Planning a great vacation with your family or have an important business meeting with your associates overseas?Then being a diabetic, surely you are in the grudges of worry right now and tensed too. Coming up with the ultimate cheat sheet on travel for diabetes is indeed a great idea.
Traveling can apparently fluctuate your blood sugar levels. This is because geographical factors like altitude, temperature, sunlight intensity influence the way your body utilizes the insulin. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up your hobby of traveling for the sake of diabetes management. You don’t need to cancel your meeting abroad either.
Traveling and healthy diabetes management can go hand in hand. The key is to prepare a strategic care plan prior to your trip. If traveling has always been a fearful topic for you as a diabetic, then your next few minutes are going to be very important.
It’s worth your time to scroll down through this article. We have prepared an impeccable diabetic cheat sheet for traveling convenience for the diabetic folks. For the sake of convenience, we have divided your travel activity into three prominent phases.
- Before the departure
- During the actual journey in the transport
- After the arrival
Checklist to consider somedays before the departure date
There are four essential notes to check before you declare yourself ready for leaving your hometown.
1.Consult your doctor
Start with booking an appointment with your doctor at least 15 days before your trip.Your doctor will tell you whether your blood sugar levels are stable enough for the change in physical location or not. Before your departure, you might need some additional medications. Be clear with few more things like;
- How often to check blood sugar readings during your tour?
- Any special adjustment needed to comply with the changing environment?
- In what sense medication be modified keeping in mind time zone changes?
- What are other precautions that need to be considered while traveling across the borders? For instance, if your body is allergic to certain environmental factors that are prominent in the place where you are hoarding too.
Getting travel insurance is as important as everything others included in this checklist. As you know, rules and regulations pertaining to healthcare sectors vary from country to country. It’s a wise decision to get financially covered to avoid any undesired losses. In this case, you will be suffering a dual loss – your health as well as wealth, both are valuable. Why be lazy and regret later? A stitch in time saves nine. Who knows you might end up spending above your means after being ignorant towards having travel insurance.
Adverse circumstances never arrive with any sort of advanced warning. So, the only thing you can do is to keep control of things all by yourself. Surf across the internet about the hospitals in the place you are leaving for. Research about the cost, location, and facilities provided by the hospitals in advance. This saves you from going through troublesome hustles afterwards. Use Google Maps to get familiar with the distance and duration.
3. Get a written diabetes care plan
Don’t just note it down, but also follow it rigidly. Ask your doctor to write down all the essential prescriptions, medicines, special precautions, and alterations carefully. Once you are done with this step, head-on with the next one mentioned.
4.Pack a double dose of every medicinal equipment
There is no certainty, you can run out of medicine any time. Sometimes, sudden damages also occur with your suitcases. You need to be geared up for such situations. The only dominant way of dealing with such losses and hardships is keeping twin packets of all the medicines. Even doses of insulin, syringes, pump, test strips, lancets and every other instrument you possibly need to use to get control of your blood sugar levels. All those equipments must be in extra quantity before you get out of your home.
During the journey in the transport
When you are actually passing by the way with any mode of transport whether you’re in a car, train or airplane, you still have a lot of factors to take care of.
5.Insulin and travel – crucial points to keep in mind
To inform you of good news, you can surely use an insulin pump during flight travel. Be responsible enough to disconnect it when the flight is about to take off and land at the airport. It is even better if you are turning on airplane mode while you are using Bluetooth connection for your medical devices. Never ever do a blunder of keeping insulin pump in checked luggage. This is because flights have a separate compartment to place all the checked baggage.
The insulin pump freezes under such conditions that dwell inside that compartment. Therefore, your presence of mind should be good enough to remind you of keeping your insulin pump, in fact, all your medical equipment in your personal hand luggage only. Moreover, if you have decided to cover the traveling distance by your personal transport, then too some stringent measures are required.
In case you stop in the middle of the way for some refreshments and relaxing purposes. Don’t leave insulin pumps, monitoring kits and other devices under direct sunlight. When the car is kept parked under sunlight for long hours, the interiors heat up which can damage your costly medications.
6.Dealing with food struggles
You will definitely be carrying your own cooked meals when traveling through road transports. This food needs to meet the guidelines laid down for a diabetes-friendly diet. Just don’t be careless about not having meals at the proper time. The right doses of medicine at the right schedules become even more necessary while traveling.
Airways don’t have a special menu for diabetics but they give full free to diabetic people for carrying their own food. There is one more safe and healthy option to go with. Air hostesses usually provide the menu list a few hours before the food is to be served. Immediately calculate the amount of carbohydrates in the foods you order eating.
This calculation can be done using diabetes apps which can be done prior to the commencement of your journey. After this, you can order the dishes whose calorific values lie within your permissible calorie range. However, if you are reluctant to try some mathematical operations in the mid of your flight, you still have another active option ready. Carry your own menu which fits for high blood sugar.
7.Snacks to pack
Packing up a box with healthy snacks is really a great idea. Some people will even love this, especially if they are a foodie or enjoy some homemade eatables in the way. Being a foodie doesn’t mean, you are allowed anything. Only diabetes-friendly snacks should be carried.
Almonds – there can be no superior alternative to this. With abundant dietary fibers, vitamin E and B12, and magnesium, they are the safest and healthiest meal for travelers with diabetes.
Oatmeal – not much is needed to say about their benefits. Easy to carry and even easier to cook with little requirement of boiling water.
The best food partner for non-diabetic health-conscious travelers too.
Salad sandwich – club together broccoli, carrots, tomato, your favorite leafy vegetables. Assort them together between two bread slices.
Next, sprinkle some salt and lemon juice and you have successfully created an amazingly wholesome recipe to aid your diabetes care plan. Remember the bread used here has to be brown bread and not the white one. Because small things matter a lot.
Yogurt – readily available, can be carried feasibly and eating is also a fabulous experience. The one thing you should bother is not adding table sugar. You are destroying all its advantages if you doing so.
In fact, sugarless Greek yogurt being a probiotic enhances your digestive activity. A highly suggested snack for people who face stomach related problems like indigestion, constipation, pains, etc. during the trips.
8.Being ready for emergency
Always keep medicines under your closest access irrespective of wherever you go. The areas of closest access can be the pocket of your outfit, your handbags, wallets, and so on. It is also advised to carry portable glucose monitors as the need for checking blood sugar levels might increase when you stay out of the station.
Be ready with some instant remedies like homemade bitter gourd juice to counteract the sudden occurrence of hyperglycemic situations. You can easily carry one in reusable plastic bottles. If possible, you can stop to meditate and perform deep breathing exercises for a while. Then continue with the journey with positive spirits again.
This extremely helpful tip is especially for flight passengers. People with diabetes are at high risk of blood clot formation. This risk increases twice during the journey time. Flight socks are of great significance for the individuals who are under the influence of diabetic neuropathy as these socks prevent clotting. There is no restriction for anyone for wearing such special flight socks. This is the reason that even people without diabetes also prefer wearing it for comfortable flight experience.
10. Keep drinking water
This is essential to keep up with the dehydration. When you are on the trip, you feel excited and when you feel excited, cortisol levels in the body rise. The rise in levels of cortisol can cause a siginficant heightening of blood sugar levels. When you go without drinking water, these sugars get concentrated and rest you know yourselves. To add more information, dehydration also becomes persistent with an increase in altitude. If hilly regions are on your visiting tourism list, please be secure.
After the arrival So here you are, happily and safely arrived at your final destination. The list of precautions doesn’t end here. There are some little specs you need to look at.
11.Disposal of used supplies
You are in another city or country. As a responsible citizen, it’s your duty to take care of other people’s amenities as well. Follow the instructions as mentioned for the safe and risk-free disposal of a particular medical instrument.
Don’t just throw them off in such a way that they pave a threat towards someone’s health. You might be wondering was this point really needed to be included in this checklist? Yes, it was. Think globally, act locally. Always carry good ethics wherever you go.
Direct heat of sunrays is a great enemy of all your healthcare devices. It can damage insulin pumps, sugar monitors, test strips and other such equipment. Don’t leave them by the poolside, in taxies in the road, on the beach area and wherever you can possibly go.
13.Buying insulin and medicines
Suppose you have packed an extra dose of all your medications but alas! Bad luck yet followed you and you still lost them. We want to make you aware of the fact that not all insulins and other drugs meant for diabetes are the same.
They come with a difference in standards and speculations. You need to be extra careful while going for purchase. Check if that insulin has been labeled with the same and exact speculations as to the one you are already been using. That is why extra supplies of all your medications are an utmost necessity before heading onto another city, town or country. Perhaps, you may not be able to find everything in other countries.
Some factors to know
- Your blood sugar levels may be out of the normal range when you arrive at the destiny spot in the beginning.
This behavior is not much concerning and your levels return to normal within 48 hours or so. Though, you might need to seek medical attention if disruptions in blood glucose levels persist for longer hours.
- If you tend to be more active on holidays, you might need to adjust your insulin doses accordingly.
Changes in food and drinks may also be required.
- Avoid doing physical activity beyond your normal time period.
- Heat intensity affects insulin magnitudes of our bodies. Don’t work much in the heat of the day.
Diabetes is neither a huge obstacle for travel enthusiasts nor it hinders your business trips. The thing is you have to come out of your comfort zone to make up all the necessary preparations. Of course, your travel plans and activities may differ from other people but you can still have endless fun during the vacations. You have every right to enjoy a great family time and formal gatherings.
Once you have successfully marked all the points of checklist in green, there is nothing you need to worry about. Although frequent uncertainties keep arriving every time, luckily you have proper stock of all your medicines and instruments to wipe them off. Hope you will not cancel your outing plan just because of the fear of distortion in diabetes management routine.
Happy journey folks!