5 Travel Tips For Diabetics

For people who suffer from diabetes, going on vacation can be a challenging experience, as change in meal patterns, time zones and activity levels affects blood glucose levels.

It is therefore essential for you to plan accordingly and implement a routine in your journey to ensure better health.

Tips to manage diabetes while traveling

1. Consult your doctor

Before you go on vacation, make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your holiday plans. Your doctor will check your blood glucose levels and suggest appropriate medication.

Ask for a prescription for diabetes pills and insulin in case of emergency. Also ask for a letter which details what you use for diabetes, like syringes, insulin shots or any other devices, as well as allergies, foods and medications and food to which you are sensitive.

2. Schedule diet and medication according to time zones

If you are traveling to places with different time zones, draw up a meal and medication plan that keeps your body in balance. It is believed that jet lag can have a significant impact on diabetics.

So, it is essential for you get your meals as close to your usual schedule as possible. Adjusting to time zones takes time, so try to be methodical and don’t panic.

3. Ensure that you have insulin kits all the time

Pack at least twice the amount of insulin and blood-testing supplies than you usually use. Pack half in a carry bag which you keep with you at all times. Ensure the carry bag contains insulin, syringes, blood and urine-testing supplies, oral and other medications, your identity and letters from your doctor and an air-tight pack of crackers or cheese and glucose tablets for low blood sugar. Carry a glucose meter with you if you are flying, and ensure you have extra batteries.

4. Eat vegetarian food

Generally, vegetarian meals (vegetarian diet) contain low levels of sugar and higher contents of carbohydrates than your standard meals; they also taste better than your regular diabetic plan.

If you are traveling by road, be sure to pack sufficient or larger quantities of long-lasting carbohydrate snacks, which are low in sugar. Peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal, trail mix, wheat crackers and cereals are all good options and should be carried with you at all times. If you are traveling by air, request a special meal at least two days before you fly.

5. Have a back-up plan

Always keep the contact number of your personal healthcare provider with you and don’t hesitate to call him/her whenever you encounter health problems on your journey. Don’t take new medications without appropriate medical prescriptions, as they can potentially cause allergies and other complications.