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Basic Knowledge

Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes

By in Basic Knowledge

Traveling with diabetes requires planning.  Here a few steps to take to make sure diabetes takes the back seat on your trip.

Pack extra supplies – Make sure to bring double of everything you need for diabetes management. Pack two sets of supplies in different bags in case one of your bags gets lost. If you are flying, all of your supplies should be packed in your carry-on.

Supplies to Pack

  • insulin
  • test strips
  • syringes
  • lancets
  • pump/cgm supplies
  • batteries
  • glucose tablets
  • glucagon
  • snacks

Keep insulin at a safe temperature – Remember that insulin doesn’t work properly if it is kept too hot or too cold. Unopened insulin should be refrigerated and opened pens and vials can be kept at room temperature (86 degrees Fahrenheit or less). Use a cooler or insulated bag, such as a FRIO, to protect insulin from hot temperatures.

Get a doctor’s note – A note from your doctor saying that you have diabetes can make the airport security process go a little smoother. It should explain that you need to carry supplies like insulin and syringes and why you are wearing a pump or CGM.

Understand Security and Carry-on Policies – Diabetes technology should never be exposed to x-ray, so never place these devices on the belt when going through security.  Also, if an airline employee asks you to check your carry-on bag, tell them politely, but firmly that it contains medical supplies you need to have access to during the flight.  Smaller planes cannot fit a roller board suitcase in the overheard compartment and will need to be checked.  Make sure to pack your carry-on supplies in something that can remain with you the entire flight.

Adjust devices to time zone changes – Make sure to change your meter, pump or CGM to your new time zone so the correct dosages are given.

Medical Alert Bracelet –In case you are unable to communicate, wearing a medical alert bracelet will tell others of your medical condition.


Updated 7/27/22

Disclaimer: This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.