Don’t let diabetes deter you from traveling this summer. With so many interesting and relaxing destinations near and far, why miss out on them? If you’re worried about how diabetes might affect your traveling plans, the CDC has several recommendations that will make sure you stay safe while enjoying a relaxing getaway this summer.
Pack your own meals and snacks
If you are going to be staying in hotels, driving or flying for a long time, and don’t have access to fresh produce and a kitchen, it’s a good idea to pack healthy diabetic food and snacks in advance. Bring a cooler full of fresh veggies and hummus, unsalted nuts, fruit, and any of your other favorite foods. If you’re flying, make sure you call ahead so the airline can provide a special meal and bring your own snacks while you’re waiting for the plane.
Prepare for airport security
Going through airport security is a nightmare for anyone, but it can be even more cumbersome for people with diabetes. If you have wearable technology, medical devices, or an insulin pump tell security so you don’t have to walk through the medical detector. Most importantly, bring all your medicine and supplies in a carry-on bag so you’ll have easy access and to avoid damage. Although you’ll be able to take your medicine and supplies onto the plane, everything needs a proper manufacturer’s or prescription label. On the plane itself, make sure to account for the change in air pressure when giving yourself injections by injecting less air into the insulin bottle.
Get up and move around often on long road trips or on the airplane
Sitting for too long increases the risk of blood clots, so it’s important to get up and move around every hour. If you are on a plane, you may want to sit near the aisle so you can move around more easily. While you’re sitting you can also lift your heels, flex your legs, and move your feet to help circulation. On road trips, take frequent breaks to walk around and enjoy the sights.
Take extra care of your feet
Although luggage space might be limited, make sure you bring several pairs of comfortable shoes for walking, and light but close-toed shoes for the beach. Even if you are swimming, make sure to wear swim shoes to prevent cutting your feet on rocks, shells or other debris in the water or on the shore. Take plenty of socks, and a small first aid kit to treat any sore spots. If you’re going to be walking a lot, make sure you don’t over-strain your feet.
Speak to your doctor about possible medication changes
Check your travel information for any time changes between your home and destination. Many people forget about the importance of timing, but if you’re suddenly in a new time zone with a five-hour difference, it’ll have a big effect on your medication. Talk to your doctor before you go to figure out the best time to take your medication while away.
Traveling with diabetes is completely possible, it just requires a little extra planning. While away, relax and enjoy your time while taking a few precautions to protect your health and your feet. Watch for signs of diabetes and adjust accordingly. Bring small snacks with you at all times, and make healthy eating choices if you’re dining out. Always speak to your doctor before traveling to get all the medication you need, and extra, in advance and you’ll be sure to have a safe vacation this summer.
Evlin Symon is a freelance health writer from New Jersey. She enjoys learning about a wide variety of wellness issues and staying up-to-date on the latest research. She also is the author of many active blogs.