All About Diabetes > Living With Diabetes > Travelling


Even though diabetes maybe a life altering condition, it need not cost you your entire travelling lifestyle. diabetes does not have to keep you grounded. You can follow your passion anywhere, as long as you bring the right supplies and plan ahead.

Here are some important things to keep in mind, before you take insulin with you on your next vacation.

Getting ready:

  • If you are traveling to a different time zone, talk to your healthcare provider about when you should take your insulin shots.
  • Ensure that you carry written prescriptions for your insulin and diabetes pills, in case you need to get more while you are away.
  • If you are traveling to another country, get a list of International Diabetes Federation groups in that country. They should be able to help you fill a prescription and find a healthcare provider in an emergency.
  • If you are travelling to a country where the locals do not speak a language that you know, then learn how to ask the following in case of a diabetes emergency, "I have diabetes." and "Sugar or orange juice, please."

Tips on packing your diabetes medication and insulin:

  • You are permitted to carry on your liquid and gel prescription medications, even if they are in containers greater than 3.4 ounces.
  • Be sure that your medications are labelled, so they are identifiable.
  • Pack at least twice as much medicine and blood-testing supplies. Pack at least half of these in your carry-on bag and keep it with you.
  • Remember to pack your oral medications, blood testing supplies and a blood glucose meter-plus extra batteries for the glucose meter.
  • If you are spending time in the sun or if you are holidaying in a warm country, take a travel pack to keep your insulin cool.
  • Carry snacks - sugarless biscuits and cheese, a juice box, and some hard sugar candy in case you need to raise your blood sugar quickly during an emergency.

How to handle your medication during Airport Screening:

  • Before going through a security check at the airport, inform the screener that you have diabetes and that you are carrying supplies with you.
  • It would be recommended that you request a visual screening of your insulin materials, rather than scanning them. You can also request a visual body screening, if you are carrying an insulin pump.
  • The name on your prescription medications should match the name on your boarding pass. If they do not match, the security officers will demand for an explanation for the same.

Steps to take before you fly and after you land:

  • When you make your reservation, you can request the airline you are travelling by to arrange for a special meal for you, which is low in sugar, fat and cholesterol.
  • Keep snacks handy in your carry-on bag, in case the airline is not able to arrange for the special meal you requested.
  • Check your blood sugar level as soon as you land because jet lag can make it hard to tell if your sugar level is very high or very low.

Once you arrive from your trip:

  • Check your blood sugar often, especially if you are more active or eating more than usual.
  • Keep snacks in you handbag and carry them with you everywhere. Food might not be available everywhere you go.
  • Vials and cartridges of Lantus® do not have to be refrigerated while you are away (for up to 28 days). However, ensure that they are not stored in a place that is very hot or very cold.
  • Be alert to changes in the appearance of your insulin or changes in your insulin needs. If needed, contact your doctor for advice about this.


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