Traveling with diabetes.

By dagger1234 Latest Reply 2014-03-15 13:19:25 -0500
Started 2014-03-12 12:44:44 -0500

I've traveled before to Hawaii & thailand that are considered pretty far to me.

Now, in two weeks, I'll be going to cancun Mexico for one whole week. I already called my hospital and ordered in meds but they gotta call my insurance and approve it.

What advise would you recommend me to do traveling abroad? I've already read tsa's security aboarding the plane so I will have all my meds and supplies in a separate bag on my carry on, ready to get checked ouT and scanned.

I guess what I would be really worried about the most would be eating the food. At home, I am already aware what my triggers are that spikes my blood. What I think I will do is test my blood after 2 hours of certain foods and see which ones I can work around and eat and those foods to avoid. I've already planned to that I will bring with me a lot of glucose tablets because you know with traveling, there is a lot of walking.

21 replies

Nick1962 2014-03-12 19:48:40 -0500 Report

If you’re able to control things through diet, there should be no problem so don’t let the stress ruin your time. Like Harlan said, you will be going off your diet and will get some spikes. BUT as much as you’ll probably exercise, they won’t last long.

My personal tip – I don’t usually stay in hotels. I pick a condo or private rental with a kitchen that lets me prepare at least some meals rather than eat out all the time. Plus grocery shopping in some of the places I’ve stayed can be a fun adventure. VRBO is a site I use frequently and have gotten some pretty sweet deals (although a few are not what I’d call “five-star” accommodations).

When you do eat out, try being non-traditional. Found a great pub in St. Thomas with salads big enough for two, plus Singapore chicken wings to die for. Several nights that was our dinner.

You already know what you can and can’t (or shouldn’t) eat, but accept this is a vacation and take a little one from your condition, being thankful of course that you don’t have it bad enough that you can. Just be mindful of what you eat. If you’ve been out in the sun or surf, make sure you’ve got some snacks handy, or there’s someplace to duck into for a quick bite.

Oh, and of course take pictures to post.

dagger1234 2014-03-12 20:26:39 -0500 Report

I will be in an all inclusive hotel. Booze, food, etc. It'll be very hard to manage and control myself but I will let my first 2 days be my trial and error period and then note down wat foods are my triggers etc.

Nick1962 2014-03-13 10:54:35 -0500 Report

Well, that’s just as good. Lynn’s plan below is pretty much what we did on cruises – hit the salad bar then go back for proteins. Once we’d pull into ports, or got into the cities though, that’s when the real willpower was needed.
You’ll be fine – don’t overthink it and have a good time! And pictures, we want lots of pictures!

dagger1234 2014-03-13 10:58:16 -0500 Report

That's exactly what I did at the buffet other week at my sisters birthday. I barely ate anything else. This time will just be harder because., it's gonna be a nice resort so my temptations are gonna be tested lol

dagger1234 2014-03-13 11:20:08 -0500 Report

I don't know how to swim and is terrified of the water…lol I'm just going to splash around and take pics

Nick1962 2014-03-13 11:50:40 -0500 Report

I can’t swim either, but have been snorkeling about 4 years now. Don’t worry about it – its salt water and you naturally float, plus the guides take good care of beginners (and they’ll give you plenty of floaties). You took on the challenge of managing your condition, what’s one more?

Nick1962 2014-03-14 08:36:35 -0500 Report

Well, even if you don’t want to take the big plunge out to the museum, at least get some gear and try it in the shallows or go out with a group. Most all-inclusives have gear available for guests, and most group excursions will have beginners wearing life preservers. Here’s a cheap one
Might be scary for about 20 minutes, but as you relax and get into it, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
In addition to our solo outings, we do about 2 group tours per year with first timers. Most often they’re the last ones to get out of the water.

I don’t swim well either and have always had a fear of open water where I couldn’t grab something or get to shore. Probably from the trauma of being tossed off a boat into the icy waters of Lake Michigan (where you don’t float in the fresh water). In December we were out in over 50 feet of water, alone, no flotation, high-fiving sea turtles, and I couldn’t even force myself under – the water makes you that buoyant.

Might sound like I’m trying to sell it, but it’s a fear I’m glad I conquered. Makes diabetes management seem like a drop in the bucket.

Glucerna 2014-03-12 21:22:40 -0500 Report

This sounds like a good plan. If you eat at a buffet, I like to first fill up a plate with low-carb veggies. Then go back for some protein. By this point you won't be as hungry, and it will be easier to enjoy a small serving of a food you really want to try. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Harlen 2014-03-12 16:26:44 -0500 Report

When I'm on vacation I know I'm going to go off my diet .
So I cover the carbs I takin and test a lot more often .
Keep the insulin cool and keep extra on hand .
The heat will play havoc with my bs so I do the best I can.
Best wishes and have fun

dagger1234 2014-03-12 16:28:43 -0500 Report

I don't take insulin. I manage my blood from diet. Exercise and medication only. Hopefully there will be a gym at the hotel. My sister is taking me . She likes nothing but the very best so I trust she will make the right accommodations & I'm helping her find hotels, flights etc last min.

GabbyPA 2014-03-12 15:50:15 -0500 Report

Just keep an eye on things and if you are traveling with friends or family, make sure they know what to do if you need help. The most important thing is to have fun. When you are on top of things, as it seems you are planning to be, that gives you the confidence to enjoy your time. Can't wait to see your pictures!

Gabby Gail
Gabby Gail 2014-03-14 08:27:39 -0500 Report

Thank u I'm trying. It's only been 2 weeks ago that we found out . And now we must start doing what we need to do.I need right and help answers. Or ssuggestions .

jigsaw 2014-03-12 15:44:20 -0500 Report

Here's to a safe and enjoyable trip! Looking forward to hearing about it when you get back.

jayabee52 2014-03-12 13:19:42 -0500 Report

Howdy Dagger
When I travel by plane, (which I intend to do in July for a family reunion and then to visit a friend on the the way home) when I make the arrangements for the flight I also let them know that I will need the wheelchair service. (I have never had to prove that I was disabled, even though I am)

It has a lot of benefits for me in that I don't have to walk a lot (definitely a plus in large airports) and the "wheelchair jockeys" know where you should be going (a plus in unfamiliar airports) PLUS you don't generally have to stand in line at the security checkpoints as there is a separate line for wheelchairs. I have rarely seen more than 3 or 4 wheelchairs in line there at any time. I could get through security in 30 mins when others had to wait an hour or more in line before the screening process.

When I was travelling back and forth in 2012, they were using those "backscatter" ex-ray scanners (aka "naked" scanners). Because I was in a wheelchair, I told them I couldn't get up the incline or go down the decline on the other side without fear of falling (which was true). So an agent of my same sex did a pat down. The agent was very kind and professional in doing it.

Usually when I told them about my burning neuropathy and that it was painful to touch it hard, they went easy and it didn't hardly hurt at all.

So anyone who is having trouble getting around in airports, this may be a way to get around easier. It is a free service offered by the airlines. but I usually tip the person who provides me this service.

Just a thought

God's best to you and yours

James Baker.

mjhorgan 2014-03-12 13:06:38 -0500 Report

I suggest you bring all your supplies then bring some more. Bring extra of everything, I bring at least as much to last at least 3 times the length of my trip. Trust me you can always bring the extra back. Don't be afraid to ask about the food, ask what is in the food and ask if they can leave something out if needed. I found most places I have ravel to be very accommodating. That being said be ready for some BG spikes. People will say something does not have much sugar. Well not much sugar means different thing to different people.Once you get to the hotel or where ask the the front desk or friend to stock some OJ. I had a hotel in the Dominican Republic bring me a whole large picture of OJ. Don't be afraid to tell them why. Bring glucose tabs and gels with you, they will be hard to find down there. The biggest thing again is to bring lot's of extra supplies. The most important part however, is to have fun and to take a swim for all of us stuck in the cold snow up here.

dagger1234 2014-03-12 13:19:15 -0500 Report

I got the lots of glucose thing down. As for bringing a lot of other supplies, I am fine with the batch they're giving me. It usually lasts a month and it'll only be there for a week. I usually put half in my pill box in my bag and the rest in its plastic bottle at the hotel so I will be fine. I never care everything with me in one sitting but in this case I guess you kind of have a point in case my carry on gets lost etc , I can stuff some onto my sisters purse. Or just not have a bag off me at all - sighs. Hahja got me all stressed now!

mjhorgan 2014-03-12 13:45:23 -0500 Report

Hey no stress you will be in the great weather of Mexico soon. What could be better than that… Have a great time.

dagger1234 2014-03-12 13:48:00 -0500 Report

Indeed! I'm in minnesota!!! But so far the weather here is getting better. It's 30's-40's. I can't really stand the hot heat either but if it's near a beach and everything nature-IM ALL THERE!