Dexcom Warrior Max Domi looking at his glucose data on the Dexcom G6 app before traveling

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Know Before You Go: Tips For Travelling with Diabetes

There is no doubt that travelling is a great way to enjoy your free time. Travel doesn't always mean flying to a new country, sometimes it's as easy as taking a road trip to see a friend, or going to a nearby town to catch a show. No matter where you go, travelling comes with its own set of tasks and considerations. Planning your trip, getting there, and enjoying yourself all take some preparation and work. For people living with diabetes, planning for travel means adding a few extra diabetes supplies to your packing list. It may also mean doing research on your destination and making some adjustments to your routine. Travel nowadays also comes with new considerations on what you’re comfortable with and what type of transportation best meets your needs. With a bit of preparation, you can enjoy travel, near or far.

How to Travel with Diabetes

There are so many exciting things to see and do while travelling. Visiting friends, experiencing new sights, and delving into local experiences can take up large parts of your day. It's important to remember that, when travelling, diabetes may be an added consideration. Changes in time zones, meal schedules, and food types may affect your glucose levels. The way you travel can also be a factor in how you plan for your trip.
Here are a few tips to make travelling with diabetes a little bit easier.
Diabetes Considerations When Travelling By Car
While travelling by car, you may be driving for long periods of time without breaks. If this is the case, it's a good idea to keep a variety of sugary and sugar-free snacks and drinks within arm’s reach.1 You may also need to keep your insulin in the car with you, so bringing along a cooler can help keep it at a consistent temperature—but try to avoid letting it touch the ice directly.1 If you’re driving in the hot sun or on a cold winter day, be extra careful about the temperature of your insulin. If you get out to take a break, don’t leave it in the car. Whether its insulin or any other diabetes medication you may be taking, be sure to always review and follow the instructions for use regarding storage.
If you’re driving for long periods of time, be sure to get out and stretch your legs or walk around. Doing this every two hours or so can help improve blood flow to your legs1 and give your body a break from driving. Remember, if your blood sugar is low you shouldn’t be driving.2 If you are worried about your levels dropping while you’re at the wheel, ask a friend or loved one to take over the driving duties.
Diabetes and Travelling By Train
If you’re travelling by train, many of the same tips for car travel apply. Luckily, on a train, you’re free to pay more attention to your body and your personal needs. Be sure to bring travel snacks, keep your insulin in a temperature-controlled compartment (and follow the storage instructions for all of your diabetes medications), and take some time to stretch and walk around your train car.
Diabetes and Flying By Plane
Travelling by plane comes with different logistical considerations to driving. While you won’t need to concentrate on the road, you will need to be aware of how you pack and store your diabetes medication.
You should always pack your diabetes travel supplies in your carry-on and make sure you have easy access to them at all times. If you need to store insulin on the plane, try putting it in a wide-mouthed insulated thermos. This can help your insulin stay at a consistent temperature throughout your trip.1 Similar to travelling by car, always review and follow the instructions for use regarding the storage of your diabetes medications and supplies. Speak to your doctor prior to your trip to get their recommendations for insulin delivery while flying.
When going through security, it’s also a good idea to let the airport officers know about your condition and any diabetes related technology you use so that they won’t flag you or your device.1 You can ask the security officer for a hand inspection instead of an x-ray screening of your glucose monitoring system and insulin pump.3 Check out our FAQ on going through airport security with the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System here. Be sure to also check your Using Your G6 guide for specifications on imaging systems and your CGM system.
Can you bring insulin needles on a plane?
People often ask if you can bring insulin needles on a plane. Be sure to review Transport Canada’s website for the most up to date information regarding what you are able to pack in your carry-on. As of now, insulin needles are allowed to be included in your carry-on luggage as long as the needle guard is in place and the medication is with you.

Diabetes and Traveling Abroad or Overseas

For many immunocompromised people and people living with diabetes, international travel has not been an option in recent years. However, as the world starts to open up again, international travel may be something you are considering. Whether you’re a first-time traveller or a seasoned pro, here are a few tips that might help make your trip a little smoother.
Changing time zones may affect your insulin delivery schedule or your normal meal times. Talking with your doctor ahead of your trip can help you prepare for adjusting your insulin dosages in different time zones or to understand how different foods may affect your blood sugar levels. Your doctor can also give you any necessary letters or documents to help you carry your medication overseas, or to get refills of prescriptions in foreign countries. Researching insulin types available in certain countries and where you can source them can also help you stay prepared.
If monitoring glucose is a concern, consider using a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device like the Dexcom G6 CGM System. Dexcom G6 gives you access to real-time data on your glucose levels, plus customizable alerts to let you know when glucose readings trend high or low. Not to mention, the Dexcom Follow App can keep your loved ones informed of your glucose levels, even when you’re not near them.*

Creating A Savvy Travel Plan

Creating a travel plan in advance can help you stay prepared for any unexpected surprises along the way. It can also give you more peace of mind during your trip, so you can take away some of the worry about your diabetes management. When creating your travel plan, it’s important to take into account all of the activities you will be doing on your trip. This includes both planned and unplanned activities. Here are a few points to consider when creating your travel plan:
  • Speak with your doctor before travelling to find out what types of medication will be available on your trip, any documentation you need before flying or crossing borders, and how to manage insulin dosages in different time zones and countries.
  • Find pharmacies close to where you are staying.3
  • Buy travel insurance before you fly.3
  • Pack extra medication and supplies.3
  • Bring along lots of healthy travel snacks when possible.3
  • Research diabetes-friendly foods in the areas you are travelling to.
  • Bring disposable containers for any used injection supplies. In a pinch, a wide-mouthed plastic bottle will do the trick.1
  • Learn a few important words related to diabetes in the language of the country you’re visiting. You can also bring a translation book or use an app if needed. If using an app, consider where and when you’ll have cell reception and make a backup plan just in case.1
  • Keep insulin, CGM devices, blood glucose monitors, insulin pumps, and other diabetes equipment out of hot and cold areas.3 Be sure to follow the instructions for use on how to properly store your different diabetes medications and supplies.
  • Pack any diabetes equipment in your carry-on.1
  • Make a plan for managing high temperatures as they can change how your body uses insulin.4
  • Make time for rest during long days of travel and avoid over-exerting yourself.2
  • Let others know of your travel plans and create an action plan for how your Followers can support you if they receive a high or low glucose alert.

Find Your Wanderlust

Travel can be a great way to see the world or simply connect with an old friend in a new city. No matter where you're headed, the best way to have an enjoyable trip is to be proactive about your needs before you get there.
Always talk to your doctor before travelling to make sure you have everything you need while away. It's also a good idea to do research on the country or location you are travelling to, so you know what to expect when you get there. If you’re travelling for a long period of time, or to multiple destinations, it’s especially important to plan ahead so you can ensure that you have all the supplies and medications you need.
Thinking about travelling soon? Be sure to stock up on Dexcom G6 supplies before you go! Learn more about Dexcom G6 and how it can be used to monitor your glucose levels today.
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* Requires the Follow App and an internet connection.
† For a list of compatible devices, visit
1 Diabetes: Travel Tips | HealthLink BC. (2022). Retrieved 17 February 2022, from
2 Diabetes and Driving. (2022). Retrieved 18 February 2022, from
3 21 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes. (2022). Retrieved 17 February 2022, from
4 Heat and People with Chronic Medical Conditions | Natural Disasters and Severe Weather | CDC. (2022). Retrieved 21 February 2022, from

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