Summer's here, and most states across the country are experiencing some of their best weather, which means it's a perfect time for a long weekend or that road trip you've been wanting to take. However, diabetic individuals may need to take special steps to make sure that their travels do not interfere with their diabetes treatment. Here are a few good tips to keep in mind while you're packing your bags:
Splurge in moderation
Diabetic blood sugar levels can be difficult enough to keep in balance when you're following a strict diet. When you're eating at new restaurants, it can be difficult to know if carbohydrates in the dishes you order will be causing more harm than good. To make sure that your first dinner out doesn't put you over the edge, ask the server for nutrition facts about menu items. If they are unavailable, ask for a list of the ingredients of a dish before ordering so you can estimate the carbohydrate content. In addition to following your doctor’s usual testing recommendations, consider testing your blood sugar before and after meals that may be high in carbohydrates. Between meals, keep a juice box or pack of crackers in your travel bag in case you do experience particularly low blood sugar while sightseeing.
Leave yourself extra time
If you are traveling via plane or train, Transportation and Security Administration policy specifically allows people with diabetes to carry their diabetic supplies aboard. You will likely need to go through a special security screening as a TSA agent examines them. Plan on arriving at the airport or train station about 2.5 hours prior to your takeoff time.
Because diabetic supplies can become jostled or displaced in your bag while en route, labeling everything can help with any headaches of figuring out what each item is later on. If you do experience a dramatic jump or drop in your blood sugar while on vacation and need assistance, having all of your supplies clearly labeled will also make it easier for your travel partner or family member to assist you with insulin or other medications.
Talk to your doctor
You'd always check the oil and tire pressure on your car before a big trip, so you need to do the same thing with your body before it embarks on any vacation as well! Visiting your doctor to get a checkup will help you identify any potential problems or new issues with your diabetes and allow you to adequately prepare. Your doctor can also supply you with a doctor's note on your condition and prescriptions, which could come in handy if any of your supplies are lost or harmed in transit and you need a replacement.
Although it's often considered bad to overpack too many books, shoes or gadgets before your weekend away, having too much medication is often helpful. The American Diabetes Association recommends packing at least twice as much medicine as you think you'll need for the trip. This may help alleviate any possible issues that arise due to travel delays or malfunctions like a flat tire or mechanical issue in your car.