Travelling can be an exciting and enriching experience, but when you are living with type 2 diabetes, it may come with additional challenges.

From managing medications to maintaining blood sugar levels and finding diabetes-friendly meals, there’s a lot to consider. However, with the right preparation and planning, you can enjoy your trip without compromising your health.


Here are some essential tips for staying healthy and managing your type 2 diabetes while on the go.


Plan ahead

Before embarking on your journey, consult with your healthcare team and Dietitian to discuss your travel plans. They can provide personalised recommendations and help you adjust your medication schedule if needed. Make sure to carry a letter from your doctor explaining your condition, medications, and any medical devices you use.


Pack smart

Pack enough medications and supplies to last for the entire trip, plus extra in case of emergencies. Keep your diabetes supplies in your carry-on luggage to ensure they are always within reach and safe from potential temperature fluctuations in the cargo hold. Include a medical ID and a list of emergency contacts in your wallet or travel documents.


Monitor your blood sugar regularly

Changes in routine, activity levels, and mealtimes can affect your blood sugar levels. Regularly monitor your blood sugar to stay on track and make any necessary adjustments.


Stay hydrated and mindful of your diet

Drink plenty of water and choose nutritious meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Research local cuisine before your trip, and identify diabetes-friendly options. Don’t hesitate to ask about ingredients and preparation methods when ordering meals. Carry healthy snacks like nut bars, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers to curb hunger between meals.


Keep moving

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine while traveling. This can help manage blood sugar levels and maintain overall health. Walk around during layovers, explore destinations on foot or by bike, or choose activities like swimming, hiking, or yoga classes.


Manage stress

Travel can be stressful, which may impact your blood sugar levels. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness to help manage stress (check out some techniques here) Make sure to get enough sleep and maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even while adjusting to new time zones.


Be prepared for emergencies

Know the location of local hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics in case you need medical assistance. Learn essential phrases in the local language to communicate your needs, such as “I have diabetes” or “I need a doctor.” Keep a small emergency kit with any other necessary supplies.


Travelling with type 2 diabetes may require extra planning and vigilance, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from enjoying your adventures. By preparing ahead, staying organized, and practicing self-care, you can confidently manage your diabetes and create unforgettable memories.


Josh Wernham
Student Dietitian 

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