Skip to main content

Keep Indigestion Off Your Summer Travel Itinerary

Dr. Ari Bunim, Gastroenterology, Hepatology

July 3, 2023

Keep Indigestion Off Your Summer Travel Itinerary

Here’s what to eat, drink, and do to address common tummy ailments on the go.

Summer travel should bring inspiration. But all too often, an aching stomach or bloated abdomen confines explorers to the bedroom or bathroom during their travels. The stressors of travel, changes in diet, different routines, and dehydration from high temperatures can all contribute to constipation, indigestion, and discomfort. Remember these summer travel tips for digestive health.

  1. ANTICIPATE CHANGES IN YOUR EATING PATTERNS. Remember, when traveling, you may eat more red meat and fewer fruits and vegetables than you’re accustomed to eating. You may skip meals, eat more in one sitting, eat later than usual, or drink more alcohol — all of which can cause indigestion. Along with your regular medications, pack digestive aids or fiber packets in your carry-on bag. You can also sprinkle fiber in your morning coffee to help keep you regular.
  2. CHOOSE YOUR IN-FLIGHT BEVERAGE WISELY. Flying often causes dehydration and bloating. Because cabin pressure is lower, your abdomen can become more distended. For that reason, drinking carbonated beverages like soda is probably the worst thing you can do. Bottled water is best.
  3. DRINK EXTRA BOTTLED WATER ON LAND. You may not be drinking enough water in hotter climates or resorts, where most activities are outside. To compensate for dehydration, aim for five or six bottles daily on vacation to ensure sufficient fluid intake.
  4. PEEL YOUR PRODUCE. If you’re traveling abroad to less developed regions, you don’t want to have raw fruits or veggies — anything that could be washed by contaminated water — unless it has a peel. Bananas, pineapples, and citrus fruits are good options.
  5. SET OUT ON FOOT. Gravity is your best friend when it comes to keeping everything moving through your digestive system. Take advantage of chances to exercise, even if it’s just a walk on the beach.
  6. DON’T IGNORE DIARRHEA. Eat bland food, like toast or applesauce, to bind your loose stools. Salty snacks like Saltines or soda crackers are good also, as they will encourage you to drink water to stay hydrated. Be prepared in advance by packing anti-diarrheal medication.