NEED TRAVEL ADVICE FROM THOSE WHO HAVE TRAVELED TO EUROPE!

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Colitis Kid
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/26/2008 1:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Guys, Im going on a 10 days backping trip through Europe and I was wondering if anyone who has had UC has handled trips backpacking through europe while avoiding "accidents" or could offer me any advice or locating bathrooms ina foreign country. Sound funny, i know.

This is my first time and Europe and I am having a bit of anxiey over it, I dont want something like my UC to ruin a once in a lifetime trip...

please, id appreciate any and all feedback/advice any of you can offer! thanks!

seconder
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/26/2008 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Relax. Have fun. Europe's a great time. I'm a little too old to do the backpacking thing any more, but I still need to find bathrooms. Some tips of the top of my head:

-- You'll often have to pay for a toilet, so have some change (or be prepared to crawl under the stall, if possible). The Euro makes this easier.
-- There are often public toilets on the street. They're fine. Have change.
-- Department stores.
-- People are generally less hung up on bathroom habits. If you have to go, you have to go. Find an alley.
-- Pharmacies are often less restrictive than in the US. If you need something, you can always talk to a pharmacist.
-- Even in Europe, you may need to be careful with street food and traveller's diarrhea. My rule of thumb is to avoid any outdoor vendor with freshly prepared food in an area with too many pigeons, especially if those pigeons are anywhere near the food. Take some Pepto.

Hopefully, you'll enjoy it so much it won't be the last time you go.

ducridr
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 6/26/2008 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   

When do you leave and do you know where you are going?  As I recall in Italy a bar (liquor - not coffee) has to let you use their bathroom for free.  Otherwise, just buy something (water, etc.) and they will let you use it.  I don't remember seeing one in the grocery stores but that doesn't mean that it wasn't there.  I'll try to find my guide book that says what the law is over there.  All train stations I was at had a bathroom - but like seconder said, you may have to pay to use them. 

I was just in Scotland and didn't have any problems but I was based out of a home.  I actually was pleasantly surprised at how well my uc behaved while I was on vacation.  It must have been the lack of stress and all the sleep I got.  I had more trouble with not feeling good when I had to get up early for a couple of things we did but it just bothered my stomach and didn't turn into any D problems.  I hiked, took long train rides, shopped for an afternoon and had no urgency issues.  I remember having the same thing occur prior to diagnosis last year when I was in Italy.  Just being on vacation helped improve my symptoms!  I did a 2.5 hour hike with no need for a bathroom!  I hope that you get to have the same UC experience that I did.  It was nice to not have to worry too much about where the closest bathroom was.  Enjoy your trip!!


Ducridr

Diagnosed w/ severe pancolitis 11/20/2007

Asacol - 6 (400mg) 2x/day, Tums EX - 2 - 3x/day, Xifaxin 2 (200mg) 2x/day, Prednisone 5mg (started at 40mg Nov 07), multi-vitamin, calcium and vit d supplement, potassium supplement, Junel FE (BCP)


Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 6/26/2008 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I was in Europe last year for two weeks; not backpacking, but on quite a few trains and lots of public transportation. Never had a problem with toilets, and as seconder said, they have pay public toilets on the street. I was in Italy, France, Germany, and England...and didn't have a problem anywhere. My niece actually had more of a gut problem than I did, and had to take Immodium. When she finally told me that she was having the problem, I went to the nearest grocery store and bought her some liquid probiotic drinks and it seemed to help quite a bit. You can find them in most of the countries in the grocery store, by the yogurt section. I found the Europeans to be very helpful and gracious. I don't remember seeing any signs that said you couldn't use a restroom in stores, etc., but then again maybe I couldn't read the sign in that particular language! :-) Just kidding, actually, most everything is posted in English. Enjoy your trip; I can hardly wait to get back over there!
Carol

Remicade - will have my 22nd infusion on June 12.
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


bellski
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 6/26/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband just got back from Europe. He said if you are traveling out in the country (not through cities), you will have a hard time finding a bathroom, and you may plan to go outdoors (as if you were camping). If you are in the cities the pubs have bathrooms usually in the basements. In France, the toilets and bathrooms are quite small. In the cities, you should be able to find bathrooms easily,. Good luck, plan ahead and you will have a great time!
Lori (Bellski)-age 43 from Illinois
Diagnosed February 2008 with Ulcerative Proctitis,
Currently: mild symptoms / flare ?
Medications:  Asacol 400mg X 6, Cymbalta 20 mg X 1,         Canasax X 2 Vitamins:  Calcium 600 + D X 2, Centrum, Citrucel caplets, Probiotics
High fiber diet
"I thank God that  I found this website!"
 


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5187
   Posted 6/26/2008 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Pack your UC meds first! Set a reasonable agenda & pace yourself once you get there. Drink Evian water, which is available widely-- or major cities water. I chose tap water over bottled where only E. European bottled was available because it had a very sulphurous taste. If you're in town, stock up on fresh provisions like hard yellow cheeses, bread/rolls, ham, hard-boiled eggs, fruit tarts if fresh fruit doesn't agree with you, etc. Pack a supply of wet wipes & pocket tissue + a few Glad bags for toting leftover food which usually come in handy, even in the cities. Be ready to ask for the "W.C." wherever-- anybody who doesn't understand English will know where one is. Building projects are everywhere in Europe now so don't count on alleys to do your thing in. Bon voyage!!!!! You'll have a great time. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission) 

seconder
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/26/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Good advice on bottled water and other tips, old hat.  If offered water, you might also make sure it's still and not sparkling or mineral water.  I like it but it kills me.



Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5187
   Posted 6/26/2008 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Still water is "naturale" or as the Italians will laugh: "Senza gas!" In German, "ohne Kohlensaure". I agree that it's better for UCers to avoid the carbonation. A friend & I once bought some local Czech bottled water called "Briliant". Then when we got it open it practically exploded! We stood it in a corner overnight & it periodically emitted a belching sound-- unbelievable. / Old Hat (P.S. I love the Czech Republic!)

Post Edited (Old Hat) : 6/27/2008 10:05:06 AM (GMT-6)


malka
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 6/26/2008 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Being cautious, I only drink bottled water or boiled water in Europe and even brush my teeth with it. In the UK hotels always have an electric tea kettle, so I just boil water and let it cool. In Italy once, my husband bought mineral water "with gas." I tried to rinse after brushing my teeth and it just foamed and foamed and foamed. We are still laughing about it.

Have fun.

M
Diagnosed UC 1975. 
Azulfidine Entabs 500 mg. 4 twice a day
Azathioprine 100 mg per day
Colocort - as needed
Folic acid, vitamins C and D, multivitamin, metamucil, fish oil, turmeric 
 
Hospitalized 1997 - intravenous cyclosporine.


Colitis Kid
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/27/2008 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys, I feel a little bit better after your posted replies. I figure, this is my last summer off since medical school is going to take over my life this fall... i wanted take advantage of this one chance- UC or no UC. You live life only once, right? ;)

thanks

Nate

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 6/27/2008 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Nate, have a great time....take advantage of it and enjoy every minute! I'm green with envy -- I'm glad someone mentioned the "still" versus "sparkling" water....a lesson in bottled water lingo I learned fast!
Carol

Remicade - will have my 22nd infusion on June 12.
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 

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