Travelling is a wonderful way to discover new places and cultures. Having diabetes should not stop you from travelling. Preparing beforehand will allow you to have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Inform your healthcare team of your plans at least one month before your trip
If you are crossing time zones, discuss with your doctor on how to change the timings of your insulin injections and medications
- Obtain a travel letter to indicate your medical condition and medications
- Obtain the necessary vaccinations
- Purchase travel insurance
- Locate healthcare facilities/clinics near where you would be staying in case of emergencies
- Prepare a travel kit
Preparing a Travel Kit
Keep your travel kit in your hand-carry luggage.
Do not check-in the travel kit, insulin or tablets.
Your travel kit should be kept within reach at all times.
Contents of Travel Kit
- Extra insulin and medications
- Other medications: eg. For diarrhoea, motion sickness
- Insulin pen needles or syringes
- Glucometer with extra batteries
- Glucometer test strips and lancets
- Ketone meter with test strips (if you have Type 1 Diabetes)
- Food for hypoglycemia rescue (eg. sweets, glucose tablets, biscuits)
- Snacks, in case meals are delayed
- Travel letter
- A copy of your recent prescription, in case you lose your medications
- Take your diabetes medications as prescribed. Be aware of difference in time zone.
- Store insulin in a cool place. Avoid placing it under direct sunlight or in a hot vehicle. Do not put insulin directly on ice or a gel pack.
- You may be more active, or eat more than usual. Check your blood glucose levels regularly (pre-meals and bedtime) and when you have symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Drink sufficient water
- Eat healthily
- Take precautions to avoid traveller’s diarrhoea
Please seek medical attention if
- You have misplaced your insulin and/or medications
- You feel persistently unwell eg. fever /nausea/vomiting/diarrhoea
- Your blood glucose is persistently < 4mmol/L
- Your blood glucose is persistently >14 mmol/L and you have elevated ketones (if you have Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus)
- You sustain an open wound