Well, not exactly a summer holiday, but it’s almost summer here in the Southern Hemisphere.
No weigh-in today because my husband and I are on a road trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Road trips are a new thing for us and we have done a few now. It’s a really great way to see the country and get away from the daily grind.
Unfortunately there are also logistical considerations when traveling with a health issue.
Travelling with diabetes is more than just making sure you have your medication with you. There are numerous things that we need to take into account, especially as we are spending a lot of time in the car.
Snacks and Water
Typically the first day of our road trip is the longest and has the least amount of stops. We have learned from experience to buy water to take with us. This time we took two slabs of 24 x 600ml bottles. We put some in the fridge the night before and packed them in an esky. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you are sitting in the car with the air conditioning on.
Another tip is to pack healthy snacks. Nuts and fruit are great. This time we bought trail mix in bulk and then measured it out into little baggies. This has the dual benefits of being convenient and ensuring that you don’t eat too much in one sitting. We also had apples and mandarins – nature’s prepackaged snack foods.
It’s also a tradition of ours to make sandwiches for that first day. Having a pre-made lunch means not having to run the gauntlet of fast food. Fast food is a sure way to derail blood sugar levels.
You might not think that you would need to take accommodation into consideration. In my case, I have to think about it because I need to make sure that wherever we stay it has an ensuite. I get up two to three and sometimes four times a night to go to the bathroom. The last thing I want to be doing in the middle of the night is walking down the hall in a strange place in my pyjamas looking for a bathroom. The added fact that my diet will inevitably change during a vacation only adds to the amount of times I have to get up through the night. One of the very first things we look at when booking accommodation is what the bathroom situation is.
This is probably one of the hardest. While most accommodation places have an ensuite, not all of them have kitchens and those that do can be more expensive. This means eating out and that is like walking through a minefield blindfolded. Eating out once a week is not a problem but having to do it nearly every morning, noon and night while on holidays can play havoc on sugar levels.
We overcome the whole breakfast issue by taking breakfast cereal with us. Individual packets of microwaveable porridge is like a godsend. Muesli is also a good option. UHT milk travels well and you can get them in little tetra packs that mean you don’t have to cart open bottles of milk with you.
Lunch and dinner aren’t so easy. If there is a kitchen available, we try to go to a local supermarket and grab stuff to make our evening meals. Lunch is pretty much a crap shoot.
Making sure you get enough exercise while on a road trip is tricky. The last trip we did, I made it a point to take us places where we could do some walking. This time we are making sure to walk for at least 30mins every morning before breakfast. I’ve found that walking around a town is a great way to get to know the town. We love looking at the different houses and gardens – in a completely non-creepy way of course.
I have a Fitbit which not only counts my steps but also reminds me when I haven’t moved in a while. It has also become a bit of a game to see if I can get the reward badges for moving and steps.
As for whether I can maintain my weight while away, this won’t be determined until I get home. I’m trying to balance watching what I eat with enjoying this time away. Food can play such a big part in our leisure time so it can be challenging to feel like you are not being deprived when you are trying to eat responsibly. It is all about balance and not being too hard on yourself.