When you have diabetes, and especially when you are on insulin therapy, travelling can be challenging. However, with some preparation before your trip, you can keep well while travelling and enjoy yourself too!

The Department of Endocrinology at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, shares how.

Pre-departure planning tips

Pre-departure planning is essential to ensure that you are fit and adequately prepared for travelling.

1. Consult the doctor managing your diabetes before you travel

  • Discuss your holiday plans with your doctor. Let your doctor know if you are planning any special activities and whether it is safe to do so, and clarify any questions you may have on how to optimally manage your glucose levels during these activities.
  • Ensure Your blood glucose levels are under control and that you have extra supplies of medications and consumables in case your insulin pen is broken or in case the insulin becomes unusable due to extreme temperatures.

2. Get a travel memo from your doctor stating that:

  • You have diabetes, and
  • You must hand-carry medications such as insulin and medical supplies such as syringes, insulin pens, glucometer, and other consumables to manage your diabetes

3. Check time zone and weather differences, nearest hospital and insurance

  • Changing time zones can affect the timing for administering insulin, especially basal insulin. Remember to set an alarm so that basal insulin is administered on time. If you are uncertain about insulin timing changes, ask your doctor before you leave

  • Weather differences can affect the storage of your insulin and glucometer

  • Check out the locations of hospitals nearby

  • Ensure that your travel or medical insurance covers diabetes-related emergencies

See next page for an essential diabetes packing checklist.

Ref: L20

Other diabetes articles you may be interested in:

Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Glucose): Warning Signs and Symptoms

Diabetes Foot Care Tips: 10 Steps to Healthy Feet

Diabetes Diet Myths vs Facts

Easy Diabetes Diet

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