Whilst managing diabetes can feel arduous at times, it doesn’t need to be a barrier to enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

Going on holiday, whether that is staying in the UK or heading for sunnier shores, is still possible with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. As with all of life’s adventures, however, it is best to be prepared.


Travelling with your medicine

  • Talk to your GP and ask for a letter that contains details of your diabetes, your medication and any equipment you may be carrying. Keep this with your diabetes ID.
  • Take twice as much medicine as you would normally use for how long you’re away for.
  • If you are going to cross time zones or be in a very hot or very cold climate, talk to your nurse or GP about how to manage your dosages.
  • Pack your medication into separate bags in case a piece of luggage gets lost. Don’t forget to put some medication into your hand luggage too!
  • Before you travel, find out where you can get supplies of your insulin abroad - remember, it may have a different name outside of the UK!
  • If you’re travelling to a hot country - or even the UK in the summer months! - your insulin needs to be kept cool. FRIO's pouches keep in-use insulin and other temperature sensitive medicines cool and safe, between 18-26°C for a minimum of 45 hours. We’ve negotiated a 10% discount just for MedicAlert members - click the button below and enter MEDA10 at checkout!

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FRIO and MedicAlert
Image courtesy of @little_hc


Keep yourself safe

  • Make sure you know where the nearest hospital is. Whilst it’s unlikely that you will need to visit, it is always best to be prepared.
  • Learn key phrases that may assist you. These may be asking for a particular snack you rely on at home, letting someone know you have diabetes or asking for a doctor to be called.
  • Make sure you wear your MedicAlert ID jewellery at all times. The 24/7 emergency line can provide your full medical record, with the translation service available in over 100 languages and dialects.

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Enjoying the break

  • Pack snacks for each journey you take, in case there are any delays.
  • Stay hydrated! This will look after your general health (and your skin too!) whilst reducing cravings for carb-heavy meals.
  • Make the most of local fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal.
  • Be smart when it comes to sweet treats - swap ice cream for lighter options like frozen yoghurt or fat-free jelly.
  • Alcohol makes hypos more likely, especially for those on insulin or some Type 2 medications. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach and have a starchy snack before bed if you do drink.
  • Choose your drinks wisely - sip on spirits with diet mixers! If you can, avoid sugary cocktails or beers.
  • Stay active. It may be tempting to camp out by the pool all day, but a little activity can help type 1 diabetes to require less medication and support general health too!

With the sun, sand and sea beckoning - and city breaks too - make sure you’re prepared now. All that’s left to do is to choose the perfect book to read whilst you relax!


Raising A Toast

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