Why Does My Stomach Hurt When Traveling

Sharing is caring!

As someone who loves to travel, I know firsthand the excitement and anticipation that comes with exploring new places. However, there’s one thing that can quickly dampen my spirits – a stomach ache. Whether it’s from motion sickness on a bumpy bus ride or food poisoning from trying local cuisine, stomach discomfort can be a common issue for many travelers.

But why does our stomach hurt when we travel? There are several factors at play, including changes in air pressure and temperature, dehydration, stress and anxiety, and even overeating.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons for stomach pain while traveling and provide tips on how to prevent or alleviate the discomfort so you can fully enjoy your next adventure.

Motion Sickness

You’ll feel much better on your next trip if you take steps to prevent motion sickness. Trust me, I know from experience how awful it can be to spend hours feeling nauseous and dizzy while in transit. It’s not just a stomach ache – it’s a whole-body sensation of discomfort that can ruin your travel plans.

So what causes motion sickness? Essentially, it happens when there’s a disconnect between what your eyes see and what your inner ear senses. Your brain gets mixed signals about whether or not you’re moving, which can lead to feelings of queasiness. This is why reading or looking at screens while in a moving vehicle can make things worse – your eyes are focused on something that isn’t actually stationary.

Thankfully, there are ways to combat motion sickness. One simple trick is to focus on the horizon line outside the window if possible – this gives your eyes a stable point of reference and can help reduce feelings of disorientation. You might also try taking over-the-counter anti-nausea medication like Dramamine before embarking on your journey. And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to close your eyes and breathe deeply until you arrive at your destination.

Changes in air pressure, altitude, and temperature can also contribute to stomach discomfort during travel. But with some preparation and awareness of these factors, you should be able to minimize any ill effects they might cause. So let’s dive into those next!

Changes in Air Pressure, Altitude, and Temperature

It’s not like your digestive system needs consistent air pressure, altitude, or temperature to function properly, so it makes perfect sense that traveling would have no effect on your stomach whatsoever. However, changes in these factors can actually lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating and gas.

When you’re flying at high altitudes, the decreased air pressure can cause the gas inside your body to expand. This is why many people experience discomfort during takeoff and landing.

In addition to changes in air pressure and altitude, temperature fluctuations can also contribute to stomach discomfort while traveling. For example, when you go from a hot environment outside into an air-conditioned building, your body may struggle to adjust quickly. This sudden change in temperature can lead to cramping and other digestive issues. Similarly, if you’re traveling somewhere with a vastly different climate than where you live normally (such as going from a warm beach vacation back home to cold winter weather), this abrupt transition can also affect how your body processes food.

While changes in air pressure and temperature are certainly contributing factors when it comes to stomach troubles while traveling, dehydration is another major issue that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s easy to forget about drinking enough water when you’re busy exploring new places or caught up in travel activities. However, being dehydrated can exacerbate any existing digestive problems and make them much more uncomfortable overall.

So if you want to avoid feeling sick while on the road (or in the sky), be sure to stay hydrated!


Make sure to drink plenty of water while traveling to keep your body hydrated and prevent uncomfortable symptoms like cramping and dryness. Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough fluids or lose too much water through sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. It can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, constipation, and abdominal pain. These symptoms are common during travel due to the stress on your body caused by changes in routine and environment.

Air travel is particularly dehydrating because of the low humidity levels in airplane cabins. According to some studies, humidity levels on planes can be as low as 10%, compared to the average indoor humidity level of 30-60%. This dry air can cause your skin and mucous membranes to lose moisture, leading to dry eyes, nosebleeds, sore throat, and digestive problems.

Drinking water before, during, and after a flight can help alleviate these symptoms by keeping your skin moisturized and lubricating your digestive system. Other factors that contribute to dehydration during travel include excessive alcohol consumption (which has a diuretic effect), lack of access to clean drinking water (especially in developing countries), and high temperatures (which increase sweating).

To avoid dehydration while traveling, make sure to carry a refillable water bottle with you at all times and aim for at least eight glasses of fluid per day. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine which can dehydrate you further. By staying hydrated on your travels, you’ll feel better overall – both physically and mentally!

As important as hydration is when traveling, it’s also crucial that we pay attention to what we are consuming in terms of food quality as well as where our drinking water is sourced from. Foodborne illnesses are more common than one might think when traveling abroad, especially if one isn’t careful about what they eat or drink.

In order for us travelers not only to stay healthy but also to have an enjoyable trip, it’s essential that we take precautions such as researching local foods and water sources before embarking on our journey.

Food and Water Contamination

Be mindful of what you eat and drink to avoid getting sick from food and water contamination while on your travels. It’s easy to try new foods and drinks when you’re in a new place, but it’s important to exercise caution.

Always make sure that the water you are drinking is clean and safe. If possible, stick to bottled water or bring a water filtration system with you. As for food, be wary of street vendors selling food that may not have been prepared properly or stored at an appropriate temperature.

Food poisoning can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting – all unpleasant symptoms that can ruin your trip. To avoid this, research local restaurants before visiting them. Look for reviews online or ask locals where they like to dine out. When ordering food, opt for well-cooked meals instead of raw dishes such as sushi or ceviche which are more likely to contain harmful bacteria.

If you do happen to experience stomach pain due to contaminated food or water while traveling, there are steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean water (not tap water). You may also want to try eating bland foods like rice or bananas until your stomach settles down. But remember: prevention is always better than cure! Be cautious about what you consume while on vacation so that you don’t have to deal with stomach problems at all.

As tempting as it may be to indulge in exotic cuisines when traveling abroad, it’s important not to overdo it – overeating can lead to indigestion and other digestive issues which could make your journey uncomfortable. Stick with smaller portions throughout the day instead of large meals at once; this will help keep your digestion regular without causing any discomforts like bloating or gas pains later on in the evening.

By being mindful of what we eat and drink during our travels, we ensure ourselves healthier trips free from unwanted health issues!

Overeating and Indigestion

Hey, we’ve all been there – indulging in delicious food while on vacation can be tempting, but overeating can lead to uncomfortable indigestion. This is especially true when traveling to new places with unfamiliar foods and cuisine. It’s easy to get carried away and try everything, but it’s important to remember that moderation is key.

By sticking with smaller portions throughout the day, you’ll keep your digestion regular and avoid any bloating or gas pains later on. When it comes to overeating, timing is also crucial. Eating too quickly or right before bed can cause indigestion and discomfort. Instead, try spacing out your meals throughout the day and allowing time for your body to digest between each one.

Additionally, incorporating some light exercise like a walk after meals can aid in digestion and prevent symptoms of overindulgence. Overall, taking care of your diet while traveling is essential for maintaining overall health and avoiding stomach discomfort. By being mindful of portion sizes, meal timing, and incorporating movement into your day, you’ll be able to enjoy all the delicious foods that travel has to offer without any negative consequences.

Next up: let’s talk about how stress and anxiety can also contribute to stomach issues during travel.

Stress and Anxiety

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious while on vacation, it’s important to be aware that these emotions can also have a negative impact on your digestive system. Stress and anxiety can cause your body to produce more stomach acid, leading to heartburn and indigestion.

In addition, stress can cause your digestive muscles to contract, which can lead to abdominal pain and discomfort.

One way to manage stress and anxiety while traveling is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. You can also try engaging in physical activity such as yoga or going for a walk. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day and give yourself time to relax.

Incorporating pre-travel preparation into your routine can also help alleviate stress and anxiety while traveling. This includes things like packing early, making a list of necessary items, and arriving at the airport with plenty of time.

By taking care of these details ahead of time, you’ll feel more prepared for your trip and less likely to experience unnecessary stress or anxiety along the way.

Pre-Travel Preparation

Before embarking on your next adventure, make sure to incorporate pre-travel preparation into your routine to ensure a stress-free experience. Traveling can be exciting, but it can also be stressful for our bodies.

One of the main reasons our stomachs hurt when traveling is because we tend to veer away from our regular routines and eating habits. Pre-travel preparation involves planning out what you will eat and drink while on the road, as well as packing snacks that are easy on your stomach.

Another important aspect of pre-travel preparation is making sure you have all the necessary medications and supplements with you. If you suffer from motion sickness or other digestive issues, consider bringing over-the-counter remedies or speaking with your doctor about prescription options.

Additionally, staying hydrated during travel is crucial for maintaining good digestive health. Make sure to pack plenty of water bottles or invest in a reusable one that can easily be refilled at airport water fountains.

Finally, taking steps to reduce stress before traveling can also help alleviate stomach discomfort. This can include practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or yoga stretches before boarding a plane or getting behind the wheel of a car. It may also involve creating a checklist to ensure everything is taken care of before leaving home so that you feel more organized and in control during travel.

By incorporating these pre-travel preparations into your routine, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about any unwanted stomach pain along the way.


In conclusion, traveling can bring about a variety of stomach pains and discomforts. There are many factors that can lead to an upset stomach while on the go, such as motion sickness, changes in air pressure, altitude, and temperature. Additionally, dehydration, food and water contamination, overeating, indigestion, stress, and anxiety are also common culprits.

Despite these potential challenges, with proper preparation and awareness of one’s body and surroundings while traveling, it’s possible to minimize the risk of stomach issues. This may involve packing healthy snacks, staying hydrated throughout the trip, or taking breaks during long car rides or flights to stretch out one’s legs. It may also mean being mindful of what foods are consumed while exploring new destinations or ensuring that any necessary medications for pre-existing conditions are packed and taken as directed.

Ultimately though, while some level of discomfort may be unavoidable when embarking on travel adventures near or far from home, it’s important not to let fear hold us back from experiencing all this world has to offer. By remaining vigilant about our health needs but also open-minded to new experiences and cultures along the way, we can continue to explore with confidence – even if our stomachs occasionally protest along the journey.

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top