Summer is here!

Experiencing new places and things is often the reason to travel — but when it comes to feeling secure and comfortable, it would be nice to keep the surprises to a minimum. Leaving your home and your routine may mean you have to plan ahead for both your journey and stay. No matter where you go, it doesn't have to hold you back.


Packing, beach, cocktail, airport

Sun safety

Find some shade Find some shade Staying in the shade isn’t always possible or fun! Protect yourself from too much sun with sunscreen, hats and umbrellas. Shade and UV radiation

Seek shade

Reference list as recommended by

Did you know that skin can burn after just 15 minutes of being in the sun? Staying in the shade is an effective way to reduce sun exposure. You can use trees or other shade structures, or bring your own umbrella to the park, beach, etc…Whatever you use for shade, make sure it casts a dark shadow. Even though you might be out of sun, it is still recommended that you use other protection - such as clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. 

Use sunscreen Use sunscreen If you want to safely spend time by the beach, in the garden or at the pool, it's a good idea to first spend time applying sunscreen. What you need to know about sunscreen

Don't forget sunscreen!

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What you need to know about sunscreen

  •  Slather on a broad spectrum, water resistant SPF 30+ (or higher) – SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays. 
  • Make sure to put it on at least 20 minutes before you go outdoors. It’s recommended you reapply every two hours afterwards. 
  • Apply sunscreen liberally – at least a teaspoon for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears. Many people don’t apply enough sunscreen. This results in receiving only 50-80% of the sun protection stated on the product packaging. 
  • Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.

What does SPF and water resistant mean?

  • SPF means “sun protection factor” and is a measure of how well it protects the skin from sunburn. A 30 SPF sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen. Sunscreens need to be applied liberally to achieve the SPF protection claimed on the label. If a sunscreen is labeled “Water resistant”, it means that it does not come off the skin during swimming or exercise, provided it is not wiped off. 
  • The FDA defines water resistant sunscreen as meaning that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. While a label may state a sunscreen is '4 hours water resistant', sunscreen still needs to be applied every two hours to maintain the same level of protection and if you are taking a dip regularly you also need to reapply.
Wear a hat and sunglasses Wear a hat and sunglasses A hat protects areas that are exposed to intense sun, and sunglasses are important for protecting the skin around the eyes, and the eyes themselves. Read what hat and sunglasses are ideal

Grab a hat and sunglasses

Reference list as recommended by

What should you look for when choosing a hat for outdoor summer activities?

  • You should look for a hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim around the entire hat. This is best because it protects areas that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
  •  A dark, non-reflective underside to the brim can also help lower the amount of UV rays reaching the face from reflective surfaces such as water. 
  • Choose a hat made with closely woven fabric – if you can see through it, UV radiation will get through.
  •  If you don’t have a hat available, you can make one by wearing a large handkerchief or bandana under a cap. Hats may not protect you from reflected UV radiation, so also wear sunglasses and sunscreen.

How do you know that your sunglasses are UV-blocking?

UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves, so here are a few tips before buying new ones.

  • UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves, so here are a few tips before buying new ones.
  • The ideal sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. There will most likely be a label on the glasses stating they protect against UV rays – if in doubt ask an optician.*
  •  Darker glasses are not necessarily better because UV protection comes from an invisible chemical in or applied to the lenses, not from the color or darkness of the lenses. 
  • Sunglasses should be worn outside during daylight hours. Sunglasses are as important for children as they are for adults. 


*The standards may differentiate from country to country why you should check up on local recommendations before you go.


Traveling tips for people with ostomies

Warm climate and sunscreen affects the adhesive Warm climate and sunscreen affects the adhesive Warm climate and sunscreen can affect the barrier, but help is here - there are a few things you can do to make the barrier stick better. Tips and tricks to get your barrier to stick

Warmer climates and sunscreen may affect the adhesive

Warm climate

If the climate is warm enough to make you sweat more than usual, you may need to change your ostomy bag more frequently. Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply a new ostomy bag to make sure the barrier sticks properly to your skin.  Drying your skin might be a bit difficult if the weather is hot and humid. If this is the case, you can use a hairdryer on cool to dry the area-but be careful that it does not get too hot and keep it at a distance!

Sun lotion.

Apply sunscreen after you put on your ostomy bag as the lotion could affect the barrier and make it harder to stick. Read about applying sunscreen in the 'use sunscreen' section.

It is recommended to story your ostomy supplies in a cool place. Do not leave your ostomy products in environments where they may be exposed to high heat for long periods of time (e.g. in the care during hot weather) this may damage your ostomy products- especially the barrier adhesive. Talk to your WOC nurse or health care professional –to get the products you need. When spending time in a warmer climate, you may need a few more products than you normally use at home. For some people with ostomies, a skin barrier spray or wipe may help the adhesive stick better Using an ostomy appliance belt may also be beneficial for some people. For extra security, try Brava Elastic Barrier Strips around the edges of your barrier.   It is always a good idea to talk to your WOC nurse or health care professional before traveling if you have any questions about what products you should use. If you have product related questions, you are also welcome to contact one of our Product Advisors at 1-855-430-9500 

Tips for the beach and swimming with an ostomy Tips for the beach and swimming with an ostomy Going swimming might feel a little scary when you have an ostomy – what to wear? Will the barrier stick? Read a few tips here. Tips for beach wear and swimming

Going swimming

What should you wear for beach- and what swimwear should I choose?

 The most important is that you wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Some people do not mind showing their ostomy bag when going to the beach. Others might prefer covering up. Do what makes you feel comfortable! When buying your swimwear, it’s recommended to try on the swimwear before you buy it.  Buying special ostomy swimwear is not always necessary and does not always guarantee that it will be the best fit. When picking out swimwear, you may want to look at one-piece bathing suit options with detailing or patterns across the stomach area to cover up the pouch. On the beach, a sarong or wrap can be a great way to gracefully cover up without feeling out of place. Want to wear a bikini? Go for it! 


 Always make sure that the barrier sticks properly before going swimming. If you apply right before you get in the water, wait a few minutes to make sure it is properly adhered to your skin. Be aware that the water can negatively affect the adhesion, so make sure to change your product more frequently. For some people with ostomies, it can be helpful to use accessories when going swimming. Some people find using a skin barrier spray or wipe helpful.  If you are looking for extra security to keep your barrier in place, you may want to try an Elastic barrier strip. 


Traveling and summer tips for catheter users

Drink MORE water Drink MORE water When you have bladder issues, you might feel less encouraged to drink a lot of water, because you feel that this increases the urge to urinate more often. Why drink more water?

Drink MORE water

When you have bladder issues, you might feel less encouraged to drink a lot of water because you feel it increased the urge to urinate more often. However, not drinking enough water may just make your symptoms worse and can cause you to become dehydrated. Instead, you should make sure you are drinking enough water as well as emptying your bladder as frequently as your health care provider has advised.  When you don’t drink enough water, your body’s urine becomes that is more concentrated. This may contribute to bladder irritability, bladder spasms and may contribute to the growth of bacteria in the urine. When you travel in hot climates or sweat during physical exercise, you risk becoming dehydrated, so if traveling to warm climates, remember to drink even more water than you usually do. Serious dehydration can lead to medical complications and even hospitalization- which is no way to spend time on vacation!


Diet and nutrition when away

Diet and nutrition when away Diet and nutrition when away While on a vacation, you might allow yourself to “cheat” on your diet. However, your vacation diet can irritate your stomach. Tips for avoiding tummy troubles

Diet and vacation

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Often a change in environment and routine (e.g. a vacation) may affect our digestion. It may happen because we eat new and unfamiliar foods or become exposed to unknown bacteria. It’s also common for vacations to be a time where we allow ourselves to eat unhealthier and consume more alcohol. When you have a medical condition, it is even more important to look at what you put on your plate. Here are a few tips:

1)     Make trade-offs: Accept that you'll indulge during your holiday - everybody does. Just do it strategically and in   moderation think about what you most want and plan for it?

2)     Compensate. If you know that you'll be eating a lot of fatty food on your vacation, compensate by focusing on healthy eating before you leave.

3)     Act consciously. When on vacation, you’re surrounded by treats - be aware of when you're eating them. If you are going to your favorite restaurant for dinner (and dessert), eat a healthy lunch.

4)     Eat slowly. Its good advice even when you’re not on vacation but it may be important when you are on vacation. Taking time to eat your food may help the stomach empty better and suppress the appetite.

5)     Limit alcohol. On its own, alcohol can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. It also lowers your inhibitions increasing the chances you'll make bad food choices.

6)     Move. After the ice cream, don't stretch out on the couch. Instead, go out for a short walk.

Stay hydrated - drink water Stay hydrated - drink water Drinking water is essential for your body, and most people should try for 1.5-2 liters of water per day in order to stay hydrated. If you are traveling to a warm climate, drinking water is even more important. Learn more about staying hydrated when traveling

Stay hydrated - drink water

How much H2O?

It is recommended that most people should aim to drink 1.5-2 liters of water per day unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider... When the weather becomes warmer or if you are traveling to a hot climate it becomes even more important to get enough water- otherwise you may become dehydrated.

Avoiding dehydration

Make sure to drink enough water while you are traveling. Avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages or sweet drinks as these can dehydrate your body more. . If you are not sure about the quality of the drinking water, buy bottled water. Depending on your vacation destination, you may also need to be careful with ice, fruits and vegetables... Keep a water bottle handy so you can take frequent sips of water. How do you know if you've consumed enough water? One way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. If you're well-hydrated, it will probably be pale and you'll be urinating more frequently.

Alcohol can cause dehydration Alcohol can cause dehydration Drinking alcoholic beverage is often a common part of vacation. Consuming alcohol can also mean you run the risk of dehydration What to think about before you drink

Alcohol's effect on the body

Reference list

What to think before you drink?

Alcohol has a diuretic effect on the body meaning that your body produces more urine.  When your body produces more urine, fluids leave your body faster than they would if you were not drinking Therefore, drinking alcohol increases your chances of dehydration, It may be a good idea to think before you drink and to pay attention to- and perhaps limit-  how many alcoholic beverages you are consuming– especially in a warm climate. In a hot climate, your body already needs more water than usual, so alcohol will only add to a risk of dehydration


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These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization or ostomy solution you are using.


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