With summer in full swing, many are looking to get back outside and hit the road, especially after COVID-19 vaccinations. But for those with diabetes, forgetting important preparation can result in a ruined trip or even a health emergency.
Before you lock that front door and hit the road, keep these things in mind.
Before You Go
Visit your doctor for a checkup to ensure you’re fit for the trip. Make sure to ask your doctor:
• How your planned activities could affect your diabetes and what to do about it.
• How to adjust your insulin doses if you’re traveling to a different time zone.
• To provide prescriptions for your medicines in case you lose them or run out.
• To write a letter stating that you have diabetes and why you need your medical supplies.
You can also order a special meal for the flight that fits with your meal plan, or pack your own.
• Put your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag
• Pack twice as much medicine as you think you’ll need
• Include healthy snacks, like fruit, raw veggies and nuts.
• Get an optional TSA notification card to help the screening process go more quickly and smoothly.
• Good news! People with diabetes are exempt from the 3.4 oz. liquid rule for medicines, fast-acting carbs like juice, and gel packs to keep insulin cool.
• A continuous glucose monitor or insulin pump could be damaged going through the X-ray machine. You don’t have to disconnect from either; ask for a hand inspection instead.
Don’t Leave Home Without…
• Doctor’s letter and prescriptions
• Snacks and glucose tablets
• Extra insulin and diabetes medicines
While You’re Traveling
If you’re driving, pack a cooler with healthy foods and plenty of water to drink. Don’t store insulin or diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or in a hot car; keep them in the cooler too. You can find healthy food options at the airport or a roadside restaurant:
• Fruit, nuts, sandwiches, yogurt
• Salads with chicken or fish (skip the dried fruit and croutons)
• Eggs and omelets
• Burgers with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun
• Fajitas (skip the tortillas and rice)
Say goodbye to worry when you pack your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag.