Bags packed? Check. Made it to the airport? Check. Boarded the plane? Check. Touchdown? Check. I’ve made it through the actual travel part of my trip. Yay! But after all that, I’ve still got a routine to follow, even though I’ve reached my destination.
It’s pretty straightforward, really. I simply need to determine where to keep my diabetes supplies for the duration of my stay. If I’m in a hotel room, I locate the mini fridge and stash my insulin vials in there. I tend to keep everything else (pods, swabs, etc.) out of plain sight in order to avoid attracting attention from housekeeping. I mean, if I was going in and out of hotel rooms all day long and noticed that one contained a bag filled with needles, I’d probably get a little suspicious. So this means my other supplies live in my suitcase for the week, in an easily accessible pocket.
It’s easier if I’m going to be visiting with friends or family. I still find a fridge to home my insulin, but I worry less about “hiding” my supplies. I’m able to keep them in a spot that’s convenient for me, which helps make site changes throughout my trip a smoother process.
Speaking of site changes, I find them particularly annoying when I’m on vacation. It feels like I have to plan a day – or several days in a row – around the fact that I’ve got an upcoming site change. But planning is a part of T1D management, so I’ve come to accept that I need to be diligent with scheduling activities and meals around it.
Sometimes site changes are no big deal on a trip, other times they’re a whole event (like when my mom and I went to Disney and had to change our pods in the parks – going into a family bathroom to do it was not overly fun). And other, more seldom times, site changes are reminders of why it’s so important to pack extra supplies on a trip.
Case in point: My family and I went on a Caribbean cruise a few years ago. It was an amazing vacation, but also one that presented a few challenges regarding diabetes. I was spending a lot of time in the sun and on beaches, and that took a toll on my pods a couple of times. I had to rip off pods prematurely twice on this trip and replace them with my backups. Thank goodness I had thought to bring a pod for every single day of the vacation (seven days, seven pods) – because I wound up using five of them. So I never feel badly about obsessively packing tons of extra supplies that I might not necessarily use, because I never know when they’ll come in handy.
Travelbetes. It can be kinda complicated; hence, it requires its own word. But it’s worth it in the end, because my choice to travel independently with diabetes shows that it won’t stop me from seeing new places.