Packing for a Trip

A letter from your doctor is recommended if you want to carry your needles onboard
A letter from your doctor is recommended if you want to carry your needles onboard

If you have diabetes, packing your bags takes a small amount of extra preparation.

However, along with booking a flight and getting diabetes travel insurance, it's the key ingredient to a successful holiday.

Packing diabetes medication

Depending on the length of your trip, the rule of thumb amongst experienced travellers is to provide yourself with a ‘buffer’ of extra medication or insulin.

If you are going for a short trip, take double your medication if you can, that way you are covered in case of flight delays, volcanic ash clouds, or similar acts of God.

Most doctors in the UK will provide you with an advance supply of medication if you require it.

A buffer of extra medication will give you the time you need to find appropriate supplies locally, although if you are going somewhere more remote then it may be worth taking extra precautions.

Remember also, your carefully prepared supplies are no good if your bag gets lost, keep them close.

Extra test strips

Extra blood glucose testing strips can be an important addition to your luggage.

Overseas travel can be stressful, hot and exhausting. Keeping extra testing strips allows you to keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels, which may be under greater pressure than during your normal home-testing routine.

Diabetes packing list

This is a recommended diabetes packing list. You can add or ignore items depending on your individual circumstances.

  • Blood glucose meter (small, reliable travel type meter with spare batteries) and test/disposal kit
  • Supply of test strips to cover your trip
  • Medical alert identification
  • ICE (emergency) number stored in phone
  • GP contact details
  • Letter from your doctor
  • Copy of diabetes prescriptions
  • Emergency/hypo kit
  • Snacks

Insulin packing list

  • Short and long acting insulin
  • Insulin delivery device such as a pen or insulin pump
  • Spare pen and needles
  • Insulin storage wallet with cooling

Additional diabetes packing list

  • Ketone test strips (if prescribed)
  • Fast acting carbohydrates
  • Longer acting carbohydrates
  • Diabetes emergency kit including antiseptic cream, icepack, anti-diarrhoea medication, paracetamol, thermometer, any specific medication you need, contact details of emergency services and your GP

Further tips for packing for your trip

  • Pack extra snacks in case of journey delays
  • Include all medication in hand luggage if possible and a doctor’s letter
  • Know basic first aid and carry a first aid kit
  • Conceal all valuables
Explore Diabetes and Travel