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Don’t let diabetes affect your travel plans

Summer is approaching rapidly, and this means that many people in the UK will be considering going abroad on their holidays. If you’re a diabetic, it is particularly important for you to plan appropriately for your holiday, as many aspects of your daily routine and medication schedule may need to be changed. As well as the additional considerations you must take into account with foreign travel as a diabetic, insurance premiums can also be higher as a result of the added perceived risks.

insurancewith: are committed to helping the sufferers of many illnesses and debilitating conditions to be able to confidently travel abroad, knowing that they are covered by travel insurance that is not only comprehensive, but fair. insurancewith: created a specific travel insurance policy; insurancewith: Diabetes to combat this. As insurancewith: has gained an in depth understanding of diabetes, from extensive work with diabetes charities, and is therefore far better positioned than other insurance companies to offer a superior deal on travel insurance for diabetics.

When preparing for a holiday, travel insurance is exceptionally important, but should be far from the only consideration. This is no different for diabetics, and in this article we intend to set out exactly which steps and precautions you should take if you have diabetes and intend to travel abroad this summer.


In 2011 alone 26 million pieces of luggage went missing worldwide; this is a staggering statistic in its own right, but when you’re taking essential medication on holiday with you, it becomes that much more concerning. A sensible precaution to take while preparing to go on holiday is to carry twice as much medication as you would normally utilise for the timeframe of your holiday. This way you can split supplies between different pieces of luggage, reducing the likelihood of losing all of it in one go.

It is essential that you carry both diabetic identification and a covering letter from GP. These will not only ensure that you get the correct medical care should something unfortunate happen, but also allow you to carry your essential medication. The benefits of this are clear; in a post 9/11 world, airport security are going to be very hesitant to let you board a plane carrying either syringes, or unexplained medication!

It is also critically important that you store your medication appropriately; insulin in particular can become ineffective if exposed to particularly high or low temperatures, so be mindful of the environment you’ll be holidaying in. Altitude can interfere with specialist medical equipment, glucometers in particular, so if you’re likely to be staying in a dramatically higher or lower locale, it is crucial to check with your GP so you can understand how to counteract the effect.


There are a number of factors geographic, environmental factors that can have a negative effect on diabetes management while on holiday. One to take into account before the plane has even left the UK, is flight delays. No-one enjoys this unfortunate side effect of mass scheduled travel, but as a diabetic these delays can carry additional dangers: make sure you carry additional snacks to deal with any drops in blood sugar!

The particular climate of your destination can also affect glucose and insulin levels, so ensure that you’ve compensated for different time zones when deciding dosage and application time. In extreme heat, ensure that you are replacing lost fluids.

As well as climate, it’s important that you monitor and compensate for any changes in activity level; some people prefer a chilled out holiday by the pool, others an action-packed adventure, but you’ll need to be sure you manage your blood glucose levels in a manner that is appropriate for whichever you have chosen!

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