Looking for advice on a long trip with Type I

I need some advice on planning a Round-the-World trip. I’m a Type I on a pump and CGM. I travel a lot in North America for work, and have made several trips to Europe and Africa since my diagnosis, but never for more than six weeks. Now I am thinking of doing a Round-the-World trip that might be anywhere from 3-7 months, and I’m hoping there are others out there with advice on how to deal with the sheer volume of supplies, logistics of getting it where it needs to be, and of course keeping the insulin cool.

I’m curious to hear how others may have done it. Does one buy the supplies abroad? Does insurance cover that? Are American prescriptions even valid in Australia, Indochina, or Moscow?

Ever since I was diagnosed, these questions have kept me from traveling as much as I’d like. Honestly I’m super jealous of those who don’t even have to think about it.

Anyway, if you have some experience or advice to share, I’d be grateful, and I’m sure it’d be of use to many others as well.



hi Bjorn, we do have some folks here who have lived aboard while sailing extensively, please join this group

even if you aren't a sailor, I know Mike there has a lot of info on how to manage it. sounds exciting!

Hi Bjorn and yes, I'm jealous! I lived in Guatemala for two years and there you don't need prescriptions for any medications you just go to the pharmacy and ask for them, though I did, of course have a doctor there since I was there long term. I paid cash, kept receipts and submitted them to my insurance company and they reimbursed me though at a lower rate than my U.S. coverage. If you are going to spend significant time in a limited number of countries (which would be easier, and, in my opinion more enjoyable than hopping from country to country) I would contact those embassies and ask how to find out about their prescription policies. Then talk with your insurance company about their procedures for reimbursement. If you find that some of the countries do require prescriptions you might want to visit a local doctor who speaks English.

Now the pump is a whole other story! I would contact Medtronic and ask their advice. You might want to do so anonymously because if they say they can't send supplies to other countries what I would do is give them a new address of a friend and have that person forward the supplies to you at periodic drop points. Oh yes, and I traveled recently to visit Guatemala on United and found that they allow you an extra free bag for medical supplies (which I didn't need for 2 1/2 weeks) but check with your airline about that as well. Hope this helps get you started. It won't be easy but don't even consider giving up and then let us all know what you learned! (and about your travels of course!)

When I travel by plane with my son, I get a doctor's letter to share what is in my medical bag and why I need it. Do not allow your insulin pump to go through x-ray machine as it will destroy it. I have doctor's note plus pamphlet from medtronic that shows it cannot pass through machine. I purchased a FRIO pack. It only needs water to keep insulin cold. If you know in advance where you are going, you can have your supplies mailed to address you'll be at. I don't know if this would be fine with a hotel. I had supplies shipped to another state when away. So, find out. My Blog