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Travelling with Type 1 diabetes

Are you a Type I diabetic planning that trip across the world? Perhaps to stay with relatives?  One problem people on insulin face when flying across time zones is how to adjust their times and dosage to arrive in sync with local time on arrival.You need to plan ahead – take your schedule showing the length of flights and stop over’s to talk it over with your diabetic nurse or consultant. If you are on a special or restricted diet it will be important to alert the airline in advance – typical diabetic meals provided tend to be low carbohydrate and designed for those with Type II diabetes so if you have Type I these may not be suitable.

If you are travelling long haul or cruising then you will not be able to use your EHIC to obtain reduced cost medical treatment so buying diabetic travel insurance will be essential – charges even for simple tests can be very costly outside the UK.

Make sure you have sufficient supplies of all medications and equipment to last the trip with some to spare, we recommend packing two blood glucose measuring devices packed in separate bags in case bags go missing, extra batteries, and for those using a pump, spare syringes in case of unexpected pump failure. Remember all your pharmaceutical supplies must be packed in their original boxes and you will need copies of your prescription to show those inquisitive customs officials. You need not worry about the scanning and X-ray machines as these do not damage insulin.

Travel is a major disruption to your normal routine and as we all know does not always go to plan so the risks of hypoglycaemia are higher, carry snacks such as dried fruits or nuts in case of delays and make sure your travel companion will recognise the signs and know what to do in an emergency.

Travel insurance for diabetes will ensure that you get the right treatment as wherever you are, immediate advice and help will be at the end of a phone.

Thanks to Tricia Pearson-Tietema our Head of Medical Underwriting for today’s blog.

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