How to Manage Your Stoma While Traveling

Bilbo baggins
Jul 01, 2024 7:01 am

As a fairly recent stoma owner, I have experienced a few nighttime disasters and am looking for advice on how to manage when staying at a hotel, etc.

It's great to be part of this site as I have learned so much about living with my stoma.

Thanks, all.

Jul 01, 2024 7:36 am

Hello Bilbo baggins ( I love your psuedonym).
Staying in hotels etc. can pose a few problems, but they are by no means insurmountable.
I find that some of the main problems are to do with the fact that hotels are designed for people with 'normal' needs regarding toileting. 
Wash basins and access to water is often some distance from where it is needed so my solution has been to use an irrigation sleeve as a 'bag'. This way I can walk over to the tap to pour water into the sleeve, (rinse it) then return to the toilet to empty it. Sometimes this procedure needs repeating, but with the sleeve, this is only a minor inconvenience. 
Also, leaving the sleeve on overnight, allows for an enormous amount of output  to accumulate in the 'bag' before causing any leakage problems.
With all these types of things, it is a question of what suits one individual may not suit another. Thus, It's a good idea to try as many different things as possible, to see what suits you best.
I have a shed full of different devices that I have made and am still making because, what I have found, is that regularly changing and updating what I use and what I do, helps me decide which devices suit me at different times, days, activities and circumstances. Also, DIY enables me to make things for next to nothing, that seem to last almost indefinitely.
One of the things that I have found to be most effective in almost all circumstances is my DIY process of building 'confidence'.
This helps me to overcome most problems and not be too concerned about what other people may or may not think.
It also enables me to engage in dialogue with anyone who wishes (or maybe doesn't want) to know about the problems we face with stomas. 

Best wishes


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Jul 01, 2024 12:17 pm

I too love your handle "Bilbo Baggins"


Going on a journey - in the literal sense - is manageable - as per Bill's observations above - both by one's personal choice of 'devices' but also by a personal choice of what is available 'off the shelf' too - it all boils down to how we use things and how we manage our diet choices / times of eating - so regulating output.


I am unsure what type of colectomy you have - colostomy or ileostomy - both very different as regards output / management.


I would observe the following: For practicality while travelling, a drainable bag is most convenient and for extra security, the attention to detail as to preparation of changes and meticulous accurate cutting of the hole in the back plate/collecting bag and unhurried cleaning and preparing the skin is paramount for optimal safety and security of leak-free use.


As to management of toileting within either B+B, Hotel or Self-catering establishments - clearly an ensuite facility is a must rather than a luxury - for convenience and safety.


There are 'extendable flanges which may be used to extend the area of adhesion around the sticky part of one's appliance - so providing extra adhesion for the hot weather if this is a personal need.


  • Given that you are a UK resident, then Salts products offer black, white, and neutral color 'silky' bags - and other products which over the years I have found to be most efficacious and also aesthetically pleasing. They are a Birmingham-based company and have a resident Research Chemist as part of their management - great for resolving any involved problems and also for innovative product design and development - should you ever have need of specialist advice at some time in your future.
  • All Salts products are available through the British NHS - as I believe they are worldwide too.


I hope you make the most of your upcoming adventures, Bilbo - and enjoy your journeys!


Best wishes from a fellow 'Baggins'



Middle Wales [Radnorshire and coastal Pembrokeshire]

Morning glory
Jul 01, 2024 12:44 pm

I include a little mirror on a stand, some old bath cloths or paper towels, black doggie plastic bags, and that's pretty much it.

Bilbo baggins
Jul 01, 2024 2:35 pm

Thanks so much for all the advice.

My big worry is, as has happened to me at home, that I would have a major leak while in bed.

When this has happened at home, I strip the bed, get my kit off, throw it all in the washing machine, clean up, and reset the bedding.

Just so you know how bad it was, I just had the bedroom carpet replaced with timber flooring that is easy to clean.

The thought of this happening while in a hotel or on a cruise ship just terrifies me.

Thanks again, buddy.


Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jul 01, 2024 3:36 pm

Get a protector sheet for the bed.

Wacky Jack
Jul 01, 2024 9:31 pm
Reply to Bilbo baggins

When I sleep over, I also wear an adult diaper just in case; it helps to contain a leak.

Jul 02, 2024 1:32 am
Reply to Bilbo baggins

In the beginning of this new normal, leaks in bed happen a lot. In time, you will learn when to stop eating before bedtime, what not to eat, how to sleep, positions, and having better equipment—appliance-wise.

It does get better in time and with understanding of your body.

As a light sleeper, I awaken quickly to that feeling of a leak.

Most times, I catch it in time before it gets all over. I rarely have leaks now in bed as an 8-year ileo.

Of course, I have not had a decent night's sleep since surgery in 2016. But it's getting there.

Think of it as paying your dues.

Re: those dirty sheets? You are a brave person.

I threw mine out. Get a good mattress protector. At least two of them. Keep one aside. Once that mattress gets wet, game over.

I have never worn diapers or plan to. It works for some. No thanks.

Lastly, spray, candles, anything to reduce the smell.


Bilbo baggins
Jul 02, 2024 6:16 am
Reply to xnine

That's one of the first things I got.

Thanks 👍

Jul 02, 2024 4:01 pm

G-Day Bilbo, Have a look at the photo. In Australia, when I travel around, I take this cover with me. It's soft on the top but waterproof on the bottom. If you have an accident, it only goes on the cover and not on the hotel sheets. It folds up okay and fits easily in your travel bag. They are washable as well. Have two of them, and you can be back in bed in no time and do the cleaning up in the morning. Regards, IGGIE


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Jul 02, 2024 6:30 pm
Reply to Bilbo baggins

Cool. I found candles to be more effective all day than any sprays or plug-ins.

They are such a waste.

The fear of a house fire 😲 does give one pause when using candles.

But then those plug-ins can cause a fire too.

Just be cautious where you place the candles, especially with kids around.

Jul 03, 2024 2:04 am
Reply to Bilbo baggins

Wear an adult diaper that covers your bag when you stay at a hotel...

🇦🇺 🦘Jo 😎
Jul 03, 2024 2:09 am
Reply to Bilbo baggins

One thing that gave me peace of mind (particularly in the early days) is the extender strips (also called wafer extensions, half-moon tapes, etc.) that are placed around the base of the bag. When I did spring a leak, they managed to contain it until I could change the whole thing (when at work and away from home, they would "hold" for hours until I could find somewhere to change).

UK brands Welland Hydroframes and Salts Secuplast Hydro are the best I've used, gentle on the skin and easy to remove on change day.

I don't use them all the time, but I definitely pack them if I'm going on holidays or if I go swimming; I don't need to change the bag so much when I do wear them.

If you make sure you get a good seal on clean, dry skin with your appliance in the first place, leaks will happen less often. In the meantime, I'd just sleep on a towel.

I am a light sleeper though; I sort of "sense" a Vesuvius about to erupt (or I dream about it and wake to find a football-shaped zeppelin about to take off!) 🌋😮‍💨

Bilbo baggins
Jul 03, 2024 1:53 pm
Reply to 🇦🇺 🦘Jo 😎

Thanks for all the tips.

I was beginning to think my cruising days were over.

Jul 03, 2024 3:18 pm
Reply to warrior

Iterate what is said here - hold faith - good luck with positive planning for sleeping away from home - you can do it!

Hope you enjoy your holidays.



Jul 03, 2024 5:34 pm
Reply to IGGIE



Your point about carrying two sheets is very sensible - one I had not considered before - i.e., remove the one, replace with the second, and no need to fully interrupt because cleaning can wait till the morning - nice point, which may be overlooked by some...


Thank you for this contribution.





Jul 03, 2024 9:58 pm
Reply to 🇦🇺 🦘Jo 😎

.Jo..u need better dreams. 😁

Now if you were dreaming of Led Zep in concert, I'd join you. 😉

Everything you explained above is solid. Gonna ditto stamp it.

Jul 03, 2024 11:03 pm

Hi Bilbo, I purchased a pack of puppy wee wee pads and I bring a few along with me when I sleep away from home. I've never leaked (similar to when you get a snow blower and it doesn't snow!) since the time I erupted in a friend's guest bed six years ago, hence the wee wee pad purchase. I also use M9 drops in my bag and that eliminates almost all of my output odor.

Jul 04, 2024 1:45 pm
Reply to IGGIE

Same as Iggie, I travel with a mattress protector and use it on top of the sheet...

Bilbo baggins
Jul 04, 2024 3:30 pm

Learning all the time

Just got home from a 3-hour bike ride.

As I was leaving the house, my eye fell upon a couple of plastic carrier bags.

I picked them up and shoved them in with my stoma travel kit.

Sure enough, halfway through the ride I checked the pouch and it was loaded.

Fortunately, I was riding through a wooded area.

I unloaded into the carrier bag, double-bagged it, and dumped it in a trash bin.

From now on, carrier bags are part of my kit.

Happy Daze


Bilbo baggins
Jul 06, 2024 6:53 pm
Reply to warrior

Hi Warrior

Good trick with the candles

I had a dig around and found 2 large Xmas candles; the house now smells of Christmas pudding, 🍮

When in use, I put it on a metal tray in the shower with the door open

Happy Daze


When I

Jul 06, 2024 8:57 pm
Reply to Bilbo baggins

And the best part? You can toast a marshmallow for dessert. 😁🤦‍♂️🤔

June Bug
Jul 07, 2024 3:14 am
Reply to Bilbo baggins

I have no words to say except that… what about if you have an early light dinner? And go to bed late at night? I don't know, maybe it's an idea. I have had this thing (ostoma) for 3 months. I have had just one accident, and it happened of all places, while I was in the kitchen… (yikes!!).

I had just gotten out of the hospital (3 months ago) with no info about anything, so here I am, and I see the product come between my legs! It took me by surprise, my better half was as speechless as I was! So I ran to the bathroom, and he scrambled to get a bucket, Clorox, and everything he found to clean the mess! How embarrassing that moment was! A week later, the stoma nurse started to come, and my education in this matter started. Google was my first teacher.

I hope your situation gets better and maybe my advice helps, or rather, say what the experts say according to Google.


Jul 07, 2024 12:33 pm
Reply to June Bug

Part of the new normal would be a daily check-in a.m. and before bedtime.

Then account for the amount of wear time of the appliance.

1 day? 2... a week? You are still in the learning mode at 3 months post-op. Never exceed the number of days you wear it.

Most on here go 4 to 5 days. Depending on activity, I can get one day only. Sometimes a week. Don't complain... shit happens to all of us each day, any week. 😁

Jul 07, 2024 3:39 pm

I worry about accidents in hotel rooms too, but even more so if I am visiting someone's home. If I am worried about leaks during the night, I will use either a couple of paper towels, toilet paper, or even a diaper inside of the underwear to protect the bedding. Of course, I will have all of my supplies ready to change and plastic grocery bags to throw everything into when finished.

Jul 07, 2024 7:54 pm
Reply to Morning glory

Yes, I recently found doggie bags are perfect for the mess after appliance changes. Free and lots of them on my hiking trails. Paid with my tax money, so why not!

Jul 07, 2024 8:12 pm

You should carry an emergency stoma bag. Inside, I put chux, gloves, wipes (dry & wet), stoma changing supplies, doggie bag, and a homemade collection device. Emptied in the middle of nowhere? No problem. I found most motels have high sinks outside the toilet, perfect for changing/cleaning my stoma. Dump the bag, like a sanitary napkin. Still trying to master emptying on a jet. Messy.

Jul 07, 2024 9:29 pm

I have made life easier for myself when traveling. Anywhere there is a bed, there is always white linen. I take a crib waterproof mattress cover and my own sheet for cover. This way, I don't mess up the linen and still stay warm under the cover of my own sheet. If you have space in your luggage and can handle the weight, the waterproof bed liner works too. If you have a leak and mess, simply toss the liner and move forward. No more sleepless nights for me. Happy travels.

Jul 08, 2024 1:17 am

Hmm, "how I manage the stoma when...".

At hotels, let management handle it.

It's a reasonable accommodation. I am sure they have seen worse in the rooms.

I am so confident my appliance is bulletproof, I just bring that emergency kit for road trips far far away. If it's a local road trip? Bring nothing.

Bilbo baggins
Jul 08, 2024 7:14 am

Once again, guys, thanks for all the info. It has removed a lot of my worries and given me a lot more confidence to move forward with my life.

I got back on the bike, and my fitness is building all the time. After losing 55 pounds in weight during my hospital stay, I am in the process of rebuilding my body.

I am also looking at a 31-day cruising trip in September.

My stoma has given me back my life, and I am not going to be wasting a minute of it.

Thanks again, and keep the tips coming.