The stress of traveling can lead to digestive upset–for most it’s constipation and/or diarrhea. Not exactly what you want to experience while on an adventure! Being out of your routine–eating different cuisines, hydrating less, moving less, time zone changes, and disrupted sleep–can also impact the natural balance of good bacteria in your digestive system. 

Let’s discuss practical ways to keep your gut healthy and happy on the go!


Stay Hydrated

Drinking water while traveling must be intentional, it takes conscious effort. You have to know where the water-filling stations are located, have access to a bathroom, and be intentional with your intake based on climate and elevation changes. Oftentimes, lack of water intake leads to constipation. We recommend drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces per day– and more if you are sweating in warmer temperatures. You can also include fluid-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, and zucchini to help with your hydration needs. 


Consume Enough Fiber

Most travel or convenience foods are low in fiber but getting enough fiber is important to keep our gastrointestinal system happy. Packing a few high fiber food items in your travel bag, for example, travel packs of oatmeal, flaxseeds, chia seeds, dried apricots, or prunes.  Order salads and sides of vegetables in restaurants, and snack on fruits and vegetables when you can! 


Remember Your Probiotic

Traveling impacts the natural balance of good bacteria in your digestive system. Taking a probiotic, that’s right for you, helps to keep the healthy bacteria in balance and maintain regular bowel movements. While you’re at it, continue on all of your daily vitamins, and supplements! You’ll be happy you did!


Maintain Balance

Try to remember that consistency and balance are key to dietary choices while traveling. We teach our clients to choose a protein source, non-starchy vegetable, whole-food carb, and healthy fat for most travel meals when possible! The proper balance will help to keep you and your gut happy and satisfied, and give you the energy to explore your destination!



Exercise helps maintain healthy bowel movements. Moving your body promotes movement in your gut! Yes, it’s important to relax while on a vacation, but it’s also very important to balance sitting with movement.  Try to add in a walk, run, hike, bike ride, or simply exercise in your hotel room. No equipment is necessary for bodyweight exercises that get your heart pumping! 


Manage Stress

Our gut is our “second brain”. Any stress that is perceived by the brain will quickly impact the gut. While no one can predict traffic or flight delays, do your best to plan your trip as much as possible in advance. Take deep breaths, focus on what you can control, and enjoy the adventure! 


Avoid Sticky Foods

When we say sticky, we mean problematic foods for you. If you know that dairy sends you running to the bathroom, practice saying no. If fried food triggers heartburn, think twice and order differently. Is it worth it to stay up all night in pain? Sometimes we get caught up in our “vacation mentality”, but we don’t want to try to outsmart our bodies! It’s a losing battle! 

Bottom line: With a little planning, you and your gut can enjoy your travels without pain or discomfort!



Your Online Dietitian Coach, Ashley Anderson MS, RDN, LDN, CPT, PN1 

Your Online Dietitian Coach, Rachel Brown, RD, IBCLC, CDECS, MBA

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