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5 Tips for Diabetics on Long Road Trips

Don't Be a Road Worrier

While the open road can be a gateway to adventure, it can also be a minefield for the traveling diabetic. Make sure to keep a list of all special requirements you or your child might have, including dietary restrictions, and have that list readily available at all times (in the case of a car accident, medical personnel will want as much information as possible).

Keep copies of all medical prescriptions with you -- on your person, not just in the car -- and readily available. In a similar vein, all supplies, such as syringes, insulin pumps and glucagon kits, should have pre-printed manufacturer labels. Keep all medications and supplies close by, in an insulated bag or cooler.

Much like your pre-trip visit to the doctor's office, take your vehicle in for a check-up at least a week before leaving. If you're traveling to regions that often feature extreme climates -- especially high temperatures -- ask your local service station or dealer to pay special attention to the air conditioning unit and engine coolant. A roadside breakdown that is an inconvenience to some can be treacherous for a diabetic.

To keep your vehicle and on-board medications cool while parked in the sun, invest in inexpensive solar shades for the windows. To avoid delays such as getting lost or stuck in traffic jams, which can tax your vehicle and your body, invest in a reliable GPS mapping system. Auto clubs -- like AAA -- can provide updated maps to help you avoid heavy construction areas.

Likewise, make sure your cell phone is always charged, and take an extra battery.

While traveling, make your hotel a home away from home. We'll tell you how on the next page.