Traveling can be as challenging as it is eye-opening, and doing so as a person with diabetes can add to the level of difficulty. At BreezyPacks, we’ve made it our goal to make life simpler and take some worries of the backs of diabetics, and decided to write this guide to help people with type 1 diabetes plan for and take on travel & adventures.
This content is written by me – Eyal Wormser, A type 1 diabetic for over 15 years, an avid traveler, and the founder of BreezyPacks. Most of the advice mentioned here is from my own experience and what I have learned over the years. That said, I am not a clinician, and I did my best to include data from other expert sources where I thought it might be relevant.
So, how do you travel with insulin?
Like any other person, with a few extra steps. Mainly, you should:
Take double the amount of insulin and diabetes supplies you usually use. (You can check out our article about packing for a trip with diabetes to learn more).
See your doctor – Ask for a letter to show while traveling, the prescriptions you need for your diabetes, additional medicine to deal with emergencies, and relevant vaccinations for the destination you’re traveling to. You can click here to learn all about what you should ask (and why).
Get travel insurance that covers preexisting conditions - You don't want to find yourself without coverage when you really need it.
While packing for your trip, keep your insulin and some of your supplies in your carry-on. Have a good amount of (solid) food to treat hypoglycemia with you.
In the airport – consider avoiding taking pumps and CGMs through X-ray machines and full-body scanners. Have your insulin & emergency food handy – it should be accessible when you’re in your plane seat, so ideally not in the overhead compartment.
Depending on the trip, you might need to adjust the hour on your pump or the hour that you inject your basal insulin to fit the time differences.
Protect your insulin from the heat – when traveling to hot climates, an insulin cooling case (like our BreezyPacks) can be crucial to keep your insulin from going bad.
Learn the carb content of the local food
In case of emergency – Don’t panic, and have a look at our guide for dealing with emergencies while traveling with diabetes.
This is a summary of the main points you should be thinking of, but we also have expanded articles explaining these points more profoundly, citing the sources where relevant and adding additional relevant information – We've linked to some of these above, but feel free to go through our blog and see what else we have to offer!
We also have a handy checklist that you can use to make your preparations a breeze!
Traveling with type 1 diabetes checklist:
You can click here for a printable pdf version of this checklist.
And finally, a few words about BreezyPacks-
BreezyPacks are insulin cooling cases that I’ve created to make it easier for other diabetics and people carrying sensitive medication to live their lives to the fullest. They cool your insulin when it's hot outside using special materials called phase change materials, and recharge by themselves during the night, making keeping your insulin safe from the heat as easy as it gets.
In case you did not notice, this blog is on our company’s website, and I will mention our products where I think they may be relevant.
Please do not take this to mean that this article is just filler text meant to promote our products: The information shared here has been collected through years of traveling, reading, and learning, and I will mention some alternatives to our products (including competing products) as well since you deserve objective, valuable information. I think people with diabetes can go and do anything they want – even if they have zero interest in our products. ;)
Happy travels, and feel free to ask us anything you’d like in the comments! If you’ve found this article or any other on our site helpful – likes & shares are always appreciated.
This article will be updated periodically.
All the best