Diabetes and Travel

Keep the list below in your luggage and another copy in your wallet or purse. Ideally, try to stabilize your blood glucose levels before leaving. In case of instability or complications, avoid destinations that don't guarantee easy access to care. Talk about your treatment with your doctor before travelling and ask her/him more tips if needed.

  • Your personal diabetic card
  • A valid prescription (preferably 2 copies, to be kept separately) in your name, detailing the treatments you are taking
  • An adequate supply of your medication: your usual stock, with a reserve just in case
  • Your logbook – if you have a paper logbook
  • Your immunization record (remember to check the required vaccinations for your destination)

You should also pack :

  • Your blood glucose meter and batteries (it's worth checking both work well)
  • Test strips
  • Lancing device
  • Lancets
  • Pre-filled insulin pen or reusable insulin pen with cartridges and needles
  • A glucagon kit
  • An isothermal packaging for hot or cold weather countries

Vaccinations

Snack food ready to be eaten

DURING THE TRIP

 

Travelling by plane

Most of the time, regulations don't require you to put equipment associated with your treatment (needles, syringes, etc.) in a closed transparent bag. You can put everything in any travel luggage. But please always check before traveling the local regulations.

Putting insulin in the hold? The risks of frost is very slight, but nevertheless, wrap the insulin in an insulated bag to protect it from cold as well as heat.

You'll need to be able to prove that everything you carry on to a plane is for your personal use, by showing a valid prescription in your name, which lists all your diabetes equipment.

Trouble at security? Ask for the supervisor or the head of the security team. There is no need to call the airport doctor.

during the stay

If your physical activity or diet is different from your normal routine, adapt your treatment as agreed with your doctor before travelling.

Time differences

Time differences

If you're travelling over more than three time zones, talk to your doctor before travelling. She/he will advise you how to adjust insulin during travel and holiday.

Time differences

If you're travelling over more than three time zones, talk to your doctor before travelling. She/he will advise you how to adjust insulin during travel and holiday.

Water

Water

Dehydration increases blood sugar levels. In warm climates, you must drink water regularly to reduce the risk of hyperglycemic coma from dehydration.

Water

Dehydration increases blood sugar levels. In warm climates, you must drink water regularly to reduce the risk of hyperglycemic coma from dehydration.

Buying insulin in a foreign country

Buying insulin in a foreign country

It is best to have insulin with you for your entire trip as insulin may not be sold in the same concentrations everywhere. If you have to buy some insulin, contact a doctor on site.

Buying insulin in a foreign country

It is best to have insulin with you for your entire trip as insulin may not be sold in the same concentrations everywhere. If you have to buy some insulin, contact a doctor on site.

Note that these tips may differ from countries. Always ask your doctor for more information.

When you get home, tell your doctor about any problems encountered during your stay. Note her or his answers for your next journey.