8 Rules for Safe Travel With Diabetes

See the sights without worry, thanks to our strategies for keeping blood sugar in check no matter where you go!

Stacey Feintuch
Reviewed by
Philip Levy, MD
More Sharing +
  1. Stash snacks. Make sure you carry some food, such as meal replacement bars, nuts or peanut butter crackers, whenever you board any mode of transportation. In case of a blood sugar low, you’ll be prepared. It’s a good idea to have water on hand, too.
  2. Tune in to time changes. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, talk with your healthcare provider about how to adjust your medication schedule. They can tell you when you should take your medication so that you don’t skip or take too many doses. Consider writing out your medication schedule and keeping it in your carry-on bag, or set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you when to take your doses.
  3. Know how to deal with security. Notify the security agent if you have your diabetes supplies with you, such as insulin, syringes, blood glucose meters and insulin pumps. You can take these items onboard, but they’ll be screened at security. If possible, put everything in one carrying case to make the screening process easier. Consider also having your endocrinologist write a letter prior to your departure listing the medications and supplies you’ll be taking onboard. For questions about air travel with diabetes medications, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website.
  4. Wear some bling. Diabetes jewelry, that is. Consider wearing a medical ID necklace or bracelet that notes you have diabetes. That way, if an emergency arises (such as an accident that leaves you unable to speak on your behalf), medical people on the scene will know that you have diabetes.
April 2013