Your colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy shouldn't prevent you from traveling

Experiencing new things is often the reason for traveling — but when it comes to feeling secure and comfortable, it would be nice to keep the surprises to a minimum.  During a vacation you usually leave you regular routine behind, which means you might need to make some extra preparations for your journey and your stay – but it doesn't have to hold you back!


Ostomy tips

applying barrier Warm climate and sunscreen affects the adhesive Warm climates and sunscreen can affect the way the pouch adheres to your body, but help is here - there are a few things you can do to make the barrier stick better. Tips and tricks for good adhesion

Tips and tricks for good adhesion

Warm climate

If the climate is warm or humid enough to make you perspire more than usual, the barrier may not stick very well and you may need to change your pouch more frequently.

Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply a new barrier. It can be a bit tricky if the weather is very hot and humid – if drying your skin is difficult, you can use a hairdryer on low heat to dry the area (but be careful that it does not get too hot, and keep it away from the stoma itself).

Sun lotion

Apply sunscreen after you put on your barrier, as the lotion could affect the barrier and make it harder to stick.


We recommend that your supplies are stored in a cool place.  For example, do not leave your ostomy products in the car for long periods of time during hot weather, since the heat may damage the product's ability to stick to your skin.

Talk to your WOC nurse – and get the products you need

When spending time in a warmer climate you might need a few more products than usual.  A Brava Protective Sheet may be used underneath the barrier if your skin is very, very moist - to help protect the skin from leakage and absorb the excess moisture from the skin. If the edges are not sticking properly, the Brava® Barrier Strips might be a good solution.  These thin, stretchy strips are elastic - so they conform to your body shape and movements - and sticky - so they can secure the edges of your barrier. They also absorb moisture, so they can manage the sweat you produce in a warm climate! It secures the position of the barrier and is elastic so it follows your body shape and movements.

It is always a good idea to talk to your WOC nurse before going on a trip if you have any questions or if it is your first time traveling after surgery.  You are also welcome to contact one of our Care Advisors at 1-888-726-7872. 

Swimming with an ostomy What to think about when swimming Going swimming can be a big deal for someone with an ostomy, but don't let that hold you back. We can help answer your questions about what to wear and how to ensure your barrier will stick. Read a few tips here.

Tips for beach wear and swimming

Whether you're vacationing at the beach or in a warm destination near a pool, the most important thing to remember is that water can affect the adhesion of your barrier.


The main thing you want to remember is to be sure that the barrier sticks properly before going in the water.  You may want to wait a little while after applying to be sure it’s sticking well. Be aware that the water can affect your barrier's adhesion to your skin, so make sure to bring extra product in case you need to change it more frequently than usual.  Many people with an osotmy use additional accessories when going swimming.  The Brava®  Skin Barrier reduces skin problems associated with leakage and adhesives without affecting the adhesion of the baseplate. If the edges are not sticking properly, the Brava® Elstic Tape might be a good solution.  It secures the position of the baseplate and is elastic so it follows your body shape and movements.

What should you wear at a vacation near the beach?

It is most important wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Some people do not mind showing their barrier and others prefer covering up. Unfortunately, buying specialty swimwear is no guarantee of good fit. On the other hand, you might be able to find regular swimwear that fits your need perfectly. 

On the beach, a sarong or wrap can be a great way to gracefully cover up your barrier without feeling out of place.

It is always a good idea to talk to your WOC nurse before going on a vacation near the water to answer any questions. You are also welcome to contact one of our Care Advisors at 1-888-726-7872. 

screen with flight overview Traveling by plane with an ostomy Our travel tips will help you understand what to anticipate when you go through security, and will help answer questions about how cabin pressure can impact your ostomy pouch. Read our tips here.

Tips for flying

Before you go

When booking your ticket, you may want to select an aisle seat near the restrooms to alleviate some of your concerns.

TSA now allows scissors inside your carry-on for domestic flights within the US, but if you're traveling internationally the rules often differ. For travel abroad, try to pre-cut your barriers before you leave and/or pack scissors in your checked luggage only.  
Regardless of how or where you're traveling, you may find that it's easier to plan ahead and cut all of your barriers to the right size before you leave home. And it's good to be prepared - bring 2-3 times the number of pouches / barriers you think you may need - preferably in your carry-on luggage in case your luggage gets separated from you, as you never know what may happen and whether you'll be able to get supplies at your destination!

Going through security

The security scanner might detect your pouch, however, you should not have to show your pouch even if it's empty. You do not have to show your pouch, and security should not ask you to remove clothing to expose it or let them touch it.  You may be asked to rub your hand against the pouch on the outside of your clothes, but that should be the extent of the examination. 

You can always show them a Travel Communication Card like the provided by the United Ostomy Associations of America, which is designed to simplify communication about your medical needs in a discreet way.  You can also review the security screening guidelines and carry-on rules laid out by the Transportation Security Association (TSA)  at
For more ostomy-specific travel tips and security information, check out the UOAA's tip sheet and additional resources here: 

In the air

There is a slight risk that the pressure will cause the pouch to inflate like a balloon. If this should happen, simply go into the bathroom and empty your pouch. Remember that ballooning is often caused by something you ate or drank - so when you're flying, be extra careful with carbonated beverages.

If you have other concerns before flying, it is always a good idea to talk to your ostomy nurse to answer any questions before you leave town. You are also welcome to contact one of our Care Advisors at 1-888-726-7872. 



These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider.


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