Traveling with Diabetes

traveling with diabetesWhen you’re planning a vacation, you’re looking forward to getting out of your normal routine and doing something fun, exciting or just plain relaxing. However, one routine you should never give up is your diabetes management routine. Traveling with diabetes just takes a little extra planning to make sure you’re keeping yourself as healthy as possible while you’re away from home.

The way you prepare for traveling with diabetes will depend on factors like where you’re going, what you’re doing or how much physical activity you will get (or won’t get!), how long you’ll be gone, and what kind of foods will be available.

Proper Diabetes Management While Traveling

Before you head out on a trip, take a few steps for proper diabetes management while you’re on the road. Some recommendations are:

  • Make an appointment with your doctor before you leave. It’s important to make sure your diabetes is under control before you head out on your trip. Also, have your doctor write out an extra prescription for you to bring with you in case of an emergency, and have them also write a letter that details your treatment and the supplies you use.
  • Keep your supplies close. Regardless of how you are traveling, make sure you have easy access to your diabetes supplies. If you’re flying, pack everything in your carry-on bag, including insulin, to ensure it stays at the desired cool temperature. Get a special travel pack for your car to keep your insulin cool, too.
  • Bring more supplies than you need. It’s recommended to pack at least twice the amount of supplies that you’ll need just in case of travel delays. It’s better to be prepared for the unexpected!
  • Wear medical identification. If you have diabetes, you should always wear an ID bracelet or necklace so emergency personnel can easily be made aware of your condition. Also, make sure to tell those you’re traveling with that you have diabetes so they know what to do in case of an emergency or a change in your health.
  • Pack healthy snacks. Don’t assume that the proper foods will always be available. Pack snacks for the time spent on the road or in the air to avoid a drop in your glucose levels. Things like whole grain crackers, light popcorn, or granola bars are good options that don’t need to be kept refrigerated. Also, make sure to bring some water in lieu of sugary sodas or juices.
  • Stick as close to your routine as possible. If you are traveling out of your time zone, it can throw off your whole schedule; perhaps when you’re normally sleeping you’ll be awake and feeling hungry. Flight delays or traffic might cause other changes to your normal routine, too. This is where having easy access to your supplies and some healthy snacks will be very important!
  • Research medical care available. Before you leave, take some time to find out where you can get medical care if needed while you’re traveling. Prepare for any emergencies that may arise by keeping a list of the facilities near where you’ll be staying or exploring.

Don’t let your diabetes dissuade you from traveling to new places or taking that relaxing beach vacation! Take the proper steps for diabetes management before you go and you’ll enjoy a stress-free trip.

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