5 ways diabetics can prepare to travel anywhere
(BPT) – For people all across the country, this is peak travel season. The weather is beautiful and there’s still room to squeeze one or two more trips in before cooler weather. Don’t let managing diabetes stop you from making a plan and taking a trip!
Diabetes shouldn’t be a barrier to travel. The key is preparation. Just a little extra planning on your part beforehand can make for an once-in-a-lifetime trip. To help you plan smart and get ready for any situation, follow these suggestions from the American Diabetes Association. Don’t miss out, start your preparations today.
* Visit your doctor. Start your preparations by scheduling an appointment with your doctor about a month before your trip. Think of it as a check-up just for your diabetes. While you’re there, get any immunization shots you need and ask your doctor for a letter and any prescriptions you may need. This letter will be the answer key to your diabetes. It should include what you do for your diabetes and the tools you use. It should also list your allergies. The prescription is for your insulin or pills. Yes, you probably packed enough supplies already, but the prescription is handy in case of an emergency.
* Pack smart, pack thorough. If you’re traveling for one week, pack enough diabetes supplies for two — that’s a good rule of thumb. Keep all of your supplies in one bag and keep it with you at all times. If you’re flying, that’s your carry-on bag. If you’re driving, or a passenger on a bus or train, the bag sits on your lap or on the seat next to you. No matter how you travel, the bag should be within easy reach.
* Prepare for emergencies. When it comes to vacations, picture the best and plan for the worst. Having an emergency plan is essential, especially if you’re traveling abroad. Air travel may be the form of travel requiring the most preparation with increased carryon and baggage restrictions and time allotment needs for both domestic and international flights. Know what you can and can’t bring on a plane and how to handle screening procedures; the American Diabetes Association provides several resources around air travel. Once you arrive at your destination, The International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers is a great resource to help you find English-speaking doctors in any country — make a list of them. If you don’t have this list or you lose it, call the American Consulate, American Express or local medical schools to find a doctor that can help you.
* Take your medical ID everywhere. As someone with diabetes, your medical ID is part of your everyday attire. And it’s even more important when you’re traveling. If you have a hypoglycemic episode or an accident, medical personnel will look to your ID to see how to help you. Place your medical ID with other items you can’t afford to leave behind like your keys, wallet, passport or phone. That way you’ll be sure it tags along.
* Plan an arrival kit. Regardless of how you plan to travel, you’ll probably be excited to get out and stretch your legs at your journey’s end and explore. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the last thing you want to do is immediately head out for supplies. You can cut this trip on your first day if you plan ahead and pack smart. Bring the food or attire you need for the first leg of your stay and you can relax in the comfort of a trip well planned.
There are many reasons to travel year round, don’t let a great trip pass you by. So start your travel planning today and as long as you include your diabetes management in your preparations, there’s nothing you can’t do. For more helpful tips on traveling with diabetes, visit Diabetes.org.