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Tips for Traveling with Diabetes

You are headed on a trip, but you have hesitations.  What if I run out of my medications and other diabetes supplies? What about my exercise plan?  How do I figure out how to eat healthy on the road? When you have diabetes, these thoughts are normal, but with some advanced planning, you can enjoy your vacation and keep your health on track.

The distance of your travel, length of time you will be gone and country you are visiting can all make a difference in your plans.  It is important to remember that diabetes should not limit your activities, but you do need to plan ahead.  Here are a few examples and tips for navigating.

Weekend Getaway

You are headed to a lovely 3-day weekend at the beach.  It will be warm and sunny and you are looking forward to swimming in the ocean.  You are staying in a hotel with air conditioning but plan to spend lots of time outside. 

International Travel

You are heading on an international trip for 10 days which will include a few days backpacking in a remote area.  You will be flying  and it is a time change of 7 hours.  You are traveling with very good friends that know you have diabetes and you have alerted them to how to treat a low glucose and what signs or symptoms to look out for.

 In addition to the tips for US travel, you should consider:

Backpacking

Meals can be a challenge when backpacking, but generally, most backpacking food is labeled. If you are giving insulin, consider changing how much insulin you give for your food to reduce your risk of overdoing insulin – once again talk with your team before you leave and make a plan.

Traveling with diabetes IS different than traveling without diabetes.  Planning ahead can assure that you stay healthy and have all the tools you need to enjoy your travel whether by car, plane, foot or boat. 

Happy, healthy and safe traveling!