How to avoid travel constipation

Constipation is your body's natural response to change, and it's common when you’re travelling. Changing routines, crossing different time zones, experiencing new foods and changes to your sleep patterns can all cause travel constipation. Thankfully, it's easy to spot and there are a few things you can do to feel better and enjoy your time away.

How can travelling affect your body?

So what's your body reacting to when you travel? If you know the triggers, you can get things moving again. Let’s take a look at some common causes of travel constipation.

Different food

This is the most common cause of travel constipation. When you're away, you eat different foods, often outside your normal mealtimes, and this can change the activity in your intestines.

Jet lag

Jet lag happens when we travel across time zones. It can make you feel tired and lethargic for days. The effects of jet lag can be unsettling to your whole system. And as well as feeling exhausted and disoriented, jet lag can manifest itself in symptoms like insomnia, headaches and constipation1,2.

Research has shown that a five to eight hour time difference will cause symptoms that could take anywhere from two days to two weeks to overcome. And long-distance travellers may need eight to 10 days for their bowel movements, temperature regulation, and hormonal cycles to settle1.

Changes to your usual toilet time

While travelling, there may be times when you aren't able to find a toilet. Or perhaps you feel a little inhibited with other people around. This could lead you to holding in your poo. And that's never good because, you guessed it, holding it in can make you constipated.

How does travelling trigger constipation?

Your body loves routine. But our routines often go out the window when we travel... and our tummies don't like it. Let's look at some of the main triggers of travel constipation:

A few tricks to avoid travel constipation

While you're preparing for your holiday or business trip, there are several precautions you can take to avoid travel constipation. Planning ahead, and taking the right action to prevent constipation, is always better than dealing with it while you're away.

The Dulco® range

Dulco® products help get your digestive system moving again. We have different types of relief available, including gradual relief, overnight relief and fast relief. All help your mind and body feel lighter, brighter and clearer.

Stay in the know

Constipation can be bothersome and persistent. Because we know how frustrating and stressful it can be, we can help you identify the causes of your constipation and how to prevent it.

    1. Cornelson BM. Overcoming jet lag. Can Fam Physician. 1985 Nov;31:2105-6. PMID: 21274126; PMCID: PMC2327734.

    2. Duboc H, Coffin B, Siproudhis L. Disruption of Circadian Rhythms and Gut Motility: An Overview of Underlying Mechanisms and Associated Pathologies. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2020 May/Jun;54(5):405-414

    3. Basilisco G, Coletta M. Chronic constipation: a critical review. Dig Liver Dis. 2013 Nov;45(11):886-93.

    4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Constipation. 2018 Accessed 14/11/2022

    5. Mindsethealth - Anxiety and Constipation - Can Stress Cause Constipation? 2019 Accessed 14/11/2022

    6. Gwee KA. Disturbed sleep and disturbed bowel functions: implications for constipation in healthy individuals. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011;17(2):108-109.

    7. Mayo Clinic 2019 Accessed 14/11/2022