The Traveling Diabetic Should Prepare for Any Emergency

A medical ID bracelet is recommended for diabetics who travel.
A medical ID bracelet is recommended for diabetics who travel. (iStock)

If you asked any stranded tourist or travel agent, they most certainly would recommend planning ahead for your trip's success. This statement is true especially if you are a traveling diabetic.

It is important to realize that a little thought and preparation can help ensure better health and peace of mind.

Below are crucial items for the traveling diabetic:

Doctor Contact Information

It is important when traveling—whether locally or internationally—always to carry the contact details of your doctor. The availability of smartphones and tablets makes this easy. In case of any emergency or an unforeseen trip to the hospital in a country in which you are visiting, the attending physician can contact your own doctor and learn the details of your condition.

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Contact details should include the full names of the doctor or doctors, a phone number—both personal and business—and an email address.

Diabetes Prescription

Every diabetic patient is issued a prescription listing all necessary medications and the frequency in which they should be administered. With a prescription at hand, any traveling diabetic should have access to the right medicine in the right quantity despite their distance from home.

Medical Identification

When traveling on an airline, passengers are required to carry a valid passport. By car, travelers are required to carry a valid license especially if they themselves are driving. Diabetics traveling to another state or country are also required to carry medical identification.

This medical ID can include a travel letter from a doctor documenting the diabetes. The travel letter should be written or typed on a doctor's official stationery. It is wise to make several copies to inform those with whom you are traveling.

When planning for a flight, make sure your diabetes medicine and other important supplies are not packed in a checked bag. They include backup insulin, a glucometer and a cold pack for the insulin.

Packing them in the checked bag will deny you access to your medication. Checked baggage is usually exposed to extreme cold and heat, which could result in the insulin spoiling or the glucometer getting ruined.

Instead, have a carry-on bag or a smaller bag that should be beside you at all times. This is very important in case an emergency arises and the administering of your medication is instantly required.

Plentiful Supplies

Before flying out of the country or driving off from your home, make sure you are well stocked with enough medical supplies to take care of your diabetes. This includes a backup supply of insulin, glucagon kit, diabetic test strips, alcohol swabs for disinfecting injection sites, glucose tablets, extra glucose meter, first aid kit, extra syringes and blood sugar testing kits.

As a traveling diabetic, your life can become hectic moving from one location to another. This calls for early planning to ensure that you prepared in case of any emergency.

To review, a traveling diabetic should carry enough medication, a prescription, medical identification and your doctor's contact information.

Jonathan Rowntree is the editor of "The British Gent" and a freelance writer who has worked with numerous national and international publications. You can follow him on Twitter @TheBritishGent.

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