Traveling With Diabetes: Five Things to Remember for Your Trip

Male Diabetic Checking Blood Sugar Levels

With summer in full swing, many are looking to get back outside and hit the road, especially after COVID-19 vaccinations. But for those with diabetes, forgetting important preparation can result in a ruined trip or even a health emergency.

Before you lock that front door and hit the road, keep these things in mind.

Before You Go
Visit your doctor for a checkup to ensure you’re fit for the trip. Make sure to ask your doctor:

• How your planned activities could affect your diabetes and what to do about it.
• How to adjust your insulin doses if you’re traveling to a different time zone.
• To provide prescriptions for your medicines in case you lose them or run out.
• To write a letter stating that you have diabetes and why you need your medical supplies.
You can also order a special meal for the flight that fits with your meal plan, or pack your own.

Packing
• Put your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag
• Pack twice as much medicine as you think you’ll need
• Include healthy snacks, like fruit, raw veggies and nuts.

Airport Security
• Get an optional TSA notification card to help the screening process go more quickly and smoothly.
• Good news! People with diabetes are exempt from the 3.4 oz. liquid rule for medicines, fast-acting carbs like juice, and gel packs to keep insulin cool.
• A continuous glucose monitor or insulin pump could be damaged going through the X-ray machine. You don’t have to disconnect from either; ask for a hand inspection instead.

Don’t Leave Home Without…
• Doctor’s letter and prescriptions
• Snacks and glucose tablets
• Extra insulin and diabetes medicines

While You’re Traveling
If you’re driving, pack a cooler with healthy foods and plenty of water to drink. Don’t store insulin or diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or in a hot car; keep them in the cooler too. You can find healthy food options at the airport or a roadside restaurant:

• Fruit, nuts, sandwiches, yogurt
• Salads with chicken or fish (skip the dried fruit and croutons)
• Eggs and omelets
• Burgers with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun
• Fajitas (skip the tortillas and rice)

Say goodbye to worry when you pack your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag.

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