No checked luggage -- can it be done?

I’m traveling to Wales for two weeks this summer, and would love to manage it with no checked luggage, but given all the extra diabetes related STUFF I’ve got haul along, I’m wondering if that’s an impossible dream. Anyone pulled off something similar successfully? I’d love to hear your experiences. Thanks!

If you’re worried, specifially, about your diabetes stuff, I always carry it on the plane with me. Domestic, international, just doesn’t matter. Even with my Ominpod stuff, I can comfortably fit a month’s worth of supplies in my backpack, along with a change of clothes and my laptop.

That being said, my shortest international trip has been 10 days and I personally could not manage without one checked in bag. Just considering all the regulations on liquids, etc, I’ve just found it easier to check a bag then to try to get all of my personal stuff through security on a carry on. I had one incident flying back from Narita, Tokyo, where I forgot to put my toiletriies in my checked bag and that cost me 15 minutes at the security checkpoint. Interestingly, the Japanese TSA didn’t even bat an eye at a month’s worth of diabetes supplies (before the Opod), but they had 50 questions about my deodorant, Crest, and aftershave.

Oh, there is no way I would ever check any D-supplies! Thanks for sharing your travel experiences! I’ll keep your tips in mind.

Hi Jan,

I’m Ruby-Jane, and I’m T3, mother of a T1. I’m also a chronic pain patient, and if I’m going anywhere for a substantial length of time, I can’t manage to do it without checking a bag. My medications take up 1/3 - 1/2 of my carry-on suitcase, leaving little space for clothing, shoes, etc. It’s a major problem.

One of my goals in life is to learn to pack lightly, without checked bags, and to be able to whisk through an airport like a flight attendant. I’m working on it…

The benefits of having a checked bag, though, are significant. You can bring a few extra things to wear, and to handle unexpected weather changes. Cold weather clothing tends to be bulky and hog all the room. I have friends who bragged about flying to Mexico without checked luggage and then admitted that they froze the entire time (in the mountainous region). No room for jackets. Also, if you check a suitcase without much in it, you will have space for items purchased on your trip when you return.

Have a great trip!!

Hi Jan,

I’m a Ping user, but I have managed to travel with just one bag. Check out Scott evest . I have the travel vest (my laptop or ipad fit in the back, it holds TONS). I just take off the vest and put it on the scanner. I also have the travel/sport shorts - they come in mens only but if you email they will suggest a size to get. Wouldn’t travel without at least the vest!

As a diabetic, you are allowed an extra carry-on bag with your diabetic supplies. Last summer I traveled for just over 2 weeks and I only carried on my luggage. I used a 20" upright rolling suitcase, one backpack (my personal bag), and one duffel bag that matches my suitcase (it’s the kind you put over the handle of your suitcase and it sits there). I put everything diabetic related in the duffel (including some snacks), entertainment items in my backpack, and everything else went in the suitcase. (I did put my iPod and a book in my D bag so it was more accessible.)

Foot space was a little tight with all the D stuff at my feet, so I would recommend walking around regularly on the plane to make sure you don’t get swollen ankles … but that’s good advice for any long flights :).

I took 1 full box of pods plus 5 other pods just to be safe. I had 3 gallon size ziploc bags to keep things organized …
Bag 1: the extra pods, tegaderm, unisolve, and Dexcom sensors
Bag 2: Lancets, alcohol swabs, tubes of test strips (no boxes, but I did number them so I’d know which I’d already opened), batteries
Bag 3: Glucose tablets/gel, snack crackers, juice box, medical bracelet, doctors notes

I also had a 1 quart back with my cooled Frio pack with my insulin. I always put the Frio in a plastic bag because I don’t want anything else to get wet and since the pack would be “smooshed” in there, I thought it was safer to have the ziploc. I like having all the plastic bags so I don’t worry about things falling out … and it’s easier to pull out specific items if the TSA (or other country’s equivalent) had questions.

I kept my Dex, cell phone, and OmniPod in a separate cosmetic bag with my lancet and test strips so they’d always be handy.

I may be the exception because I traveled with a suitcase and a back pack in Europe for a full month twice before I was diagnosed with diabetes. The extra carry-on allowed me to take my D supplies without disrupting my regular packing routine.