5 Travel Tips for Type 1 Diabetics

5 Travel Tips for Type 1 Diabetics

Having type 1 diabetes doesn't mean you have to miss out on traveling. As long as you bring everything you need with you and make time to plan your diet, your trip can be enjoyable and stress-free. Follow these five key travel tips for type 1 diabetics.

1. Pack your medication

Keep your medication with you at all times when you're traveling. Make sure you bring enough insulin for the whole trip, as well as enough to last for an extra few days in case your trip home is delayed.

When flying, don't pack insulin in checked bags where it could be lost. Instead, pack it in your carry-on baggage. Also, don't leave insulin in a hot car or other hot places, because high temperatures can affect how it works. If you're going to travel for more than 28 days, you'll need to carry your insulin in a cooling bag that can keep it fresh.

2. Bring a doctor's note

TSA agents may need to see a doctor's note explaining why you need to carry insulin and other medications. Ask your doctor for this kind of note well in advance of your trip. It's also a good idea to bring your doctor's phone number in case you have any medical questions while you are away from home.

3. Plan your diet

When you have type 1 diabetes, foods that are high in sugar can spike your blood sugar. Bring your own snacks, such as whole grain crackers or baked chips, so you aren't left with only sweet options. Ask restaurant servers to leave off sweet sauces, and request a diabetic meal on the flight.

4. Know where to get emergency help

While you're traveling, there's always a risk that your supplies will run out or develop a fault. Find out where the local pharmacies are so you can buy a new glucose meter, test strips, or insulin in case of emergency. If you feel ill while you are traveling, don't hesitate to go to a local doctor to ask for help, or call your own doctor for advice.

5. Maintain your insulin pump

If you use an insulin pump, you need to keep it working well throughout your trip. Bring the manufacturer's contact information so you can get in touch as soon as your pump develops a fault. The pump company may be able to troubleshoot the problem and get the device working again, or let you know where to seek help.

Once you have planned and packed for your trip, it's time to stop worrying and focus on how much fun you are going to have. As long as you have all the supplies and information you need, you can stay safe while traveling with type 1 diabetes.


Everyday Health: How to Travel Smart With Type 1 Diabetes

About the author:

Hannah Whiteoak is a professional freelance writer from the United Kingdom. She's been writing full-time for roughly 5 years and specializes in science and health topics.