Travel Tips for a Healthy Gut: Stay Well on the Go

Family of four on the beach with dog

Summary

Boost your family's gut health: Download our free 'Eat the Rainbow' tracker. Get my copy
Boost your family's gut health: Download our free 'Eat the Rainbow' tracker. Get my copy

Hitting the trails while camping or hopping on a plane with your little ones? Keeping your gut healthy while traveling makes it easier to relax, fuel up, and make lasting memories.

Have you ever been driving down the highway when one of your kids suddenly feels sick? You pull over, search for a plastic bag, and try to comfort them. Getting a bug on the road stresses the whole family. 

The good news is you can take steps to support your family’s gut and cut down on these moments.

Your gut microbiome plays a vital role in digestion, immunity, and general well-being. The goal is to keep it balanced. When it's full of good bacteria, you’re better able to fight off harmful germs that might mess up your summer plans.

Follow these practical tips to keep everyone feeling their best and having fun on the road.

Hydration 101: sip smart 

Lounging on the beach or out on the town exploring the sights? Hydration helps maintain a balance of good bacteria in your gut. It also supports the lining of your intestines so you can absorb nutrients better.

Staying hydrated is a must when trying new foods and exploring a foreign city. Water helps the intestines process and flush out toxins. 

A word of caution: drinking tap water when traveling can be risky. To avoid potential stomach issues, it’s better to stick to bottled or filtered water and avoid ice cubes. 

Food safety tips for international travel

There’s nothing like international travel to taste new food. Immersing yourself in other cultures also means exposing yourself to different ways people prepare food. Sometimes, food safety standards may put you at greater risk of getting sick. To avoid gut-related issues, start by following these food safety tips:

  • Choose cooked over raw: Avoid raw food to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Peel it: If you can't wash it, peel fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid street food: While it may look tasty, street food can sometimes make you sick. Look for restaurants with good reviews and a reputation for cleanliness.

Pack your probiotics when traveling

If you or your child have taken a Tiny Health Gut Health Test, we may have recommended a probiotic. Don't forget to take them with you when traveling. Quality probiotics can help maintain the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Which will come in handy when trying unfamiliar dishes.

Probiotics can also help prevent digestive issues like:

Select options that don't need refrigeration. Not sure if you need a probiotic? Take our Gut Health Test to find out. Our blog, The Best Probiotic Supplement For Your Gut is helpful, too.

Skip the hand sanitizers (when possible)

When you’re out and about, watch out for places where harmful germs can hang out. Gas pump handles, escalator rails, and ATM buttons are a few of these spots. Since they’re hard to avoid, plan ahead.

While they’re useful on the go, hand sanitizers kill both good and bad bacteria and can affect your gut microbiome. If you don't have access to a restroom, this spray is a good alternative. 

Handwashing is always best at removing germs without harming beneficial microbes. And keeping your gut balanced.

Travel snacks for a happy gut

Packing gut-friendly snacks is a great way to have healthy options on hand. Here are some that also support gut health:

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are easy to carry and packed with fiber. Walnuts and chia seeds also provide essential fatty acids.
  • Fresh fruits: Apples, bananas, and berries are rich in vitamins and prebiotics.
  • Vegetable sticks: Carrots, celery, and cucumber sticks are crunchy, hydrating, and gut-friendly.
  • Whole grain crackers: These provide fiber and make a great base for nut butter and cheese.

Cooler-ready fermented faves

Simple and tasty ways to support your gut health on the road.

  • Yogurt: Opt for plain yogurt with live cultures for a probiotic boost.
  • Kombucha: If you don’t make it yourself, select the brands with the least amount of added sugar. 
  • Kefir: Packed with probiotics, kefir supports your microbiome. 

Diving into that hotel swimming pool?

A refreshing dip. Long laps. Splashing around. It’s hard to beat a pool for cooling off and having fun. But before you dive into that community pool or hot tub, there are some risks you should know about.

If someone has diarrhea and has an accident in the water, it can spread millions of germs. Swallow even a tiny bit of that water, and you can get sick. Harmful bacteria can also get in the water from trace amounts of poop that wash off swimmers' bodies.

Swimming pool outbreaks can happen. The parasite Cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea, and Legionella bacteria can cause lung infections like pneumonia [1]. 

If you have a pool at home, good hygiene helps reduce many of these risks. Bathe before you swim, clean the pool, and maintain proper chlorine levels to help keep the water safe.

If your baby has eczema, swimming in a pool with chlorine may make it worse. Avoid swimming if your little one’s eczema is flaring or infected, and pack some soothing eczema remedies to address any new symptoms on the road.

Remember to wash your hands after swimming and before eating to keep yourself and others healthy. Knowing these risks can help you stay safe and enjoy your time in the water. 

Safe travels!

Lots of things are at play here. But having a healthy gut can help your body fight off some of the germs you encounter on your vacation. And keep those sidelining infections at bay. 

It’s always good to know your baseline gut health, so you may want to check it before your next trip. Preparing now means you can relax while you're away. And you won't need a vacation to recuperate from your vacation when you return.

We hope you enjoy your getaway adventures and savor the little moments, too. 

Tiny Health Rainbow Food Tracker chart for families and gut healthy foods list

Download our FREE Rainbow Food Tracker

Includes a weekly tracking chart and color-coded list of gut-healthy foods to help your family eat the rainbow every day.

References

M. C. Hlavsa et al., "Outbreaks associated with treated recreational water - United States, 2015-2019," MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 70, no. 20, pp. 733-738, May 2021, doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7020a1.