When traveling in the USA there are a few very important Travel Tips to keep in mind.
(Some tips include experiences we have received from travelers. Let us know your experiences and travel suggestions.)
When using a non-mobile phone in the US simply dial 911 (all US telephone carriers recognize this number) to be connected with Emergency Services. To determine the proper number for your mobile phone please check with your mobile telephone provider.
Also, please enter emergency contact information in your mobile phone. Enter the information under ICE (In Case of Emergency). First responders and other emergency personnel will then be able to easily locate the name of who to call in an emergency situation.
Follow the TSA 3-1-1 rule regarding liquids at Security Checkpoints.
- Drink bottled water. While not as big an issue with domestic travel as it is with international travel; in our minds it is often better to be safe than sorry. How your body will react to the local tap water is always unknown. Also, in extremely warm climates like the southwestern U.S. in the summer, keeping your body hydrated can also be an issue. Drinking bottle water is good for you for a variety of reasons.
- Watch what you eat. It is tough to always know what ingredients were used in foods. Restaurants and cafes prepare similar dishes very differently. Ask the server to check with the cook. Also, you may be completely unprepared to adjust your medications for local or regional dishes. If you’re not from the Southern U.S., for example, you may not know how to account for grits. Let us know your experience with unknown gastronomic delights.
- Always keep a variety of snacks or hard candy with you. You never know when you might have to eat something because your plan was changed.
Michael’s Experience: On a recent business trip I was having lunch with some associates. We had just ordered our meal when a client happened to enter the same restaurant. We asked him to join us. We then asked our waiter to hold off on our order so our client could order and eat with us. As things usually go, it took a while for our client to order his meal. I had already taken my Humalog just prior to ordering my meal. Because of the unintended eating delay, I began to get the shakes and sweats from low blood sugar. Fortunately, I always carry Glucose tablets and hard candy. If I hadn’t I would have been in a panic.
- Exercise in place. When you are riding in a car, train or airplane you can always do a variety of exercises that will benefit your circulation. While sitting, move your toes up and down several times. Or, stretch your legs out in front of you and lift them off the floor for a few repetitions.
- Walk around. On a plane or train, get up and walk around when appropriate. When traveling in a car, stop occasionally to get out and walk around for a few minutes. Sitting for long stretches can be tough on your legs and feet.
- While you are seated try not to cross your legs. This can cause poor circulation or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
- When traveling, always have a simple exercise routine planned. If it’s not convenient to walk around, jog, or use a fitness facility; think of a simple plan you can easily do in your room. A few leg ups, sit ups, stretching exercises, etc. can all be done in your room.
- Technology continues to expand how we exercise when we travel. Two options when you are on the road are Exercise Radio or PumpOne.com for your mobile device.
- Always keep your medications with you. Keep your diabetes go bag under the seat in front of you for easy access during airplane takeoff. Never place your medications with your checked bags. Your bags won’t always show up at the same place or time that you do.
Rita’s Experience: On a trip to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it took four days for my bags to show up at the same place I was staying. If I hadn’t kept all of my medications in my carry-ons I would have been in trouble.
- Be aware of the temperature at your destination. Keep your insulin in the proper carrying case. If you don’t have a carrying case that keeps your medications cool, check with the hotel to see what options they offer. Don’t leave your medications in a car, especially a trunk of a car when you travel.
- Always make sure you have more than enough medication. Many things can happen to delay your return.
- Carry a copy of your prescriptions and Dr. information. If you have to get your prescription refilled on the road it is much easier if you have these with you
|Craig’s Experience: The hotel in San Francisco provided a refrigerator for me to keep my insulin cool. But because it was stuck off in the corner, out of site, I forgot about it when I left to go to the airport. Consequently, I didn’t take my insulin out of the refrigerator. It wasn’t until I was half way to my next destination, sitting on a plane, that I realized my insulin was still in the refrigerator at the hotel. I had to go through the hassle and get a refill at my next destination.|
- If you are traveling to a destination that has a significant time zone change don’t forget to adjust the times you take your medications to the new time zone. Often, it is easier to figure this out before you travel to your new destination.
- Before leaving on your trip check for medical facilities at your destination and know their phone numbers.
- Test more frequently. Different types of food and changes in your exercise schedule can affect your diabetic control.
- Many hotels are beginning to provide sharps containers to properly dispose of needles during your stay. They provide the container and take care of the disposal when you depart. Check with the front desk or housekeeping at your hotel to take advantage of this service.
- Don’t hide the fact you are a diabetic. Always carry an emergency card in your wallet or purse and wear an ID bracelet. If you have a medical emergency it will benefit you if others can find this information quickly. For a list of suppliers that provide a variety of identification products click “Identification” above.
- Travelers that run or walk for exercise but hate to carry identification because it is too bulky or gets in the way, look at the Shoe ID from Road ID. It attaches firmly to the shoe or around the shoelaces of your jogging or walking shoes with a small velcro strap. It is made with reflective materials making it easy to find and because the velcro can be adjusted it wont flop around. No more bouncing of a neck chain or the discomfort of exercising with a wristband or ankle bracelet.