November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Around 26 million Americans are affected by diabetes. Because of the nature of this disease, many think that traveling might be difficult or impossible. Fortunately you can safely travel to virtually anywhere that you want to go even if you have diabetes. The key is to take the right precautions both before and during the trip.
Utilize Your Surroundings
Adequate food and exercise are important for diabetics, even while traveling. They can easily use local parks or walking trails to get in a little bit of exercise. Local markets generally will have a wealth of different options. In order to utilize all of these resources, you need to plan ahead. Doing a little bit of research and making a list of places to partake in exercise or establishments where you can go to get healthy food will make the trip go more smoothly.
Routines Are Essential
Routines are especially important for those with diabetes. Sitting at the airport can make a normally active time during your daily routine become sedentary. Things like different time zones can lead to you being hungry when you normally would be asleep. You should try to stick to your routine as much as possible no matter where you are traveling to. Try to enjoy your vacation while still keeping some of your routine. For example, it may not be possible to get in an hour workout at the gym, but you can walk around the airport while you wait for your flight.
Be Prepared Wherever You Are At
Not everywhere you go will have food to accommodate you. You can easily solve this issue by packing extra snacks. If necessary, take an insulated bag and ice pack with you so that you can have a variety of things to eat. Also be aware of nearby pharmacies just in case you run out some of your diabetes supplies like blood strips or batteries for you blood glucose monitor.
Informing Others Is Important
Most people will try to meet your needs if you inform them that you have diabetes. For instance, not all hotel rooms have refrigerators, but if you let the hotel you are staying at know that you will be needing one to store food items and your insulin vials in, they most likely will supply you with a refrigerator.
If you let cruise lines know in advance, they can help with special menu items, placing a Sharps container in your cabin as well as a mini-fridge. If you pick a dining time where you go to the same table every night, your waiters will be aware of your dietary needs in advance as long as your travel agent has noted the record. If you dine at different times such as Freestyle dining with Norwegian Cruise Line or Dynamic Dining on the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, then let the maitre d’ know and they will advise which dishes can be altered for your needs. Not to worry, you will have a nice selection, even sugar free desert options.
Even if you have diabetes you can still travel safely. Just remember to take the time to plan properly and inform others about your condition. It may take a little bit more work, but in the end it will allow you to have an enjoyable, worry-free travel experience!