Being prepared when travelling is essential for any successful trip and even more so when having diabetes. These days many school, sporting and social activities involve some type of travel. Whether this is local, interstate and or overseas. Travel can cause anxiety for many so like the old Boy Scouts moto “be prepared” can alleviate this anxiety and allow you to enjoy yourself when travelling with family and friends.
Getting prepared to travel means checking in with your diabetes educator, dietitian and endocrinologists to review your current diabetes management such as sick day management plan and hypo management plus ensuring you have an emergency kit. It’s also important of knowing doses of insulin to take with different types of cultural foods if travelling overseas and emergency contact numbers should they be needed if required. Travelling can also be tricky time in deciding when to take our insulin, especially our long acting insulin, so ask your diabetes team. If on a pump it is essential for you to check with your diabetes team on when to change the time in your pump if travelling to a different time zone.
Your diabetes team will also organise a travel letter that documents your teen’s current insulin management, devices your teen uses to inject and blood glucose monitor and any other medication you may have to take. HINT: photocopy this letter and leave one copy at home or with a family member that can be contacted if it is lost, use a smartphone to take a photo of the letter, leave a copy in your main luggage and one with your passport, email to yourself it may sound excessive but you want to have easy access to it in an emergency and when passing thru security at airports.
It also is essential that you have some form of ID on you that is easy for people to know that your teen has diabetes such as a chain and ID bands. Our smartphones are also a great place to store your medical history, all you have to do is push the emergency button and a sign called Medical ID is highlighted in red when they push on this section it comes up with stored medical information.
Finally, don’t forget to pack enough diabetes equipment for when travelling, I tell my patients to take enough for the time period you are going for and add on an extra 2 weeks supply and finally have sufficient travel insurance.