miniature airplane on holiday tree

Things that come with a holiday trip – trying new foods, eating at different times and being more active (or less) than normal – can all have an impact on your diabetes management.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take the trip. (You totally should.)

“You just have to plan ahead,” said Nancy Klug, diabetes educator at Tucson Medical Center. “The more you do, the more you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your trip.”

Here are 10 ways to ensure you feel your best while on holiday:

Get a checkup before your trip to make sure you know how planned activities might affect your diabetes and how to adjust your insulin dose if you’re in another time zone. Also, ask your doctor to write a letter stating that you have diabetes and why you need your medical supplies; and to give prescriptions for medications in case you lose them or run out.

Get a medical ID bracelet that states you have diabetes.

Pack your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag if you’re flying.

Bring twice as much medicine as you think you’ll need (make sure it’s in the pharmacy bottles).

If you’re flying, get an optional TSA notification card to help the screening process go more smoothly.

If you’re driving, pack a cooler with healthy snacks and water. Keep your insulin in there, too. Just don’t put it directly on the ice pack. If you’re flying, order a special meal that fits your meal plan or pack one.

Get out of the car and walk every hour or two. If you’re flying, get up and walk up and down the aisle a few times.

Set your alarm for taking medicine. It can be easy to forget while you’re out and about.

If you plan on being more active than normal, keep close watch on your blood sugar and make adjustments to food and insulin as needed.

If you’re traveling to another country, learn the language enough to say helpful phrases such as “where is the nearest pharmacy” or “I have diabetes.”

TMC offers a variety of diabetes education opportunities, including free sessions and support that cover many topics. You can also download PDF files of our Diabetes Management Handbook and Living with Diabetes While Pregnant at no cost. Go online to for more information.