Traveling with Diabetes

Your diabetes goes with you when you travel so why not continue your good control while you are gone to make the trip safe and less stressful. Maintaining your blood glucose control will help you feel well so you can enjoy the trip.


Make sure you pack enough medication and testing supplies for the entire trip. If you are on insulin and will be traveling by air, it is helpful to have a letter from your doctor stating your diagnosis and the medications that you are currently taking. Medications should be in the original prescription bottle with the label intact.


Pack a small carry-on bag that contains all your diabetes supplies and all medications. Take extra medications and monitoring supplies in case you are delayed or canceled. Insulin should be kept in a cool dry place. Do not put it in the trunk of the car or in your checked luggage. You should include snacks and low blood sugar treatment. You may want to include batteries for your meter or replace them before you go.


Maintain your usual eating plan as close as possible. Look for new things to try but don’t overeat. You can research the local cuisine of your destination to determine the carbohydrate content of new foods. Drink plenty of non-sweetened beverages to prevent dehydration.

Be Prepared:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is more likely to occur when traveling because of changes to the routine. Be prepared with snacks, your meter, and have your low blood sugar treatment available at all times.

Remain Active:

Physical activity helps your body use insulin effectively so don’t reduce your normal activity while traveling. Many hotels have fitness rooms or pools. Look for walking and hiking paths to explore your destination.


Time zones can throw you off when trying to carefully plan meals and medication timing. Try to adjust your medications and meals to the new time zone as soon as possible.
Travel is possible with diabetes and can be enjoyable and smooth if you are prepared for the snags that occur in any trip. Don’t let your diabetes be one of the snags!

In a medical emergency, call 911.