Having diabetes does not mean you cannot undertake journey or enjoy a vacation. Like other people, with a little planning you can undertake a comfortable journey.
You must understand the following basic information for undertaking a comfortable trip:
- Do not remain hungry
- Drink more fluids than usual
- Keep away from sherbet or cold beverages
- Always keep your foods (sugar-less biscuits, bread, fruits) with you
- Keep medicines in sufficient quantity with you
- Explain to co-passengers what to do if your blood sugar level gets reduced
Road journey means you may reach your destination late due to traffic jams. If you are travelling by a bus or in a car, you can get food on the way, if needed. But this food may not be of your choice or may be unhealthy. Therefore it is better to keep some food with you during travelling. While you are driving a car, if sugar in blood reduces, it could lead to a very serious condition. Therefore, always keep some sweet items with you. Take those sweets that do not spoil or melt
- Begin your journey early in the morning, so that you can reach your destination at a convenient hour.
Trains usually get late. It is difficult to get healthy food of your choice on the route. Therefore, always carry your food and different types of beverages. You may also keep sugar-less biscuits, bread, fruits etc with you, which do not get spoiled.
- Food is served on board. When you buy your air ticket be sure to mark your diet choice as being that of a diabetic’s. Many airlines offer that choice. But do keep some food with you, so that if food service is delayed you can remain assured that your sugar level does not reduce. If service is inordinately delayed, you may request the staff of the airline to provide you with food.
- During air travel, you are a little tense and cannot do physical exercise. As a result sugar level may remain a little higher in blood.
- If insulin is required to be filled in from an insulin bulb during air travel, do not fill air in the bulb — air pressure in the aircraft may vary.
FALSE BELIEF – When we are out travelling, everything can be consumed.
- Always carry your diabetes identity card with you. Your name and your doctor’s name, address and contact number should be written on this card along with the names of your medication and dosage, and also instructions on what should be done if the sugar level decreases.
- Your medicines, insulin and syringes should be kept handy in your small bag/purse. Sometimes checked-in bags are lost or delayed
- Carry with you the letter of your doctor describing your medication, insulin, syringes, and instruments to test blood. It will help you clear customs check. Moreover, this letter will also be helpful in seeking treatment from doctors in a foreign country.
- During your journey keep necessary supply of medicines, insulin, syringes etc with you. Alternatively, find out whether your medicines are available in the foreign country.
- If you are going on a package tour inform the organizers about the choice of your food in advance.
- If you are taking foreign travel insurance, keep in mind that you will not be covered for diabetes. Therefore make sure in case of emergency, you get immediate treatment.
- As far as possible, stick to your daily activities and daily diet.
- When you are crossing over the time-zones make necessary changes in schedule of taking your meals and medication.
- Carry with you meals for two periods, so that if your food is delayed or is not available during the journey, you do not face difficulty.
- Keep sweets (chocolate, sweet biscuits, sugar) handy.
Take medications regularly as prescribed by the doctor.
- Regularly examine blood. If you are sick, examine blood more frequently.
- Discuss with your doctor what happens by crossing time-zones and changes in your daily routine.
- Also, have a detailed discussion with your doctor about how changes in the dosage of medication and insulin could affect you.
- When you are going to a cold region keep warm clothing with you. Ensure that insulin does not freeze.
- While you are having a sun-bath, drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration. Ensure that sugar does not get reduced in blood.
- When you go for walk on the seashore, wear comfortable shoes.
- Eat something before you go for a sport or for swimming, and keep something sweet with you.
- If possible learn useful phrases of foreign language; e.g. “I have diabetes; please call the doctor immediately”; “please give me sugary water.”
- Find out where and when you can get immediate treatment.