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Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

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Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

senior happy couple managing diabetes on vacation

Diabetes never takes a vacation, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking one yourself. With some simple planning, preparation, and precautions, people with diabetes can still enjoy their time away from home without worrying about their blood sugar levels or insulin doses.

If you have diabetes and are planning an extended trip away from home, remember to speak with your PCP or endocrinologist.

Speak With Your Provider First

Before heading out on your trip, you should schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) or endocrinologist. They can give you a signed letter explaining that you have diabetes, which you can show to airport security if you are traveling with food or medical supplies. Learn more about TSA rules around traveling with diabetes.

You should also ask your provider questions about any health risks related to your travel destination, such as:

  • If traveling to a different time zone, how do I adjust my insulin and testing routine?
  • Do I need any new vaccines?

Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

Pack More Than Enough Medicine

Perhaps the biggest risk of traveling with diabetes is unexpectedly running out of medicine before you get home. When packing for your trip, bring twice as much medicine as you think you’ll need – it’s always better to have too much than not enough. If traveling by plane and going through airport security, bring the original pharmacy bottles or ask your provider for extra labels that you can attach to plastic bags to carry the medicine. If you bring a letter from your provider explaining that you have diabetes, your medicine and supplies will be exempt from the TSA’s 3.4-oz limit on liquids.

Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

Traveling With Diabetes: Simple Steps for a Stress-Free Trip

Keep Your Supplies Safe and Accessible

When flying, store your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag instead of your checked luggage. This not only keeps your supplies easily accessible during your flight, but also prevents them from getting too cold in the plane’s cargo area, which can make insulin less effective. However, storing your supplies somewhere too warm can also cause damage to your blood sugar monitor, insulin pump, and other equipment.  So if traveling somewhere with warm weather, keep your medicine and diabetes equipment out of direct sunlight or anywhere excessively hot, such as a parked car.

If you have diabetes and are planning an extended trip away from home, remember to speak with your PCP or endocrinologist—they can help you create a plan for traveling with your medicine and help you enjoy your trip to the fullest. Schedule your next appointment today

In observance of Memorial Day, most ACPNY offices will be operating on a holiday schedule. For your convenience, select offices will remain open. Learn more.