Traveling with Diabetes

Whether you’re going on a week-long camping trip or an extended overseas journey, you can safely travel with diabetes if you plan ahead. 

The American Diabetes Association offers several tips to help you stay healthy while traveling.

  • Visit your health care provider. Before your trip, get an exam from your doctor as well as a prescription for insulin or diabetes pills, a letter listing any allergies you have, the medications you take for diabetes and devices you use. If you need immunizations, get the shots at least a month before your departure date.
  • When packing, take at least twice as many blood-testing supplies and medications as you might need, and put them in your carry-on bag, which should also have a snack pack in case your blood sugar gets low.
  • Wherever you go, bring/wear your medical identification that will let people know you have diabetes. Also, bring your doctor’s name and contact information.
  • Be sure to check your blood glucose during your trip. If you’re flying, check your blood glucose as soon as you can after landing.

In addition, the Cleveland Clinic has tips about taking insulin while traveling, and taking care of your feet.

  • Taking insulin: If you’re flying to your destination, be aware of the difference in air pressure in the plane compared to being on the ground, and of any time zone changes. You might need to change your insulin injection schedule if you have a time zone change of two hours or more. Talk with your doctor for more information. Also, your insulin’s temperature should stay between 33 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it should not be frozen or kept in direct sunlight.
  • Foot care: Always protect your feet and don’t go barefoot. Take comfortable socks, a first-aid kit for any minor foot injuries and at least two pairs of shoes (but not open-toed shoes like flip flops or sandals). You can help prevent sore pressure points and blisters if you change your shoes often.

BayCare provides an array of services to people with diabetes to help them learn as much as possible about the disease and how to manage it effectively.  Since people can be moderately to severely effected by diabetes, we offer classes, workshops, and self-management services for you, no matter where you are in your journey with diabetes.