Traveling with diabetes is the kind of activity that in some people brings an unknown dread. How am I going to carry all my supplies? What happens at the airport? What I’m going to eat..
Well here are some tips based on my experiences on diabetes and travel to helping keep diabetes nice.
I have traveled extensively for about 15 years both with injections and more recently a pump so the first thing to realize is – just because you are diabetic does not mean that you can’t travel. I once had a job where for seven years I flew out on a plane every Monday morning and came back home every Friday afternoon, and better still I survived with flying colors.
Here are some of my top tips and diabetes management guidelines experiences that may help you with your journey.
– Plan – before you go, let’s think about what you are going to need while you are away. Getting past the basic stuff of clothes, books and either work or holiday entertainment let’s talk specifically about diabetes related information.
– What medication and monitoring supplies are you currently using? Make sure you have all of them packed and readily available. That is the first step to ensuring a great traveling experience.
– Second thing to remember, what is your backup plan? If you are using tablets or insulin, do you have spares? Do you have your prescription or medication script with you just in case?
I’ve very rarely carried a prescription around with me but just in case you are really worried, it’s a great way to ensure your piece of mind.
– Have you thought about problems with your blood testing device? Have you got a pump – do you have spare sites? Insulin? Injection materials. If you assume the worst and prepare it’s never going to happen.
I always like to carry a spare blood testing machine and tester with me just to make sure I’m going to be OK, I even like to carry spare batteries for my machine and/or pump. If however you are traveling and want to carry less supplies remember a pharmacy will always have a blood testing machine for purchase – just in case.
– The next thing to think about is what are you going to eat?
If you are traveling on a long haul flight for example – Do you have snacks? What are you going to do for hypos? How are you going to change your insulin?
I can hear the panic in your voice just reading this but don’t fear. All of these questions are the whole point. If we ask ourselves all of these questions before we start, we will have the answers. Then when we are entering the stressful situation and the joys of travel are unfurling their potentially fabulous fury, we have the answers. You have the spares, you have the snack to munch on when the plane is delayed and guess what you are just like every other traveler, all is well – your just slightly annoyed about the plane delay.
One of the final pieces of advice especially in the case of air travel, is make sure you have a letter from your GP. I usually recommend this even if you aren’t air traveling so if you ever get into trouble, you have a letter from your Doctor that details you are a diabetic and where possible, what your medical regime is so that any other medical professional can review.
See, It’s as easy as one, two, three.
Preparation, Travel and Enjoy.
A diabetic having a brilliant time on holidays… That’s the best way to ensure that we all continue to enjoy nice diabetes.
Happy Holidays and have a great time for me.