Recently I had the opportunity to take a trip to Alaska. I had a great time but prepping for the trip was an adventure in and of itself. I thought I’d share my top ten diabetes trip prep tips with you:
· Put your pump site in a visible area: God forbid I get patted down at the airport when going through TSA (this happened to me once in Atlanta). Now, I always make sure to have my site in my stomach.
· Get a back up pump: You can ask for a back up pump or request an extra box of supplies before you go on vacation, especially if you are traveling internationally or will be gone for a long period of time.
· Don’t risk packing anything in checked luggage: I make sure to pack ALL of my supplies with me in my carry on luggage. I never check anything just in case the airline loses my bags.
· Don’t forget trash supplies: Having a place to dispose of your trash is really important and easy to overlook. Don’t forget those plastic baggies!
· Back up those batteries: Although meter and pump batteries last a while it seems like they go dead when you least expect it and at the most inconvenient times… like on vacation.
· Don’t forget the chargers: You’ll probably already be bringing chargers for your phone, your iPad, your computer, etc but don’t forget your Dexcom or IBG Star chargers!
· Stock up on non-liquid low supplies: Juice boxes are difficult to travel with. Not only do they weigh down your luggage, they are bulkier, and sometimes leak or explode leaving you with wet, apple scented apparel. Liquids can also cause trouble with the TSA. Once, they told me either open the juice box for testing (which obviously defeated the purpose of even having it) or throw it away. I now opt for the lighter and less liquidized fruit snacks or glucose tabs.
· Stay hydrated: Make sure to buy a water bottle at the airport to have while on the flight. The drink cart can sometimes take too long to come around.
· Consider extreme temperatures: I knew, this time around, I was going to be in extreme cold for long periods of time and was aware that “temperature error” might show up as I put a strip into my meter. I was sure to have extra meters (and strips of course) with me.
· Prep for those “just in case” moments: This time I made sure to research nearby pharmacies where, if needed, I could get supplies like insulin and test strips.