I am writing this having spent a long weekend in and around Philadelphia and from there traveling to DC then Montreal and finally New York before flying home to Tel Aviv (with a short stop off in Madrid). We have been here for a family wedding so my brother and I have both been training and managing our diabetes together.It's not been easy. The heat has been punishing, hot and extremely humid. Aside from waking up early for some morning training we are wandering around the city so being far more active than normal. Add to all this the food is wildly different from what either of us are used to.
|The "Rocky Steps" leading up to the Philadelphia art museum|
|Rocky and Me|
This is not my first time traveling and every trip no matter how exotic the location poses its challenges. My advice for travelers with diabetes is that it's important to test more frequently, changes in routine, particularly volume of activity; the stress and sedentary nature of long haul flights; different climate; and new foods all have an effect your insulin sensitivity and sugar requirements. Check packaging of food to get the nutritional information and ask waiters in restaurants about your food to make it easier to estimate how much insulin to take. As I sit on a four hour intercity bus ride I will add that it is always a good idea to stock up on water and emergency sugar, like coke and gummy bears, on a journey like this one. I like to bring some fruit too, I prefer to keep my sugars up with that rather than let them drop to hypo and then eat junk. On flights this is less of a problem as there is almost always something available. I usually travel with my wife and if not I am rarely on my own. I always take far more supplies than I need: extra testing strips; double the insulin/spare pens; and loads of needles. I then split them up across our suitcases and hand luggage. In the case that a bag gets stolen or lost I will still have enough to last, if not to the end of my trip, until I can organize getting hold of more.
I always buy travel insurance. My health care provider, Maccabi, does travel insurance which covers me for any diabetic emergencies at no extra cost.Try to keep everything in balance with some exercise especially on a less active holiday. Most of all try to have fun. Whilst we can never take a holiday from our diabetes we can still have a really good time away from home and away from our familiar and easier to control lifestyle.
Live long and stay healthy