The key to a healthy and safe trip - Be Prepared! Whether you are traveling for business or vacation, your daily routine will be altered. Plan for changes in your meal patterns, snack schedule, physical activity, sleep and time zones. Expect the unexpected - you need extra medication, snacks on hand, ID bracelet, anti-biotic cream and bandages, etc. Carry a medical ID card, and if you are traveling to a foreign country, learn how to say “I have diabetes” and “I need sugar, please” in the foreign language.
See your doctor before a big trip. Ask for a letter from your doctor about your diabetes with details on your medications, supplies, and allergies. Get prescriptions for extra medications and supplies and take enough to last your trip and then some. You may also need immunization shots before you go.
What to Take in Your Carry-On Bag
1. All of your medications, and any supplies you need to take them. Checked luggage is subject to severe temperatures, pressure changes, x-rays, and may get lost.
Your blood glucose
monitor and testing supplies. Take extra batteries and strips.
Other medications such as anti-diarrheal, anti-biotic ointment, anti-nausea, glucagon
and headache pills.
Forms of snacks to carry you over to a delayed meal such as cheese and crackers, nuts or trail mix (consider airline restrictions), fruit, cheese sticks, nutrition bars, small bag of pretzels
Treatment for low blood sugar
- glucose tablets, juice box, raisins, gum drops, sugar packets.
Diabetes ID card.
Your doctor’s name and phone number and the letter from him with a list of your medications.
Test your blood glucose more often. Hypoglycemia
is more likely when your schedule is disrupted. Be aware of this if you are driving - check before you drive away in the rental car.
If you have a traveling companion, have him/her carry some of your medical supplies - just in case.
Navigating Airport Security
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has very specific requirements about liquids (3 oz.) and storage in clear quart-size plastic zip bags. For up-to-date changes in regulations, check the TSA website
, or call 866-289-9673. Arrive two-three hours early to allow for your security check. You can ask for a visual inspection if you wish to avoid x-rays of your medications.
Reviewed by Clara Schneider MS, RD, RN, CDE, LDN - 05/13