The long-awaited moment is finally here: you’re going on vacation—and you deserve this break. So, while you pack your bags and look for your passport or your keys (have you tried the pantry?), here’s our basic guide to a memorable and hassle-free trip!
• While travelling by car, bus, plane or train, make sure your medication and diabetic equipment are always close at hand.
• If you’re flying, make sure that your medication still has its pharmaceutical label and that your syringes and needles are stored in their sheath with your insulin. Your lancets must also be in their sheath and stored with your blood glucose meter.
• Plan your meals. No matter the means of transport, always have snacks with you in case of an unexpected or extended wait.
• To prevent clot formation, try not to stay in the same position for too long. Take breaks to stretch your legs if you’re travelling by car and take a walk along the aisle if you’re in a bus, plane or train.
Once you’re there
Some basic precautions to make the most of your holiday:
• Make sure you have good sunscreen to prevent skin dryness.
• Take good care of your feet: choose comfortable shoes, avoid walking barefoot on the beach or in the water and watch for blisters, redness and abrasions.
• Know that there are no banned foods—it’s all about balance. The important thing is to know their carbohydrate content and their glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods (slow carbs) are preferred as they allow better control over your blood sugar, but high GI foods (fast carbs) are essential in case of hypoglycemia.
• The golden rules: limit sugar, go for greens, don’t go overboard with starchy foods and drink plenty of water. You may be tempted to have a drink or two while you’re on vacation, and far be it from us to discourage you—just make sure to monitor your blood glucose more closely.
• Are you more physically active when you’re on vacation? That’s good! Always bring snacks when you exercise, and measure your blood glucose more often. But most importantly, know your limits!
• Finally, keep your blood glucose devices, medicine and strips away from light and moisture (insulated bags are a good solution).
Alright, enough advice and warnings: it’s time to relax and create unforgettable memories. Enjoy your holiday!
Canadian Diabetes Care Guide, “Travelling with diabetes”: http://www.diabetescareguide.com/travelling-with-diabetes/. Accessed April 9, 2014.
Diabetes Québec, “Le voyageur diabétique”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/html/vivre_avec_diabete/voyageur.html. Accessed April 9, 2014.
American Diabetes Association, “When you travel”: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/when-you-travel.html. Accessed April 9, 2014.