I haven’t written here in a very long time (it feels like) and so I probably haven’t updated the fact that I just got back from a 2-week vacation in Europe! I was gone for 15 days and flew into Paris to spend a day/night there by myself and then flew to Vienna the next day and met up with a girlfriend I have that lives here (who used to intern at my job!) and we did a road trip to see pretty much all of Austria, had a 3-day pit stop in Venice, Italy and a quick 2-hour visit to Germany (Chiemsee!) and I got home two nights ago.
It was a really busy 2-weeks and required a lot of eating on the go, some biking, a lot of walking (we averaged 14km per day), some mountain hiking (and by some I mean ONE mountain lol) and some delicious wine.
It was the first major trip I’ve done (I’ve done England and Mexico too but not for nearly as long) so it definitely required some planning in terms of diabetes management. It was also the first time that I’ve travelled while using the Dexcom CGM and it was definitely a staple in my travels and made it so much easier. I can’t even begin to tell you how it was just so much more convenient while travelling… not having to carry my glucometer with me everywhere freed up so much more space in my purse, it was great! I also didn’t need to worry about finding a place to stop and sit to test, I just had to look at my phone – honestly, it was so easy. It’s probably the easiest thing I’ve used in terms of managing diabetes. ESP while travelling!
I’ve gathered some fun tips and things to remember when travelling if you’re a t1d like me!
Make sure to adjust the date and time on your insulin pump (if you use one) – It took me 1-2 days to remember that my pump doesn’t automatically adjust the date/time as our phones do. If you have multiple different basal/bolus time slots then this is super important because you don’t want to be getting day time basal at night and vice versa, obviously. Set a reminder in your phone for when you land in your final destination time zone and adjust your pump accordingly.
Keep all diabetic supplies in your carry on – and bring extras! – If you use a pump make sure to apply for a loaner pump to bring with you in case anything happens to yours. Bring syringes and extra insulin, glucose tablets, Dexcom supplies and alcohol wipes! Glucose tabs are really great to carry with you if you’re doing a lot of walking too just to make sure sugars don’t go low. Having these with you in your carry on insures that the airline won’t lose the supplies if they lose your luggage. Boom.
Reduce your bolus amounts if need be. I found that with walking around a lot, I didn’t need to bolus my normal amount for the food I was eating. This is more of a trial and error type of thing but I think most people would find the same. I also found out that eating freshly made pasta doesn’t require the same amount of insulin as the boxed stuff does. I’m not sure why, I actually have no idea, but again that’s probably a personal thing so some people may or may not experience the same thing! Either way, it’s so important to pay attention to those details to help set you up for success!
Keep emergency orange juice by your bed at night. If you’re travelling with someone, it’s such a good habit to keep emergency orange juice by the bed at night in case your blood sugar drops after all the activity is done for the day. I had one with me and carried it in my suitcase just in case, luckily I never ended up having to use it! I could probably guarantee, however, that if I didn’t have it with me something would have happened – amirite?
All in all, this was hands out the best time, I had so much fun and saw so much stuff I almost needed a vacation from my vacation when I got back. This was the first time I had experienced hard jet lag and it took me a long time to get over, so kudos to those of you who experience it often lol.
Sigh – now I’m wondering where my next trip is going to take me… any recommendations? 🙂