Traveling Tips for Diabetics
When you are traveling, either locally or overseas, there may be a few changes from your ordinary daily activities. Obviously if you are on holiday, the physical activities may change completely – you may either be doing a lot less than usual, i.e. resting and lazing on the beach reading a book, or you may be doing more physical activities than usual – jungle trekking, mountain-climbing and so on. The meal times and type of meals may change too. If you travel overseas, there may even be a change in the time zone, affecting the timing of medication intake. The following tips can be used to help manage your diabetes better during your traveling:
1. Have a letter from your doctor to certify that you have diabetes and list down the medication you are taking. This is especially important when you are traveling to a foreign country. You should always carry a small identity card stating your name, the medication you are taking and contact number for emergency or the address of your hotel – this should be kept in your pocket or wallet, in case you develop hypoglycaemic symptoms.
2. Ensure that you carry at least one week’s extra medication. This is to allow for unforeseen flight delays, tablets lost, etc.
3. Always carry your medication in your hand luggage. If someone else is traveling with you, a portion of the medication can be kept with your travel companion, in case your bag gets lost or stolen.
4. Do not put your insulin or medication in the big luggage if you are traveling on the plane. This is because the temperature in the baggage area of the plane may not be the same as the rest of the airplane. If you are traveling by car, keep the medication with you in the car, not in the car boot. Do not leave the medication, insulin included, in the glove compartment or in the car when the car is parked, especially under the hot sun!
5. Inform the hotel or the flight carrier that you have diabetes, so that proper meal arrangements can be made in advance.
6. Always carry with you your glucometer and monitor your glucose regularly.
7. Always keep with you the local area’s emergency number or hospital/clinic contact number, in case of any emergencies.
If your diabetes is stable, there should not be any problem traveling alone.