Any tourist and travel agent will tell you that the key to a successful trip is to plan ahead. This is true especially if you have diabetes. Remember your diabetes should not stop you from traveling and doing all the things you like.
Although sometimes it is not possible to avoid certain surprises, you need to prepare yourself and prevent any additional stress. Once you are properly ready, you will feel more confident about the trip.
Things to Do Before You Travel
A few weeks before your trip make sure to visit your doctor and do a check-up. Consult your doctor about your medications and meals, particularly if you travel through different time zones.
Your doctor should give a letter stating that you can carry supplies or medicines since some countries or airlines require you to have this letter. Needles and syringes can be a problem when entering certain countries or flying.
Mark the kind of insulin whether is long-acting, rapid-acting, intermediate, and short-acting. Ask for a list of your drugs with their dosages and their generic names from your pharmacist.
Make sure to get the necessary vaccinations at least one month before your trip, in that way you will have enough time to deal with possible side effects.
What to Pack
The first thing you need to do is divide your diabetes supplies and medications and pack them in a few places instead of one. In that way, you will always have your medications even if you lose one bag.
Ensure that in your carry-on luggage you have some of the supplies and drugs. Consider other necessary supplies such as treatment for low blood sugar, a drug for diarrhea and nausea, food, sunblock, drinking water, and also walking shoes.
How to Keep the Blood Sugar Levels Under Control While Travelling?
During your vacation, you need to test your blood sugar on a regular basis. The only way to know whether your blood sugar levels are in the target range is to do regular tests.
Record test results, injections, and drugs in a logbook. Also, take your instruction manual for the meter and additional test strips and batteries.
Make sure to carry moist towelettes or alcohol swabs to clean your fingers before you do the test. In case you have problems with your blood sugar levels, contact your diabetes educator and doctor or contact the near hospital for advice.
At the hospital, you need to have your travel insurance and a list of drugs to help the doctors there to provide you with suitable care.
Air Travel with Diabetes
In case you need to travel by airplane, make sure to contact the airline a few weeks before your trip and inform them about your medical devices like glucose monitor and pump.
In case you have an insulin pump, contact the airport, the device manufacturer, or the airline for advice about the airport screening equipment.
Travelling and Food
When you travel, it is normal to want to try different foods, and there is no reason not to do that because of your diabetes. However, if you stick to your healthy eating, there would be no reason to worry.
Starchy carbs are a crucial part of a balanced, healthy diet. Therefore, it is worth knowing what carbs will be available at your destination.
You should have a good travel guide with info about the available cuisines, or you can get a pocket dictionary, and there you will find the words for the basic foods you need.
Once you are prepared, you are ready to travel. Remember, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.