Diabetes Travel- My Type 1 Packing List

Summer is finally here and after the long months of staying home during the coronavirus pandemic a lot of us are ready for an adventure out of the house! Your trip may be far - like driving hours to coastal beaches or simply camping nearby, but either way if you live with diabetes you need to pack supplies. You may be wondering, “What supplies do I need to bring?” Here is my Type 1 Packing List that has grown and changed based on my experiences.

I’ve had Type 1 diabetes now for 32 years, so I have a routine every time we leave for a weekend or longer. I’ve learned to pack for the unexpected too. Like the time my husband and I flew to St. Thomas and my insulin pump broke. Ugh! I was looking at a week of taking shots via syringes and I forgot my prescription for Lantus insulin. Double ugh! A nice man who happened to be a doctor overheard my dilemma and offered to order a new prescription of insulin for me. Whew! He saved the day as I was in a bit of a panic. The trip turned out wonderful, and the insulin pump manufacturer was able to send me a replacement within 2 days. But, after this terrifying experience, I decided I needed a checklist for every trip!

Here is my checklist for traveling with Type 1 diabetes. My list includes a lot, but like I said, I now plan for the unexpected:

  • Glucose meter
  • 2-3 bottles of test strips
  • Finger lancets
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Low candy or juice boxes
  • Insulin pump supplies-reservoirs and infusion sites (plus 1 additional weeks’ worth of supplies just in case)
  • CGM (continuous glucose monitor) supplies
  • Skin tac for my infusion sites and CGM sites
  • 1 week worth of syringes in case pump breaks
  • 2-3 vials of short-acting insulin
  • 1 vial of long-lasting insulin or prescription for it
  • Frio insulin cooling pouches
  • Dia-wipes- to clean my fingers on the go
  • Water bottle
  • Scissors to trim tapes
  • Band-Aids (just in case)
  • Glucagon Kit
  • Batteries for insulin pump

It is a long list, and since I use an insulin pump, I carry even more supplies! I always bring an extra weeks’ worth of everything. You never know if you might drop a bottle of insulin, have a flight canceled, or your trip gets extended unexpectedly. I always get extra prescriptions written to take with me as well. Then if anything happens, I can hopefully get a new prescription filled at a local pharmacy. It is best to be prepared and have peace of mind! I hope this list helps you pack for your next adventure!

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