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7 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes

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With summer in full swing and warm weather upon us, you are probably gearing up for a much needed vacation. Whether it be to the beach for a long weekend or a tropical paradise overseas, it’s important for those with diabetes to plan ahead. Here are some important tips for diabetics planning to travel:

  1. Make an appointment to see your diabetes care team a few weeks before you go .
  2. Prepare for changes in time zones, schedules, and meals, including how that will impact your diabetes during the trip.
  3. Make sure your immunizations are up to date.
  4. Get extra prescriptions for your diabetes medicines and testing supplies from the pharmacy, and check the expiration dates on all medications and testing supplies.
  5. Get a travel letter from your physician explaining that you have diabetes so that items can be packed and carried in carry-on luggage.
  6. Create a packing list and make sure the bring the following items:
    • Extra amounts of diabetes medication and supplies that you would normally need.
    • Extra batteries for your blood glucose meter, insulin pump and other diabetes supplies.
    • Insulin that is in use - keep with you at room temperature during travel.
    • Extra insulin kept in a cold pack until it can be refrigerated.
    • Snacks: pack crackers with peanut butter or cheese, fruit, yogurt or diabetes meal replacement shakes.
    • Low blood sugar treatment such as glucose tablets, glucose gels or sugar containing hard candies.
    • Identification band with your information and emergency contacts written in every language of every country you are visiting at all times.
    • Medical insurance cards and phone numbers.
  7. Once you have arrived, take care of your feet:
    • Wear shoes that are closed toe shoes with a protective sole
    • Socks should be of cotton material and should be changed daily and inspect shoes before putting them on
    • Do not walk barefoot, indoors, outdoors, on the beach, or by the pool, day or night. Remember: Socks are NOT footwear.

To schedule an appointment with a diabetes specialist, click here.


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