Ah, you can never pack lightly when you’re a diabetic, can you? I just recently took a 3-day trip to Atlanta, and I swear half my bag was diabetes supplies! (That and shoes, but I digress).
I’ve never had an issue when going through airport Security wearing my pump. Occasionally (and lately, more and more), I’m pulled aside by Security and they’ll swab my hands after I touch my pump. No biggie. And one time, when I traveled to Buenos Aires, Security wanted me to take my pump off (because it looks like a beeper, I think). I tried to explain what it was by saying “insulina, insulina” and that finally worked.
Here are some tips for what to pack when you travel. As they say, don’t leave home without it!
- At least twice as much medication as you think you’ll need. (For insulin, I usually bring a new bottle of insulin in its box and with the prescription information on it. For my oral medications, I bring the original, labeled medication bottles, even though that takes up more room in my luggage).
- Pump supplies (I usually pack 3x times what I think I’ll need for infusion sets and reservoirs. I also try to set up a new infusion set just prior to going on my trip so that I won’t have to change it for a few days).
- CGM supplies (sensors, transmitter, charger, inserter and tape)
- Syringes (Even if you use a pump, you may need to give yourself injections if something fails)
- Glucometer and charger
- Test Strips
- Glucose tablets (or hard candy, in case you experience an LBS)
- Food/Snacks (I usually carry peanut butter crackers or pretzels and something sweet, just in case)
Do make sure that some of your supplies and medications are packed in your carry-on, if you’re traveling by plane. (I usually split them between my carry-on and my checked baggage, although I always carry my insulin with me). Not only might your luggage travel somewhere else, but you don’t want your medication exposed to extreme temperatures.
And test regularly! Traveling, time zones, and being out of your routine can all contribute to unexpected blood sugar behavior.
Here are some great resources for traveling tips for diabetics:
- Joslin Diabetes Center: Diabetes and Travel – 10 Tips for a Safe Trip
- American Diabetes Association: When You Travel
- Diabetic Living: Travel Tips for People with Diabetes
What do you do when you travel? Please share your tips and advice.
And safe travels, everyone!