This involves some advance planning. While traveling by car allows for more flexibility with food, it is not so should you choose to fly. The airline food is not necessarily the healthiest. BuzzFeed website provides information of airline meals for 20 airlines with examples for economy and a few other classes; the difference is mainly in presentation, yet nothing is screaming about low carbs.
But not all is lost. A little advance preparation goes a long way if done at the time of booking your flight. You can try requesting a special meal. This feature is available with several airlines. British Airways for example, offer about a dozen of special meals however, not all of these are available on all flights. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a certain special meal would be available on your flight, but the airlines “will do their best”, whatever that means. Still, it’s worth it to give it a try.
Did you know that you can carry a doctor’s letter alerting the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) to the fact that you have diabetes and that you have to carry insulin, syringes, test strips and other supplies? If you’re on insulin, you need to make sure your bottles have the pharmacy labels. And of course, CGM (continuous glucose monitor), if any. As of this writing, I am unaware of this being implemented for type 2 diabetes, however Medtronics company is just as happy pushing this issue for type 2 just as well.
Crossing Time Zones
This can affect your insulin dosages. However it’s very individual so your best bet is to discuss this with your doctor. You can get a general idea of how air travel can affect your diabetes by using Diabetes Travel Calculator.
This is yet another concern. You really don’t want your insulin supplies vanish or having been stored in the cargo area as it can get pretty chilly there at 30,000 feet. The safest solution to this is to carry everything you need in a bag that you’ll have on you at all times.
It is important to alert a flight attendant about your diabetes at the boarding time. Not much details are necessary but just let them know that you might need soda or juice if you experience a hypo.
Change in pressure
This happens during takeoff and landing which can make the pump to deliver more insulin. You don’t want this to happen so you just disconnect the device during these times, and reconnect again once the plane is in the cruising altitude.
Checking your BG
Make sure that you have enough wipes to clean your hands before doing a fingerstick. Per chance you forgot, use this trick. Lance your finger, squeeze a drop of blood and then wipe it away. Repeat again once or twice before taking a reading. I have confirmed this when checking fasting BG at home; the results vary greatly depending on whether or not I washed my hands prior to sticking.
And of course, don’t forget your passport. Happy flying!