It’s important to make sure you are staying ahead of your diabetes and managing it proactively when you’re away from home. Whether going on a day trip, a weekend trip or a long vacation, traveling is something that often alters day to day routines and schedules, which is something that can be especially disruptive if you have diabetes. Proactively managing your diabetes and keeping it top of mind while you’re traveling will not only keep you healthy but will also allow you to better enjoy your trip too!
Here are some tips for managing diabetes effectively while traveling:
Fill all of your prescriptions. Make sure you fill all of your prescriptions prior to leaving – and it’s ideal to do so at one CVS/pharmacy location. That way, if you're traveling and forget a medicine, your CVS/pharmacy will have a complete list of all your medicines and the doctors who prescribe them. Plus, if you’re a part of the ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program, you’ll be earning rewards and savings on the supplies you need.
Bring extra diabetes supplies. It’s best to pack at least twice as much medicine and supplies as you think you will need. Keep your supplies with you, so if you are flying, make sure to bring in your carry-on bag in case your checked bag is lost. You can visit the Transportation Security Administration website and the American Diabetes Association website to learn how to pack your medicine and supplies, what you can bring through airport security and how to get through the screening process.
Check your blood glucose (sugar). Just because you're on a trip, you still have to check your blood glucose. Stress, being more active, new food, fatigue and even excitement can affect your blood glucose while traveling. Check more than usual to make sure your levels are normal.
Create a travel checklist. While traveling, it’s best to make sure you have a check list. The list can run through everything and anything you need to bring with you – including testing supplies, your medications and prescriptions. This will help make sure you bring everything you need, no matter where your travels may take you.
Bring snacks and be diligent about meals. Even when you are away from home, make sure to remember to eat regularly. Don't assume there will be food every place you go. Be on the safe side and bring enough snacks in case you are stuck somewhere.
Stay in a routine. As best you can, try to stay in a routine while traveling. One of the keys to effective diabetes management is keeping a routine because it helps ensure adherence. It also helps to establish consistency in blood glucose levels and reduces the risk for fluctuations in those levels. Staying in a routine can mean keeping a regular meal, sleep and exercise schedule so be sure to keep each of those elements in mind – when you’re at home and when you’re away.
Papatya Tankut is vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS/pharmacy.