A woman wearing a hijab rides in a car with a man

Road Trip with an Ostomy

Last updated: April 2022

I love to travel and explore any chance I get, and even before COVID, this came in the form of long road trips. When air travel became more restricted and I wanted to stay safe, I resorted to even more road trips and over the last two years, I've driven many miles and spent many hours in my car.

But just like any travel activity with an ostomy, even long car rides come with their own adjustments.

Utilizing a night bag for road trips

With road trips, my ostomy actually has become a big perk. I no longer need to plan for the restrooms and pit stops along the way or wonder where the next gas station may be. This is because I actually connect a night bag to my ostomy when I'm driving. This won't work if you use a jug-style night drain.

With the soft bag style, I connect the tube to my ostomy and tuck the night bag under my seat. This keeps the tubing out of the way and still allows gravity to do its job and drain output away.

Perks and proper usage

The perk of a night bag for me is the capacity and the length of tubing I can use. I also really enjoy the out of sight out of mind feeling by not having a leg bag attached to me for the drive.

I typically keep the night bag itself inside a nylon drawstring bag. This protects the bag from snagging on anything in the car and protects my car in case there is a leak. The backpack also allows me to transport the bag discreetly to a restroom to empty and throw away or reuse depending on how long the trip is.

Spare supplies

As always, any long trip requires having some spare supplies on hand and I find it very comforting to have a spare change of clothes in the car just in case.

I've found long periods of time sitting are when I'm prone to a possible leak. Also, don't forget to pack that water! It is very easy to forget to stay hydrated on long car journeys as you are quite literally just sitting there.

Enjoy not needing multiple pit stops and drink your water.

The best part of road trips with an ostomy

Honestly, the best part of going on road trips with an ostomy these days is that I am no longer the one needing bathroom breaks. Recently my husband when on a 7 hour trip for a camping weekend and it was him asking me to stop for relief!

No matter how you travel, an ostomy does not have to be a hindrance, in fact, it can make the lack of bathroom access (or gross bathrooms) a non-issue. As I have become more comfortable and more confident with managing my ostomy I'm looking forward to adding many more travels to my calendar and I hope you will too!

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