Travelling and vacation with Dexcom?


Well, during winter time I will go for a two week vacation to Costa Rica. Will do a round-trip and end the days on the beach. And I'm thinking now to use my dexcom during the time.

Haven't yet asked advice regarding my dexcom from Rubin Medical, will do.

But, do you usually go on vacation with your CGM or do you take it off?

What about swimming in ocean etc?

Travelling by plane etc?

Happy to hear all kind of experiences!

Air travel with medical devices is generally no issue. I don't fly with doctors notices, and have never been asked for it. I've walked through body scanners and put devices in the belt scanners, and never had an issue. Sometimes they do a quick pat down and cloth swipe but that's all.

Swimming in the ocean is fine, though do make sure the adhesive is strong enough because you don't want to lose a sensor in deep water. The receiver of course cannot be used in water. When I was snorkeling, I had some food and receiver inside of two drybags floating nearby, and that worked well.

I travel a lot with my G4 (it makes flights so much easier than before! :-)

For the beach I use a zip-lock bag to protect the receiver from the sand/water, but also because I can still click on the middle button to check on my numbers without worry about getting it wet or sandy.
Obviously when your transmitter is under water it will not transmit anything.

I always put the receiver through the x-ray machine at security, but the transmitter and sensor never set off the metal detector.
I never go through the body scanners, only the metal detector or request a pat-down (in which case I show them my G4 sensor beforehand).

I never turn off the receiver (even during take-off/landing, but the new FAA rule allows that anyway) and make sure to always bring my charger and adapter.

I also have a note behind my receiver explaining that it is a medical device (in case someone steals it on the beach thinking it's an iPod or something) and to please return it... but to be honest, I am always looking at it from the beach/pool because I keep my pump with it so getting it stolen is NOT an option!

Have a great trip!

I was down in the fl keys for a week,beach and swimming in the ocean every problems..used "hy-tape" not affected by water. sensor lasted 2 weeks..airport no problems, I travel with a small cooler with icepacks for insulin and meds

Enjoy your vacation!! Take it with you and swim all you want. I was a lifeguard over the summer, and swam with it almost every day. Works great, just follow Andy’s advice and add some form of adhesive (I use some hyphafix strips). I have also been to a water park and had no problems. I put the receiver in a plastic zip lock and then in a waterproof wallet (you can find waterproof bags on amazon for $15 or so). The zip lock bag is a super cheap insurance policy for all diabetic supplies that make their way onto the beach or outdoors in general.

My regular extra taping worked great for me last week when I was at the beach/swimming pools:

but indeed, I would hate to lose my transmitter in the ocean!
(I even brought my spare transmitter with me for the week because I'm at the 11-month mark, so I'm expecting it to fail at any moment!)

I travel with the g4 and have done ocean pools and costa rica. SInce dex recommens not having the receiver go through x-ray (transmitter and sensor are fine) I ask for it to be hand checked. I have only had a problem once at the Statue of liberty screening (not an airport) where the staff got abusive and hostile about it. I now carry a small copy of the dex manual about it page folded in the dex case to show.

I have gone through body scanner with sensor/receiver on and have had no problems with it afterwards - although a couple of times they asked what was on my body if i forget to mention it. I was also reminded by Screening staff at airport just yesterday that diabetics are allowed to bring water without it being confiscated (but I never do to avoid the hassle).

Just remember to use extra adhesive or tape to keep the sensor on because long hours in pool or ocean will weaken the adhesive. Even with extra tape after spending all day (and I mean from 9 am to 5 pm) in the ocean and pool after three days my sensor was coming off. However, I usually swim an hour a day and I can keep a sensor for 2 weeks.

Costa rica is a beautiful country with lovely people and most areas have good medical care should you need it. You will enjoy it.

I love traveling with Dex because it is such a help managing BS under unpredicable routines easier. I also tape a small notice to the back that says medical device and my contact info for return but have not lost it or had it stolen in the tyear I have had it.

Just to clarify, for use in water, a single ziplock bag or drybag is not enough. Neither are fully "waterproof" and drips of water can and will get in. I used a cell phone size clipping waterproof bag for the dexcom, and put that inside a normal drybag (the kind you'd use for kayaking). That way, even if drips of water get in the bag, there's no pressure on the cell phone case to get water in there too.

The Dexcom manual might say not to go though certain devices, but I and many others have done it for a few years and I've never heard of an issue with it. Try to explain anything(!) to TSA staff is wasted time as they aren't willing to listen and have strict protocol to follow.

I always use mine no matter where I far at least.

We went to Dominican Republic this past summer (2013) and I wore my Dexcom and my Animas Ping with no major problems. Well, I had no issues with the Dexcom but the infusion set for the Ping came off one day after I had been in a pool for several hours.

Also, I always put tape on my Dexcom sensor so I know that helps.

Main thing is to just have fun!

You can also bring diet and sugared drinks on US flights, which I found out quite by mistake. Flying out of Phoenix one time I had a Coke Zero in my bag and told them I was "D" before they scanned it. It went through and the guy asked who it belonged to. I sheepishly raised my hand and he said, "Oh, OK you are allowed since you are diabetic and need it for medicinal reasons." Cool...but a diet drink for medicinal purposes?

I have traveled for business with my Dex and my OmniPod. I say definitely take it. You are going to be WAY off schedule and eating food that you may not be able to guestimate correctly. The Dex will protect you from hypos and hypers.

I never ask for alternate screening or to not go through the new fangled scanner. You will "fail" screening. My experience has been as soon as you say "medical device" the TSA backs off. They have always swabbed my hands and tested the material. It is a slight inconvenience, but I have nothing to hide so I don't care.

At the downtown airport in Toronto they send everyone through the old style magnometer. I went through today with my pod, my sensor and my metal diabetic ID and didn't set the sensors off. I would keep my insulin in the box with the prescription label for Costa Rica. For Canada I don't bother. Don't be surprised if you are asked about prescriptions. When I cruised to Bermuda, I had to declare (and maybe even show) everything to Customs / Immigration every time I got off the ship.

This was a funny one... haha

Thanks to all for already things that I had not yet been thinking too much of...

Well, I don't have a receiver, since I wear Animas Vibe. Animas Vibe is to be water proof, so I should be able to swim with it. I have so far never used it in the water.

Must just find something really good for the transmitter, since don't wanna loose it in the ocean... :)

As far as swimming, I swim with my sensor on all the time. In fact, I spend about an hour a day in the water, usually in a hot tub. Of course, the little computer that reads the numbers isn't water resistant, so keep that part away from the water. When you get out of the water, press a towel against the tape around the sensor to blot up any extra water. I use Skin-Tac to help keep the tape stuck. Enjoy your vacation, be sure to bring back lots of pictures to share!

Also, (sorry I'm late, your vaca is probably over by now) I use mine in the sauna from time-to-time. I just blot up the moisture after a shower and all has been well. I stay in the hot room for no more than 15 minutes though.

O, great to hear this Ron. No my vacation has not yet started.
I have been thinking of sauna, since we have our own at countryside and I go to sauna a lot during summer.

Do you know how many degrees (or farenheit) you have in the sauna? We usually have 70-80 degrees (158-176 fahrenheit) in the sauna. And after that straight into the sea..

I use it in the hot tub at 104 Deg for an hour a night and a time or two a week in the wet sauna at 160-180 at head level, never measured at at the transmitter level (bellybutton) but it is somewhat colder, for about 15 min. I don't take the receiver into either but the transmitter is still on me. Never had a problem with the transmitter. Only problem is making the adhesive stay stuck, which has been solved for me by using Skin-Tac.

That was good to hear. Hopefully should be ok -:).

Can someone describe how they transport their dexcom and diabetic supplies on long flights to hot places? I will be traveling to Thailand in the spring which is hot and humid so I want to make sure my stuff doesn’t get wrecked from the heat and humidity while flying/sitting on tarmacs. Can you take a separate cooler bag on flights in addition to your regular carry-ons? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I take all my D-supplies including pump infusion sets, pump cartridges, insulin, BG meters, and test strips in my hand carry bag. I store the insulin inside a Frio pouch to insure it stays cool. The Frio is a great and simple substitute for a more bulky cooler. They don't need any power or ice, just a good soaking in water every few days. (I have no relationship with Frio, except as a satisfied customer.)

I don't ever allow any of my Rx's or D-supplies to travel in the baggage hold because loss or damage replacing lost or damaged supplies would be inconvenient at best.