Diabetes Travel Tips: A Traveller's Checklist

Travel tips from a diabetic traveller
Travel tips from a diabetic traveller

It’s summertime, and the living is easy, or so the song goes. However, one of the issues that really irritates people with diabetes – and those who care for them – is the hassle involved in taking your diabetes on holiday.

At least it's portable

OK, we’re all lucky to be able to travel at all – our condition, whether type 1 or type 2 , is to a very great extent ‘portable’.

But, unlike most other travelers, we have to pack a bunch of extra stuff, some of which we have to remember to stock up on weeks ahead of taking our trip.

Don't forget your spares

Not only should you take all your normal kit, you also need to take spares. Then you need to consider how best to carry it. 

If you’re going in the car, then you’ve got space, by comparison to packing – say – for a flying on a budget airline.

Budget or not, the real issue with take a flight is the business of getting you and your diabetes kit through security.

Keeping it with you

Keep all your medical supplies with you – you really don’t want to lose this stuff when you’re in transit, that really will put a bit of a downer on your get-away break.

When flying, do not put insulin in luggage that goes in the hold, as it could freeze. When in the cabin insulin will be fine – it does not need additional cooling, you just need to avoid extreme hot or cold.

If you are uncomfortably hot or cold, then so is your insulin if it is with you.

You’d be well-advised to put a list together such as this one.

You can copy this and amend it, even print if off, so that it’s a list of your particular items (we all have different medications and kit).

You can put on your own things to remember, which should include things like phone charger and camera charger as well.

Check and check again!

About three weeks before you go you need to double-check that you have enough spare insulin and spare blood test strips to see you up to your holiday, through it and enough so you’ve got time to get back to you GP for more supplies when you get back.

You might find that having a specific diabetes carry case or kitbag is useful for travel. I carry my usual Desang Slim kitbag in my handbag at all times.

As I’m also on a pump, I carry a spare infusion set with me as well.  Just in case.

Got your kit bag?

When I was still using injection pens, I carried a spare Desang Classic Kitbag also in my hand luggage, so that I had a spare blood test machine, spare sensors, spare insulin and spare insulin pens.

Now I’m on an insulin pump I take a Desang Roll-up kitbag in my hand luggage so that I have spare reservoirs, infusion sets, an inserter, a bottle (or bottles) of insulin as well as some spare pump batteries.

Travel guide written by Diabetes Expert: Sue Marshall.