Travel essentials for diabetics – Checklist for a safe trip

Summer vacations have started and it is time for all of us to have an enjoyable trip with our family and friends. For diabetics, carrying some travel essentials and following certain tips can make trip more enjoyable and hassle free.

We all understand that vacations involve change in daily routine, more physical stress of travelling, improper eating at restaurants, shift in meal time and indulging in more physical activities, like sports, hiking etc. All this can typically alter the blood sugar levels of a diabetic. So, consider packing a separate bag (Leather High Profile Diabetes Supply Case from BeticBag) with following essential diabetic supplies with you and keep them handy for its use, whenever in need.

Diabetes Traveler?s Kit

This kit may be a saving grace for many and may prevent them from any unexpected events due to change in sugar levels while travelling. It contains all the essentials for a diabetic and one should not miss out any of these items:

  1. Insulin, syringes?or insulin pump and other supplies (Accu-Chek Softclix Lancing Device, My Life Penfine Pen Needle 4mm). Keep some extra numbers of each in your kit.
  2. Medication including oral diabetes medicines or any other prescribed medicine you take regularly.
  3. Glucose monitoring device (Accu Chek Active Blood Glucose Meter Kit , J&J One Touch Select Simple Glucometer)
  4. Non medical supplies like?alcohol swabs (BD Alcohol Swabs),?tissues, hand sanitizer (Dettol Sanitizer,?Lifebuoy Total 10 Hand Sanitizer), glucose monitoring test strips (Johnson & Johnson One Touch Ultra Easy Test, 50 Strips Box), ketone test strips (if prescribed -?Ketone Test Strips), extra batteries to run glucose meter and an empty container to dispose used syringe or lancet.
  5. First aid supplies like adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain and fever medicine, gloves, scissors, gauze, tape and a thermometer (Travel First Aid Kit)
  6. Non perishable eatables and drinks that may?help in treating hypoglycemia. This may include glucose tablets (Flash G Glucose Energy Tablets) or non perishable food items. Keep plenty of fluids in the form of packed fruit juices and water bottles to keep you hydrated.
  7. Treating doctor?s?prescription is a must, incase you need to buy your medicines locally during your trip.
  8. Health insurance cards in case of medical care needed. Buying a travel insurance may also be a good idea.
  9. A detailed medical list that should include?the exact doses and times you take your medications. Remember to list down any allergies you have to medications.
  10. Emergency contact list?of family members, friends and treating doctor is a must.
  11. Ice packs or cool bags (Cool-Ins Large Medicine Cooling Bag Insulin Cooling Travel Wallet), if carrying insulin or another injectable diabetes medication to keep them at normal temperatures while traveling. If you are hiking, camping or driving in a hot car, it becomes even more indispensable.
Some useful tips!
  1. Please assemble these items in an easily transportable bag.
  2. Keep your kit handy and accessible at spot/s where you can easily find them.
  3. If you are traveling by plane, keep insulin and oral diabetes medications in your hand bag instead of checked luggage. Pack your diabetes medications, insulin and syringes in a separate zip lock bag for easy inspection at security screening.
  4. If you are wearing insulin pump, request the airport security to visually inspect you instead of walking through the metal detector. Screening through metal detector may destroy your pump.
  5. Remember to disconnect your pump while takeoff and landing. Change in pressure on a flight can make the pump deliver more insulin. Reconnect your pump once your plane has reached its cruising altitude.
  6. If your travel involves changing time zones, be aware of your meal and diabetes medication time.
  7. Changes in food choices, activity levels and time zones can affect your blood glucose. Hence, check your blood glucose more frequently to monitor the impact of changes to make adjustments as needed.
  8. Change in altitude can affect blood testing. A significant amount of deviation is expected beyond certain altitudes. Hence, take readings in the shade where heat and humidity is less. Keep your meter and test strips warm and use a large drop of blood to prevent rapid drying on the test strip.
  9. Protect your feet by wearing appropriate footwear, preferably footwear that is recommended for diabetics.?Never go barefoot! This is because the debris, sharps and other trash can cut the skin on your foot, which you may not realize until it?s too late.
  10. ?Preparing yourself well before travel and following instruction while travelling can make your trip most enjoyable.
  11. Have a save and pleasant trip!

Kawaljit Kaur

Kawaljit is a healthcare professional with an experience of over 15 years in healthcare operations. Her last corporate position was Vice President-Operations at Centre for Sight. As a writer, she has an expertise in writing medical contents and those related to present healthcare scenarios for various platforms that include medical professionals, healthcare companies, web health portals, hospitals and at present also heading the editorial team of a healthcare magazine.