When making travel preparations there are steps you normally take: deciding where to go, booking the tickets and reservations, the anticipation of the trip, packing your belongings and finally the trip itself. Even if you are normally healthy there are always uncertainties – what to pack, where to visit, will you have a good time, etc. However, when you are traveling with diabetes there are other things that you need to take into consideration yet you do not need to let these considerations prevent you from travelling or enjoying yourself while you are away.
Here are some guidelines for travelling when you have diabetes:
• It is important to keep a list of your medications with you at all times. You want to make sure to bring enough medicine and supplies with you on your trip. Be sure you keep all medicines, syringes, and blood sugar testing supplies in your carry-on bag; do not check these supplies in case your luggage is lost. Take copies of your prescriptions and put them in your carry-on bag as well and you may want to consider getting a medical alert bracelet.
• Research your area of travel and be sure that you will be able to find replacement medication if necessary. If you have lost your bags or your medications your first stop should be the local hospital where you should be able to get enough supplies to see you through. If need be you may want to carry the number to the International Diabetes Federation for the country you are visiting so you can have help immediately.
• Make sure you bring a prescription letter from your own doctor, listing by both generic and brand name the medication you use. On the prescription letter don’t forget to include such items as blood glucose testing equipment and syringes.
• Before leaving home you may want to become a member of the International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers. This organization has a network of doctors around the world who have been trained either in the USA or Europe and are able to give you competent care. The organization will supply you with a list of these doctors and where to find them.
Diabetes does not need to keep you homebound. With proper preparation and a bit of research you should be able to have a wonderful holiday!