Need Some Travel Tips

By horsewings Latest Reply 2015-04-06 14:09:04 -0500
Started 2015-04-02 21:22:41 -0500

Next month I will be flying nonstop from Los Angeles, California to Madrid, Spain. Am I allowed to take my diabetes-friendly food through airport security? Or can I request special meals on an international flight? Since I'm newly diagnosed, I have no idea how jet lag will affect my blood sugar levels, so any survival tips would be greatly appreciated. Oh…and while I'm at it…if you've been to Madrid or Barcelona and have any suggestions for shopping and eating, please let me know. Thanks!

16 replies

vensa 2015-04-06 01:27:41 -0500 Report

I travel a lot…I've a compulsive traveller disorder (hehehe). the things I do as a T2D. Make sure you've all the medicines in stock (also keep prescription from your doc, because European Union requirements are medicines provided only upon submitting prescription). In the flight, pre-order diabetic diet - most airlines have this option (call up the airlines if in doubt). Carry some food / fruits (apple etc) is allowed to cross the security, as long as you're not carry liquids and water. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated during the flight - keep drinking water and not diet soda. Keep walking / moving your limbs during the flight so that you've good blood circulation and also helps in metabolism.

I've been to both Madrid and Barcelona - awesome cities. The easiest way to find the right food is to drop into any super market and pick up a box of greek salad. You're in South Europe, the home to mediterranean food and the most useful diet for diabetics. Have fun while exploring Gaudi's architecture. :)

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-04-04 09:03:44 -0500 Report

You can bring whatever you like foodwise with you in your carry on and if the airline allows it your "personal" bag…I only fly Jet blue and they let us bring two bags into the plane with us…No liquids however are allowed through security..but most airports (I have never been in one that didn't) have places to purchase drinks once you go through security..You can also request diabetic meals if you do so in advance..but I wouldn't bank of them being anything you would want to ingest…and boy is that a long flight…do you want a survival is one…call the airliner or look on their website and find out if they provide earphones for the movies/music…the first time I flew I didn't have a clue and ended staring at the wall for hours..because I didn't want to get up , removed my carry on and dig for my credit card while the plane was in the air…if you are insulin dependent they must allow you to bring it on the plane…always call ahead to see how your airliner handles that…If you plan to drink any diabetic glucerna while on the plane call ahead regarding that as well…and I hope you enjoy your trip…Spain is on my bucket list of places to see before I die…beautiful country…

Type1Lou 2015-04-03 14:44:15 -0500 Report

I do much international travel. I have been able to bring food/snacks onto the plane with me (with the exception of liquids…like water or soda…that no one can get past security.) I will put what food I might need in a separate zip-lock bag. I will also put all of my diabetes medications and any glucose tabs or gels into a separate zip-lock to get that through security. So far, The only problem I had was in China where my small bottle of hand sanitizer was confiscated and my deodorant and glucose tablets were closely scrutinized. If meals are served on your flight, you should be able to request a "diabetes" meal. Don't count on it being truly diabetes-friendly, particularly if you keep close tabs on the carbohydrates you consume. You may wish to ask your doctor how to readjust your medication schedule due to the time change so as to adapt to the new time more easily. While you're talking with your doctor, you may wish to have him/her write a note explaining you have diabetes if you are concerned about getting your snacks/medicines through customs. I've never had to produce one but it could be a reassurance for you. I've not been to Madrid or Barcelona but did spend two weeks on the Costa del Sol several years ago. Wine is plentiful, good and low-cost. I found the people delightful! Wishing you a pleasant trip!

horsewings 2015-04-03 15:49:38 -0500 Report

Thank you so much. This was a very helpful reply.

Type1Lou 2015-04-03 17:19:30 -0500 Report

When we did our Baltic Sea Cruise 2 summers ago, I used the Google Translate site to print up "I have diabetes and I use an insulin pump. " in Russian, German, Danish, Finnish, Swedish and Estonian just in case I needed to communicate with someone who didn't speak English. If you aren't fluent in Spanish, you may want to do something similar that explains your condition.

horsewings 2015-04-03 18:27:05 -0500 Report

Again, thanks. I am fluent in Spanish, but will hang onto this idea for any future travel I do. I hope your cruise was fun.

Type1Lou 2015-04-03 18:59:03 -0500 Report

The cruise was awesome! This spring we're spending 2 weeks in France. Since I'm fluent in French, there's less concern about communication! Enjoy your trip!

horsewings 2015-04-03 19:59:40 -0500 Report

By the way—always check Google translations with a native speaker, if you can find one. Sometimes the mistakes are pretty funny. :-)

Type1Lou 2015-04-04 10:22:54 -0500 Report

I was visiting relatives and a friend of theirs who was a native French speaker was recounting how he had visited an Anglophone household. He was a big eater and when the hostess came around and asked him if he wanted "seconds", he said yes and thanked her. When she passed the plate around again to see if he wanted more, he replied, "Yes, I'll have "thirds" but because French speakers have difficulty with the aspirated "TH" sound" came out as "Yes, I'll have "Turds"…after they all laughed, they explained to him what he had said because he didn't know why they were all laughing…then he laughed too.

horsewings 2015-04-04 11:09:49 -0500 Report

Sort of like the time my Argentinian cousin tried to ask my mother if she was a lawyer, but what he said was, "I heard you're a liar." I LOVE languages!

jayabee52 2015-04-03 05:12:44 -0500 Report

Howdy Horsewings
One of the places to which to go to find out the "rules" for travelling with a medical condition is the TSA ~ note there are several links in that page and you'll want to select the ones which may apply to you.

You may wish to also look for travel tips here ~ Look for "in the air" in particular.

Praying for your safe travel


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