Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Traveling can be a fun and exciting experience, but for people with diabetes, it can also be challenging. Managing blood sugar levels, carrying medication, and being prepared for emergencies are just a few of the things to consider when traveling with diabetes. In this long-form piece, we will explore various tips and strategies to make traveling with diabetes a stress-free experience, spotlight impactful people related to the subject, and share meaningful insights on the topic.

The Different Schools of Thought on Traveling with Diabetes

There are many different opinions on the best way to travel with diabetes, and each approach has its pros and cons. Some people suggest packing extra medication and snacks, while others recommend avoiding long flights altogether. 

One popular strategy is to research food options at your destination ahead of time and plan your meals accordingly. Carrying healthy snacks, such as granola bars, nuts or fruit, can serve as a quick energy source and help avoid unexpected changes in blood sugar levels. 

Additionally, some people recommend investing in a medical alert bracelet or wearing a patch with emergency medical information. These items can help ensure that medical professionals know how to treat you in the case of an emergency.

Top Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

1. Pack all necessary diabetes supplies: This includes blood glucose meters, extra insulin, needles, lancets, and glucagon in case of hypoglycemia. Pack extra supplies to last for the entire trip, as well as two days' worth of extra medication in case of lost luggage.

2. Carry a doctor's note explaining the nature of the medication and the condition that requires it: It's always advisable to have a doctor's note, especially when traveling internationally.

3. Make sure you have enough medication on hand: This is important in case of flight delays, power outages, or any unforeseen circumstances.

4. Research online about local diabetic foods or low-carbohydrate foods: Researching ahead of time will give you a better understanding of healthy food alternatives available in the area you will be traveling to. 

5. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for good health and diabetes management. Keep a refillable water bottle close, and make sure you always have access to clean water.

6. Take breaks: Sitting for long periods can cause blood to pool in your extremities, and can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Moving around every hour or two can help prevent this, as well as provide you with exercise.

7. Plan for changes in time zones: As time zones change, it can throw off your medication schedule. Talk to your healthcare provider for guidance and consider setting an alarm to remind you.

8. Update your emergency contact list: Before you leave, make sure to update your emergency contact list with the contact information of the people who will be traveling with you.

Insightful Stories from People with Diabetes Who Travel

- ***Erin Grandgenett***, a nurse practitioner from Nebraska, takes a proactive approach to managing her diabetes while traveling. She recommends making a checklist of all the necessary diabetes supplies, packing at least two extra meters, and communicating with your healthcare provider about your travel plans ahead of time.

- ***Crystal Jackson***, a freelance writer and mother of two from Austin, explains that travel can be stressful for people with diabetes. Jackson recommends planning ahead for healthy snacks and packing a cooler bag with insulin, as well as keeping a food log to help manage blood sugar levels.

- ***Eric Tozer***, a professional endurance athlete and ambassador for Type 1 diabetes, travels extensively for work and personal adventure. He recommends reaching out to local diabetes support groups or organizations to connect with other people with diabetes in the areas you will be visiting. This can provide valuable insight into local resources, best restaurants for diabetes-friendly options, and other tips.

What We Can Learn from Those Who Travel with Diabetes

Traveling with diabetes can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be stressful. Proper planning and preparation, including carrying important medical supplies, researching food options, and setting reminders for medication schedules, can help you successfully manage your diabetes while away from home.

Additionally, the experiences of Erin Grandgenett, Crystal Jackson, and Eric Tozer highlight the importance of community and support. Whether through reaching out to local diabetes support groups or sharing insights and solutions online, connecting with others who are traveling with diabetes can be an empowering way to make the most of your experience.


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