Packing diabetes supplies for travel


I don’t care if you carry a sheaf of papers with you when you travel. No need to be rude and call me “extremely naive” about the world around me. I’ve never personally needed any Rx for the places that I travel. I’ve only been traveling with diabetes for 40 years…


It’s obvious to me that you don’t care. This is the way I talk. I don’t make excuses for it. And it is naive in today’s world to think you can just carry anything into an airport, hence the comment about sub machine guns pointed at the person. I know who I am. I don’t take cynicism or sarcasm lightly. And I was also raised to care about more than just myself. We can go on if you so choose. Makes no difference to me.


I will bring an extra via of insulin over and above what is expected to be needed as you said, it could break or something.

But I will also bring a paper prescription for the insulin as another backup so that if we run out of insulin (for whatever reason - unlucky and drop and break 2 vials?) then we can go to a pharmacy with the paper prescription in hand and obtain more insulin.

We never had to do so but it gives me a good feeling of another backup that takes very little space. This is just travel among the states in the USA.


I always travel with at least 1 spare of everything beyond the quantities I expect to use for the expected maximum duration of my trip.
Frio coolers work good as evaporative coolers. Best cooling when exposed to free flowing air and best in low humidity environment. Notes from tests I performed outdoors, completely shaded under a tree:
2014 Frio Insulin Cooler for personal portable use. Daytime with humidity less than 45% results in 14 deg drop in temp (average 84 deg vs 98 deg). Nighttime with humidity greater than 75% results in 5.6 deg drop in temp (average 79.7 deg vs 85.3 deg).


I guess you’ve never entered the USA as a foreigner. As a Canadian, I’ve been asked twice by US Customs to show scripts for all my meds.


The u.s. is very strict. The only time s security guard ever threw away my supplies was at an immigration center. All US immigrants have to go be fingerprinted when they turn 14, and at the local center, people started lining up at midnight because they only let a certain number of families in. It’s not in a great part
of town, and staying out in the cold all night seemed inadvisable, so I got my pediatric endocrinologist to write me a note saying that I couldn’t wait in line for 8 hours because of the diabetes. When I got there, the security guard opened my bag, took all the syringes that were still in their packaging, and threw them straight in the garbage. He tried to throw the insulin. I started to tear up, and he started screaming at a scared 14 year old that I was a danger to America. Thank God, I was young and white with my mom ready to step in and tell him how impossible it is to get more insulin easily. I don’t know what would have happened if I was learning the language, or alone, or looked dangerous. I was blessed this happened less than 10 miles from home because if I was about to travel, I would have been in trouble.


You guessed right. I’m American,. :slight_smile:


I was questioned at Heathrow and it would have been handy to have had the doctor’s RX. I was delayed about 20 minutes is all…so no biggie.


hehehe, I’m not gonna answer this one because sometimes I dont bring any supplies at all. Twice I have gotten on a plane with no insulin. My bad.


Its been my experience that its way harder on the Canadian side than the Mexican side (for getting across), but experiences may vary. I am US citizen. My mom says that when I was a baby, she forgot my birth certificate, when crossing back home the Mexican border. It was really, really bad. The Mexican police held her and wouldn’t let her back into the US and accused her of kidnapping. My mom’s not ‘good under pressure,’ I think it was pretty bad experience for every one involved because eventually they just released her. Shes annoying and I’m sure she was crying like a fool. A fool with a newborn.


I usually take 2 extra vials of insulin, double the pump supplies and CGM supplies, plus more than enough of my migraine meds - plus a doctor’s note for all the medical stuff, in Danish (live in Denmark), English and the language of the country I’m travelling to if it isn’t English.

I usually just keep my insulin in the packaging, as it’s just a small box with the medical insert - it’s nice and snug in there, and absorbs the shock if I drop it. I’ve never broken a vial in the 14 years I’ve had diabetes.


IIRC, I’ve broken just one, and that was around the 20-25 year mark. I was dx’d in '78.


Traveling to pretty remote places in Asia for up to 6 weeks at a time on a regular basis, learned early on to “stretch” supplies. Using a computerized pen and taking 7-10 shots a day, in a small airport in South China they told me no way I was bringing a partially used box of 100 BD needles on board and they confiscated all but a small handful. From that day I realized that a needle could be used, not only once but up to 35-40 times or more if treated with care. The biggest trick was to use the same needle for basal and bolus. For some odd reason basal insulin (lantus/levemir) tend to plug up the needle after 4-5 injections, If you flush out the basal insulin with a few units of bolus (In my case Humalog) the same needle can be used for weeks as long as it does not get bent and is injected directly into skin rather than through clothing. Also stopped using alcohol wipes for finger sticks and pre-injections, just use when inserting new Dexcom sensor.


TSA Are funny animals. I really don’t think they get trained well. I’ve had the question why I carry multiple novalog and Victoza pens. Yet at times they don’t seem to care. My latest flight they didn’t raise an eyebrow to my Diabetic Supplies and other meds but confiscated my tooth past. Guess they were out of it.


Toothpaste is a gel and is treated the same as a liquid. If you have more than 100 grams (or whatever the limit is in the US), it will be confiscated.

Medications don’t count towards the liquids limit, but you are still supposed to have liquid medications in a clear bag that you put in the bin with your other “everyday liquids” clear bag. I have never had an issue doing this.

The US has recently also started inspecting food, so they advise any food you bring as carry-on be in a single (clear) container to make the inspection go more quickly.