Traveling With Type 1 Diabetes

Home Health Tips Traveling With Type 1 Diabetes

5th December, 2017, 4 mins read

Is your mind spinning with details just thinking about travel
How to get there? Where to stay? What will it cost? What are the food options? What activities or sights to see? What clothes to pack for the climate? Who will water the plants and take care of the pets?
All of my diabetic supplies are packed all the time.
Yes, I keep my bags packed and ready to go because really, who wants to worry about another thing when you have so many other details to coordinate before travel?

I travel frequently, and often for long lengths of time. Due to this, I’ve developed a 3-tier packing system based on the amount of time I’ll be traveling.

The System I’ve Developed

  • A small eBags packing cube to carry 2-14 days worth of supplies
  • A carry-on business shoulder bag for up to 3 months of travel
  • A carry-on roller suitcase for all of my remaining diabetic supplies (This is what I use when traveling for more than 3 months and for international moves.)



Plan Your Supplies

When starting to plan, always account for double the supplies that you would normally use at home.

For example, over 7 days at home, I would use 2-3 insulin pump infusion sets depending on when I last changed it. For 7 days of travel, I’d pack 4-6 infusion sets.

If you might not need an item during your time of travel (for example, a Dexcom transmitter that should last for 3 months), pack a spare just in case.

I use both an insulin pump and Dexcom CGM, so your necessary and preferred supplies may be different than mine. Here is what I pack for a 7-day trip:


  • Dexcom Transmitter (spare)
  • Dexcom Sensors (2)
  • Dexcom Receiver (if you use one)
  • Charging cord for Dexcom receiver (and adapters if needed)
  • Opsite Flexifix, precut to fit over Dexcom Transmitter (4)
  • Skin Tac wipes (4)
  • Uni-Solve wipes (4)


  • Pump Infusion sets (4-6)
  • Infusion set inserter (if you use one)
  • Pump reservoirs (2-3)
  • Extra battery or charging cord for pump
  • Spare parts if your pump comes with them (battery cover, collar, etc)
  • Pump carrying methods (holster, waist belt, thigh belt, etc)


  • Emergency syringes (4)
  • Emergency Lancets (2)
  • Frio Cooling Wallet (Large)
  • Alcohol wipes (8)
  • Glucose tablets (1 bottle of 50)
  • Test strips (1 bottle open, 1 extra)
  • BG Meter
  • Extra battery for BG Meter
  • Lancing device

Since I keep all of this packed, I just need to soak the Frio Cooling Wallet in water for a few minutes and grab the refrigerated items, which are stored in a Ziploc bag:

  • Insulin (2 bottles)
  • Glucagon Pen

If you use injections and don’t use a CGM, your list of supplies to pack will be much shorter.

If you don’t travel frequently, but want to organize your supplies so they’re easily accessible, you can use this list to pack a small bag of necessities for general pump and CGM changes. It’s a great grab-and-go solution, even at home. Take it to work, take it to school. It’s your mobile transition pack: bigger than the daily meter/CGM/insulin pack that you inevitably carry, but just a portion of the supply stockpile that we all have at home.

Airline Travel Tips

Remember to pack all of your medical supplies in your carry-on luggage. If you’re traveling for an extended period of time and have an entire bag just of medical supplies, tell the check-in agent who will note in your record that you have an extra carry on due to medical necessity.

I also tell security personnel that my medical bag will be coming through the scanner. I ask for a pat-down and never put my pump or CGM receiver through any metal detector or scanner. This is personal preference, and I’ve heard others pass through the scanners with no problems. I’d rather not take the chance of causing a pump or CGM malfunction when traveling.

You may also choose to carry a note from your doctor stating type 1 diabetes and your need for access to certain supplies and medications at all times. I’ve had this letter before, but luckily never needed it.

And don’t forget to change the time on your devices for your new destination. This can be tricky when flying over many time zones and following unusual meal times. It’s generally recommended to change to your destination time as soon as you get on the plane but use your own sleep and meal schedule as the determining factor.

For most people, on most trips, a week or two of supplies will be sufficient. If you pack well, there’s no reason for your supplies to take a ton of room in your carry-on. It’s one less thing to worry about, so you can focus on your upcoming adventure.

Bon voyage and happy travels!

Related Posts

5 Gadgets All Travelers Should Have for 2018

2018 is around the corner and that means it’s time to start planning your next adventures. Wherever you might be going next year, it can help to have some handy gadgets with you as you go. One of the best things you can do for an upcoming trip is to figure out what you might need while traveling to your destination and once you’re there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve learned my lesson leaving the house without a charger or backup battery while on a trip (some day that lesson will stick with me) Whatever your next trip may be, here are five gadgets every person should have in their travel bag: Power Adapter Whatever your destination is, you’re likely going to be bringing a few electronics along. These might be your phone, camera, digital reader or laptop, among others. If you plan on using your gadgets while you travel, you’re going to need to charge them as you go. There are many adapters out there that offer the ability to change out the plug for a foreign outlet. Investing in an “all-in-one” option like a Samsonite Worldwide Travel Adapter or a Conair All-in-one Adapter with USB can help make sure you have all the plugs you need without having them take up extra room in your luggage. Backup Battery  If you’re planning to be away from your hotel or hostel for much of the day, it can be super helpful to have a portable battery on hand. You might end up using your phone more than you expect—whether it’s navigating around with a maps app or trying to get that perfect skyline shot for Instagram. If you’re looking to have a battery just for your phone, try a smaller option like this pocket-sized BlitzWolf power bank. If you need something that can support your different electronics like gaming consoles or laptops, a RAVPower portable power bank might be a better option. A new trend in travel luggage is smart suitcases. They often look and work just like a regular suitcase but with the added bonus of a battery built into the bag! Popular luggage start-up Away offers different sized bags with a removable battery and built-in lock systems and USB ports. Filtered Water Bottle  Clean and safe water isn’t always guaranteed wherever you go. If you’re planning to venture outdoors or go somewhere more remote, having a filtered water bottle can help when deciding if the water is safe for a drink. As a kind of two-in-one feature, LifeStraw Go Water Bottles come with a removable filter straw. The refillable water bottle is perfect for on-the-go use and can filter out bacteria or parasites that might be hiding in your water. It’s simple to use and clean too. Smart Wallet  It’s important to make sure your cards and important documents are safe whenever you’re in an unfamiliar place. Keeping all those items safe in the age of modern technology can require more than just keeping them out of sight. Smart wallets can be a great added layer of protection as you travel. Brands like Zoppen offer customizable travel wallets that can hold your cards and tickets while protecting your personal information on them with RFID technology. Other wallets, like these by Volterman, also have GPS tracking technology built into them. You can be notified via a phone app if you leave it behind somewhere by accident. Noise Cancelling Headphones  No matter where you’re going or how long it takes you to get there, traveling can be exhausting. If you’re flying or settling in for a long train or bus ride, noise-canceling headphones should definitely be an item in your bag. This type of headphone can be perfect to have on hand if there are noisy babies around you or if you’re trying to focus on a movie or book. Bose’s QuietComfort headphone series comes with noise-canceling technology and cellular capabilities so you can take phone or video calls while wearing them.

Health conditions Diabetes

7 Times Must See in Stockholm – Sweden

If you travel to Stockholm the first thing you will  notice are the beautiful old brigdes that connects the different parts of Stockholm. Stockholm has 14 islandsin totall and Gamal Stan (Old City) is the most famous one. My first nights in Stockholm I stayed on the island of Sodermalm at Zinkensdamm and saw all around me streetnames that I recognized from the famous book and movie Millennium Trilogy. You must know that one!!     Voor de Nederlandse versie van Wat je zeker moet zien in Stockholm Every time I went to the citycentre, from Slussen to Gamla Stan, I saw this important connection point of Stockholm. Most trains and metros will pass here because it is the biggest connection from the one side to the other. My first must see in Stockhom will bring you to this part of the city!! The panoramic view at Eriks Gondolen, wonderful spot!! Must See in Stockholm – Sweden Panoramic View from Eriks Gondolen It is a restaurant but when it’s time to see the sunset the terrace is filling up with people that want to see it from up here. I can totally understand why!! It is a great spot to look over the old city of Gamla Stan and the water next to the harbour of Soder Malarstrand.   You can’t miss this view over Stockholm!!   I even went for a second time and then I saw this balloon also, isn’t that a great way to see the sunset in Stockholm? I did liked the view with the balloon in it too!! Do you want to know how you get up there check this blog Gamla Stan – Old city One of the most beautiful islands of Stockholm The next thing I think you can not miss to see in Stockholm is the small island of Gamla Stan. If you don’t visit this you haven’t seen Stockholm!! The square is the most famous square of Stockholm and I think also the most photogenic. How do you like these colours?   I had dinner a coule of times here…  Just enjoying the colours and the vibrant life on the square!!   All the narrow streets of Gamla Stan are great for wanderig around. Around every corner you will be surprised again. I loved to explore this part of Stockholm! And go explore multiple times because everty visit you’ll see something different!!     Palaces, parlements and musea are also on Gamla Stan    Do go Explore Gamla Stan in the evening too! 7 Times Must See in Stockholm — Musea you have to visit in Stockholm Vasa Museum This museum has an unique ship. This ship originates from the 17th century and  is complete and almost undamaged!! The ship sank on her maiden voyage on auguts 10th of 1628 after 1300 metres. It is the only ship in the world on display from that time. I thought it was really impressive!!        ABBA museum I really love the music of ABBA and so I loved walking around in this museum. It was really interactive, you can sing along and do some karaoke!!     Skansen Open Air Museum On the island of Djurgarden are all these musea. The island is green and also this open air museum is on the island. It is all about the history of Sweden and next to that it is a zoo. I walked around for an afternoon. I do think that when you travel with kids this is a real nice daytrip and very educational.         As I said it is also a zoo. I don’t like those kind of places that much. I rather see animals in a wider environment. So just to give you an idea I’m sharing some pics I took of the zoo.       Stockholm – Sweden I had told you that the city is divided in 14 islands… So exploring the city by boat is just great!! Cruising around those island is just the best!! There is a Hop on Hop off boat that I took. I loved all the views you get from sitting on a boat and just letting the city pass by. Even though I didn’t got off on all those places especially picked out for you it is a great way to explore the city and get out of the crowd for a while. Must See in Stockholm – Sweden Stockholm as seen from the water! There are different companies that offer such tours on the waters of Stockholm. And I can imagine why!! I did the tour called Under the Brigdes Tour. This was has 7 stops and sails along the island of Sodermalm and you’ll pass Gamla Stan on both sides too!         And all of a sudden there was this beach! People were relaxing and enjoying the good weather almost in de middle of the busy city!! There are more beaches realised along the water in Stockholm. This one on the picture is called Langholmen Badet. I also too the Royal Canal Tour. This one has nog stops but gives you a great overview on this city. Looking to a city from a boat is totally different and ofcourse just being outside with a breeze through you hair just cruising is a great way to spend an hour or two. This tour goes along the palaces and gives you information about who lived there.           Something you can not miss in Stockholm is  The Tunnelbana The Tunnelbana – Stockholm metro (t-bana) I heard several people talking about it. They just went into the metro to go from station to station. It would be so worth it if I should believe them. When you search the internet soon you’ll get a list of station you should definitely see so I went too!! You can ofcourse combine this with visiting that part of the city too. I just went down into the Tunnelbana and after visiting many station I was really getting cold and went up again! I really loved all the colours and themes of the Tunnelbana. The Tunnelbana is also called World Largest Gallery.. I do think you get why it got that name after visiting the Tunnelbana!   Stadion station on the red route     T-centralen in Stokcholm Solna Station on the blue route   Tensta Station on the blue route   Tentsta This really is a Must See in Stockholm!! Everything is painted or has a style to it from top to bottom!!  Also a Must See in Stockholm Soder Malarstrand Walking along the boats at Soder Malarstrand When I came back to Stockholm after a small tour along Sweden I booked a couple of nights at botel Rygerfjord at Soder Malarstrand. It is situated outside the busy city but just 10 minutes walking away from the beautiful Gamla Stan. That is just perfect, isn’t it?    Along this harbour are a lot of ships that anchor for a visit to this great city. Also a lot of huge ships that serve as restaurants or hotel. Even boats to have big parties are there ? You can have your peace and quiet time here but if you are lookinig for a party you are welcome too!! I loved walking along those boats and the water!!       Soder Malarstrand is a must see in Stockholm   Great way to reflect on a beautiful day spend in Stokcholm! @ Soder Malarstrand   I went to Stockholm twice during my visit to Sweden. I loved the fact that when you come back to a city you know your way around. I spend some times exploring parts I hadn’t visit before but also went back to parts that I loved that first time!! Do you also visit a city more then once in a journey? And do you have that same feeling as if you are coming home while traveling? You know your way around…know at which restaurant you get your dinner.. I love that feeling!! — If you liked these tips would you share them too?  

Health conditions

Airlines and wheelchair

Airline travel can be a challenge to people for all different reasons. Our experience has been that the airlines try to make it as easy as possible for a person/family with a wheelchair or person with a disability. Our son finds airline travel exciting for the first hour or so and then he is very keen for it to be over making it a real challenge. He is a wonderful traveller once he gets to his destination but let’s just say I’ve been nearly moved to kiss the ground on arrival! I also scoff at those that say “travel is about the whole journey not just the destination!” For us the sooner the flight is over the better. I am sure that we are the exception rather than the rule. Now with in flight movies, messaging facilities between the seats, games etc the old days of one or two movies and everyone craning their necks to see the screen at the front of the cabin are over. Our experiences (we’ve been to the US twice as a family) have only been with Qantas, on the A380 and the 747 400. We chose Qantas for 2 reasons, it was important for us to sit together (QF seat configuration on the A380 is 3/4/3) and on the A380 they had a toilet on board that was for people with a disability. On all four flights we only had positive things to say about the staff, both on the ground (from check in) and in the air (Qantas in no way sponsor me so this is purely based on our experiences). I am happy to give them a good rap as they were great! What I found out on our second trip is that some airlines (in my research I found both Qantas and Virgin have them) have an upper body torso harness available to people with a disability. It is basically an upper body seat belt which may be of some benefit to people with poor upper body control. It might just give a little more support. It can be viewed on Virgin’s website and I am including the photos Qantas supplied to us before we travelled.   This harness can only be used in certain seats on the aircraft due to it using an anchor point. The harness must be pre booked and I’d recommend doing it well in advance and at the time of booking. I have a friend who has used them on V Australia domestically so definitely worth checking if your airline has it available if you think it will benefit you. Airlines now require measurements of wheelchairs so make sure you have the height, width, and weight of your chair when you phone to make your booking it will save calling back again! Qantas had a very generous luggage allowance for people needing mobility equipment.  Check with your airline prior to travel if this is essential to you.  Qantas allowed 2 bags, 1 wheelchair and 1 other piece of mobility equipment.  This was the allowance to the US but please note this varies according to your destination.   Due to the liquid restrictions in the cabin of the aircraft you need to check with the airline regarding any foods or liquids if they are necessary for you to take on board. Our son has special drink containers he drinks from so I take that through the security check empty then fill it before getting on the aircraft. We have always used our own wheelchair to the door of the aircraft. Once again you need to mention this at the time of booking, again at check in and it should be possible if necessary. Our son can then walk assisted to his seat but they will provide an aisle chair to your seat if needed. At the door of the aircraft it is recommended that you do up the belt on your wheelchair to lessen the chance of damage and take any items from the wheelchair that are removable for example we always take the seat cushion and arm rests off our wheelchair and stow in the overhead lockers. The airlines encourage it as they prefer it is not their responsibility. Have an empty bag under the wheelchair or somewhere with you to put it all in to save juggling boarding passes, bags, armrests, seat cushions etc. You see people arrive with their one Versace bag looking very glam and there I am with boarding passes between my teeth, bags, juggling cushions, armrests etc while my husband walks our son up the aisle. Not quite the travel look I aspire to but having a bag to at least consolidate the wheelchair bits into makes it look a little more controlled! The airlines usually board a person with a disability and their family first to allow extra time to get organized. The downside is that at the end of a long flight you are last to leave the aircraft but usually the cabin crew are very helpful with bags. We prearrange to have our own wheelchair waiting for us on arrival at the aircraft door. We have only had this not work once and our son was most uncomfortable and unstable in the airport wheelchair that was nearly double the width of his usual chair and without a pelvic strap. Advise at check in and on boarding that you would like your wheelchair at the aircraft on arrival and we have also been encouraged to remind the cabin crew about a ½ hour before landing so they can contact the airport and ensure it all runs smoothly. These are all small things but at the end of a 15 hour flight it does make a difference. On arrival in the US we have always been fortunate enough to be taken to the shortest queue possible or let ahead of the crowd to get through customs quicker. This would always depend on the staff at the airport but our experience is that the staff are really considerate.

Health conditions Diabetes

Stay smart and healthy while you're travelling!