Traveling with Diabetes

31 January, 2020
A diabetic person doesn’t have to deprive themselves of enjoying a vacation in a distant place or meeting their work commitments somewhere else. Traveling with diabetes requires certain precautions, but you can do it successfully without any problems.

Traveling with diabetes doesn’t have to cause limitations. You simply need to take a few preventive measures to prevent risky situations from arising. However, a diabetic person can enjoy a trip just as a person who doesn’t have this condition.

Overall, you have to take two main factors into account when it comes to traveling with diabetes. The first is to ensure access to medicines and health care if you were to require them. The second is to prevent injuries or food shortages during the voyage at all costs.

Also, we must say that to travel with diabetes, your condition must be somewhat stable. It isn’t good to travel with doubts regarding how your body is going to behave. Therefore, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor and apply the following tips.

Traveling with diabetes: Get a consultation before the trip

A doctor using a laptop.

Traveling with diabetes involves several requirements. One is the need to take some medications with you, as well as having your medical history at hand. Thus, it’s advisable to consult your doctor and ask them to write up a medical report that specifies the type of diabetes you have and your treatment. This document will be very useful for transporting drugs without any problems and, in case you need medical consultation, for the new doctor to know how to proceed. Also, your doctor can give you recommendations according to the destination you’ll be visiting.

Know your health options at the destination

It’s very important to research how the health system works in the place you’re traveling to. This includes identifying health centers that can assist you if you need it, and the mechanisms of access to medicines. Normally, there’s no problem when it comes to a domestic trip, but things can get complicated if you go to another country. Needless to say that, in this case, you must purchase travel insurance to cover any contingency that may arise.

Know the drugs you must have on hand if you’re traveling with diabetes

Your everyday drugs must go in your carry-on bag, as well as blood sugar meters and all the instruments you need, such as syringes or insulin pens, among others. If you’re flying, you shouldn’t store these items in your checked bag, because they can be damaged in transit.

Also, it’s best to carry some food in your carry-on bag. Products such as crackers or cereal or fruit bars are ideal. If you’re traveling by ship, your doctor should ideally prescribe medication for seasickness. If you’re traveling by car, watch the temperature of the medicines and carry an extra ration of food with you.

Control your food while you’re traveling with diabetes

A nutricionist holding bread.

If you’re going to a faraway place, it’s best to exercise extreme caution when it comes to the foods you’re going to eat. Sometimes, the labels of packaged foods aren’t specific enough, and you can end up eating something that affects your health.

Also, it’s important to make sure what each dish you’re going to eat contains, especially if it’s new to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for relevant information and refrain from trying something that you don’t have enough information about.

You should also read: Type Two Diabetes: Nutrients to Avoid and Include in Your Diet

Clothing and footwear

It’s best to wear loose and comfortable clothing, especially during the journey by plane, train, or bus, among others.

A very important aspect is footwear. It should be very comfortable, of good quality and excellent breathability. You should never walk barefoot, especially if you suffer from loss of feeling in your feet. It’s a good idea to check your shoes before putting them on. Also, it isn’t a good idea to wear flat or open-toed shoes. In this regard, soft leather shoes, without seams, are good ideas.

Discover: What Are the 8 Initial Symptoms of Diabetes?

Stay informed about mosquitoes and the climate

Another aspect to take into account when it comes to traveling with diabetes is to take extreme care to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes or other similar insects. Some of these animals can transmit serious diseases, which can greatly complicate your diabetic picture.

If the place you’re visiting is at a high altitude, it’s important to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness. Also, keep in mind that low temperatures hinder the absorption of insulin. Thus, when it comes to traveling with diabetes, it’s best to avoid the cold or consult your doctor if you’re going to a cold place.

We hope these tips are helpful to you. In all cases, it’s important to see your doctor to get the best advice.

  • Jansà, M., & Vidal, M. (2004). De viaje con la diabetes. Diabéticos: Presente y futuro, (60), 6-13.
  • Zenteno-López, M. A., Tzontehua-Tzontehua, I., Gil-Londoño, E., Contreras-Arroy, S., & Galicia-Aguilar, R. (2016). Continuidad de cuidados para la adherencia terapéutica en la persona con diabetes tipo 2. Enfermería Universitaria. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reu.2016.02.001
  • Hospital universitario Ramón y Cajal. (2005). Protocolos De Cuidados – Pie Diabético.