Going on a trip is fretfulness, let alone living with chronic disease because there’s so much more to think about with both your health and your trip. Still, being diabetic doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have fun anymore.
With some chary planning, it is possible to have a healthy, happy trip, whether you’re backpacking across Bangkok, relaxing on the beach, or simply going camping. And yes, you’re going to need a smidge more baggage in both the figurative and literal senses. That doesn’t mean you have to keep track of your health every time you take a breath, though, because there is a range of mechanisms to make it a lot easier on yourself.
Furthermore, every diabetic’s journey is different. Thus, there is no one-size approach to traveling and living life to the fullest. However, there are some tips every diabetic traveler can follow to maintain their blood sugar levels and prepare for a smooth adventure.
Read below to get a scoop on how you can travel with diabetes and still be able to enjoy every moment.
1. Tell everyone where you are going.
We understand; you don’t want anyone bothering you or calling you when you’re chilling in solitude. However, as a person with diabetes, it is wise to have one person looking out for you and your wellbeing just in case something unusual happens.
On the other hand, if you wish to spend your vacation in a place where you are surrounded by caretakers and immaculate hospitality, preferring Tennessee would be a great option. There, you can surround yourself with the breathtaking seasonal beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Since Pigeon Forge hotel is the nearest, you can have a reliable place to stay. There are plenty of unique places to stay in pigeon forge, so you can choose the compartment of your preference and receive the utmost care.
Furthermore, remember to keep your doctor’s number on speed dial and your insurance card with you. Additionally, ensure to write down everyone’s contact details in a notepad just in case you lose your cellphone. Don’t think of this as a caution notice; we’re just helping you look out for yourself. Therefore, learn this tip as if it’s a lesson.
2. Plan for crossing time zones
If you’re advised to take insulin shots, know that going into a different location will mean crossing time zones. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider before you go.
Based on your schedule, ask for guidance in planning the timing of your injections while you fold away.
Eastbound travel means a shorter day, so if you inject your insulin, you may require less. On the other hand, traveling westbound means a more extended day; thus, you may need more insulin. To help you keep track of meals and shots through changing time zones, set your watch on your home time zone until the day you arrive.
Here’s a tip within a tip: check your blood sugar soon after landing as jet lag may cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.
3. Store your medication supplies properly
Ensure you have all your supplies and medication. To protect the potency of your medication, and prepare for unforeseen changes in your travel schedules, be sure to:
Bring a cool gel pack and chill your insulin in it. Also, don’t use an ice pack as that will destroy your insulin. Pack enough items to last for twice as long as your voyage.
Lastly, ensure all your medication has the pharmacy label on it to avoid confusion.
4. Stay hydrated
Hydration is critical when traveling, especially for a person with diabetes. After all, air travel can be a dehydrating process. So avoid too much tea, coffee, or other beverages that contain caffeine, as these carry diuretic properties and can contribute to dehydration.
Moreover, limit sugary drinks such as fruit punch, lemonade, or soda. Also, avoid drinking overseas tap water.
5. Pick a carry-on
As heavy as the bag behind your back might be, avoid storing all of your supplies in your checked baggage. The cargo load can get very chilly at 30,000 feet (which isn’t a pleasant atmosphere to keep insulin). Things can go even more south if you lose your luggage.
The safest way to ensure your items make it to your destination is to store them on you while flying.
If you plan to store your carry-on in the bin over your seat, have a smaller bag. In this way, so you can have quick access to your test strips, snacks, meter, insulin, fast-acting glucose, and syringes. Also, there’s a chance for your meals to be delayed due to turbulence. To deal with eating uncertainties, prefer dosing rapid-acting insulin when your meal arrives.
6. Be nice to your body
While you’re out and living life, keep in mind that long days of exploration can trench your glucose levels. And idle afternoons by the pool can lead to higher blood sugar levels.
So if you’re enjoying a certain level of activity than you generally do, be prepared to test your sugar levels more often throughout the day.
When traveling through different time zones, it is never easy to lead your traditional way of living. Still, it is important not to steer away from your usual routine.
You may be flexible in new cuisines, activities, and routines, but your disease is not as flexible. Luckily, with some planning, you will be able to explore the world in peace.
7. Be aware of drinks
Drinks flow effortlessly at sea, but you’ll need to pace yourself.
Drinking sugary cocktails or beers can make your blood sugar levels spike. If you’re trying to eat or drink healthy, opt for diet soda or water instead. Some beverages are loaded with calories, but if you must guzzle on something, pick light beer or wine – and avoid anything glazed with a paper umbrella.
We know traveling with diabetes can be a lot to deal with, but with the help of these tips, you can have the best time of your life without second-guessing your health. After all, you deserve to be happy and live every moment as if it’s the last. Just know that the more you plan, the more you will relax and enjoy every experience. So go ahead, throw the glucometer in your suitcase and prepare for adventures you will never forget!