Health Watch: Travel tips for people with diabetes

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

For people all across the country, this is peak travel season. The weather is beautiful and there’s still room to squeeze in a trip before cooler weather arrives.

Don’t let managing diabetes stop you from making a plan and taking a trip. The key is preparation. To help you plan smart and get ready for any situation, follow these suggestions from the American Diabetes Association.

* Visit your doctor. Start your preparations by scheduling an appointment with your doctor about a month before your trip. Think of it as a check-up just for your diabetes. While you’re there, get any immunization shots you need and ask your doctor for a letter and any prescriptions you may need. This letter will be the answer key to your diabetes. It should include what you do for your diabetes and the tools you use.

* Pack smart, pack thorough. If you’re traveling for one week, pack enough diabetes supplies for two. Keep all of your supplies in one bag and keep it with you at all times. If you’re flying, that’s your carry-on bag. No matter how you travel, the bag should be within easy reach.

* Prepare for emergencies. Having an emergency plan is essential, especially if you’re traveling abroad. Air travel may be the form of travel requiring the most preparation with increased carryon and baggage restrictions and time allotment needs for both domestic and international flights. Know what you can and can’t bring on a plane. Once you arrive at your destination, The International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers is a great resource to help you find English-speaking doctors in any country. If you don’t have this list or you lose it, call the American Consulate, American Express or local medical schools to find a doctor that can help you.

* Take your medical ID everywhere. As someone with diabetes, your medical ID is part of your everyday attire. And it’s even more important when you’re traveling. If you have a hypoglycemic episode or an accident, medical personnel will look to your ID to see how to help you. Place your medical ID with other items you can’t afford to leave behind like your keys, wallet, passport or phone. That way you’ll be sure it tags along.

For more helpful tips on traveling with diabetes, visit