Just because you have diabetes, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself while traveling. Read on to learn the top tips for traveling with diabetes.
Do you have diabetes and are planning to travel? If this is your first time planning a major trip, you might be a little paranoid about how you’re going to do it, or what’s the safest way to do it. It takes quite a bit of planning to make sure the unfortunate doesn’t occur.
You have to get the right amount of insulin, watch what you eat, let a few people around you know you have diabetes if you’re traveling alone, and more.
In this article, we’ll be going over those, and other tips for traveling with diabetes that you’ll need to know before hopping on that plane or cruise ship.
1. Plan Your Meals
It can be difficult to find a healthy meal on a flight, but some companies allow you to book your food choices ahead of time. You’ll be able to pick a meal based on your unique health concerns.
If the company your flying with doesn’t offer this service make sure to call way ahead and let them know about your condition, most will accommodate for it. If they can’t accommodate, then you can get nuts, fruits, and other goodies at airport shops.
2. Carry a Doctor’s Note
Carry a doctor’s note to make going through airport security go a little smoother. If you have the note you’ll be able to have your insulin, syringes, test strips, and other supplies without any question.
It might also help to have all your bottles labeled then you really might be questioned less. You also won’t really have to explain your insulin pump or glucose monitor either.
3. Keep Your Supplies Close By
No matter which method of travel you’re using, make sure your supplies are close at hand. You should always keep your supplies and a little extra insulin in a carry-on bag if you’re flying.
If you put all your supplies in a checked bag some of your insulin and glucometers could be ruined by the fluctuating temperatures. If you must put it in your checked bags, make sure to use a cool pack to keep it in working condition. Don’t use a freezer pack.
4. Do Your Best to Stick to Your Routine
Traveling can put a wrench in your diabetes schedule. Despite that, you should stick to it as best as you can.
If your flight is late, you could sit in a runway for what feels like ages, and the changing time zones could cause you to become hungry before you should. It can be confusing, so bring a few snacks you can chomp on in case you have a long wait.
You can have another person attending the flight store your snacks in a cold pack or let a flight attendant know so they can do it.
5. Let People Know About Your Diabetes
If you’re traveling alone, you need to let a few people on the flight and flight attendants know about your condition. It’s the best way to make sure you get from point A to point B safely.
This way, if the worst happens someone can quickly get you some help, or a flight attendant can grab some juice or soda for you in the event you experience a diabetic seizure.
6. Adjust Your Insulin
You need to inform your doctor at least a month before you make your trip due to the changing time zones. They need to be able to work with you to update your regimen.
Any new timezone will affect your diabetes shots, your healthcare provider will tell you exactly how, and help you adjust. The change will vary from individual to individual.
7. Prepare a Carry-On
You always want to prepare your carry-on beforehand. Even if the bag is heavy you want a majority of your supplies in it. It’s unfortunate but true, luggage can get lost in transit and you don’t want it to be your supplies.
It should be filled with not only your supplies but any travel snacks as well. Anything you need to get by should be in there. You also might want to throw some extra diabetic socks in your bag. You can go here to learn more about those.
8. Disconnect Your Pump
A sudden change of pressure can cause your pump to deliver a little more insulin than you want so you’ll want to disconnect it briefly when you take off and land.
Before you reconnect the pump, make sure you check for bubbles because those can cause you to get less insulin than you need. Practice safe insulin pump procedures to stay safe.
9. If You’re Going to Indulge, Indulge wisely
The buffets on cruise ships are some of the best food you’ll ever have but, that means you can easily overindulge. As tempting as it is, only fill one plate full of fresh fruits and other foods that are safe for you.
It might be hard to resist the desserts, so make sure you practice good portion control. Do that, and you’ll be fine.
10. Always Prepare for Emergencies
Most flights and cruise ships are fitted with medical kits, the quality of the medkit can vary from place to place though. You need to call ahead of time to find out what is included.
Learn how they handle emergencies, specifically those that may happen to you while on the plane, ship, or train.
Traveling with Diabetes and Having a Good Time
Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t travel and have a great time. Use these tips to stay safe and make traveling with diabetes as seamless as possible. Prepare a carry-on and keep it with you at all times, enjoy the food but don’t go overboard, and talk to your doctor about adjusting your insulin.
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