Holiday travel checklist for people with diabetes on injections

Holiday travel checklist on injections MDI (Multiple daily injections) or Mixed insulin regime

For a checklist for people with diabetes when travelling with an insulin pump go here

Being prepared makes life easier. Check if any vaccinations are required well in advance, arrange letters, prescriptions and check dates on supplies. Don’t order a special ‘diabetes’ meal for your flight – unless you really want to! Advise the airline you have Type 1 Diabetes, this information should be passed to cabin crew and you will normally be given permission to carry an extra cabin bag solely for medication and diabetes supplies.

Here is a checklist covering what may require to pack for your trip:

Documents to carry:

  • Travel letter – confirming Type 1 diabetes and list of medications for customs. The letter should outline your medical conditions, insulins, and any other medication you take, devices used and the importance of carrying you medication with you. If Lucozade is used to treat hypos ask for ‘lucozade is used to treat hypos’ to be noted on your doctors letter, although it is never guaranteed they will allow it through
  • Prescription List
  • Sick day rules
  • Insurance information
  • Contact number for diabetes team

Prescriptions with original labels intact

Pens and spare pens – disposable pens can be useful for travelling

Long and short acting insulin – 2-3 times usual amount required, stored in hand luggage (it will freeze in the hold)

Pen Needles

Blood glucose monitor plus an extra spare monitor, strips and batteries

2 x finger pricker and lancets

Ketone meter, strips (check date) and batteries

Glucagon Emergency Kit (orange box) Check expiry date

Hypo treatments

Snacks in case of delay

Travel insurance and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling to a European Union member country. (this may change in the future)

For travel insurance, check comparison sites, such as gocomparecompare the marketconfused.commoney supermarket, and read MSE’s article for pre-existing medical conditions.

Other items to consider:

  • Sharps bin
  • MedPak– can be useful for packing
  • Frio wallets– to keep insulin cool (VAT can be claimed back during checkout on Funky Pumpers)
  • Portable scales
  • Extra ‘Airport Security Hand Luggage Liquid Bags’ – can be bought cheaply on ebay (approx £1.50 for 11)
  • Park letter (to avoid queuing)
  • Basic phrases in language of country you are travelling to
  • Medical ID – if you carry a purse or wallet the EIO Card is very economical
  • First Aid kit with basic first aid items such as bandaids, antiseptic, antihistamine, paracetamol, imodium, thermometer etc.

If using CGM:

CGM transmitter, CGM charger, Glucose sensors, Insertion device for sensors, Tape


If travelling by air:

Travelling with a hidden disability airport sunflower lanyardAlways check if your airport has opted into the ‘Travelling with a Hidden Disability Lanyard scheme.’ Many airports have been working with a number of different charities to improve staff training and awareness of hidden disabilities and to improve the assistance they provide. If you or someone you are travelling with have a hidden disability they will be happy to provide you with a lanyard or pin which will discreetly identify you to airport staff as requiring additional support.

Front line security staff have been trained to recognise these lanyards and offer special assistance to passengers passing through the Security Search process. Airports differ, so do check in advance, it may be you require to check in with the special assistance desk or are sent one by post pre-travel, for example.

Airports include:



Check with the airline in advance for extra hand or hold luggage allowance for medical supplies. They will often allow an extra bag.


Check with the airline for extra hand or hold luggage allowance for medical supplies. They will often allow an extra bag.

Useful Contacts

Insulin Companies

Lilly: 01256 315999

Novo Nordisk: 0845 600 5055

Pfizer: 01304 616161

Sanofi -Aventis: 01483 505515

Wockhardt UK: 01978 661261


Dexcom Technical support:

0131 516 0470
0330 088 7879
0800 031 5763

Visit – – created in August 2015 as a free online resource for the diabetes community for a walk you through the travel process with diabetes considerations in mind—what to pack, letters for travel, airport security, beach day advice and more!

Note – Always ask your team for travel letters, your GP could charge you!

mmol/l or mg/dl

Many countries do not measure glucose in mmols like us in the UK, for example a blood glucose level of 10mmols would be 180mg/dl. Check your destination before travel.

mmol to mg blood glucose conversion chart UK to US

Travel with Type 1 diabetes on injections
Keep all essential supplies in your hand luggage.

Test, test and test – new food, different routines and sun can all do funny things to your levels, and finally, take a deep breath and …..