Holiday Travel and Diabetes

Traveling with diabetes this holiday season? Follow these travel tips to keep your blood sugar and your stress levels in check.

Health Monitor Staff
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Whether you’re straying a few hours from home or crossing the globe, these tips will help ensure safe (and worry-free) travels with diabetes.

Get documentation. Carry a note from your doctor that says you have diabetes and need to have your medication with you at all times. If you’re heading to another country, translate the note into that language.

Take extra supplies. No matter your mode of travel—plane, train or automobile—keep your diabetes supplies easily accessible. If you’re flying, pack supplies and insulin in your carry-on, in case your luggage gets lost. And make sure they have their prescriptions on them; in case of an emergency, it may be possible to get supplies filled at a nearby pharmacy.

Carry fast-acting glucose. Keep glucose tablets with you so you can quickly fix low blood sugar. Also, have extra snacks on hand.

Test your blood sugar often. Traveling can disrupt your routine—whether you’re sitting for a long time en route to your destination, traveling out of your time zone or eating different foods. This way, you’ll be aware of how such factors affect your blood sugar.

Get necessary vaccines. Ask your doctor if you need any before your trip. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with diabetes get the hepatitis B vaccine.

Create a foot care package. Include bandages with healing blister cushions and antibiotic ointment. Be sure to check your feet for scrapes or blisters, so they can be taken care of immediately.

Reduce road stress!
Don’t let avoidable problems send your stress—and your blood sugar—sky-high.

  • Make sure your car is road-worthy to avoid breakdowns.
  • Check your GPS to avoid stressful traffic jams.
  • Charge your cellphone.
  • Wear a MedicAlert bracelet; in case of an accident, first responders will know what to do.
November 2013