Traveling, whether for business or pleasure, can often cause a great deal of stress. Throw in the fact that we're still amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with diabetes precautions, and well, anxiety levels may surely be heightened. Here are some tips that will help you get through your trip without causing too many challenges to your daily care routine.
- Tell your doctor that you will be traveling
Before you leave, let your doctor know where you will be traveling and for how long. If traveling with children who have diabetes, be sure to check with their pediatrician. Inquire about a written prescription for all your medication just in case you lose your medicine bag, need a refill or will be traveling to a remote place that doesn’t have a pharmacy. The written prescription, along with a doctor's note explaining you have diabetes and why you need certain medications, can help when going through airport security screening.
- Make a note of the supplies you will need
Preparation is key. Make a list of all the medications you will need, including insulin if you use it, cooling packs, ketone strips (which test your urine to measure blood sugar), blood sugar monitoring devices, and names of emergency contacts.
- Plan your food options in advance
Always have healthy snacks such as nuts and small fruit servings within reach. It helps to have items such as glucose tablets or small boxed juices in case you experience a low blood sugar. It’s important to stay hydrated, so be sure to pack water as well. Research food options ahead of time. Don't wait until you're hungry to start looking for a place to eat.
- Check your feet daily
People who have diabetes are more prone to challenges with their feet. Be sure to check daily for blisters or sores. It's safer not to wear shoes where parts of your feet are exposed.
- Place the blood glucose meter in your carry-on
Most airports will allow travelers who are diabetic to go through security with needles if they have a bottle of insulin as well. According to the American Diabetes Association, those with diabetes are also allowed to bring items such as syringes, batteries, and insulin pumps.
The key to traveling with a chronic condition such as diabetes is simply planning. Diabetes doesn't have to occupy your thoughts. Plan, and you can focus on having an enjoyable trip.