How To Travel With Diabetes
By Nina Nazor
Plan your trip with your doctor
First of all, visit your doctor before you go on a trip so that he or she can help you
design a specific treatment plan for you. Take into account how many days you'll be away, what you'll be doing at
what time of day, and what food you'll eat. If you are on insulin, plan for time differences and synchronize your injections
Also, if you plan to travel outside the country, you might need to have some vaccinations about a
You should also get a letter from your doctor stating you have diabetes as well as prescriptions
for all the medications and supplies you need and are taking with you or that you may need to get in the place you’re
Respect the rules established by the relevant authorities
In the United States,
you have to notify air transport safety inspectors or personnel in advance that you will be traveling with items used for
the treatment of diabetes. The insulin or pills you take with you, as well as the lancets, syringes, and monitors must be
visible and clearly labeled, and the items must all be in their original packaging. You will also have to present the letter
and prescriptions you obtain from your doctor.
What to take with you:
Two glucose monitors, packed in different suitcases in case you lose one.
• Syringes, lancets, strips, and
enough medications in case of an emergency or if your trip ends up being longer than you expect.
• All the
medications you might need, with the corresponding prescriptions.
• Some form of easily carried sugar, such
as candy, glucose tablets or gel, or sugared soft drinks to prevent or treat hypoglycemia.
• Snacks such
as granola bars, crackers or sandwiches. But take into account that you can’t take fresh food with you if you are traveling
• A plan, drawn up by your doctor, of the steps to follow if you don't feel well during your
• Medications for controlling vomit or diarrhea and a small first-aid kit containing things like analgesics,
band-aids, gauze, etc. Remember that any cut or infection must be treated immediately because it will raise your blood sugar.
If it does not heal in a day or two, seek medical attention immediately, no matter where you are.
insurance papers, if you have this kind of insurance. Also make sure you have the relevant details regarding whom to contact
in case of an emergency.
• Your medical identification. It should state your name, which type of diabetes
you have, the medication you use, and whom to contact in an emergency.
• Pack everything you need for managing
your diabetes in your carry-on luggage. In other words, always keep it with you.
If you take insulin:
Make sure the insulin is kept in thermally insulated bags, and take at least two special bags for carrying it.
Remember to always carry glucose gel or tablets with you in case of hypoglycemia.
• If you walk a lot during
the day, watch out for the symptoms of hypoglycemia, especially at night.
• If you inject yourself with insulin
on board the plane, remember that the cabin is pressurized, so you will have to be careful to get the dose right when you
load the syringe.
If you control diabetes properly during your trip, you will enjoy it very much.
Finally, the last recommendation is: have fun!