Travel with an Ostomy - Sun and Fun

An ostomy doesn’t have to keep you from fully enjoying every minute of your vacation or holiday away from home. Here are some practical tips to ensure a great time. 

Travel with an Ostomy - Sun and Fun

Discover the keys to fun travels when you have an ostomy.

Once you’ve arrived at your travel destination, it’s time to lean back and relax. Yes, you can fully enjoy the local activities, such as beach time, even though you have had ostomy surgery. Just keep these few practical things in mind. 

Overnight stays

You followed some smart packing tips and have everything you need. If staying with friends or family, when you feel it’s appropriate, tell them briefly about your stoma and bathroom needs. You may be surprised at how understanding they are. At hotels, make sure you have easy access to the bathroom with ample room so you can change your pouch conveniently and at your own pace.

Hot climates and dehydration 

If your destination is in a hot climate, your chances of experiencing dehydration increase. Here are a few tips:

  • If you have a stoma, it’s especially important to drink plenty of water. Keep an eye on your urine output. Less urine than usual can be a sign of dehydration.
  • Sports drinks can help with severe cases of dehydration, but they have varying amounts of salt and sugar. Choose one that has the salt you need with the least amount of sugar. 
  • Too much alcohol will accelerate dehydration. Don’t overdo it.
  • If you use antidiarrheal medication and watch what you eat and drink, you can still enjoy the local delights.  

Fun in the sun 

When you are on a holiday or vacation, you want to relax and enjoy yourself. That means being able to wear what you like. Here are a few tips:

  • With having a stoma, there are very few restrictions on clothing. Just be careful to avoid especially tight clothes that may restrict the flow of bodily waste into your pouch. 
  • There is no reason why you can’t enjoy the beach or a pool. Depending on the position of your stoma, select a style of swimwear that’s most comfortable. 
  • Some people prefer a bold-patterned swimsuit that helps distract from pouch bulges. Some women use beach wraps and throws over their swimsuit. 
  • If you can’t find a swimsuit that you like, there are specially-designed swimsuits for people with an ostomy. Search online for “ostomy swimsuits,” contact your country’s ostomy association or talk to your stoma care nurse.

View or print the full PDF booklet: Living with an Ostomy: Travel