Pack Your Bags: Diabetes & Travel

Soon school will be out and teens will be free to travel. Family vacations camping, to amusement parks, road trips or plane rides to another country, prepping for a trip can be a lot of work regardless of living with diabetes.  However, when you forget your bikini, it’s not as big of an issue if you forget your insulin vial.  Klaire (16) gives us an insider look at how she handles travelling and diabetes.

Do you go on many vacations? What type of vacations do you go on? 

“The vacations I’ve gone on were to Key West, and we drive there. I also went to Chicago, on a school trip, so I didn’t have my parents with me. We also go to our lake house almost every weekend. We go on the boat there, often.”

Has diabetes affected your families ability to travel on vacations?Tips-on-How-to-Stay-Safe-While-Travelling

“It hasn’t made us not gone on any. But, it does add extra stress because there is always one little thing I forget or lose. With diabetes supplies you can’t forget any of your supplies because they are all necessary.”

Do you find yourself stressed or worried when travelling with diabetes? If so, why?

“I feel extremely stressed, like right now. I forgot to bring reservoirs to the lake. I am dreading telling my dad I forgot them.  I think I have enough insulin in my pump for the weekend, but I am scared to get in trouble. It’s really hard having diabetes and traveling, a normal person just needs to remember to pack clothes. People with diabetes need to remember to pack a whole check list of stuff!  If we forget one thing it feels like the end of the world. I’m not perfect. Im going to forget stuff like a normal person does. I know what I forget has a major impact on me, but I am just a kid. It’s hard having all of these responsibilities and to remember every single little itty bitty thing. Not only with all the diabetes stuff to remember, I still have to remember to pack clothes and make sure not to forget my socks. I still have to deal with all the other semi-stressful things non-diabetics have to deal with. I’m just a kid, and kids are can be dumb and make mistakes, but unfortunately my mistakes can have a greater consequence than other mistakes such as forgetting to bring socks.”

What precautions do you take when travelling with diabetes?

“I usually make a check list of everything and make sure EVERY single little thing is there. I usually take triple the amount of everything that I need.”

What obstacles do you face when travelling with diabetes?

“The obstacles that I face travelling is in regards food, if it’s a new place, new food and I have no idea what’s in that food. It’s really hard to just manage diabetes on vacation because everyone is so up beat and wanting to go here and there, and I am usually like, ‘hey guys, can I check my blood real quick?’ then they get mad because I’m holding them back from doing what they want to do on vacation. It sucks to be the person who always stops people from doing what they want to do.”

What advice would you give teens with diabetes that are travelling this summer?

“I’d make sure to pack double of everything you need. You never know if you might lose or something might malfunction. Have patience people are going to get upset with you, but you just need to have thick skin and explain why your diabetes is important to take care of, that will probably shut them up for the rest of the trip. Don’t be nervous. Make a check list of everything that you need!  Be prepared for  curious people who are going to want to know why you are stabbing yourself with a needle. They may not understand, but that is just the way it is.”

For more resources about travelling with diabetes, check out our resource page!

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