Travelling with Diabetes – What do I need to Think About?

Kirrily Chambers Pharmacist (B Pharm) CDE

Adv Diploma Nut Pharm,

Grad. Dip. App. Pharm. Prac

After spending so long not travelling (especially overseas) it is fantastic we are now able to enjoy the benefits of time once again with family and friends going on holidays. Whether it somewhere local or far away travelling with diabetes does not need to be stressful if well planned.


For consideration-before your departure

  • A medical letter. Take multiple copies.
  • Sick day management plan and kit.
  • Medicine-enough for while you are away. Consider doubling everything and splitting into two separate bags. Remember to take this as carryon luggage if flying. Checked baggage will often go below zero temperatures. All medicines should hen labelled appropriately.
  • Needles and spare insulin pen.
  • If you use an insulin pump-batteries or charger (plus a converter if you are going overseas), lines and cannulas-ensure more than enough. Know your insulin settings and have back up insulin in case of pump failure.
  • Insulin stored in fridge bag with appropriate cold packs.
  • Hypoglycaemic treatment if needed (if you are on tablets or insulin that can cause a low glucose level that needs to be treated, as well as snacks in case of delayed flights).
  • Glucose meter and adequate monitoring strips.
  • Spare glucose meter, lancets, lancing device, batteries, or charger
  • Ketone monitoring equipment for type 1 or type 2 on SGLT2 inhibitors
  • Sharps container
  • CGM or FGM and spares
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Copy of all emergency contacts


For consideration-at the airport

  • If wearing an insulin pump, CGM or FGM do not go through the security scanners. These can damage your diabetes equipment. Please ask for a pat down.


For consideration-on the flight

  • Keep well hydrated.
  • Walk up and down the aisle as much as possible to manage blood glucose levels and to prevent swelling while flying.
  • Keep all medicine and equipment within arm’s reach.
  • There is enough carbohydrate (pasta, rice, bread) in airplane meals not to need to order a specific meal. If on insulin, ensure meal is served before you inject.
  • Speak to your health care team about what to do with your insulin/medicine if you are changing time zones.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you are planning on a trip, please speak to our credentialled diabetes educator Kirrily Chambers about how best to prepare.

You can make an appointment either online or by calling our friendly reception staff on (08) 7231 1628.

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