Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic

5 Tips for Traveling When You Have Diabetes

Jun 01, 2023
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Diabetes doesn’t have to keep you from traveling for vacation or work. Use these five tips to keep diabetes under control when you take your next trip.

If you’re one of the more than 37 million people with diabetes in the United States, you know it requires diligent care and management. Your diet, injection, and medication schedule needs to be on point to keep your glucose levels under control. 

Here at Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic in Waxahachie, Texas, certified family nurse practitioner Yaminah Matthews, APRN, FNP-C, helps you manage diabetes at home. And, although she won’t be with you on your trip, she can also help you manage when you travel. 

Whether you’re heading on a road trip, cruise, or making your way overseas, here are some important tips to follow when you’re traveling with diabetes. 

1. Make a pre-travel appointment at our office

Consult with our team before your trip. We can provide you with a letter explaining how you take diabetes medication (pills, insulin shots) and the equipment you need with you to manage your diabetes (insulin, syringes, monitoring devices). This helps you when you go through security at an airport or other locations. 

We can also provide a prescription for your necessary medications just in case your bag is stolen or lost. If at all possible, though, pack some necessary supplies in your carry-on bag. 

Discuss with your provider what to do if you are traveling to a different time zone. If you’re going to be two or more hours different from your home time zone, you likely need to alter your injection routine. We can help you plan on adjustments to your injection schedule.

2. Locate the nearest medical help

Alert the airlines, cruise ship, or train about your diabetes and inform them about any specific equipment you might have with you. If you work with a tour company or travel agent, let them know too so they can notify your destinations. 

These contacts can help you learn, in advance, where the nearest pharmacy and medical facility are in case you need help. Wear a medical alert bracelet.  

3. Pack your supplies

Make a detailed list of all items you need and check them off as you pack to be sure you don’t forget anything. It’s a good idea to pack extra just in case of travel delays.

Carry your diabetes supplies such as blood glucose meter, insulin, syringes, and cold packs with you in your carry-on. If you’re flying, tell the airline and security if you’re using an insulin pump. Alert the security team that your glucose monitor or insulin pump shouldn’t go through an X-ray machine. Have them do a hand inspection of your carry-on.

All of your medical supplies should have the manufacturer’s label on them. 

4. Have a plan for meals

Bring healthy snacks when you travel. Also, have glucose tablets handy. If possible, plan where you’ll eat ahead of time and check any menus for appropriate foods.

Carry your reusable water bottle and refill it frequently. 

5. Monitor your foot health

People with diabetes are at particular risk of foot problems. Decreased sensation and poor circulation mean you might not notice cuts or blisters until they’ve become serious. 

Check your feet every day for any blisters, sores, or cuts. Wear the most comfortable shoes you have, along with diabetic socks. Avoid sandals as they can leave your foot vulnerable to injury.

Enjoy your travel this summer without having to worry about complications related to diabetes. Set up your appointment at Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic today. Call or use this website to book your appointment.