Traveling can be a stressful activity, what’s with all the preparations and regulations you face at airports or other public facilities, and diabetes management can add to those burdens. You must adjust the way you eat, drink, take insulin, rest, and other activities you need to maintain normal level of blood sugar. Also, insulin supplies, insulin meter and test strips must not be exposed to hot temperature, which makes the matters even more complicated. This has made many people feel deterred with the thought of traveling with diabetes. However, you should not make this condition prevent you from traveling.
American Diabetes Association has created list of practical guides for people who want to travel comfortably while managing their diabetes routine. Follow these practical guides to make your trip more convenient.
Diabetes Management Tips for Traveling
First of all, make sure you bring all the important stuffs you need, especially if you will travel for a long time. Here are things you must bring:
- Blood sugar meter and test strips.
- Insulin supplies.
- All the medications you need, and complete with the prescriptions, if the airport officials ask about your medications. You can also ask your doctor to write down a letter explaining your condition, complete with your medication list, which is then signed.
- Medical alert to prepare other people if you experience medical emergency.
- Glucose tablets and glucagon, for first aid if you experience sudden decrease in blood sugar level.
- Alcohol swipes, syringes, needles, insulin pens, cooling packs, and special storage for these supplies. You are usually allowed to bring this, but the officials usually will manually check them and ask you to put them in different place from other stuffs.
- Container to dispose sharp things.
- Insurance card and list of hospitals and doctors covered by it.
- Some snacks such as crackers or low calorie biscuits. They can be useful to keep your blood sugar level balanced if your plane is delayed or you are hungry in a long flight.
- Emergency contact list you or other people can immediately access; not just in your phone, but also in notebook, with clear label.
Remember, your most important emergency stuffs must not be stored in checked luggage. You will not be able to access them quickly, and things such as insulin supplies and meter may be damaged or lost the potency.
Additional Tips to Manage Diabetes during Trip
There are other traveling tips for people with diabetes that are often forgotten, but they can have really affecting impact if overlooked, such as:
- Know beforehand the airport regulations for traveling with disabilities or serious disease that requires special supplies to carry. If you live in the US, you can download an app called TSA Mobile App, which is useful to give you official information regarding of traveling with special conditions.
- If you wear insulin pumps, it is generally okay with airport officials, but you still need to inform them. Again, a letter from your doctor can solve the problem.
- If your trip crosses time zones, you must think about the time to take medications or insulin pump time resetting, so you can take your insulin and medication supplies on time.
With proper diabetes management, you can have a short or long trip without worrying about your conditions.