Travel and Diabetes

Travelling with Diabetes

Travel and Diabetes

With travel back on the cards, it’s a good time to brush up on what you need to think about when it comes to managing your diabetes on the go, so you can have a stress-free and enjoyable break. No matter what trip you plan it’s more than likely that you’ll be changing your daily routine so to minimise risks while travelling with diabetes, you need to plan for your care during your trip and when you arrive.

Some things to consider before you travel:

  • Do you have travel insurance (accident and health cover)?
  • Having information on the different foods that you might have on your trip
  • What you might do during delays or if you have lost your bags
  • What supporting medical documentation you may need
  • Any airline or customs regulations

Here’s a great guide from NDSS on planning and travelling with diabetes:


Three months before you travel Check Australian airline security regulations.Take out a travel insurance policy that covers people with diabetes and special equipment. See travelling by air for more information.

The Australian Government has arrangements with many countries to provide travellers with acute or emergency care benefits similar to Medicare. For more information on Reciprocal Health Care Agreements, visit the Department of Human Services website.

Two months before you travel Make an appointment with your doctor or diabetes educator to discuss your travel plans, time zones and support hose use.

Arrange necessary vaccinations and other ‘travel’ tablets that may be required such as those to treat diarrhoea or nausea.

It’s important to discuss your medication/insulin adjustments, Glucagon and testing for ketones during the trip.
This is also a good time to arrange the papers you need to comply with airline regulations
One month before you travel Arrange all the paperwork needed for your trip.

Arrange all diabetes medication and testing devices required for the trip.

Paperwork should include:
– a letter from your doctor
– prescriptions for all medications
– written details of your next of kin
– NDSS and Medicare cards.These should include:
– medication
– insulin
– syringes/pen needles or pump and consumables
– test strips
– meter (plus a spare if possible)
– Glucagon and delivery devices

Table source:


Travelling with Diabetes does need a little bit of extra packing – here’s a list of things you might want to throw in the suitcase

  • ‘Back up;’ kit containing a spare meter and test strips
  • Pocket needle container for disposing of used pen needles or strips such as the compact container from Glucology.
  • Plenty of spare medication, test strips, insulin and syringes. Pack extras in case of loss or damage. You can ensure insulin stays at the right temperature by using a cooling wallet like a FRIO.
  • Some fast-acting glucose like Glucose SOS in case of a hypo
  • Clearly written details of your medication and routine in case of emergency. The MedPac comes with a great little ID card which is perfect for travelling.

The most important thing in all your travels is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing all the things you want to do and with a bit of planning, you can make sure your trip is hassle-free and full of fun.