Road Tripping as Type 2’s: Preparing for your trip
Road trips are an internationally beloved pastime, especially in the States. Road trips allow you to spend time together while having a flexible travel pace.
- You can discover hidden gems around the country for an affordable price.
- You can change your mind along the way and enjoy being in charge of your own itinerary!
- You are free to bring everything you want for a comfortable trip without worrying about hidden baggage fees and such.
But of course, there are the cons too.
All trips have their ups and downs. To help keep it smooth, it's best to prepare ahead-- especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
So before your trip begins, there are a few ways to prepare for your trip that will help make your trip much more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.
Here's some tips to get you prepared.
1. Packing / Parking / Car Storage
Whether you love or hate packing. Doing it ahead of time and well thought out will save you money, time and effort. Pack your road trip essentials in easy to reach storage bags and containers.
Reusable water containers
Pack and use reusable water containers to refill at water stations in rest stops. It is so important to stay hydrated on your trip.
1. Bring your glucose monitor with extra batteries, a backup monitor for emergencies, plenty of lancets, and a pack of cleaning wipes.
2. Be sure to bring all of your medications and pack an extra three days’ worth of medicine just in case something unexpected happens. If you use insulin, keep it in a cooling case.
3. You might also want to bring a medical alert bracelet.
Remember: Don’t pack your important medical items in an area that risks over heating them or where they'll be difficult to reach such as the glove box, or in the trunk in your luggage.
To combat the summer heat for medication safe-keeping, keep your car parked in shady spots when you have to leave it. You may also wish to bring a cooler to store your meds, supplements, and such.
Gas stations and rest stops can be a junk foodie's paradise!
Plan your snacks ahead so that you can keep your calories monitored so you don’t get in a tough spot without healthy choices. You can check out our favorite trail mix ideas here.
We recommend that you pack fresh fruit and veggies including:
- and other things that are good for on the go.
If you have your cooler, bring a few:
- hard boiled eggs
- a jar of your favorite nut butter (check if it must be refrigerated or if it can handle the temperature changes)
- and/or tahina to go with your veggies for added nutrients like protein and calcium.
2. Stress or Discomfort
Road trips take time! Know your plan, your road trip route ahead, but be flexible.
Find your groove and personal road trip routine. Download your favorite audiobooks or podcasts and your favorite albums to cruise with.
Don’t be afraid to take turns with other drivers and switch it up. Make sure that everyone is insured with temporary insurance and has permission to be the designated driver. The most dangerous thing for a road tripper is driving while tired or ignoring your needs for food, water, rest or any other discomforts.
To avoid discomfort make sure you are stocked with comfortable clothing and have general rules for when you take breaks.
General advice is to take a 15 minute rest every two to three hours to beat tiredness. Find a route that includes safe places to take these regular breaks. Checking potential stops in advance will allow you to pick out any places of interest you might want to visit along the way to your final destination. Stretching your legs in a safe place is a great opportunity to hand over driving duties to a friend or family member as well.
3. Tough on Your Car
Your vehicle is the tool that supports your safe and fun trip. Carry out pre-road trip car maintenance checks so you don’t get stuck in a tough spot. Ask an expert's opinion, if your car is too old or having issues, consider a rental for the trip! It’s possible that a mid-trip check is in order and don’t forget to check your tires, and fluids at each stop.
An obvious part of all traveling, including taking road trips, are the unexpected surprises that can cause stress. These require some flexibility and maybe even a change of plans! Let these unexpected issues turn into opportunities to effectively handle stress, grow your problem solving skills and self confidence.
Road Trip Takeaway
With summer break approaching and people planning their road trip adventures, we encourage type 2’s to prepare properly. When you're prepared, you can sit back, roll down your windows, and enjoy your trip of a lifetime!
Learn more tips for getting out with Type 2 from people just like you.
Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community on Facebook and connect with thousands of other diabetics around the world as we thrive this summer!