Type 1 diabetesDiabetes and travel

You can travel anywhere with diabetes. You just have to prepare to avoid any problems.

Before you travel

  • make sure your travel insurance covers health problems related to your diabetes
  • find out where you can get insulin in the place you're travelling to
  • speak to your care team for advice about adjusting to different time zones
  • if you're flying, get a letter from your GP to say you have diabetes and need to take your treatment on to the plane
  • if you use a pump or CGM, check with your airline before you travel about taking it on board – some airlines require paperwork for medical equipment

Packing for your trip

  • pack 3 times as much insulin, test strips, lancets, needles and glucose tablets as you'd expect to need
  • if you use a pump, pack insulin pens in case it stops working
  • put insulin in your hand luggage – the hold of the plane will be too cold and could damage the insulin
  • take a cool bag to stop your insulin getting too hot
  • take plenty of snacks in case there are any delays
  • do not put your pump through the hand luggage scanner – let airport security know so they can check it another way

While you're away

  • be prepared to test more while you're away – hot and cold weather can affect your blood glucose levels and increase your risk of a hypo or hyper
  • you may have to change your insulin dose depending on the temperature and different activities you're doing – speak to your diabetes team

Diabetes UK has more information on what to do when you travel.

Page last reviewed: 14/05/2018
Next review due: 14/05/2021