5 Simple Tips for Traveling with someone Living with Diabetes

Traveling with someone living with Diabetes

Recently, when I attended the session on Living Fully With Diabetes, I realized that it is such a common condition. Almost everyone around me has someone or the other in their family who has it. Even my husband is diabetic. But I never talked about it on my blog thinking that nobody would relate to it. Clearly, I was wrong. Hence, I thought why not share some tips on how we take care of things for my husband when we travel. So, in this post, I will be sharing the things you should know when you are traveling with someone living with diabetes.

In my last post, I shared how one can manage diabetes easily by taking care of a few things like their diet, physical activity, medicines and glucose monitoring. But all this takes a turn when one has to travel since it’s not easy to follow the same routine.

So, should we not travel and just stay at home?

Once my friend told me that he doesn’t travel with his family because his parents who are both diabetic can’t come with him. He told me that their routine goes for a toss and even a 3-day travel takes a toll on their health.

I understand that following the same routine is extremely difficult, but I feel that one can still manage their glucose levels with proper planning. Here’s what we do when we travel-

1- Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Rule 1 of managing diabetes is monitoring your glucose levels on regular basis. Keeping a tab on your blood sugar levels help in taking important decisions regarding your diet and physical activity. But, of course, traveling means carrying your blood glucose monitoring device with you everywhere.

My husband makes excuses to not to pack his glucometer so that he can avoid testing while traveling. He wants to remain free from the hassle of finger pricking and testing while on a vacation. Even if he carries it with him, he usually forgets to do the test.

Being a caregiver to my husband, I have to stay on alert during such vacations. I keep a watch on his diet and I make sure that he gets enough physical activity. I also keep a pouch with his extra medicines with me. And, I know if this is such a big matter of worry for us, it is for you too if you are traveling with someone living with diabetes.

TIP 1- Use CGM instead of BGM. Why prick when you can scan?

I have found a solution to my husband’s problem. We simply needed to shift from blood glucose monitoring (BGM) to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

BGM is the most common way of checking blood sugar levels and for that one has to use blood glucose meters. You use a lancet to prick your finger and apply that drop of blood on the glucose testing strip attached to the glucometer to get your current glucose reading.

Whereas, CGM is a painless way to monitor glucose levels. A CGM device comes with a sensor and a reader. In my last post, I shared about one such CGM device by Abbott called FreeStyle Libre. You simply have to apply the sensor on your upper arm, swipe the reader on the sensor to scan and see your glucose reading on the reader.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

People living with diabetes for years find BGM frustrating and time consuming. So, why not shift to the painless way of monitoring. FreeStyle Libre has so many benefits like –

  • It can be worn for up to 14 days.
  • It’s convenient as it automatically measures & stores your glucose readings.
  • It gives you 8 hours of glucose data and glucose trends.
  • It’s water resistant so can be worn while you bathe or swim.
  • Even a child with diabetes can use it.

So, why prick when you can scan?

2- Proper Diet

Rule 2 of managing diabetes is taking a healthy diet. But, when you are traveling with someone living with diabetes you notice that it’s not easy for them to focus on healthy eating. They can not follow the same meal plan that they follow at home. However, as a caregiver you can definitely keep a watch on what they eat.

TIP 2- Book a diabetic meal on flight!

If you are taking a flight, book your tickets with the airlines that give an option for a diabetic meal. Alternatively, you can also keep a few snacks in your hand baggage in case the meal gets delayed. If traveling by road, it’s always better to carry home cooked meal and healthy snacks for munching.

TIP 3- Request for diabetic-friendly food at the hotel!

While booking a hotel, call them and check if they provide diabetic-friendly food or if they can prepare meals on request. Most of the hotels we have stayed with were happy to cater to our request. However, they may charge extra for the special meals.

In case, we have to stay for more than 3 days, we book a cottage, they come with a fully equipped kitchen, and you get an easy option to prepare meals as you like. So, you see with a little pre-planning, diet for a diabetic can be managed easily.

3- Exercise

We all know the importance of physical activity to stay healthy. But regular exercise may become a matter of worry when on a vacation. You may have to give up your morning walks as you may want to sleep in till late and evening walks may not happen due to other plans.

TIP 4- Trek, Swim, Cycle and Play! 

Almost everyone around me has someone or the other in their family who has diabetes. Here are 5 simple tips for traveling with someone living with diabetes.  

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But planning your days beforehand may give you a chance to include time for physical activity. We never fail to plan a hike or trek while on a holiday. We also visit places that we can explore on foot. Most of the time, we book resorts with swimming pool so that my husband gets his exercise while enjoying at the pool. Also, we always keep some time for play. Badminton, table tennis and cycling are our favorite sports.

4- Medication when traveling with someone living with diabetes

Carry twice the medicines you need in case your stay gets extended. Also, it’s better to keep medicines in two different pouches in case one gets misplaced or you forget it somewhere. My husband keeps one in his backpack and I keep the other one with me. While booking the hotel, always check for the nearest pharmacy and its timings.

TIP 5 – Never ever skip your medicine!

Even if your sugar level is within limit, don’t skip your medicine especially when you are away from home. If you tend to forget to take medicines, then set multiple reminders on your phone or watch. It really helps!

I hope these simple tips will help you in planning your trip if you are traveling with someone living with diabetes.


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37 Comments

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    Varsh June 9, 2022 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Wonderful post, Neha. People tend to get careless while travelling and ignore their regular meds and diet. Glucose monitoring helps to keep track of sugar and is definitely recommended for diabetics.

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      Prashant June 13, 2022 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      You’re right, traveling with diabetes is quite possible and fun too.

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    Ruchi Verma June 9, 2022 at 9:44 am - Reply

    When you are a caregiver, need to be a little extra precaution about the diabetic person while traveling, but your tips are really going to help.

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    Preeti Chauhan June 9, 2022 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    When you travel in a group or with family, dietary restrictions become an important consideration. These are some great recommendations as the blood glucose may increase during trips not only because of diet but long hours of inactivity during traveling and changes in sleep routine also contribute.

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    Surbhi Prapanna June 11, 2022 at 3:08 am - Reply

    yes we need to take extra care while travelling with diabetes. you have suggested some wonderful ways to enjoy vacation but still follow the required steps to manage diabetes. it is all about pre-plan your stuff and be cautious about your diet and medication.

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    Harjeet Kaur June 11, 2022 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Have you been using it long,? I want to go for one but the price deters me. Most glucometers are not accurate.

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    MeenalSonal June 12, 2022 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Diabetes has to be taken care and it is a lifestyle change one has to go through but certainly one should not stop travelling due to diabetes. Good to know about the no prick measuring blood sugar levels and liked your tip to carry extra medication in case of emergency.

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      Kiran June 13, 2022 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      FreeStyle Libre sounds like a very useful product.

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    Gurjeet Chhabra June 12, 2022 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    When you are traveling it become little difficult to mange and give extra care to diabetic people. So much is going on while traveling . You have shared great tips to follow.

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    sonu chouhan June 12, 2022 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Very great tips have been share by you.thanks for sharing such information as my mother in law she loves to travel but due to her diabetic issues she won’t .thanks for sharing

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    SwatiMathur June 12, 2022 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Living with diabetes is not easy but not difficult too. If proper monitoring and good diet is taken it can be under control. And yes while traveling it because even more important to take proper precautionary measures, like monitoring device should always be handy.

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    Remo June 13, 2022 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Continuous monitoring of glucose used to be so tedious. Not anymore thanks to this device.

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    Anshul Patel June 13, 2022 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Interesting tips. Glad you made travel possible.

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    Ravi June 13, 2022 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    This is a great post as I often travel with my diabetic mom.

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    Sahil gouria June 13, 2022 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Loved these tips. I’ve been intimidated by travel myself but am going to give it a go.

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    Jackie June 13, 2022 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Just a few little changes can make life so much better . Great suggestion!

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    Suresh June 13, 2022 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    This post is very informative in terms of travelling with diabetic parents.

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    aakashmalik June 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I am loving this post as I often travel and it is a task to take care of diabetes on the go.

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    Anurag Malik June 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I have diabetic in laws and i am following this post to travel with preacutiuons

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    Nancy June 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the travel tips. This post is really helpful.

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    Shyam June 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    My Grandparents are diabetic too. Freestyle Libre is a blessing.

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    kumar June 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I agree. Managing Diabetes with CGM is so easy now.

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    Karthick June 13, 2022 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Yes it’s important to take care of your medical condition while traveling.

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      Jyoti June 14, 2022 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      I know it is difficult to travel with diabetic patient . My mom is diabetic and we have to very cautious . I will definitely check Free style libre.

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    Karan June 13, 2022 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    We love to travel but are often hampered because my dad has diabetes.

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    Reacher June 13, 2022 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Freestyle libre sounds like a great product.

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    Aryan singh June 13, 2022 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your experience and tips.

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    Krishna Awate June 13, 2022 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Thnks for all the travel tips . This is useful post

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    Silpi June 13, 2022 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I have seen FreeStyle Libre on the internet. Great to read your post

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    Sai prathap June 13, 2022 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Traveling with diabetics isa task but with free style libre, life has become easier for both of us

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    Judy Morris June 13, 2022 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    My mom-in-law has been diabetic from years and till today she forgets to carry her glucometer with her when she is travelling. Recently I have introduced her to FreeStyle Libre as well and it is such a relief for me too as a caregiver thanks to this CGM device.

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    Noor Anand Chawla June 13, 2022 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    What a fabulous post Neha. You have shared everything that one could possibly need to know about in this situation, which can be a tough one indeed!

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    Sindhu Vinod Narayan June 14, 2022 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Going by your tips to follow when traveling with a person with diabetes.contibuous monitoring is very important. Free style liber seems to be promising one

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    Jhilmil D Saha June 14, 2022 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Being a diabetic myself, I perfectly understand how difficult it is to maintain everything while travelling. The freestyle libre sounds like a great relief for people like us.

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    Paresh Godhwani June 16, 2022 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    This post will really help those people who finds it difficult to plan a trip because of diabetes. And it looks like FreeStyle Libre has helped you a lot in travelling to your dream destinations.

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    Kapila June 17, 2022 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Awesome post Neha. many times a person with diabetes would not travel much as it may hamper their routine. Great pointers you have shared here. makes my life so easy.. honestly.

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    Prerna Wahi June 21, 2022 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Diabetics need to moniter glucose regularly. This is very useful information.

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