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Diabetes and Travel Tips

Everyone looks forward to vacation, but you'll want to be well-prepared before traveling. It’s important to think about what you will be doing and the supplies your child will need. You’ll also want to make sure you monitor your child's blood sugar because changes in activity, sleep and food may mean they'll need to either increase or decrease their insulin needs.

Here are some other things to consider:

Traveling by Plane

If you’re traveling by plane, keep insulin and supplies with you at all times in carry-on luggage, and make certain pre-printed pharmacy labels are on medication boxes.

You must have a travel letter from your pediatric endocrinologist to present to security in order to carry your insulin/supplies on the plane. When possible, insulin pumps should avoid x-ray machines, and make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for insulin pumps during your flight.

Traveling by Car

When traveling by car, or vacationing in warm or cold temperatures, make sure your insulin, glucagon and test strips are kept cool. (These things will spoil if they get above 86 degrees Fahrenheit or below freezing.)

Travel Checklist

Use this checklist to make sure you’re prepared when away from home.

  • Insulin pump

  • Back-up insulin pump

  • Pump supplies (reservoirs and infusion sets)

  • Rapid-acting insulin (Humalog, Novolog or Apidra)

  • Long-acting insulin (Lantus, or Levemir, Tresiba and Basaglar)

  • Lancets

  • Blood glucose meter

  • Blood glucose test strips

  • Blood or urine ketone testing supplies

  • Glucagon kit

  • Insulin syringes or insulin pen needles

  • Snacks to treat hypoglycemia

  • Water or sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration

  • Extra batteries for insulin pump

  • Medical ID

  • Travel letter from your provider

  • Pre-printed pharmacy labeled-boxes for medication, as needed


Learn more about Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Children’s Mercy.

Learn more about Childhood Diabetes.