Traveling with diabetes

Erika Kuno, RN

As spring break approaches and the weather becomes warmer, we are entering travel season! Before embarking on a trip, it’s a good idea to review our clinic’s travel guidelines:


  • If traveling through the airport, you may request a travel letter to carry through TSA.
  • Make sure to pack ALL of your diabetes and pump supplies in your carry-on luggage. You will be able to bring needles/syringes through security. The storage underneath the plane isn’t temperature controlled, and there is always a possibility of lost luggage, so do not place supplies in checked luggage!
  • Keep in mind to bring TWICE the amount of insulin and diabetes supplies needed to ensure you do not run out.
  • If traveling somewhere warm, have a plan in place to keep extra insulin from overheating. Frio Packs are a great option to help keep insulin cool.
  • If your child uses an insulin pump, you may want to contact the pump company for a loaner pump to bring along on your trip. Or, if a pump failure occurs, the pump company can often send a replacement pump overnight (if within the US). We also recommend you bring a hard copy of pump settings, back-up basal and bolus insulin, and syringes/pen needles in case of a potential pump failure.
  • Consider testing BG more frequently while on vacation to help manage major changes in activity level and differences in food options.
  • If traveling across more than 2 time zones, consider adjusting the time of administration for basal insulin.
  • If disconnecting from the pump for long periods of time (swimming, amusement park rides, etc) be sure to re-connect and bolus every 2 hours or consider restarting basal insulin (Lantus, Basaglar, etc)-call the Diabetes Educators with questions!


Please reach out to the McNeely Diabetes Clinic with any specific travel questions. Safe travels!

Erin Roehl