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 traveling

  • See your doctor for an exam and check if you need any vaccinations. Be sure to get any needed vaccinations 1 month before you travel.
  • Have your doctor 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 traveling.
  • Find out where you can get diabetes supplies, as well as locations(s) of healthcare centers at your travel destination. Have your doctor write a prescription for medicines and supplies in case of an emergency.
  • Be 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 others; pack more supplies than you think you’ll need while you’re traveling.
  • Keep packed diabetes supplies with you — carry-on if traveling by air, in the car or on a bus.
  • Pack some snacks and some form of sugar (candy, glucose tablets) to treat low blood glucose.


During your trip

  • Wear or carry a medical ID that shows you have diabetes. Let others traveling 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 issues 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.


  • American Diabetes Association. (ADA) – When You Travel. Accessed online Sept 9, 2019

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