Yes, it’s travel time! No more office for the next few days or worrying about household chores. It’s finally time for you to let your hair down and relax. And to ensure that your holiday stays as fun and relaxed as you hoped, there are certain factors that people with diabetes should consider beforehand. And don’t worry, these aren’t tough. Just like you plan your travel itinerary this is a plan for your health when you travel.
What to do before you travel?
- Go for a thorough medical check-up before a month or so before you travel. Inform your health care team of your travel plans such as days of travel, destination and mode of travel so they can check for any possible complications.
- In case you are crossing time zones, be sure to confirm when to take your medicines and meals to avoid fluctuations in blood sugar.
- When travelling to a new destination, be sure to get the required vaccines or immunizations a month in advance. Any infection or illness could seriously disrupt blood glucose levels and cause you problems in your vacation.
- Ask for a letter and prescription of your medication. This is extremely important. These will allow you to carry supplies such as glucometer with pricker, insulin syringes and pumps in the flight without objection. Also, a detailed letter about your treatment method can be beneficial for doctors in other places in case you need a consultation. They can be sure to continue with the treatment followed at home and avoid any significant changes.
- Keep a log of your medicines dosage and timings with you at all times. This can also help doctors in your travel place to judge your response better.
- Talk to your doctor about possible treatments in case of an infection or illness. Certain medicines can affect sugar levels and interfere with insulin. It’s best to ask for general medicines that could be taken.
Tips for packing
- Always keep double the medicines and supplies you need when you travel. Also, don’t pack them all in one place. Make sure to keep half the supplies in a bag that will be with you at all times, irrespective of mode of travel.
- Carry a copy of your doctor’s letter and prescription in your carry bag.
- Carry some snacks like khakra, biscuits, dates ladoo with you to avoid episode of low blood sugar. Ask your doctor what are the best food options.
- Pack your insulin in the temperature controlled case to avoid exposure to extreme temperatures.
- Whether you are travelling by flight or train, be sure to speak the attendants about your condition and ask them for low fat snacks. Also, if service timings interfere with your medicine time, request them to serve you later. In any case, always carry some light food with you.
- Be sure to stretch and walk in between. Sitting or sleeping for long periods can affect blood circulation. Whether you are travelling by flight or car, be sure to stretch a bit every hour and take a walk in between.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Do not travel barefoot even for a short period of time. Wear sneaker or comfortable shoes when travelling and even while sightseeing at your destination.
- Be sure to test your blood glucose levels regularly. This will help you monitor and adjust for any changes instantly. Also, maintain a log about your levels and medicines at all times.
- A little care taken before you travel can help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest without harming your health. After all there is nothing worse than going to a new adventurous or scenic place and being left unwell in your room all day!