When traveling, insulin with accessories should be at hand. This is also important because there is less chance of getting lost. There are basics on how to prepare for a longer and longer journey for people who use insulin therapy. It takes a little good planning first of all to have everything you need on the trip. This is especially important when going on longer trips or trips abroad.
During cold weather, care should be taken not to freeze the insulin. Then it should be carried in inside pockets. For summer travel, care should be taken not to overheat the insulin. Patients on insulin therapy should never drive for more than two hours. Then you should take a short break and have a snack and control your blood sugar. When planning trips for a long time, it is good to consult a doctor who will give some additional and useful advice.
When planning a trip, be sure to pack all the medications you use. Make sure you have an insulin pen and one extra pen. Do the same with the needles. Persons using an insulin pump should bring a spare insulin reservoir, infusion sets, pump batteries. If you are not sure if you have enough insulin kits, insulin or needles, go to the doctor before the trip to write your prescriptions. Be sure to pick up all medications at the pharmacy before traveling. Also, don’t forget to bring a glucometer, a self-monitoring diary, and a sufficient number of blood sugar test strips.
When traveling alone (unaccompanied) it is good to have a card in your personal luggage, a bracelet on your hand or a pendant in your pocket that says you are diabetic or a person who uses insulin therapy. This is the best way to help other people in some emergencies. Check with your doctor or one of the Diabetes Associations in your district / canton / region where you can get such items. Many associations share such useful things with their members. Make sure you have spare food (sandwich, fruit, chocolate, candy) in your handbag or purse. It is good to carry a sugar cube, a small bag of honey or glucose candies in your pocket because they are most effective when your blood sugar “falls” below normal values. It is good to carry a bottle of water.
If you are traveling to another country, it is good to carry a prescription and a doctor’s confirmation that you are receiving insulin so that you would not have any inconveniences at border crossings (or airport controls). When buying a travel Health insurance emphasize that you have diabetes and that you use insulin. Inform your travel companions and organizers also about your health so that they can help if needed.
When traveling, always keep your insulin in your handbag or on hand and make sure that your insulin does not heat up. This is especially important on warm days. In many pharmacies, you can get small bags with thermal insulation in which the insulin will stay cold even at the hottest temperatures. Inquire at the nearby Diabetes Association as associations often give these bags to their members or sell them at very reasonable prices. As a last resort, if you do not have a bag like this and you need to travel, then you can keep the insulin pen in a small empty thermos bottle.
If you go to the beach, it is best to keep insulin among the wardrobe in a bag left in deep shade. The same goes for wintering when insulin needs to be protected from too low a temperature.
When traveling by plane, you carry insulin (and everything else a diabetic needs) in your hand luggage, not in the suitcase you hand over and go to the luggage compartment. The temperature in the luggage compartment is often too low, so insulin can freeze there and become unusable. Once insulin has frozen, it should no longer be used as it becomes unusable. Therefore, it must not be used even when thawed. If you need to put insulin reserves in a suitcase (which will be transported to the luggage compartment), put it in the middle of the wardrobe to avoid freezing insulin. Traveling with insulin is neither difficult nor impossible. It requires a little planning to make the trip go smoothly. It is best to have a written list to check everything you need for travel. Ask your doctor or specialist for diabetics (endocrinologist) for any additional advice and information.