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Traveling with Diabetes- Travel Tips from the DOC and the TSA

A checklist for travelers with diabetes

Laura KolodjeskiLaura Kolodjeski

While traveling may be fun, I don’t know anyone that looks forward to going through airport security. I’ve read several blog posts, by members of the DOC, detailing the additional challenges you face. So earlier this spring, I asked readers to share tips on traveling with diabetes. Here’s some of what you said:

  • Bring a ziplock bag and a small container for your supplies: One of our Facebook fans, Tina, shared in our Diabetes Discussion that she stores pills in a ziplock bag [important they are still stored in their original packaging for appropriate storage and ease of identification] and her diabetes supplies in a small container. This way, she can easily pull her supplies out to have them handchecked at security.
  • Have your doctor write you a note: Tina also shared that it’s important to bring a note from your doctor stating that you must have your diabetes supplies with you at all times.
  • Get a medical alert identification: Michael, another Facebook fan, suggested always having some form of identification stating that you are a person living with diabetes like a medical alert necklace or bracelet.

I also thought it would be beneficial to turn to our national experts – the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). After digging around on the TSA’s website, I found a blog entry from Bob, a member of the TSA blog team. I thought he did a great job capturing travel tips for people living with diabetes. He shares that he has type 2 diabetes and was previously a Transportation Security Officer (TSO). Check out some of his tips below:

Tips for Traveling with Diabetes Supplies

  • Pumps and supplies need to be accompanied by insulin.
  • Tell a TSO that the insulin pump cannot be removed.
  • You can have an unlimited number of unused and used syringes, when transferred in a hard surface container.
  • You can always ask. If you’re uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector, just ask for a visual inspection and pat-down, instead.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about your supplies, feel your sugar dropping or if you need medical assistance, don’t hesitate to tell a TSO.

Hopefully these tips may be of help the next time you travel by plane. A big thanks to our Facebook fans, Tina and Michael, for sharing their tips with us. We’d love to hear more, so if you have any, please share a comment below.

Safe travels,

Laura K.

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