Ever Wondered Why It’s So Hard to Poop While on a Holiday? Travel Constipation Is a Real Thing

Ever Wondered Why It’s So Hard to Poop While on a Holiday? Travel Constipation Is a Real Thing

A few small tweaks here and there can help you with your constipation while you're on your vacation.

Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | Demkat

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 28, 2021. It has since been updated.

There's simply nothing I don't enjoy about going for a holiday with the people I love most. It's always so exciting to explore new places, isn't it? But if there's one thing I dread the most, it's got to be my inability to clear out my stomach. It's like the minute I step out of my comfort zone, my poop factory stops functioning. No matter how long or short the vacation is, I am only satisfied when I come back to my own toilet. 


However, if it's a place I'm familiar with, or if I get used to it, then it gets better with time. For years, I made sure my trips didn't go longer than 5 days because that's the maximum I could go without feeling absolutely uncomfortable. 



People around me never seemed to face these issues, so, for the longest time, I thought the issue was with me, but according to Healthy, there is research that says about 40 percent of people suffer from constipation while on a vacation. Yes, travel/vacation constipation is a real thing, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, because, according to Edwin Levine, MD, a gastroenterologist based in Trumbull, CT, it’s “really a very, very common problem.”

Simply put, the real reason people face an issue like this is because of their gut bacteria reacting to the change of setting. “Any time you leave your general habitat, it’s throwing your gut microflora off-balance,” says Brooke Alpert, a New York-based registered dietician, per The Atlantic


What causes vacation constipation?


1. We stray away from our normal routines

When we travel, we're on a deadline, be it for work or for a holiday, which robs us of our set schedule. “I think that the biggest issue is the change in schedule,” Dr. Levine says. “Time differences occur when you’re traveling, or you don’t have time to go to the bathroom for three or four days—when your schedule is irregular, your body can become irregular.”


2. It's hard to really let go in a new bathroom

Sometimes, we might have to share the room with someone, which means that we tend to be extra cautious about how we remain ourselves. It becomes really hard to even pass gas because we're just so cautious of the other person in the room. Also, the way our bathroom feels will be completely different from where we are. This, in turn, causes us to clam up. 



3. We don't pay enough attention to what our body is trying to tell us

Since we have a lot more things on our plate when we're out traveling, we fail to listen to our body when it tells us it's time to take a toilet break. As Dr. Levine puts it: “I think a lot of people don’t even realize that they constipated on vacation.”

4. Our eating and drinking habits change:

Of course, you're not going to stick to your regular diet when you're holidaying. You will definitely want to explore the local cuisine, right? You see, your stomach and your body are used to one routine, so when there's a change from that, there will be some sort of confusion.


How to prevent feeling constipated while traveling?

Since constipation occurs mostly only during the first few days of your vacation, there are some changes you could incorporate into your diet to make sure you poop well. Try to increase the fruits, salads, and vegetables that are critical to helping us move our bowels,” De. Levine says. He also advocates eating more bran cereals and brown bread to help bulk up your stools and “keep things moving.” Staying well hydrated and relaxed will also help!



With these tips, let's hope our next holidays are stress-free!




Cover Image Source: (Representative): Getty Images | Demkat

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.