Traveling can cause a lot of stress on the human body. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, the body generally exerts more energy when it’s taken out of its daily routine. Driving and flying to and from your destination can drain the body of energy and result in overall fatigue. Preparing for and maintaining a smooth travel experience can be stressful enough, but living and traveling with a chronic condition like diabetes can add stress to your situation. Adequate and additional preparation could ensure that you are well prepared for any traveling situation, and possibly reduce unnecessary and unwanted stress.

For your travel, it is important to put safety first, even if that means being overly prepared. Having a medical alert bracelet or necklace that identifies your condition is a great way to signal medical help in the case of an emergency. When seconds really count, this could be the difference that saves a life. To avoid any emergency situations, try to be proactive by frequently and consistently monitor your diabetes, especially when traveling. Lastly, having more of your medical supplies with you is important to your well being. You would much rather over pack your medication than under pack.

If you are traveling on a plane, make sure to keep your daily medical supplies and your extra supply pack with your carry-on bag in the airplane cabin and not with your checked luggage. The last thing you want to worry about is where your additional insulin injection devices, pump and meter supplies or insulin viles are when you are stuck on a plane. If you use an insulin pump, it could be helpful to carry injection devices with you in the event that your pump fails on short notice.

Try not to rely on the airline to hand out the snack packs of pretzels or peanuts. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a snack, there could be delays in them getting to you, they may not give you an adequate amount or worse yet, they may not be offering any snacks on your flight. Always bring your own snacks as a carry on item to be fully prepared. We have all read or heard about the horror stories of delayed flights where people are stuck on the runway for hours at a time and are unable to leave the plane. Although no one ever expects to be in this situation, it could happen, and it’s always best to be prepared with your own food.

International travel can pose even more serious problems when compared to domestic travel. Those living with a chronic condition like diabetes need to be well prepared when traveling to a different country. International travel can pose language barriers, and with a medical condition it is crucial to know how to translate your emergency.  It could be helpful to write down phrases in that language such as “I have diabetes” or “I need a doctor or hospital” and any other terms that may be needed in a time sensitive emergency. Lastly, it is recommended to research the area where you will be visiting to make sure you have the correct emergency numbers and contact information for a local hospital or pharmacy.

Although traveling while managing a chronic condition like diabetes can be stressful, it can still be fun. And with thorough preparation, you will be able to handle any unexpected surprises that may arise.