Julia Crosthwaite, founder of Jules Gozo Holidays suggests a safe haven holiday for diabetics
Post Covid-19, travel still remains uncertain and for those who have diabetes, this is even more of a minefield to navigate when you have been shielding and restrictions lift. The thought of a summer holiday, an overseas vacation could be fraught with anxiety.
Where are the safest short-haul destinations and how do you ensure diabetes well being, once arrived?
Founder of Jules Gozo Holidays who has had diabetes (type 1) for over forty years shares her insights and advice as a travel expert and takes a look at why somewhere like Gozo could be the perfect ‘go-to’ for those looking for a safe, low risk and truly beautiful and magical destination that isn’t crowded and has everything you need.
Destination, The island of Gozo, Malta
Gozo is definitely one of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secrets. it’s 3 miles north of Malta, 150 miles south of Sicily, the island is only 9 by 5 miles, the equivalent of Manhattan! With an intriguing history of over 7000 years, Gozo is a Mediterranean gem of a much warmer climate, making it a worthy all-year destination. The earliest settlements in Gozo date back to around 5000BC. Since then, a succession of invaders, traders and settlers have shaped this unique island.
A small island with a huge personality, Gozo is rich in folklore, history, and culture. Rustic, charming and charismatic, with warm hospitality, describes the beautiful island of Gozo. Despite its deceptively small size, the Island residents nurture an unspoilt landscape and celebrate long-held traditions.
A third of the size of urbanised and developed Malta, Gozo’s character is quite distinct where this fishing and farming island offers greener countryside, steeper valleys, less populated bays and more spectacular scenery.
Why a haven for diabetics?
Malta and Gozo have one of the lowest contractions of Covid19 and normality is resuming on the island of Gozo. Plus, it has one of the highest track records in Europe for health and personal safety. Expect locals to leave keys in the car ignition, if blocking in another vehicle. This is an invitation to move it! There is a chemist in each village to deal with my blood testing hazards.
Gozo is recognised as a top diving destination with some of the safest and best beaches in the world (quote). An abundance of leisure activities invites you to explore scenic countryside and blue seas. A big lure for ramblers, cyclists, sea sports enthusiasts, food lovers, culture buffs, artists, yoga holiday buffs and health seekers. Typically, everyone.
Local food ranks the healthiest and tastiest in the Mediterranean. Gozo has its own twist and generations of recipes unique to the island. You will find foreign influences from centuries of territorial invasion. Gozo lends itself to cafes, bars, and restaurants with safe outdoor space.
For families with special occasions, we can even bring the chef to cook up a feast at your villa.
Gozo villas and farmhouses – “own” your space
Jules handpicks every property based on quality criteria – often farmhouses restored with original features of local limestone and arches. Most have a private swimming pool and idyllic countryside location. Renting a Gozo villa with a customised search for each holidaymaker is popular. Considering the pandemic, stringent regulations are now in place.
New safe cleaning guidelines.
New guidelines for sanitisation and disinfection are now in place. This means you are entering a safe property with instant private use and no need to “check” in.
Your own space
This is your personal space for the entire holiday. Versatile self-catering facilities, inside and out, include a fridge for insulin (I chill Coke for those “hypo” moments) and an outdoor BBQ. Great for social distancing with just with family and friends. Your private pool is not limited to a few swimmers at one time. Unlike hotel pools, it is your oyster.
Prior to travel
Before you travel, Dr Sarah Brewer, a medical director at Healthspan, an online wellbeing and supplement brand who is also the author of ‘Overcoming Diabetes’ says.
“People with diabetes have been one of the groups advised to shield so travel is something that needs to be carefully considered and choosing a destination that you already know and has the least barriers to consider would be advisable.”
- Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to travel
- Ensure you know what to do should you become ill while abroad
- Check what holiday vaccinations you need
- Make sure you have adequate travel and health insurance
- Take sufficient medication with you to cover the holiday and any possible travel delays
- Pack medication in your hand luggage – not in the hold
- Drink plenty of fluids while travelling and when in hot climates to maintain hydration
- Don’t overindulge in rich food or alcohol
- Reap the wonders of the food in Gozo and follow a healthy diet when away with plenty of fresh fruit, veg, fish, nuts, seeds etc – a Mediterranean get-away makes it easy to follow a Mediterranean style diet!