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With the Covid-19 vaccines rolling out in the US, UK and Europe it is the perfect time to start thinking about your next holiday. However, even though you're taking a break from work or studying, managing your diabetes is still essential. Although travelling can get you out of your regular routine with delayed meal-times, time zone changes, and varied meal options, travelling can be made much less stressful with a few helpful tips.
Here are our top 10 tips for managing your diabetes when you’re away:
1. Before you leave: go for a check-up with your doctor to ensure you are in good shape for the trip.
By filling in your doctor on the details of your trip along with the activities you are hoping to do, they can inform you of risks and suggest strategies to manage them. When travelling it is also important to pack double the medication you think you are going to need, and you may need extra prescriptions to ensure you have sufficient amounts. Your doctor will also provide you with a letter stating that you have diabetes and why you need your medical supplies to avoid hold-ups at airport security.
2. Be kind and listen to your body.
Don’t overdo physical activity during the heat of the day. Avoid getting sunburnt, and don’t go barefoot - even on the beach.
3. Store your insulin products appropriately.
Like your body, your insulin supplies don’t like too much heat. Don’t store your insulin or diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or a hot car, keep them in a cooler such as the Glucology Insulin Cooler Pouch that only needs to be immersed in cold water to be activated, keeping your pens cool for up to 36 hours! When travelling, put your diabetes supplies in your carry-on luggage so you have easy access to them and can keep them temperature monitored. Using products such as our Travel Case designed for people on-the-go you can fit all your necessities with the classic or plus size.
4. When travelling across time zones make sure you set an alarm on your phone for taking medication.
Particularly when you are on a plane it is important that you keep your regular routine as un-disrupted as possible, this includes taking your medication at the same time as you would at home.
5. On the journey…
If travelling by car make sure you stop regularly to get out of the car, or on a plane stand up and walk down the aisle every couple of hours. This helps to prevent blood clots as people managing diabetes are at higher risk.
6. Eat appropriately
Try and opt for the healthy options in airport restaurants or pit stops on a road trip. Try low-fat snacks such as nuts, yoghurt, or fruit. Go for omelettes, or eggs for breakfast and salads with lean meats for lunch and dinner. We know when travelling it’s easy to want the quicker, tastier options particularly when eating out, however avoid highly sugary and high-carb meals - your body will thank you.
7. Identify yourself
As well as your doctor giving you a letter stating that you are diabetic, wear a medical bracelet so that people can identify you as diabetic even in another country.
8. Test often
When eating new and different foods, adjusting to different climates and mixing up your regular activities your blood glucose levels can fluctuate more readily. Therefore it is important to test regularly including before and after meals to ensure you are eating appropriately.
9. Take care of your feet
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes with socks at all times - don’t go barefoot. Check your feet regularly, particularly after doing physical exercise of any type. As your feet and ankles can become swollen during long flights, wearing long socks or compression stockings can help you be more comfortable. Our range of Glucology Diabetic Copper Socks are antimicrobial and improve skin appearance as they are interwoven with Cupron (copper yarn) and are also non-binding with a loose fit to ensure they won’t cut into your skin. Also by stretching your legs and exercising your muscles during a trip can increase blood flow, reducing swelling and lowering the risk of blood clots.
10. Finally, prepare for the worst
If you find yourself in an emergency situation and need medical treatment, ask your accommodation to recommend a professional that treats diabetes. Before you leave for your trip, get a list of local english-speaking doctors. It is also important to learn some useful phrases for the country you are heading to such as “I have diabetes”, or “where is the closest pharmacy”.
A lot of planning goes into travel, and managing your diabetes appropriately can sometimes feel intimidating. Don’t let diabetes keep you grounded - when managed and planned for appropriately travelling can be made stress-free.
Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.