When you are traveling, the last thing that you want to think about is your health. For many of a vacation is, well, a vacation from everything. We eat what we want, and we do what want to do. As a diabetic, however, there are certain things that you should keep in mind.
For most people, traveling itself does not pose a health risk. The problem most arises from a lapse in judgment. If you are receiving dialysis make sure you are not skipping a treatment.
To keep yourself in good shape, following these tips will help plan an exciting and healthy trip.
- Research Your Destination – It is important to know what medical offices are available. Call your insurance company to ask if you can use and where. You may want to get travel insurance. Also, if you are in a foreign country, learn the language to be able tell someone you are diabetic.
- Bring Devices in Carry-on Luggage – If you are carrying testing strips, pumps, shots or other medical equipment, pack them in a small bag or in you carry-on luggage. This will ensure that they are not lost, and they will be available if needed during the flight. In addition, make sure you have enough supplies for the entire trip. Don’t assume you will be able to find them.
- Know Your Eating Schedule – Your schedule will fluctuate and most likely you will not be eating on a normal schedule. Have snacks handy to keep your insulin level steady, and try to plan to eat at a normal time if possible. When you are on a flight, ask the airline for healthier options ahead of time.
- Watch What You Eat – Desserts, soft drinks and alcohol are readily available at most vacation spots, especially if you are on cruise or Disney vacation. In the moment, it is easy to indulge, and that might be ok, sparingly. Remember it is not just the obvious foods to wary of; overeating should be a concern. It’s a vacation, but still, you need to watch your calorie and carbohydrate count.
- Understand Your Insulin Needs – When flying the air pressure in the cabin in the plane will affect your insulin dosage, especially when taking off or landing. It is best not to use your pump during these times as too much may be delivered. For those traveling cross country, the quick journey across time zones may also cause problems. You should adjust for this aspect. Ask your doctor for the best plan.
- Carry Hand Sanitizer – While this may seem simple, it is one of those things that most people forget. At a theme park, the beach or in a hotel, you will encounter germs. Your hands will be dirty. If you need to test your glucose levels, hand sanitizer will quickly clean dirty hands before you prick your finger.
While this list is not all inclusive, these tips will help you have a better trip and keep your diabetes in check.