Summer travel season is almost here! Wherever you go, your diabetes comes with you. And with sharps, strange liquids and funky devices in tow, traveling with diabetes has its challenges.
But if you know your rights and plan ahead, you’re almost guaranteed to have a safe journey. Here are some of our best tips for preventing and resolving common travel issues.
Tip 1: When traveling, always carry or wear a medical ID and carry contact information for your physician. You can download and print a free diabetes medical alert card here.
Tip 2: Ask your doctor for a letter stating your diabetes diagnosis and your need to carry insulin, syringes, test strips and other supplies.
Tip 3: Pack at least twice as much medication and testing supplies as you think you need, and keep it in your carry-on.
Tip 4: Don’t expose insulin to extreme heat (such as a glove compartment) or cold (such as an airplane cargo hold).
Tip 5: If you plan to be more active than usual, your blood glucose could go too low. Take along snacks or fast-acting glucose.
Tip 6: Separate your diabetes supplies from your other carry-on baggage so it can be screened more easily.
Tip 7: Visit www.diabetes.org/airportsecurity before you fly!
Air travel is of particular concern. The American Diabetes Association works with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on airport security screening procedures and to ensure passengers with diabetes have access to their supplies and equipment. TSA has many resources to assist passengers who require special assistance or who experience problems during airport screenings.
Experience an air travel problem? Report it! This helps TSA and other agencies improve their processes and systems. Call 1-800-DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/airportsecurity.
What’s YOUR tried-and-true travel tip? Share in the comments section below!