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Travel tips for people with type 2 diabetes

Traveling is already overwhelming and stressful, but add type 2 diabetes on top of it. Hangry Woman shares how to make the best of your travel experience.

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So far this year I’ve been out my time zone three times. That’s more than I’ve traveled in the last few years, combined. I’ve learned a thing or two about traveling with type 2 diabetes.

I realized that there aren’t many tips about traveling with type 2 diabetes online. I thought my every day instincts would kick in, but it turned out that there is much more to think about.

It made me realize that traveling with type 2 diabetes is actually a bit difficult.

So, I came here with some type 2 diabetes travel tips.

Tip: Pack what you need, and then a little extra.

I’ve learned in the last few months that when you travel, everything can and will go wrong.

My flight to Copenhagen was outright canceled in the city I was in. To make it worse, there were more delays in my layover city . I ended up getting to my destination nearly 10 hours later than I expected.

My flight got cancelled on another trip to Lake Tahoe, and there were no other flights out, so it took me two days to get home.

In my experience (and maybe I’m unlucky), things don’t seem to work out, or leave on time, or work as scheduled. Although an airline can sometimes compensate with meal vouchers, a hotel stay and transportation, they will not be able to get you insulin or other medication. You might be stuck in a city without being able to go anywhere. Avoid the emergency by making plan before you leave home.

Tip: Learn some time math.

Chances are your body is going to be in a different time zone. It certainly was like that for me in another country.

I had to learn time-math to figure out when my closest dosages would occur so I could take them as close to the same time as possible without any trouble.

If you’re unsure about matching up the time, talk with your doctor before you leave about how you can adjust, and what protocol you should follow.

Tip: Always bring a carry on with your supplies and medication.

For some really dumb reason, I packed all of my medication in my checked bag. My planes were delayed for four total hours, and I ended up without any medication until 3 a.m.

I thought “I need a backpack or a carry on.” I’m the kind of person who hates carrying any extra baggage (I usually just have my Bandolier), but I’m considering investing in a light weight, cute backpack so that I can take my meds along at the very least.

I don’t want a scare like that again.

Tip: Make sure your supplies include some antibacterial products.

traveling with type 2 diabetes.
My favorite challenge.

Okay, so one of the grossest things you may have to do is take your insulin in an airport restrooms. Restrooms at the airport aren’t nice.

There isn’t a clean, sterile space for people who take injectable medications.

Another tip for traveling type 2’s is to sanitize.

I bring a tiny bottle of sanitizer and some wipes to wipe the areas around me like the sink area of the plane bathroom (gross, but on an 11 hour flight, what choice do you have?), or the stall in the airport.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice in where you have to do your business. You might as well make the best of it, and make sure it’s clean.

Tip: Try not to stress if things don’t go according to plan.

I have seen things go left at the airport and from one moment to the next, your day could be completely changed.

If things don’t go according to plan, don’t stress.

Things are going to work out how they work out, and it’s not worth raising your blood pressure, or blood sugar over.

Know that you have to be flexible when you get to the airport. You’ll definitely get to where you’re going at some point.

These are some of my best type 2 diabetes travel tips.

I love to get out of town, see new places and explore.

I’m curious about what you guys observe, or think about when you travel.

Traveling with Type 2 Diabetes | The Hangry Woman
About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m a journalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

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13 Responses

  1. Mila, that was a fascinating read! Traveling with diabetes or with a diabetic is not tricky. Nonetheless, extra caution is essential for an event-free journey. Resting for a few days after a long trip, monitoring blood sugar as recommended by your healthcare practitioner, packing snacks for hiking and touring, practicing additional caution with food and water, and arranging your activities to work in your insulin and food are all important.

  2. Great article on how to travel with type 2
    I too learned a valuable lesson in carrying spare insulin as on a trip one of my vials dropped on the floor while going through security I then stepped on it.
    Luckily I was going to Spain and after spending time managed to get a replacement
    Now take a back up?

    1. Thank you so much! My hope is that I give people good information that they can utilize to live a better life.

  3. I used to have to give myself my MS injections in public spaces and it was the worst. You’re right, though, there’s nothing you can do but make it as sanitary as possible.

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