Travelling With Diabetes

There is no reason you have to avoid travelling if you have diabetes. You do not need to worry; it just takes a little planning ahead of time to manage your condition. With a few precautions, you can go anywhere and do almost anything. Here are some important do’s and don’ts to follow when you decide to travel.1,2

Do’s

  • Make sure to keep your diabetes supplies easily accessible whether you are travelling by plane, train or a car1
  • Schedule a medical exam for your diabetes with enough time to work on your control, if needed, before you go2
  • Let the people with whom you are travelling know that you have diabetes that can be helpful in case of any emergency1
  • Always carry some sugar source with you such as raisins, sugar cubes or a piece or fresh fruit3
  • Follow your foot care routine that includes washing your feet, drying between the toes, moisturizing and check for cuts or soreness4

Dont’s

  • Do not forget to keep your insulin in your carry bag since checked baggage can be exposed to extreme cold or hot1
  • Do not forget to test your blood sugar before and after meals since travelling can affect diabetes management in many ways1
  • Do not take medication and blood-testing supplies just as much you need for the vacation; remember to carry twice the supplies2
  • Be prepared to avoid foods like ice cream, soft cheeses, raw leafy vegetables and fruits peeled by someone else to avoid diarrhoea3
  • Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-toe shoes like sandals or flip-flops that can increase the risk of injuries and infections4

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*This is for patient education purposes only. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.


References

  1. Joslin Diabetes Center. Diabetes and Travel — 10 Tips for a Safe Trip. Available from: https://www.joslin.org/info/diabetes_and_travel_10_tips_for_a_safe_trip.html. As accessed on: 16/4/2018.
  2. American Diabetes Association. When You Travel. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/when-you-travel.html. As accessed on: 16/4/2018.
  3. Diabetes Action Network: National Federation of the Blind. Travel, vacations, and diabetes. Available from: https://nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/vodold/travel.htm. As accessed on: 16/4/2018.
  4. WebMD. On the Road: Traveling With Diabetes. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/condition-15/diabetes/traveling?page=2. As accessed on: 16/4/2018. 
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