Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret

Oscar Wilde

How to Prepare For Traveling

Good travel preparation can help relieve a lot of the stress that can come with traveling for anyone, but for those with diabetes, it can be a game changer!

  • Make a packing list: Write down every single item you will need. This ensures you are not going to forget anything important. See our example packing list below.
  • Start packing in advance: A few days or a week prior to travel, start packing. If you wait until the day of your trip or even the day before, you are more likely to forget items and not have time to run to the store to purchase anything you may need.
  • Make sure to bring extra medications: We recommend bringing double of what you need, just in case of canceled flights, flight delays, or any other unforeseen circumstance that can come with travel. Reach out to your pharmacy at least a week or two before you are leaving. This gives the pharmacy plenty of time to work with insurance, order medications, and combat any issues that may arise with early refills.

Example Diabetes Packing List

📌 Medical Identification
📌 Test Strips (or sensors)
📌 Lancing Device and Extra Lancets
📌 Medications (pills, insulin, etc.)
📌 Glucose Meter
📌 Fast-acting Glucose
📌 Alcohol Swabs
📌 Extra Batteries
📌 Insulin Delivery Device
📌 Glucagon Emergency Kit (if on medicine that causes sugar lows)
📌 Urine Ketone Test Strips (if type 1)
📌 Sharps Disposal Containers
📌 Medication List and Doctor’s Phone Number
📌 Emergency Contact Numbers
📌 Snacks
📌 Reusable Water Bottle

Tips To Navigate Specific Situations

navigate specific situations

🌎 Tip 1:
Prior to traveling, make sure to do some research on how you are going to get through the airport. The TSA website has lots of information on traveling with medical supplies. You want to keep all of your medications with you on the plane, not in your luggage. Pack everything in a clear plastic bag to make it easier to get through security, and make sure to arrive early to give security extra time. If you are nervous at all about traveling with medical supplies, reach out to your doctor and they can give you a letter that states medical necessity.

🌎 Tip 2:
Whether you are traveling alone or traveling in a group, you want to make sure there are ways to identify that you have diabetes. If you are traveling alone, have an identifier, like a medical ID bracelet. If you are with a group, make sure people in the group know you have diabetes, and what to do in an emergency situation.

🌎 Tip 3:
To reduce potential risks, make sure to stay hydrated. A lot of complications can arise from being dehydrated, and if you are having high blood sugars you are at a higher risk of dehydration. Keep water on you at all times and do your best to stay as hydrated as possible, especially if you are doing a lot of walking or will be in the heat.

Summary When preparing to travel, you want to start early. Have plans in case of an emergency so you are ready for anything. Here at Iowa Diabetes, we want you to prepare well prior to traveling so you can fully enjoy your vacation and not worry about things you could have forgotten or situations that could possibly arise. Have fun, and safe travels!

Disclaimer: Any information provided is not intended as medical advice. Iowa Diabetes is not responsible for any information from third parties.