Top 5 Tips for Traveling with Diabetes

Posted by sean on Fri, 09/14/2012 - 13:52 in

sean_busby_travel-349x400I think it’s safe to say that traveling is “my thing.” My mind is always onto my next big adventure, and in preparation for any trip, I have a particular packing and preparation routine that I go through to be sure I can have a successful journey.

1.  Research your destination.

I love to research. I get on the computer and look up everything I can to find out about the location I want to visit. I’ll make sure I know what sort of medical facilities are available and how accessible food and snacks are within proximity to where I’m staying. Sometimes, I’ll even go so far as to write down the name, number and e-mail address for the Omnipod rep. in the area just in case I were to unexpectedly need supplies.

Another good idea is to contact anyone and everyone you know who has been to the location to get their take on where to go and what to see. I’m a fan of authentic “local” experiences so that’s how I find them—asking the experts!

2.  Pack smart.

Always pack your diabetes supplies in your carry-on bag. It seems like a no-brainer, but supplies are definitely something you don’t want to forget. Should your luggage get lost, you’ll have your supplies safely in your possession while you recover the lost piece. Also, be sure to remove all diabetes supplies from roll-on suitcases that you might be asked to gate-check. Again, should something happen where your bag gets lost, you’ll always have your supplies with you.

3.  Keep documentation on hand.

In the event you get questioned about any of your supplies, always have a note from your doctor and all your prescription labels to provide to the proper authorities.

4.  Pack for the worst.

When you pack for a trip, expect the worst and pack everything you might need should something go wrong. Key things include:

  • Batteries for your pump and/or meter
  • Extra test strips
  • Plenty of insulin
  • Hypoglycemia treatments
  • Snacks
  • Glucagon
  • Contact information for your healthcare provider

5.  Keep snacks on hand.

As we all know, being stranded without having snacks is never good. Even with snacks in my bag, I’ll consider the timing of my flight, when I think I’ll be hungry, and what snacks will be available to me and for what cost – just to stay prepared. Airlines rarely provide full meals and if you find yourself hungry in the air you could end up having to pay high prices. To be safe, it’s a good idea to either pack your own or make a point to stop before boarding your flight.