Travel constipation: causes, relief, & prevention

  5 min


  • Travel

Ever felt that traveling can sometimes make you feel constipated? Well, you're not alone. Let's delve into how your globetrotting adventures might be affecting more than just your usual routine. With the constant moving around and changes in diet and routine, it's no wonder that digestive issues can arise while traveling. But fear not, with a little knowledge and preparation, you can keep your digestive system happy and healthy on the go.

Journey-induced Causes of Constipation While Traveling

Traveling can really mix up your body's rhythm, especially your digestive system. Trying new foods is part of the adventure but sometimes your stomach isn't quite on board. Here are some reasons why you might find yourself a bit more, well, stuck than usual when you're exploring new places:

Diet Changes

Sampling new dishes or eating at odd times can upset your digestive balance. If you're eating less fiber, more processed foods, and the occasional junk food indulgence, it might slow things down.1


Planes have a way of drying you out, which can lead to constipation. Not to mention, not drinking enough water while on the move means your body holds onto fluids tighter than usual.1

Sitting Still

Those long flights or car trips limit how much you move around, impacting your digestion. Plus, sitting too much can pressure your colon and slow everything down.1

Routine Shake-Up

Travel throws your regular schedule out the window – eating, sleeping, and exercise habits all change and your digestion notices.1


The hustle and bustle of getting from point A to B can stress you out. Stress doesn't just tighten your nerves; it can make your bowels tighten up too, causing constipation. Plus, not having your usual comfortable place to go can make things worse.

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10 Tips for Preventing Constipation While Traveling

Let's face it, travel's great but it can be tough on your body. Keep these tips in mind to help keep things moving:

Bring Healthy Snacks

Pack fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grain crackers, and dried fruits like raisins, dates, or apricots, along with almonds or walnuts. These calorie-dense, nutritious, and easy-to-carry items don't require refrigeration, making them ideal for longer trips. Include budget-friendly and globally available options like rice cakes, oatmeal packets, or whole grain tortillas to maintain fiber intake and avoid junk food. These choices are affordable, easy to find, and perfect for staying healthy on the go.

Get Moving

Stuck on a long flight or drive? Try to stretch your legs and walk around every hour or so to kickstart your digestion and steer clear of constipation. For those with limited mobility, try seated exercises like leg lifts and knee lifts, even while traveling. Simple movements like shoulder rolls and arm lifts can help stimulate circulation and aid digestion.1

Keep to Your Routine

Traveling is no reason to ditch your daily habits. Maintaining daily routines while traveling, such as sticking to your normal eating, sleeping, and exercise habits, helps your body stay on track and provides a sense of normalcy and stability. Keeping regular sleep schedules, continuing daily medications, and eating at your usual times are crucial.

Take It Easy

Stress is a no-go for your gut, so carve out some downtime to relax. Whether you're into meditation, deep breathing, or just craving some quiet time, it's all good stuff, especially for the mindfulness and meditation fans out there. Practicing this while traveling can really help keep you grounded. Setting aside specific times for chilling out or quiet moments, like curling up with a book before bed or taking a leisurely mid-afternoon break at a café, can really help knock down stress levels and make your travels even more enjoyable.

Drink Up

Water is your best friend for keeping things moving. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day, more if you're out in the sun or hitting the gym. A reusable water bottle with a filter ensures that you can refill your bottle, encouraging regular water consumption to help keep stools soft.

Skip the Bad Stuff

If you know certain foods are trouble for you, steer clear while you're away. This means saying no to high-fat, processed foods, and maybe even dairy.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel off, adjust your diet and activities to get back on track. Your digestive health is key to enjoying your travels to the fullest.

Don't Overdo the Food

It's easy to go overboard with all the tasty options out there, but try to keep an eye on your portions. Overeating can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Go for Fiber

Aim to fill your plate with fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. They're fantastic for keeping you regular and helping your digestion, even when you're on the road.

Note: If you're experiencing constipation, suddenly increasing your fiber intake can cause further bloating, making it an unsuitable short-term fix.2

Explore Local Markets

Check out local markets for some fresh, affordable fruits and veggies. You'll find loads of local produce that's kinder to your wallet than the touristy spots. This way, you're not just saving money, but you're also supporting the local economy and getting a real taste of your travel destination.

Note: If these symptoms persist beyond traveling, it is advisable to contact your physician. Persistent gastrointestinal issues could indicate underlying health conditions that require medical attention. Seeking professional advice ensures your long-term health and well-being.

Travel Light, Travel Right: Managing Occasional Constipation on the Go with Dulcolax 

If you are new to laxatives and are concerned, they will ruin your trip, think again. Dulcolax offers a range of laxatives that work differently with your body. Start with our Dulcolax SoftChews—they have a cramp-free formula that works naturally with your body's water to provide fast and gentle relief from occasional constipation in as little as 30 minutes.*

By following these tips, you can help prevent constipation while traveling and enjoy your trip without any discomfort. Remember to listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. So go ahead, explore the world with your gut feeling great! Happy travels!

* Works in 30 minutes to 6 hours


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