Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.  

Planning for a vacation is already stressful, but the thought of also having to plan for your diabetes care while on the road is enough to make someone give up on the idea all together. There are so many things to think about and to plan for when you have diabetes, but if you plan ahead and pack sufficiently, there is no reason to fret.

4 tips to help your vacation planning

1. Make sure you have ordered enough supplies and medication in advance so you don’t run out while you're away. You will also want to make sure there is enough to get you through at least a week once you get home until you can order more. You will want to pack extra of all of your diabetes supplies just in case of an emergency or unexpected situation.

2. Take a copy of your medical history with you if you are going out of town, especially if you are going to an unfamiliar destination. If you have a medical ID bracelet or other form of medical identification, wear it. Keep a list of your medications, doctor's contact information, and emergency contact numbers in your wallet or purse so you can refer to them if you need to.

3. While packing, don’t forget to put in diabetic snacks to counteract any low blood sugar you may have. Schedules during vacation are often sporadic, so it may be nice to have a snack on hand just in case meal times are thrown off. You will want to make sure you have a water bottle to take with you. It is important to stay hydrated while on vacation in order to have the best diabetes control while you are gone.

4. Make a list of the supplies you'll need so you don't forget anything. You may need to adjust this list to your personal diabetes treatment plan, but here is a sample checklist of items that you will want to make sure you have packed:

Blood glucose meter and test strips—you may want to consider taking a backup just in case you lose your meter somehow
Oral medication
Insulin (including syringes, insulin pen, or pump supplies)
Relevant medical history
Any additional diabetes supplies that you would normally use at home

How do you make sure your vacation is as stress free as possible? Leave your tips in the comments below.