Who doesn’t like travelling? Be it going for a mini-vacation to a nearby beach/park or planning a long vacation with family to an international destination, travelling is fun and stress-free. However, if you suffer from certain health conditions such as diabetes, then going on a vacation might look like a tedious task. This is because being diabetic and travelling means untimely meals, skipping medications, excessive physical activity or dehydration, all of which can cause drastic changes in your blood glucose level.
Most people with diabetes sacrifice their wish to travel to keep up with their health. But this is not needed, because diabetes does not mean you cannot enjoy the fun and excitement that traveling brings with it. With some intelligent planning and preparation beforehand, happy journeys and pleasant trips may not be a far cry. In fact, you can enjoy your travels to the fullest and keep your diabetes in check as you travel around the world.
7 Travel Tips That People With Diabetes Should Follow
It goes without saying that travelling to new places not only comes as an emotional burden but also a physical one for people with diabetes. Travelling to new places means getting out of your comfort zone and adjust to a new routine. In addition to the itinerary and spots to see, do check out the local cuisine, nearby hotels/restaurants to eat and time zones (if travelling abroad) to be prepared. Planning ahead can significantly cut down on your worries and help you to enjoy the place when travelling.
Here are a few tips for you to be aware of for a healthy travel in the time to come:
1. Carry Your Updated Prescription
The first and foremost thing to do after you book your tickets is to book for your doctor’s appointment. Visit your doctor to ensure you are fit for travel and discuss the details with your doctor to help you plan wisely.
Always carry not a single copy but few prints of your recent prescription along with any investigations done in the last 3 months while traveling. These documents can be life-saving during emergency medical conditions. If travelling abroad, then get a doctor’s note explaining your condition and the medications you need for hassle-free security checks.
2. Carry Adequate Medications
Make sure you carry at least twice as many medicines and insulin as you usually need. This is because, it is always a good idea to be over prepared than underprepared, especially when you are travelling. Always keep your medications and supplies close at hand. If you are travelling by air, then do keep these in your backpack or carry-on luggage and not check-in baggage. Never store insulin in checked luggage as it may be exposed to extreme temperatures.
3. Add Glucometer To Your Medicine Kit
It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels during travel. Always carry a glucometer with you. Additionally, you must also carry extra batteries and glucometer strips. When travelling long-distance,carry a small bag or keep it beneath the seat in front of you (in flights) so you have easy access to your glucometer test strips, syringes and insulin, snacks, and fast-acting glucose.
4. Pack Your Healthy Snacks Along
To avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, carry small healthy snacks with you. Healthy snacking at frequent intervals will help to regulate blood sugar levels and will not cause a sudden spike. Have small, frequent meals instead of three big meals in a day. Stock your bag with nuts, seeds, fruits, yogurt, veggies and dip, sandwiches, and salads to be on the safer side.
5. Get Moving
When you take a long flight or you go on a train or bus journey, make sure you keep yourself moving by doing simple stretching exercises. When you reach your travel destination, try and include a morning walk to your daily routine to avoid unnecessary weight gain and prevent further complications. Also, do wear comfortable shoes so that you can allow your foot to breathe. Picking comfortable socks or stockings when travelling is not a bad idea.
6. Stay Hydrated
Keep yourself hydrated. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Avoid sweetened teas/ coffee, aerated drinks and other drinks that may cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Outings can also be about family get-together or a break with friends, in such a case, alcohol or booze can also be an indulgence. However, if you are a diabetic, then better stave off any alcoholic drinks as it may affect your blood glucose level and may put you at risk of complications at an unknown place. This may not only complicate your health but also spoil your entire trip, so beware.
7. Carry Comfortable Footwear
Make sure to choose comfort over style as travel plans are all about enjoying and spending your time leisurely. As diabetics are more prone to infections and foot problems, it is important to pick the right footwear and carry comfortable shoes along when travelling. Whenever you go out, make sure you wear good footwear. Do not go out bare feet on the beach as it could lead to foot complications.
Who said diabetics can’t have fun? The secret to any successful trip involves a lot of planning and when it comes to diabetics, it might include double the time and effort. But to make memories and have a fun time with your family and friends when travelling, little planning is all you need to do to relax and enjoy your trip.