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How To: Travel with diabetes

There is absolutely no reason why you can’t travel. You are the same risk as anyone else in terms of getting anything funny, a gyppy tummy, Delhi belly, and all that kind of stuff. It again comes down to the absolute basic golden rules – be prepared and carry all your diabetic kit with you all the time and let people you are travelling know that you have diabetes.

Do be careful to pack your own insulin, needles, blood test kit, spares and a sugar source.

Do have somebody you are travelling with carry spares too if possible. Always carry all your diabetic kit in your hand luggage.

Insulin is a living thing, if it goes in the cargo it could easily freeze and it will be made inactive.

Don’t be freaked out by the idea that you are going to get pulled to one side by customs because you have got medical equipment. Diabetes is very common and customs inspectors are unlikely to find your kit of concern.

Watch for the heat too hot, too cold, this can not only effect the way your blood sugar levels are behaving anyway, but it certainly will affect your insulin.

It’s best if you can, ahead of time, look into the type of food that you are going to be eating where ever you are going. Also, try to check out the local GP or pharmacist before you get there.

If you are going somewhere particularly exotic, by your standards, or you just really don’t know the lay of the land, you might want to consider packing certain sensible food items. A packet of biscuits never goes too far wrong, bags of pasta is not bad, it’s a very basic carbohydrate. All you need is boiling water, so you might be able to take that with you and make yourself feel a bit safer.

Do contact Diabetes UK, or your local diabetes organisation, as they have got lots of very useful booklets on how to travel and information about hospitals in certain areas, should you need that information.

Again, across most of Europe certainly and in The States and many other countries, because diabetes is so common you are likely to be able to get hold of blood testing machines should you lose or break yours while you are away. They may cost you a lot more overseas.

Published in 'How to' guides
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