You, a loved one or a friend has diabetes: as you know, modern technology, medicine and good dietary advice from a Registered Dietitian can help you manage your diabetes. Sometimes even reverse people’s pre-diabetic prognosis. So what about traveling? Does it make you nervous to travel with diabetes? Don’t be. Here are some tips to help put your mind at ease and help you prepare for long trips.

10 days before you depart (this pertains to the person with diabetes)

  • Get a thorough medical checkup. If you need immunisations, this will give you time to recover from any side effects.
  • Chat to your healthcare professional about the timing of taking insulin shots when crossing time zones.
  • Compile a letter with your allergies and how your diabetes is treated (pills and shots), so that anyone traveling with you will also know how to help. 
  • Invest in a travel pack that will keep your insulin at the optimum temperature.
  • Take an extra prescription for your diabetes meds, in case you lose them or they get damaged.
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet that shows you have diabetes.
  • If you are going to a foreign country, try and learn some key phrases in their language like: “I have diabetes” and “Can I have orange juice or sugar, please.”
  • Remember to check your blood sugar when you land, as jet lag might have an effect on it.

Just before you leave and on your trip (for the person with diabetes)

  • Plan your activities – and work out a schedule for when you take meds and eat.
  • Get proper rest before you leave.
  • Test your blood sugar.
  • Always take snacks on excursions.
  • Make sure the tap water and food are safe where you are traveling.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (don’t walk barefoot) and get medical attention if you feel any sort of inflammation.

Traveling long distance for the first time with diabetes can be daunting. But once you get the hang of the prep, traveling anywhere is future will be a cinch: easy-peasy. Always tell your mates or traveling companions that you have diabetes and what to do in an emergency.

Chat to any of our dietitians and schedule a checkup to discuss your food options in foreign countries and the do’s and dont’s of foreign cuisine. And above all… enjoy your trip. You deserve it!