A complete guide to managing diabetes on holiday


Are you a newly-diagnosed parent with diabetes seeking advice on how to remain active and enjoy your summer holidays? Or perhaps you are a parent looking for guidance on managing your child’s diabetes throughout this summer’s heatwave? Whatever your circumstances, this article is designed to equip you with our top tips for diabetes management without wreaking havoc on that all-important family time.

At Medpac, we understand the challenges newly-diagnosed diabetics face when battling to control their blood sugar levels. Guarding against hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic attacks is an essential part of maintaining a stable, healthy lifestyle all year round. However, when you are travelling nationwide or overseas for your summer break, you’ll want to have peace of mind that the diabetes is under control and that essential medication is at hand in the hour of need.

Try to maintain the same daily routine

When you are away from home as a family, it’s important that you do your best to keep to the same daily schedule when it comes to dining. Try to keep meal times as normal as possible. Even if you eat more than you usually do at breakfast, don’t skip lunchtime completely; be sure to have enough to maintain your sugar levels. Be sure to factor in any daily exercise you normally do too. This could include any activities or games with your children, if necessary.

Keep hydrated

In this summer’s current heatwave, it is vital that you keep your body hydrated. This will maintain your overall health and wellbeing, not only your diabetes. However, recent research has claimed that those who consume more water will crave fewer calories. This is handy for diabetics that may need to be careful and lay off the carbohydrates at lunchtime or later in the evening.

Ration sweet treats

It’s all too easy to get carried away in the sunshine. An ice cream here, a bag of sweets there. However, too many sweet treats can send your blood sugars sky-high. Be sure to ration your sugary delights and incorporate them as part of your overall carbohydrate intake rather than alongside it.

Calling all adults: moderate alcohol intake

Did you know? Even drinking moderate amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach can dramatically lower blood sugar levels fast. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach on holiday and try to keep your intake to a premium. Savour every sip. Diabetes UK claim that you should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. This equates to six medium glasses of wine or six pints of lager.

Keep insulin accessible and at regulated temperatures

Of course, when you are out and about by the pool or beach, or out with the kids on daily excursions, you’ll want to ensure your insulin or tablets are easily accessible. Fortunately, our small insulated Medpacs are designed to store diabetic medications, complete with photo ID and treatment cards that can let members of the public know of your condition in a medical emergency. Furthermore, you can purchase Medpacs with a thermal inner lining, helping to regulate the temperature of insulin when transferring it from the fridge to your medication storage holder.

Check blood sugar levels more frequently

Whether you inject insulin or take tablets to keep your blood sugars in check, it’s always best to monitor your levels more frequently on holiday. If you are planning on a long drive or an all-day excursion, make sure levels are stable before setting off to avoid encountering any unwanted emergencies throughout the day.

Be smart when ordering meals in restaurants

Half of the fun of any summer holiday is eating out with your loved ones. You can still enjoy visiting restaurants even with diabetes; you just have to be a little more street-wise. Healthy options are increasingly available for main courses and sides. With the latter, avoid fried chips and instead ask for a baked or boiled potato. Steer clear of mashed potatoes and instead look for stir-fried, steamed or boiled vegetables as a healthy substitute.

Don’t let your diabetes win on holiday. Stick to the plan and start making memories that will last a lifetime.

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