But, don’t let IBS control what you pack for travelling with IBS.
If your grumbling IBS monster is causing the ‘6 months preggers’ look, for literally no reason whatsoever, whilst travelling with IBS, you hardly feel like wearing anything. Let alone clothes that resemble anything other than a boyfriend tee and are changeable easily.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear and feel confident in your favourite clothes though. Crop tops and midi skirts are my fave thing. I have loads. I am also bloated about 20 hours of the day. Plus, I live in hot countries and wear bikinis everyday. Yes, even when I look like I am about to give birth, too.
No matter what I feel like, there are some items of clothing I refuse to stop wearing, just because my tummy says no. Even if I really just want to wear baggy clothes, they don’t do much for your confidence.
With that in mind, I am here to tell you, that no matter how you feel, what your stomach is doing or how shit you THINK you look, there is always a solution to make you feel fantastic, no matter where you are in the world. Trial and error has become my way of life and I’ve put in the hard work so you lovely lot don’t have to endure the brain melt down that is- what clothes and essentials to pack with IBS and gut friendly travel.
If body-con dresses and skinny jeans are your go to, then get them packed in that case, ‘cos you CAN wear anything, it’s all about mindset. Unless you literally can’t wear anything with a bad flare up then just be naked ( or wear leggings) it’s fine.
We may as well start from the bottom layer. The knickers, hot pants, thongs and sexy underwear ( well… you might be going for that kinda weekend…) They’re all going to make you feel great or not so great.
My advice is; Comfort every time. When I’m travelling and hiking, walking etc it’s important to feel comfy or it just makes my IBS-C unbearable. Imagine having a great big bloated tummy, cramps and nausea in a hot country, soaked in sweat. Thongs are definitely not what you want to be wearing. Even worse if you’re IBS-D. Instead, opt for good quality cotton knickers. I always go for M&S seamless short knickers. They still look nice, they go under everything (even running leggings) and will keep you feeling comfy and cosy no matter what your IBS is doing. They’re also cheap enough to dispose of if you have to.
Obviously, whilst travelling with IBS, you need to keep comfort as the number one priority. When it comes to bras, you need something that won’t feel disgusting when sweating profusely, won’t stick into you, and will wash well ( in the sink is fine.) I again, go for M&S. Quality is key and you need to find something that last’s biziliions of washes and takes up little to no space.
Bikini’s for bloated tummies
You probably don’t feel like getting your bod out but, I refuse to let my IBS stop me do anything, so, if that means being bloated in public, then, who bloody cares? Bikinis and Tankinis also really easy to get off quickly in emergencies as one Facebook Group member recommended!)
The rule here is, pack 1-3 mix and match bikinis. I opt for high waist or hipster style, and not too tight. The aim, is to make you feel fab by the pool or on the beach. And enable you quick escape in the bathroom if needs be.
Make sure to pack bikinis that fit well, this is important to make you feel great. If they’re digging in all over the place, you will feel uncomfortable and un-confident.
Whack a couple of floaty cover-ups in your bag too. I always choose high waist. Pick some comfy cover up shorts or skirts then you can still at least get half a tan, if you really can’t bare getting your tummy out/ need to just curl up on the lounger.
Trousers and Shorts
Loose is best for denim shorts, go up one size. I also recommend packing some comfy beach shorts and high waist denim shorts for going out. New Look do right good ones for around a tenner (£’s)!
Skinny jeans for the eve are great if they’re high waist, but for extra comfort I opt for high waist boyfriend jeans, which look equally as fab ( and give your tummy more room for maneuver)
If it’s one of THOSE days. Then keep your handy change of clothes, knickers and leggings with you. One pair of leggings and underwear to travel in and another for emergencies.
If all else fails, then it’s absolutely fine to cave and purchase some of those cosy yoga pants. Just make sure you don’t live in them, unless you feel your best in them, (like me) then pack a pair for every day.
I always pack running shorts and leggings, and wear my running trainers to travel.Exercising when you’re having an IBS-C flare up is a great way to ease any cramps. Plus it gets the digestion going again, too. If you’re striggling with IBS-D then deep breathing is a better option!
Pack a large hoody or jumper to cosy up in for travel or in air-conditioned places, when you’re feeling a bit shit. There’s also nothing worse than feeling chilly when your stomach won’t let up. Pack some warm socks, long-sleeved tops and an outdoor jacket, just in case.
Stomach safe tops
When it comes to what to wear on top, it’s entirely your personal preference. For me, boyfriend t-shirts are awesome as you don’t have to wear a bra, can let everything flop out and they go with leggings, jeans and shorts.
Then I have a couple high neck or v neck strappy tops that I can tie into crop tops, tuck into shorts or hang loose, whatever. If you get them in black ( yes black is epic for zero sweat patches and hiding your bloaty tum..) and white and a few in your fave colour then you can’t go wrong ( turquoise and purple are always best for me, can you tell ha!)
Maybe have one light weight cami or floaty top for going out and you’re sorted.
Skirts and dresses for IBS Travel
I am obsessed with long floaty skirts. I have 2 high waist floaty skirts that cover up a bloated tum well and go with everything! They’re also again great for if you need to squat, fast. Then, when it comes to dresses, it depends on my feels. I have some proper gorgeous tightish dresses. If you’re bloated and really wana wear them, then whack on some spanx and do it. Most of the time though, I just go for comfort and opt for something a bit looser. I love long maxi dresses and loose, swing dresses or vest dresses.
When it comes to shoes, Birkenstocks are just what you need when your blisters from those plimmy’s, are doing your head in and your tummy wont shut up. Get your yoga pants, t-shirt and birko’s on after a long tea, with a peppermint tea and that’s your IBS dilemma sorted, right there.
Trainers are an obvious packing essential for IBS travel. You need to get your walking on when away, it not only relieves your bloating and cramps, it keeps you fit and relaxed and we all know how much happier our tummies are, when not stressed and sat still, right?
Don’t forget to pack your fave big t-shirt and baggy shorts to sleep in. This is a no brainer, and the big t-shirt can also be worn for workouts, as a cover-up and just whenever you want something really comfy to just hang in. Bonus, if it’s in your fave colour too, cos you’ll feel way better ( believe me)
The hand luggage wardrobe packing list for IBS
Here’s my personal list of hand luggage wardrobe essentials for IBS-C & D (1 week)
- 14 x knickers ( In case you need to chuck some!)
- 1 x black bra 1 x nude bra non-wired in cotton
- 2 x bikinis/tankinis
- 1 pair of loose trousers
- 1 x boyfriend jeans or shorts
- 1 x high waist skinny jeans
- 1 x high waist shorts
- 1 x high waist cotton beach shorts
- 2 x beach cover ups ( skirt/ dress/ wrap)
- 2 x floaty dresses
- 1 x diverse colours floaty skirt ( opt for a block colour or black (hides sweat patches)
- 2 x trainers
- 1 x Birkos
- 1 x nice sandals
- 2 x boyfriend t shirts
- 2 x black high neck tops
- 2 x v neck camis ( or 1 x crop top & 1 x v neck cami)
- 1/2 x going out top ( swing or floaty)
- Trainer socks x 5
- Gym or yoga leggings x 1
- Gym shorts x 1
- Long loose gym tops x 2
- 2 x sports bras
- 1 x hoody ( or big sweater/jumper)
This handy hand luggage packing list for IBS will get you through a week of travel, it includes wardrobe and toiletry essentials, including snack ideas and useful other bits and bobs.
Not being kind enough to yourself lately whilst away or wondering how to travel with your IBS? Then sign up to my Facebook Group, like the Low Fodmap Travel Facebook page & head over to the Instagram for on the go support. Don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list for regular fodmap travel updates including; places to eat, tummy safe destinations and ‘no details spared’ insights into life on the road with IBS.
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What would you add in for essential IBS travel? Comment below!