1. Embrace the Scout Motto. Be prepared! Create a timeline several weeks in advance so you can get things ready. Doing a little each week leading up to vacation will eliminate last-minute stresses.
2. Get Your Papers in Order... medical papers that is! Talk to your health care providers to obtain extra prescriptions, letters explaining your diabetes and/or your medications or other documentation you need to take with you.
3. Supply and Demand. Organize all of your diabetes supplies. Make sure all of your prescriptions are filled before you leave and you pack plenty of extras just in case.
4. Be a Bellhop. Become an expert in luggage -- at least at knowing how to pack it. If flying, know what you should take in your carry-on and what you can store in your suitcase. Don't forget to pack insulin carefully to prevent it from breaking or overheating.
5. What's the Frequency? Check your blood glucose frequently while traveling, including before and two to three hours after meals. You may be eating unfamiliar foods that have unknown effects on your blood glucose levels. Plus, the excitement of being on vacation may also affect your blood glucose levels.
6. What Happens When You Assume? Bring plenty of snacks for the entire trip. Don't assume that there will be food everywhere you visit. And when traveling, plan on delays throughout your journey just to be on the safe side.
7. Rub a Dub Dub. Wash your hands. A lot. This is the easiest way to avoid germs while traveling. Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for those times you are unable to use traditional soap and water.
8. Bottoms up. Drink plenty of water, instead of caffeinated beverages, which can deplete your body fluids. Vacations usually mean increased time in the sun or increased activities so be sure to have a bottle of water close by.
9. O-T-C to the Rescue. Pack medications to treat common illnesses such as colds or diarrhea. Be sure to check with your health care team if any over-the-counter medicines will interact with your diabetes medications.
10. Not-So-Perfect-Attendance. Let's face it: we have all become sick while on vacation at some point. Talk with your provider about making a plan for sick-day care and be sure to take it with you.