November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s also the start of the holiday travel season. To help you prepare for both, the board-certified podiatrists at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists offer the following pro tips to help ensure safe travels for you — and your feet.
Before taking off
Whether you’re hitting the highway on a road trip to the mountains or jetting off for an exotic island holiday, before leaving, here’s what you need to do:
- Check your feet for cuts, blisters, or sores, and have your podiatrist tend to any issues before traveling.
- Break in new shoes ahead of time to avoid blisters and other foot irritations.
- Maintain blood sugar levels in check before your trip.
- Load up on diabetes-related supplies, including medications and testing strips.
If you’re flying to your destination, pack your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag to avoid scrambling if your luggage is lost or delayed.
Your packing list
Don’t forget these essentials:
- Moisture-wicking socks
- Orthotics, if prescribed
- Moisturizing foot cream
- Bandages and antiseptic to treat any minor cuts and scrapes promptly
- Glucometer and extra diabetes-related supplies in case of delays
Traveling to cold or warm climates requires specific prep.
Cold climate preparation
When venturing to more frigid regions, bear in mind the following:
- Bundle up in layers to maintain adequate blood flow to your feet.
- Enhance insulation by wearing thermal socks and waterproof, insulated boots.
- Stay vigilant for signs of frostbite, including numbness, tingling, or changes in skin color; seek warmth promptly if you experience symptoms of frostbite.
Warm climate preparation
For sunny destinations, you’ll need to safeguard your feet in the following ways:
- Apply sunscreen generously to protect against sunburn.
- Remain well-hydrated and opt for breathable footwear or sandals to prevent excessive sweating, which can lead to fungal infections.
- Avoid going barefoot.
- Routinely examine your feet for insect bites or stings that may become infected if left untreated.
Medication and Supplies:
Take special care with your diabetes medications and supplies:
Shield insulin, diabetes medications, and test strips from direct sunlight and heat. Keep these essentials in a cooler, but avoid direct contact with ice or a gel pack.
Traveling with diabetes may take extra planning, but shouldn’t be a liability. For a pre-travel foot check and all of your foot care needs, contact the location nearest you by phone to schedule an appointment or book online today. We have offices conveniently located in Bradenton, Sarasota, University Park, and Ellenton, FL.