Help Me Create My Packing List for International Travel

This is certainly not the first time I've ever traveled with D and I'm usually pretty good at remembering all the stuff I need. But just so I know I have everything I need, what are the items on your packing list whenever you travel far away from home (especially internationally)? (and I'm fielding this to T1s/insulin-dependent folks who use a pump)

DON'T FORGET THE BATTERIES FOR UR PUMP!! I did and well lets just say I had everything at my disposal but the batteries. Errrrrr turned out that the Dollar Store isn't open at 4 am LOL! Took the battery from the remote in the room! LOL!

I've traveled quite a bit with the pump, and international trips are definitely a bigger challenge than within the U.S. I have a standard list of supplies I use for such occasions: include double the set changes that you think you will need; double the amount of test strips you think you will need (I usually consolidate these into as few canisters as I can - saves space!); either a backup pump or Lantus/Levemir; syringes; extra alcohol pads and any adhesives that you use; an extra bottle of insulin and I second the pump (and meter) batteries. With the backup pump, make sure you have your current settings noted so that you can switch without missing a beat if you need to. If you haven't done MDI for a while, either do a "test run" with it before leaving or work with your Endo or educator to identify a dosing schedule for it.

If I'm traveling in the heat of summer, I'll usually bring a Frio wallet.

Here's a copy of the checklist that I use

Diabetes Packing List:

humalog pen - current
lantus pen - current
ketone strips
lansing device
test strips

Set changes
Insertion sets for total of changes
Back-up sets for changes
Reservoir and tubing for changes
Back -up reservoir and tubing for changes
Insulin vial
Back-up vial if required
2 IV preps for every set and back-up
alcohol preps for reservoir change and emergency shots
paper towels - or plan to purchase

lancets (at least one for each day)
back up meter
pen needles


AAA for pump
Circular for pump meter
AA and square for scales

Postage scale
Regular scale for long trips

Everybody's list so far has been very thorough. One thing I would add is a spare pump battery cover. Your pump is no-go if the battery cover gets lost. As a matter of fact, a spare pump would solve this.

Are you crossing a lot of time-zones? Do you have a travel day insulin plan? When will you reset the pump clock?

Don't forget to get some paper copies of prescriptions for your insulin.

And if you are going to a country where you are at risk of possible dysentery, it may be good to bring some packets of electrolytes for oral rehydration therapy.

When I went to mexico last summer, all my insulin was destroyed early into my two week trip requiring a switch to vials of NPH/R and syringes, but I did ok. I am traveling again this summer and I hope to not be as stupid as before, but I am going to have some backup plans just in case.

Medtronic has a good list...and if you have the Phone app it's under the travel tab.

Thanks, ya'll!! These are some great suggestions. I am throwing some of these in my suitcase right now....some things I didn't think about was a back-up meter (duh!), extra battery cap, and oral electrolytes.

Yes, copies of prescriptions. Good idea. Will call endo's office today and see if I can get these. I had a set somewhere, but have no idea where they are right now.

How did your insulin get destroyed?

When I traveled to Egypt, I also made sure I had a little insulated lunchbox to keep my insulin (and back up vials) in as well as a couple of reusable ice packs that stay frozen for a long time so I could keep my insulin cool for the plane ride there and back and when we traveled place to place.

I also had packets of powdered sugar free electrolytes that I could add to bottled water in case I got sick and dehydrated.

Good suggestion. I am actually going to the Middle East (Israel to be exact). The Frio pouches are what I'm using, as they worked quite well during my last hot-weather trip. But should I also bring some ice? I know insulin can stay fairly stable at room temp, but I'm not up for taking any chances!

See my post, Gosh - Sorry about your FROZEN INSULIN!

Not sure if you are referencing the travel to and from your destination or your entire trip. If I recall, I ended up asking the flight attendant for some ice as the cool packs seemed to lose some of their solidity. I put it in a ziplock baggie(I always carry a few extra when I travel.) Then I just froze the cool packs when I arrived there. But I am not sure where you will be staying. I had extended family we stayed with, so there was a freezer. If you won’t have that kind of access, I would use the Frio pouches. I think there are portable mini coolers that plug into the ac outlets to cool, but not sure how well that works with the ac conversion. When I did stay in a hotel, I just had my vial of insulin that I used with me and kept cool with freezer packs and ice as a backup for my pump. But I also traveled with a backup pump. If you are a pumper and use a minimed pump, they do offer pump loaners for when you travel outside of the US.

Sorry that I replied so late. I didn’t see your question until today. I wish you a safe and fun trip. Don’t know if I could be of further help, but you could always direct message me if you had any other questions.