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Anyone with irritable bowel syndrome knows that the best way to control symptoms and avoid flare-ups is to eat at home, and cook all of your own meals. And once you realize that, you also promptly realize that traveling will be a challenge. Perhaps a nightmare. I have, like a fool, looked forward to many trips, forgetting about the fact that they would require me to give up total control of my food. On the first day of those trips I’d be elated, and by the third day, I’d be skipping outings and foregoing activities I’d been excited about to stay in the hotel—specifically, in the bathroom. The moment you hit the road, you leave the one place you can reliably find food that’s gentle on your system: your kitchen. Hotels, planes, and trains aren’t as IBS-friendly. Here are tips for traveling with IBS.

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Pack food for the plane

Airplane meals may accommodate for kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free diners, but they don’t adjust for those with irritable bowel syndrome. It’s best to pack your own food for the plane. Don’t rely on airport food, either, because typically, the healthy options are the expensive ones, so you give in and buy fast food.

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