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Travel Tips for People Living with Diabetes

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Traveling as a person with diabetes can be intimidating, but it can be done with a little planning. Taking time prior to your departure can make all the difference.

It is recommended that you get a letter from your doctor explaining that you have diabetes and the necessary supplies involved. Always wear your medical ID or carry it in your wallet.

Plan where you will be staying. Most of this can be done online or with a quick call to the hotel. Print out a map or directions to drugstores, restaurants, and hospitals nearby. It will be easy to locate if extra supplies are needed or if there is an emergency.

Check the weather forecast to determine if you will likely be doing more indoor or outdoor activities. If you are traveling to a location with a lot of walking planned, you might consider lowering your basal rate and increasing your boluses.

Please check with your doctor before making changes. Be aware of changing time zones for insulin or medication dosages.

In the airport, have plenty of snacks on hand.

Pump users should not wear the pump through the body scanners. They can go through the metal detectors. Check with your manufacturer for specific instructions. Allow additional time to go through the pat down process if needed.

Take extra supplies in a hard-sided container so that nothing gets bent or broken. I usually take a week’s worth of extra supplies in my carry on. Take additional in checked luggage if your trip will be extended.

When packing, be sure to take extra batteries for your meter and pump. If using a pump, it’s a good idea to write down and pack your basal rates. Also contact your pump company and talk to them about getting a back up pump on loan for the duration of your trip. Also some doctors will have sample meters if you want to travel with a spare.

When exiting the airport, purchase juice or carbohydrate source to take with you between the airport and hotel. Traffic can get backed up and luggage might be in the trunk. If not needed, it can be used later.

When you contact your hotel, ask to be located near the vending machines. Find out exercise facilities operating hours.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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