Traveling with diabetes requires preparation both before and during your trip. Here
are 11 tips to help you make sure your diabetes doesn’t interfere with the pleasures
1. Visit your doctor at least a month before you leave to make sure your
diabetes is under control. If you need to do any stabilizing, a month will give you
enough time. The same month should let your body settle down after any necessary
immunization shots, so get those at the same time.
2. Get a letter from your doctor certifying that you are diabetic, and listing
the various medications and supplies you must carry with you. Without this, you
might have difficulties passing through Security at airports and international border
3. Also get a prescription for your insulin or other diabetes medication. Even
though you should have enough syringes, strips and medication to last for the
duration of your trip, it’s always good to have a prescription in case you lose them,
they become spoiled because of extreme weather conditions, or your trip lasts
longer than you original planned.
4. Wear an ID bracelet announcing your have diabetes, and also carry a small
card saying so in the local language of the places you will be visiting.
5. Learn to express specific diabetic requirements in the local languages. It’s best
to carry these phrases on a card and simply point to what you need, as you probably
won’t know how to pronounce them correctly.
6. Pack at least twice as much medication and supplies as you think you’ll
need. Put half in your suitcase, and half in a special bag that never leaves your
possession. The container for these supplies should be sturdy, preferably hard
sided, for protection.
7. Carry a sealed pack containing hard candies or glucose tablets in case
irregular eating makes your blood sugar drop too low. Your pack should also
contain emergency snacks, such as crackers, cheese, fruit, juice — in case you
must wait too long between meals, which can happen when we are traveling.
8. Insulin can lose its strength in extreme temperatures, so carry your
supply, as well as pills and other medication, in a thermally insulated bag.
9. Carry bandages and first-aid cream, comfortable walking shoes and
protective beach shoes. Your feet neet extra special care while you’re traveling.
10. While on your trip, check your blood sugar more often than usual. Many
factors, such as fluctuating temperatures and changing time zones, can cause wild
swings in your blood sugar levels. If you check often, you’ll be better able to take
corrective action as needed.
11. Finally, contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to
Travelers at 417 Center Street, Lewiston, NY 14092. They can provide you with a list
of English speaking doctors in the countries you’ll be visiting.
As long as you take sensible precautions to care for your diabetes, there’s no reason
why it needs to stand in the way of a happy travel experience. Bon voyage!
Bob Fleming suffers from Type 2 diabetes, but he does everything he can to suffer
little as possible! Visit http://www.thediabetesinfoplace.com for
and resources, including a list of diabetic emergency phrases in eight languages.
up for Bob’s free
weekly diabetic-friendly dessert recipe!
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