International Travel with Omnipod

Wondering if anyone has had any issues traveling abroad with the Omnipod? I have flown domestically several times with no issue (I just tell the folks before I go through the scanner that I am wearing an insulin pump, and sometimes they ask me to touch it and swab my hand afterward, so I make sure it's situated in a convenient location), but for some reason I am nervous about my upcoming travel to Portugal/Spain. It will be my first trip overseas with the Omnipod. Any advice? Anyone know how to say "I wear an insulin pump" in Spanish? :)

Also... I assume I just change the time on my PDM to reflect the local time once I arrive?


I travel internationally frequently and have not had a problem.

In fact, I just traveled to London and back last week and had no problem.

I would advise keeping a closer eye than usual on your BG due to the time zone changes,
different food, and different levels of activity (racing through airports, walking more ,etc).

I changed the time on arrival... though exactly when to do it is always a guess for me.

I bring 2X the supplies I need (pods, insulin, test strips ,etc, as well as MDI backup (Lantus and Novolog pens), just in case.

I've been to Argentina and China with no problems. I believe the OmniPod is sold in Europe so it shouldn't be a big deal. The biggest deal might be US Customs, and then all you need is a prescription for the leftover supplies you are bringing back in.

Although I have not traveled overseas with the Pod, I, too, have taken many domestic flights. I agree with DextrosePLZ that having a letter from your endo explaining exactly what supplies you need to stay healthy is a good idea. I just keep the letter with me next to my boarding pass, and thankfully, I have never had to use it. Having such a letter when you return, though, may save you a hassle.

I hope that you enjoy your flight!

I've done a couple of trips from LAX to Tokyo/Narita with no problems whatsoever. I've done one trip to the Middle East (Bahrain and Qatar) with a layover in Franfurt Germany from LAX. At Frankfurt, there was a second security gate between the connector from LAX and the flight to Bahrain. They scanned my carry-on with a months supply of Omnipods. The scanner tech caught it and security pulled me aside to inspect the box. It was very professional, and very German. After a couple of questions, about five minute delay, they sent me on my way.

That's it. No other issues with pods, or extra supplies, or anything else at any other checkpoints, Customs or otherwise, and I generally end up getting my bags checked "randomly". I'd recommend taking a note from your doctor which you probably won't need.

Have fun!! I'm jealous.

Agreeing with everything already said, including being jealous! I just returned from my first trip overseas as a PWD. I carried a note from my doc, put my supplies through the scanner, and sailed through security at most stops. I was asked to show my "attachments," (CGM and oPod,) to a woman agent in Amsterdam behind a curtain, swabbed, and sent on my way right away.
I read past discussions about dealing with time change and went with what most people seemed to think works, changing basal rates to the new time once the plane wheels were up. I had mixed results with that. As suggested earlier, keep a close eye on things so you can adjust accordingly.
On a lighter note, my numbers were all over the place on my return flight. I attributed it to time change, lack of sleep, airplane food, etc, etc. I had put my Dex alarms on a tighter range for travel and kept alarming throughout the flight. I felt sorry for the poor guy next to me thinking he would be very confused about the bells and whistles...I was fiddling with my gadgets nonstop. Turns out he was an Endo returning from hospital work in Africa. He must of thought me the worst patient ever! It also turns out that I was coming down with some sort of respiratory ailment and my numbers were high for 5 days after returning home. So much for being knowledgeable and prepared.
I remember reading that "Soy Diabetico," is a good thing to know when traveling in a Spanish speaking country.
Good luck! Enjoy your trip.

I will absolutely take your suggestion to bring twice as many supplies!

Thank you! I am going to get a copy of the prescription ASAP.

Thank you! I've never traveled with that letter but am calling the endo today to request. It certainly won't hurt.

Thanks - your experience is very reassuring. Not sure why I am so nervous about this. I guess I need to fly abroad more often to get over it. :)

Thank you! My blood sugar tends to get weird with travel anyway (I think sitting completely still in the middle of the day for hours on end will do that...), so I will be sure to keep a close eye, especially once I change the PDM timer. My basal rates are very different for night and day, so I anticipate I'll have to do a little fiddling and/or snacking or correcting.

I travel internationally all the time with my Omnipod and Dexcom, Spain and Portugal included. Neither country in my experience uses full body scanners, only metal detectors. They're sensitivity is set so low that you can go through them without either setting it off. Also, airport security people in all international airports have a rudimentary command of English - it's the "Lingua Franca" of travel, and I've never had any issues with them misunderstanding when I say "insulin pump." I carry copies of my prescriptions, just in case. I've only ever been asked to show them when traveling in Korea.

Regarding resetting the time on the PDM: if you have the same basal rate 24/7, then it's no issue. I find that my insulin requirements increase at night, so I keep that setting for at least the first day until my body adapts to the new time zone. You'll have to experiment and see what works best for you.