Holidays and Diabetes

Oh my goodness, what a late blog! I have been so busy and haven’t had a chance to catch up on blog writing for the week, so sincere apologies for the lateness.

I have been working all over the shop this week and have even been away to the very scenic Milford Haven with Rainbow Productions. We took the very popular PJ Masks characters over there for some story telling and meet and greets. It was such a successful and lovely trip. It was even a great drive there and back and a beautifully scenic route when we eventually got out of London and off the dreaded M25!

We were based at Milford Marina, which was such a lovely place. We had a super long break in between the second and third sets for the day so we were able to catch some rays outside as it was unexpectedly very sunny! Look how beautiful it was!

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I’m really enjoying the Rainbow jobs so far and it’s definitely reminding me how much I love driving! (Well, maybe not driving around the London roundabouts!)

So, speaking of traveling, myself and Bobby are heading off to Malta on the 18th September! We’re very much looking forward to getting away for 8 nights to this beautiful place. We have never been before, but we have heard so many great things about it and can’t wait to get some sun and explore. We are very lucky that we don’t have to pay for any accommodation whilst we are there as Bobby’s Aunties live in Gozo, which is a small island just a ferry across from Malta, so we will be staying with them. They rent a huge house over there which also has it’s own pool so we’re definitely feeling like we’re going to be living the high life.

We will also be there when it’s Bobby’s birthday (the lucky man). This seems to be a recurring theme now as we were in New York for his birthday last year, so he doesn’t do his birthday by halves by any means! His birthday will be our first full day of the holiday, so we will have to make some exciting plans for that day, which I have no doubt in thinking will involve lots of yummy food and alcohol!

Of course, going on holiday for a diabetic isn’t the most straightforward of events, but that doesn’t mean that is has to be difficult or an issue whatsoever. I have been on plenty of holidays since I was diagnosed with Type 1, most of which have been with friends and I have never had an issue. There are just a few things that you do have to take into consideration to make sure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible and that you have a solution for all eventualities. So here are my top tips and recommendations below…

Emma’s top tips for going on holiday with Diabetes

  1. Make sure you have a medical letter from your GP or hospital – I have never had an issue with traveling with all my medical bits and bobs, but you never know what could happen. Just to play it safe, make sure you have a medical letter from your GP to state that you have Diabetes and you will be carrying insulin etc. Make sure you always cover your own back. I’ve had my letter since the year I was diagnosed in 2006 and it’s even got a bit of blood on it for good measure (haha).
  2. Keep your insulin wallet/pens that you’re using/blood tester in your hand luggage – I know that you have to put your liquids in a clear plastic bag when they’re in your hand luggage, but that’s absolutely fine! Pop your insulin wallet with your insulin pens in a clear plastic bag and you’re sorted. Make sure you keep all of your active insulin/blood tester/equipment in your hand luggage because you will no doubt need it and you don’t want to be stuck if it’s in your luggage and your luggage goes missing!
  3. Take much more medication and equipment than you know you will need – I ALWAYS pack around double the amount of insulin and equipment than I know I will need. You never know what could happen whilst you’re away. You want to make sure you have enough to last you for potentially delayed flights or any other situation that could (but hopefully wouldn’t) arise. It’s completely fine to pop your supplies in your suitcase because you don’t want it all clogging up your hand luggage space, just the bits you need at the time.
  4. If you’re traveling with a partner/friend or in a group put some of your medication in someone else’s suitcase – If your suitcase gets lost you don’t want to be completely and utterly screwed. I would always advise packing some of your medication in a friend’s case. As said before, you don’t know what could happen!
  5. Inactive insulin can survive out of the fridge for up to 1 month, however if you want to keep your pens cool get a Frio Wallet – Frio Wallets are so handy to pop in your bag and take with you on holiday! They are material wallets that have an outer and inner pouch. The inner pouch is filled with tiny crystals that when submerged in water for a certain amount of time expand into a cool gel. The insulin pens are kept inside the inner pouch and are kept completely cool by the wallet for up to 45 hours. You just need to submerge them in water again to make them cool. You can buy them online here: https://friouk.com/
  6. If you have a small Sharps Bin then take it with you – You never want to have your used needles and lancets lying around or cluttering up your wallets. If you have a small Sharps Bin, then take it with you in your suitcase. It’s just much easier to keep all of your used sharps together and a lot safer for everyone around you too. If you don’t have a small Sharps Bin you can purchase one online, get one from your Doctors surgery or you can just use a secure bag (ziplock bags are good) to pop all your used bits inside.
  7. Don’t forget your hypo kit – Remember, for an abundance of diabetics, hot weather can make your blood sugar plummet which obviously results in unwanted hypos. Make sure you take more than enough hypo treatments abroad with you so you always know you’ll have something to quickly grab if needs be. Dextrose tablets are probably best for this especially as they are so small and easy to pop in your bag.
  8. Set alarms on your phone – Especially if you need to be taking insulin (for example Levemir or Lantus) at a particular time. You don’t want to get caught up in all your exciting holiday activities and completely forget about your insulin!
  9. Use My Fitness Pal to help with any foreign foods – I mean, we can’t all get it right all the time when we’re on holiday as we can have a lot of alien foods that we’re not so accustomed to, so carb counting can become difficult. You really will have to use your head when eating at your hotel or in restaurants. However, if you’re buying things from a supermarket the My Fitness Pal app may be a big help to get your carb counting right!
  10. Really do consider how long you’re going abroad for – I know this isn’t the best thing you would want to hear, however really do think about how long you’re going to be away for because places with a very high altitude sky rocket your blood sugar. I remember being away in Ethiopia for 2 and a half weeks and I became so poorly from the high altitude raising my blood sugar. Unbeknownst to me I didn’t have a clue about the high altitude and Diabetes combination, so I really would recommend doing your research!

Now, I think that’s most things covered. At the end of the day, it’s all just about being sensible. Just make sure you’re covered and you have enough of every thing. Just use your head and look after number 1. No one wants to be ill or at a loss whilst on holiday!

If anyone does need any further advice for traveling with Diabetes, please don’t hesitate to tweet me @emma_bostock. Alternatively, if anyone has any great travel advice for diabetics tweet me that too!

 

 

 

 

 

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