The NDSS is administered by Diabetes Australia

Travellingwith diabetes

Travelling with diabetes may require extra planning, but it shouldn’t stop you enjoying your trip. Remember to have fun and make great memories!

Travel preparation

Talk to your diabetes health professionals before you travel, to organise the following:

A letter from your doctor about your health, which insulin and other medications, and diabetes supplies you need to carry with you for your diabetes

Prescription for medications including insulin and glucagon, and consider medication for nausea and diarrhoea if traveling overseas

Written plans to manage any diabetes issues on the trip, for example, low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia or hypo for short) and illness (sick days)

A list of contact details (phone number and/or email) for your doctor and diabetes health professionals

A written plan for how to manage your diabetes, including insulin and eating, if you are travelling across time zones

Take out travel insurance and health cover including for having type 1 diabetes

Pack a diabetes travel kit

Organise extra supplies like:

  • Insulin and injection device(s)
  • Extra consumables if using an insulin pump
  • Medication for nausea and diarrhoea if travelling overseas
  • Glucose and ketone checking strips
  • Blood glucose meter
  • If using CGM, extra sensors and transmitter
  • If using Flash GM, extra sensors
  • Healthy snacks (it’s always good to have more than you think you’ll need) and a hypo kit and sick day action kit.

Bring your essentials such as insulin, glucagon, hypo and sick day action kit in your carry-on luggage when travelling by plane.

Your travel kit checklist

What to pack:

Travel tips for insulin pump users

Know how to convert your insulin pump settings to insulin injections in case your pump fails.
Pack back-up equipment for insulin injections.
Have a copy of your pump settings for easy reference.
Ask your insulin pump company about borrowing a spare one for your trip.

While you’re travelling

Carry-on items

Keep essential diabetes items in your carry-on when travelling by plane including extra carbs. This includes your insulin and glucose monitoring equipment, and your hypo and sick days action plan. This way, you’ll have everything you need, even if your checked bags get lost.

Prevent damage to your diabetes supplies

Pack your diabetes supplies in your carry-on bag instead of your checked bags if you’re flying. This way, you’ll have everything you need, even if your checked bags get lost. It’ll also stop your diabetes supplies from being exposed to extreme temperature changes, which can stop your insulin from working.

Carry identification

Wearing a medical ID bracelet and carrying your doctor’s letter can help others understand your diabetes in case of an emergency.

In-case-of-emergency app

If you have a smartphone, use the “In Case of Emergency app” to provide medical information even when the phone is locked.

Check your blood glucose levels regularly

Check your blood glucose levels often while you’re travelling to make sure they stay in your target range.

Have your diabetes supplies within reach

Store your diabetes supplies, including your hypo kit within arm’s reach, such as under the seat in front of you if you’re travelling by plane. This way you’ll have snacks and supplies on-hand should you have a hypo or if there is a delay in getting meals.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water while travelling. Staying hydrated is important for keeping blood glucose levels in check.

Airport security

Don’t remove your insulin pump or CGM or Flash GM device during security checks. Declare your device at the security checkpoint and show your doctor’s letter. Inform security staff that your device must not be exposed to X-rays.

Find more information about travelling with diabetes

At your travel destination

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Check your blood glucose levels regularly

Changes in routine, time zones, or food can affect your blood glucose levels. Remember to check your blood glucose more frequently while travelling.

Pack some healthy snacks

Pack your favourite healthy snacks for when you’re on the go and sight seeing. This will help you avoid unhealthy choices and manage your blood glucose levels.

Include physical activity

Plan fun activities to stay active during your trip. This will help you manage your blood glucose levels and enjoy your holiday.

Make sure you stay hydrated, especially when active or in hot weather. 

Time Zones

Keep track of both your departure and destination time zones. Adjust your insulin pump’s time settings to the local time upon arrival.

Know your emergency contacts

Be prepared by knowing how to contact:

  • Emergency services in the country you’re visiting, just in case
  • Your diabetes health professionals
  • Your travel insurance company
  • The Australian Government to get help if you are concerned about your welfare when overseas.

For more information about phone numbers, Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in the country you are visiting if traveling overseas.