We had our first international travel experience in July! I wasn’t to nervous about traveling with Joey’s diabetes supplies until we were stopped in the Milwaukee airport and questioned about the ice packs that we had in the cooler for the insulin! When it went through the x-Ray machine it looked funny to the agent. So he had to open and investigate it. Once they saw that it was for the insulin, plus we had our letter from our Endo, they let us through without further ado. I had preregistered with the TSA two days before, but it was the ice packs that caused the problem.
We were flying to Mexico for my daughter’s wedding. The excitement is met with fear as we are traveling to a country where we don’t speak the language. And carrying all of Joey’s type 1 diabetes supplies!
I know we aren’t the first ones traveling with T1D supplies to Mexico, I know we weren’t but it felt like we were! What if they give us a hard time? How would we communicate? In Milwaukee it was easy peasy because there wasn’t a communication factor.
After the short delay at our own airport, which isn’t a super busy one especially at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning, we were on our flight. One of the perks of traveling with type 1 is that Joey and one adult can board before anyone else. So we boarded and were able to save seats for Tony, Jenna and Joe. We chose the front of the plane in case there were any unforeseen issues like a low or high blood sugar.
We arrived in Cancun and my heart started beating faster. Will we make it through without delay?? We actually went through customs without a hitch except the form that I filled out while on the plane had something crossed off, so we got pulled off to the side, filled out the form correctly and were on our way! Whew! On the way out of Cancun the agent had us open the bag again to check out the ice packs. Next time we will rethink carrying a lunchbox size cooler and/or the type of ice packs. Because the insulin had been refrigerated we were trying to keep it at the same temperature.
We stayed in a condo in Cozumel, an island off of the coast. The first day we went to the grocery store to load up with all of Joeys staples, that way I didn’t worry about Joey not being able to find something to eat. Luckily he loves Mexican food, of course when in Mexico the food isn’t like Taco Bell! Most restaurants had American food choices. After shopping it was late, we’d gotten up at 5:00 am, and now it’s 8:00 pm, by now we were starving!! We walked across the street from the grocery store and had a delicious first meal in Mexico!
Overall Joey did great dosing, and we didn’t have any issues with high/low blood sugar. Our favorite restaurant was actually an Italian restaurant called Guido’s! The food was outstanding and if we ever return we’ll probably eat there every night!
Our first international trip was fantastic overall! It was super hot, which meant we had to keep Joey’s insulin cool, so we carried our cooler with us everywhere. Aside from that we we didn’t have any issues! We learned a lot for our next trip, which I hope is soon! We won’t be so nervous, although Joey says he isn’t traveling International anytime soon, so we’ll see!
I found a good article for travelers at Diabetes Forecast magazine.