Living with type 1 diabetes involves monitoring blood sugar levels, taking medicine and sticking by an eating schedule.
Flight delays and cancellations, warmer climates, different time zones, and unfamiliar foods can make it harder for someone with diabetes to upkeep their management regimen.
However, there are tips for diabetics to follow while traveling to make the experience a breeze.
Things to do before traveling
-Check with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re in good health to travel
-Make sure your prescriptions are filled
-Get a letter from your doctor stating that you have to travel with medical supplies
-Find and make note of the nearest pharmacies and clinics in your travel destination
-Inquire about if your insulin dosage needs to be changed to adjust to different time zones
-Purchase travel insurance that covers loss of belongings and medical care
Tips for packing
-Pack enough snacks in your carry-on bag to ensure you’re properly fed while in transit
-Make a list of all medications that you need to pack and check off your list while packing
-Pack twice as many supplies and medication as you normally require and store them in different bags in case you lose a bag
-Pack insulin in your hand luggage
-If you have medical supplies that need screening, arrive at the airport early to ensure enough time to go through TSA
-Set alarms to make sure you’re eating on time and not missing any meal or medication times
-Wear compression socks while in flight and walk around the aircraft every hour to prevent blood clots
-Once landing in your destination, remember to consistently test your glucose levels. Stress from travel, new environments and foods, and jet lag all affect blood glucose levels.
-If you’re in a warm destination, be sure to drink a lot of water and drink minimal amounts of caffeine and alcohol. Keep medicine and supplies out of the heat. If possible, store your supplies in the refrigerator.
-Make sure to wear proper footwear and check your feet for cuts.
Traveling as a diabetic doesn’t have to be complicated. If you prepare and plan, your travel experience will be enjoyable and stress-free.