Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
Share
Compartir

Have diabetes? Get tips for safe travels

Getting out of the routine is part of the fun of vacation and traveling. But your care routine should travel with you, especially if you have diabetes.

Meals away from home, changes in how much physical activity you get, and differences in time zones as you travel can affect how well you manage diabetes. Use this time to be refreshed, lose the stress, and be open to healthy habits. Before you hit the road, review these tips for taking care of yourself.

Photo: Hat, sunglasses and suitcaseDon't Forget Your Medication

  • Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you expect to need, in case of travel delays.
  • Keep snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops.
  • Make sure you keep your health insurance card and emergency phone numbers handy, including your doctor's name and phone number.
  • Carry medical identification that says you have diabetes.
  • Keep time zone changes in mind so you'll know when to take medication.
  • If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit.
  • Have all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including vials of insulin) clearly marked with the pharmaceutical preprinted label that identifies the medications. Keep it in the original pharmacy labeled packaging.
  • Find out where to get medical care if needed when away from home.
  • Take copies of prescriptions with you.

Photo: RVOn the Road

  • Reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.
  • Pack a small cooler of foods that may be difficult to find while traveling, such as fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  • Bring a few bottles of water instead of sugar-sweetened soda or juice.
  • Pack dried fruit, nuts, and seeds as snacks. Since these foods can be high in calories, measure out small portions (¼ cup) in advance.

In the Air

  • If you're flying and do not want to walk through the metal detector with your insulin pump, tell a security officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and ask them to visually inspect the pump and do a full-body pat-down.
  • Place all diabetes supplies in carry-on luggage. Keep medications and snacks at your seat for easy access. Don't store them in overhead bins or checked luggage.
  • If a meal will be served during your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low fat, or low cholesterol meal. Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
  • If the airline doesn't offer a meal, bring a nutritious meal yourself.
  • Make sure to pack snacks in case of flight delays.
  • When drawing up your dose of insulin, don't inject air into the bottle (the air on your plane will probably be pressurized).
  • Reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.

Photo: A vehicle filled with lugageStaying Healthy

  • Changes in what you eat, activity levels and time zones can affect your blood glucose. Check levels often. Talk with your doctor before increasing physical activity, such as going on a trip that will involve more walking.
  • Stick with your exercise routine. Make sure to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water.
  • Protect your feet. Be especially careful of hot pavement by pools and hot sand on beaches. Never go barefoot.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on immunizations.

More Information

 

CDC 24/7 - Saving Lives. Protecting People.
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
  • Page last reviewed: June 17, 2013
  • Page last updated: June 17, 2013
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO