Tips for Traveling in Asia with an Ostomy

Oct 16, 2014 8:18 pm

I got a tip for people with an ostomy who may choose to travel to Japan (or most Asian countries). There are no public garbage cans for the most part, so you may have to be creative in carrying your 'garbage' if you find yourself having to quickly dart into a public washroom to change your appliance.

And by the way...don't expect to see a toilet in the same fashion that you're used to here in the West, as most public restrooms in Asia are nothing more than a hole in the ground, and I do mean that literally.

If you're in a city, then the best place to seek out is a McDonald's as they will always have garbage cans where you can dispose of your 'garbage' and also decent washrooms to change in.

If you're traveling the countryside of any Asian country, you're gonna be hard-pressed to find anything that resembles a public washroom, so be prepared to be creative. I can usually change my appliance in about 45-60 seconds, so be prepared to rip off your old one and slap on a new one somewhere in the bushes so that you can quickly continue on with your journey.

On a side note, you will see fantastic washrooms in Japanese airports that often have signs that they have ostomate facilities inside. These are top-notch washrooms and even come with instructions....seriously folks, with instructions ;:)

Happy travels

Oct 16, 2014 8:44 pm

Thank you icomeau for the info, in case I ever get to Japan.

I wonder how the toilets are in the UK. I have a trip on my "Bucket List" to do. Some day I will get over the pond to see the UK.

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Oct 16, 2014 11:33 pm

Northern Europe is pretty much the same as you would see in the US/Canada, but as you tend to go further south into Italy/Greece/Turkey area, you tend to see more split washrooms. Meaning, the traditional sit-down models we use in North America alongside squat toilets. From experience with a squat toilet and an ostomy, the best thing I find is to go into a stall, take your pants off, and squat ;)

Seriously, never let your ostomy prevent you from traveling.

Oct 24, 2014 8:23 am

Diceman; I have lived in the UK all my life (Scotland) and never had a problem with the toilets here. They have disabled toilets in most places, they are all clean, some more than others, but always clean enough to do what has to be done. I find that going to toilets in the shopping centres are usually the best, some bars might be a no-no. So if you ever get over to the UK, you will be fine.

Oct 24, 2014 3:19 pm

Gordonc, thank you for the info about the toilets in the UK. When I get to my bucket list about seeing the UK, I will keep the info in mind.

Thank you,


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Oct 25, 2014 12:22 am

45-60 seconds?! Holy cow! I've gotten better over the years certainly, but nothing that fast. I guess it also depends on whether my stoma is active or not. If it happens to be active, then it takes longer because I'm spending half my time trying to catch what's coming out so it doesn't ruin everything. It usually takes me ten minutes at home, but then I empty the old one (drainable), take it off, put it in a ziploc bag, wipe the area with wet TP, wipe the area near the stoma as well as leftover adhesive with alcohol wipes, shave the area if need be, apply the new wafer, hold down around the stoma for about a minute to set, attach the bag (two-piece), and voila, I'm done. I'd say not too bad for doing all that in ten minutes, but I guess if I skip all the non-critical steps, I could probably do it in two minutes or so. Might try it sometime.


Oct 30, 2014 11:33 pm

Ostosolutions seals are a new product on the market that makes this type of traveling much more comfortable. They snap onto your pouch after it's removed from the wafer and seal the pouch completely. No odor escapes and the pouch doesn't leak. They seal the odor in much better than plastic bags, and they are easier to carry and use. If there's no place to dispose of the pouch, you can carry it in your handbag all day without any odor, really! You can even dispose of it in the trash in airplane restrooms and not worry about odor.

Aug 25, 2015 10:39 am

If I do a certain stomach-muscle pull, I can stop any activity long enough to complete the change, but most times it's not really active. Of course, nothing beats taking your time to do a proper change, but situations in life taught me to learn to do a pit stop quickly so I can quickly get back in the game.