Travelling With Diabetes: Having diabetes when you’re travelling can make you feel anxious and uncertain. A change in diet, temperature, altitude, and activity levels can all impact on glucose levels, so there are many things to consider when travelling as a diabetic. However, with a little bit of planning, going on holiday with your condition shouldn’t be a problem.
People living with diabetes often have to pack a lot more stuff than the typical traveller due to the supplies they need to manage their condition. Regardless of whether you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to take medical supplies with you when you go on holiday. You’ll also need to carefully plan to make sure that you maintain your glucose control while travelling.
So, how can you ensure that you stay safe and enjoy your holiday when you’re managing diabetes? The better you plan, the more you’ll enjoy a safe and fun trip.
We’ve provided some tips to help you plan ahead for the holiday you deserve.
Visit the doctor
First and foremost, you should make an appointment with your doctor before you go on any holiday if you have diabetes. Make your doctor is aware of any activities you plan to do while away in case they could affect your health. You need to make sure you have enough medication to cover you for the duration of your holiday, so ask your doctor to give you an extra prescription if necessary. If you’ll be travelling to a different time zone, your doctor should be able to advise you on how to adjust your insulin doses accordingly. Your doctor will also write a medical letter explaining that you are diabetic and stating what medical supplies that you require. It might also be worth considering acquiring a medical tag.
It’s always important to have good medical travel cover when you’re traveling, but it’s even more vital when you have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes. Good medical travel insurance that considers all pre-existing conditions will help you pay for any treatment you might need unexpectedly while on holiday. It will also give you peace of mind to relax and enjoy your time away without worrying about the unexpected. Medical bills while on holiday can easily mount up into the thousands, so it’s important to be covered just in case.
Make sure you pack everything that you use to manage your diabetes, as well as any emergency supplies. Keep your usual kit in your hand luggage along with the letter from your doctor and any hard copies of prescriptions. Always carry your insulin on you; this is not only for in case of emergencies but placing it in the hold when flying can cause it to freeze. Your insulin should be ok in the cabin though and shouldn’t need extra cooling. If you’re travelling with a lot of luggage, think about spreading the rest of your medical supplies between different bags; that way, if a bag gets lost in transit, you at least have some medication to keep you going until things get resolved. Bring extra snacks in case of any delays so that you can regulate your blood sugar. Again, make sure you have medical proof from a doctor, as many flights don’t allow snacks on board.
While travelling with a condition such as diabetes can make you feel anxious, you can feel much more relaxed knowing that you’ve carefully planned for your trip and covered all eventualities. As long as you pack all your vital supplies with evidence from a doctor, have good medical cover that accounts for pre-existing conditions, and have a check-up beforehand, you should be able to enjoy the holiday you deserve.