Preparing to Travel

Web Resource Last Updated: 05-10-2020

Planning your trip or holiday gets you in the right frame of mind to enjoy yourself to the full, and being fully prepared before you go helps prevent problems while you are away.

The following is a useful checklist to help with this.

Health checks before you go 

  • GP
  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Diabetes clinic
  • Podiatrist

Vaccinations

See the practice nurse at your doctor’s surgery in plenty of time before you go.

Documentation

  • ID
  • Valid passport
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Current driving licence
  • Contact addresses: national embassy, local diabetes association, etc.
  • Doctor’s letter
  • Prescription

Time zones 

If you are flying across several time zones and use insulin, you will need to plan any changes you will need to make to your insulin regimen.

Information for travelling companions

It will be useful if your travelling companions have some understanding about your diabetes, e.g. how to recognise the symptoms of a hypoglycaemic episode (a ‘hypo’) and what to do if you have one.

Diabetes drugs and equipment

  • Insulin
  • Flask and/or coolbag
  • Insulin cartridges, pens and pen needles
  • Needle clipper
  • Blood glucose meter + spare
  • Test strips
  • Spare battery
  • Finger pricker + spare
  • Lancets
  • Monitoring diary
  • BM sticks
  • Ketostix/multistix
  • Glucogen kit
  • Dextrosol/glucose powder
  • Addresses/phone numbers of suppliers

Know about

  • Insulin strengths
  • How to transport insulin
  • Time zones

First-aid kit

Depending on where you are going and the length of your stay you may want to consider some or all of the following items:

  • * Painkillers, e.g. paracetamol (for pain or fever)
  • * Antihistamine, e.g. Piriton (for nasal congestion, itching)
  • * Anti-diarrhoea tablets, e.g. Immodium
  • Rehydration treatment for diarrhoea
  • * Antibiotics
  • * Antimalarial tablets
  • * Syringe kit
  • Travel sickness medication
  • Vitamins/iron tablets
  • First-aid information
  • Wound kit (dressings, bandages, tape, scissors, antiseptic solution, tweezers, gauze)
  • Blister treatment
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Suntan lotion, sunblock, aftersun
  • Calamine lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Condoms

* Discuss these with your diabetes care team first.

Conversion table

Blood glucose levels can be measured in either millimoles per litre (mmol/L) or milligrams per 100 millilitres (mg%). Some EU countries use mg%, so make sure you have a copy of the conversion table below.

mmol/L

mg%

mmol/L

mg%

1

18

11

192

2

36

12

216

2.5

45

13

234

3

54

14

252

3.5

63

15

270

4

72

16

288

4.5

81

17

306

5

90

18

324

5.5

99

19

342

6

108

20

360

7

126

21

378

8

144

22

396

9

162

23

414

10

180

24

432


Useful resources

For more tips on how to prepare for a holiday or other trip, see the Diabetes Travel website here.

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