Traveling with Diabetes: Our Essential Guide
Traveling somewhere new can be fun and exciting, but getting there can be stressful. Rushing to arrive early, finding your gate, and worrying if you’ve forgotten something are side effects of the journey. And if you’re living with diabetes, it adds another layer of stress. However, if you are well prepared, traveling with diabetes will be a breeze!
Since you will be on the road, you should create a checklist of your supplies and how much you will need. It seems simple, but you might not realize how many things you need to keep on top of your diabetes. Consider how often you test and your dietary needs when packing your supplies. In case you’ve been recently diagnosed, or haven’t traveled before with diabetes, check our list below to ensure you have a fun and safe trip.
If you’ve been living with diabetes, you know that your meter is essential. Did you know that all our meters have travel-friendly cases, and are TSA approved? It might be worthwhile to purchase a backup meter to take on your trip, just in case you lose one. Both are approved for your carry on, but make sure it’s clearly visible to the agents checking your bags.
If you are insulin dependent, make sure you bring plenty of supplies. The form you administer your insulin is your personal preference — pen, pump, or needle — as they are also all approved for carry-on luggage. However, if you chose a pen or needle, make sure you are also carrying a Sharps container for proper disposal. Again, make these items clearly visible to the agents checking your bags and you should get through security easily. Putting all your supplies in a clear back and removing them from your luggage is recommended to make the process a little smoother. TSA has even created this handy disability notification card so you can adhere it to your supplies so the agents are aware of your medical necessity.
Determining how many test strips you need is a simple mathematical equation. Average out how many times per day you are testing, and make sure you have enough to cover for every day that you will be gone. If you think you’ll only need to test 25 times while away, bring a box of 50 test strips just in case. When traveling, it’s easy for your diet to change and throw off your glucose, so having extra test strips available is valuable.
The American Diabetes Association recommends bringing a diabetic emergency kit that lasts up to 3 days. It should be stored in a waterproof container to avoid as much damage to the supplies as possible.
Inform friends and family members traveling with you about the emergency kit location and how to use it. The items you should include are:
Medical Information and Documents
These documents should include a copy of your ID, health insurance records, prescription information, and any potential allergies.
Emergency Contact List
Make sure to include family, friends, and close loved ones and keep it as up to date as possible.
Glucose Meters and Devices:
As we mentioned, bringing a backup meter is just good practice in case of an emergency. Include one in your emergency kit and make sure to store them in a liquid-tight container.
Non-perishable Food and Water:
It is important to have these on hand in case of emergencies. Extra food and water will help you keep your blood glucose levels balanced and keep you hydrated.