With warm weather in full effect, vacation season has officially arrived. This is the time of year that friends and family flock together to enjoy exploration and adventure, rest and relaxation, and some much needed time away. Doing this with diabetes, though, can be a lot to handle. Living with diabetes is hard enough itself, but when you factor in packing, travel and not being within your normal daily routine, it can get tricky. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming though! Check out these 6 tips for traveling safely and successfully with diabetes.
See Your Doctor Before You Leave
Before you hit the road, travel overseas or plan to be anywhere other than home for an extended period of time, go see your doctor to have a medical exam. If you’re leaving home for a little while, you want to make sure everything is in control with your diabetes. Schedule the exam about a month before you leave, so that if everything isn’t in control, you have enough time to get things back on track.
Don’t leave your doctor’s office without getting both a letter and a prescription. If there’s an emergency, you’ll want to have a letter with you explaining what you need to do for your diabetes as well as list any allergies you might have. Though you should have enough supplies with you, a prescription for more insulin, syringes or pills is good to have with you just in case.
Plan for Meals and Pack Healthy Snacks
Planning for meals is so important when traveling, especially if you’re going to be flying. Sometimes you can request meals for special dietary needs, but you should always have emergency snacks with you just in case. Some really great snacks for traveling (and always) are grapes and cheese, carrot sticks, walnuts, and low sugar yogurt.
Know About Local Pharmacies and Hospitals
Research the closest hospitals and pharmacies before you go. If you’re staying in a hotel, the staff may be able to help you out with this as well. Even if you’ll be in the wilderness somewhere, try to figure out the closest hospital or urgent care to go if you’re in a bind.
Check Your Blood Sugar Frequently
When you’re at home, you probably stick to the same routine along with foods that are relatively normal for you to munch on. While you’re away on vacation, you may be trying new or unfamiliar foods. Check your blood sugar more frequently than you normally would as well as 90 minutes or so after a meal.
Pack Comfortable Walking Shoes
You may be doing a lot of walking while you’re away, so pack comfortable walking shoes to avoid blisters. If you’ll be walking on the beach, where sandals rather than going barefoot so you don’t get stuck with nasty cuts that could lead to infection.
Bring Extra Supplies
Go ahead and bring twice as many supplies as you think you might need. Bring these in a carry-on bag as opposed to checking them on a flight where they could get lost or delayed. Also keep in mind where you’ll be able to store your supplies.