a trip will mess up your digestive system when you get back home. Be kind to your body and just stay natural. If you really must ingest a laxative, eat some prunes, mangoes, watermelon, apples, or berries. Or make a tea with the magnesium supplement mentioned in #3.
7. Reach for the hot drinks
Hot, *non-caffeinated drinks are great for waking up your digestive system. I go for herbal teas, hot water with lemon, or just plain hot water in the morning and before bed. If I’m feeling like I want to treat myself, I might even go for a turmeric latte with nut milk, mmmmmm. This Hydro Flask will keep your drinks hot for hours while you’re on the road (I personally love to travel with the 18oz).
*I say non-caffeinated because I tend to get antsy and anxious with caffeine when I’m not going to the bathroom regularly, but again, everybody’s different and caffeine might work for you!