February 25, 2020

12 Must-Know Tips for Traveling with Diabetes

You’ve got a week’s worth of meetings scheduled in another city. Or better yet, you’ve booked a dream vacation in another country. Whatever has you on the go, it’s important to follow proven best practices for traveling with diabetes. Traveling as a diabetic doesn’t have to be difficult. All that’s required is a little bit of advance planning and your trip can be an enjoyable and memorable one.

Before Travel: What to Know as a Diabetic

A little preparation goes a long way when traveling as a diabetic. Keep these diabetes and travel tips in mind as you get ready for your trip:

  1. Talk with your doctor. Especially if you’ve not traveled with diabetes before, it’s important to ask your physician for their input. They know the specifics of your overall medical condition and may have helpful suggestions.
  2. Get a physician’s note. Ask your doctor to write a note explaining your condition and your medication needs. Make a few copies of the note and keep them in different places, like your carry-on bag and your stowed luggage.
  3. Make sure you have all the medication you’ll need. Finding medication when you’re away from home can be challenging. Plus, the time it takes to get what you need can cut into your enjoyment of the trip!
  4. Review airline and customs regulations. People with diabetes travel every day, of course, both around the U.S. and internationally. Consequently, airlines and customs officials are familiar with their needs. Just be sure you understand any requirements associated with your airline or destination.
  5. Pack plenty of healthy snacks. If travel challenges arise, they can leave you without access to food for a period of time.
  6. Make a plan for storing your insulin properly. Keeping insulin at the right temperature if you’ll be away from refrigeration isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Cool packs can do the trick. You simply need to know where you can get them.
  7. Let your flight crew know about your diabetes. Especially if traveling alone, let your flight attendants know that you have diabetes so they can quickly provide assistance, if needed. You should also carry a medical card that explains your condition.

During Travel

You’ve followed the tips for flying with diabetic supplies and you’re on your way! As you’re enjoying your trip, these strategies can help you manage your diabetes effectively:

  1. Check your glucose more often. Meal times and quantities often change when traveling. Be sure to monitor your glucose closely so you can adjust your medication, as needed.
  2. Get to know the area. After arriving at your destination, make a note of pharmacies and hospitals in the area. Because you’ve properly prepared, you shouldn’t have to visit either one. But it’s good to know where they are nevertheless.
  3. Avoid going barefoot. You don’t want to have to deal with a foot injury and infection on your trip.
  4. Eat wisely. Enjoy the local cuisine, but do so in a way that doesn’t cause problems with your diabetes.
  5. Take hand wipes. Keeping your hands clean as you manage your diabetes can be challenging in some environments. Wipes can help prevent infections.

Enjoy Your Trip!

Flying with insulin and managing your diabetes while traveling is easy once you’ve done your homework. A little knowledge and a little discipline in monitoring your condition are all you need to have a fun and relaxed trip. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, your diabetes shouldn’t hold you back!

Get in touch with the Baptist Health Diabetes Care team if you have any questions about traveling as a diabetic.

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