Traveling for the Holidays with Diabetes

It’s that time of year, the holidays are upon us. In the US, we are celebrating Thanksgiving and then Christmas is around the corner. Frequently the holidays involve traveling to see family. With diabetes, that’s a whole extra suitcase sometimes.

Here’s my tips on traveling with diabetes:

  • Make a list that can be a permanent list so you do not have to re-create it when you travel. This can be a paper list or on your phone.
  • Plan to take extra supplies in case of an emergency. Plan for the unexpected, such as  getting delayed by a storm and having to spend the night in the airport.
  • If your are flying:
    • Plan for extra time to go through security.
    • Find out from your insulin pump company about special precautions. Most insulin pumps and CGM’s can not be removed and sent through the x-ray machine.
    • Get a medical note saying you are allowed to carry diabetes related supplies
    • Wear a medical ID. Here’s some cute ones.
    • Do not pack all your supplies in one checked bag. If you are having to pack insulin pump supplies in a checked bag, try and divide up between bags in case a bag gets lost.
    • To avoid the above problem, carry on all your diabetes supplies. Especially if you have layovers, you may need insulin and meters and other supplies.
  • Get a carbohydrate counting app such as Calorie King or the Calorie King book.
  • Get a Frio or other cooling bag for carrying insulin.
  • Have a back up plan if you are on a pump and your pump fails. Always carry syringes even when on a pump.
  • Always wear a medical alert ID.

Here’s my Travel List:

  • Insulin (I take an extra in case one gets broken)
  • Meter and strips plus extra meters
  • Insulin pump supplies
  • Alcohol wipes and Skin Tac wipes
  • Ketone urine strips and Ketone Blood Meter (Here’s info on ketones and meters)
  • Glucagon
  • Ziplock bags in case something needs to be put in ice so it doesn’t get all wet, such as a pump or insulin bottles)
  • Candy, juice boxes, glucose tabs, and other low blood sugar foods.
  • Snacks such as granola bars.
  • Frio Bag for keeping insulin cool.
  • Back up syringes
  • Batteries for pump or meter if needed
  • Phone numbers for doctor.
  • Medical alert ID
  • Medical papers if needed for flying

Author photo
Publication date:
Author: Carol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *