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Diabetes travel tips

Diabetes and Travel: Tips for travelling6

When you have diabetes, proper planning can help you prepare for and safely enjoy your dream travel destination. Here are some tips for planning:

Before travelling:

  • See your doctor for an examination and check if you need any vaccinations; be sure to get any necessary vaccinations 1 month before you travel.
  • Ask your doctor to write a note explaining you have diabetes, with a list of medicines and devices you need to manage your diabetes. Keep this with you when travelling.
  • Find out where you can get diabetes supplies, as well as the locations(s) of healthcare centres at your travel destination; ask your doctor to write a prescription for medicines and supplies in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure you have insurance that will cover any illness during your trip. Consider getting travel insurance.

Packing for your trip

  • Pack all the necessary diabetes supplies: medicines, blood glucose meter, extra batteries for meter, test strips, lancets and other supplies; pack more than you think you’ll need while you’re travelling.
  • Keep packed diabetes supplies with you at all times: to carry on if travelling by air, in the car or on a bus.
  • Pack some snacks and some form of sugar (sweets, glucose tablets) to treat low blood glucose.

During your trip:

  • Wear or carry a medical ID that shows you have diabetes; let others travelling with you know you have diabetes and how they can help, in case of an emergency.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, redness and/or swelling. Take care of any you find and seek medical help if needed.
  • Always carry snacks with you to help prevent low blood sugar in case meals are delayed and/or you’re more active than usual.
  • Stay as close to your usual routine as possible: eating, taking medicines, testing your blood glucose and sleeping; be careful with unfamiliar foods (ask about ingredients) and drinks, including tap water overseas.


6 American Diabetes Association. (ADA) - When You Travel. Accessed online 28 June, 2018 @