Traveling when you have diabetes is doable, but it takes some planning. You have some extra supplies and medications to take with you. You need to maintain your injection schedule and adapt it if you move across time zones. You have food needs to plan around.
Our expert team led by Evan Allen, MD at Allen Wellness & Medical Center in Henderson, Nevada is your partner in diabetes management. We help you manage your condition wherever you are — at home or 3,000 miles away. Following are five tips for traveling when you have diabetes.
Make an appointment with Dr. Allen before your trip. He can provide a letter explaining how you take diabetes medication (pills, insulin shots), the equipment you need with you to manage your diabetes (insulin, syringes, monitoring devices), and any allergies you have.
Ask him for prescription slips in case your bag is lost or stolen. Current travel advice is to include a luggage tracker in your suitcases.
Dr. Allen can explain what to do during airplane travel, especially if you will be crossing time zones. When time zone changes are two or more hours different from your home time zone, you likely need to alter your injection routine. Based on your travel, plan out when you should take your injections.
Contact the airlines, train, or cruise ship to tell them you’re diabetic and what equipment you’ll have with you. If you’re on a tour, let the tour company know your needs. Find out before you leave where the nearest pharmacy and medical facility are in case you need help. Wear a medical alert bracelet.
Keep a travel list on your computer or phone and check off items to be sure you don’t forget anything. Include all prescriptions, syringes, your monitoring devices/testing supplies, cold packs, and emergency contact information, including that of your doctor. Double up on the supplies you think you’ll need to make sure you have enough.
Carry your diabetes supplies such as blood glucose meter, insulin, syringes, and cold packs with you in your carry-on. If you’re flying, tell the airline and security if you’re using an insulin pump. Ask for an agent to inspect your carry-on; your glucose monitor or insulin pump shouldn’t go through an X-ray machine.
All of your medical supplies should have the manufacturer’s label on them.
Carry your healthy snacks in ziplock bags within easy reach. Have glucose tablets handy. Carry your reusable water bottle and refill it frequently. Plan where you’ll be eating ahead of time.
Check your feet every day for any blisters, sores, or cuts. You’re aware of the potential for a minor cut to turn into an infection.
Wear the most comfortable shoes you have, along with diabetic socks. Avoid sandals; they can put pressure on the top of your foot. Wear shoes with a closed toe; it’s too easy for a small pebble to get lodged between your toes and scratch your foot.
Call Allen Wellness & Medical Center or book an appointment through our online portal today for help managing your diabetes.