Traveling with T1D: Part One

As summer comes to a close with schools back in session and vacations passed, the hubs and I are just now gearing up for our adventure! Ever since we were married in 2014 we wanted to travel to Europe together. In less than 2 weeks, it will actually happen 🙂

london

London, our first stop

It will be me, my husband, and another constant companion on our trip. One that will hopefully cooperate, not make me want to pull my hair out, and maybe teach me a few new lessons on the way…T1D…my constant sidekick!

stuttgart

Stuttgart to tour the Porsche factory and museum (scoring major wife points)

Traveling with T1D (no matter where you go) can be a little tricky. Changes in activity levels, food or schedule/time changes can be challenging, but luckily technology has come so far that it’s definitely manageable.

okt

Munich – Oktoberfest here we come!

In preparation for my trip I thought I would share just a few tips in traveling with T1D. And let’s be honest, this is also helping me with my packing list.

  1. The prep should start weeks before. Make sure to see your doctor and tell him/her about your plans. Work together to discuss insulin levels, a prescription for any emergency supplies, a note for airport security (a MUST when traveling internationally), and any other concerns.
  2. Bring extra supplies. I’ll say it again! Bring extra supplies (site supplies, insulin, snacks for lows, teststrips, etc etc). Being on the Omnipod, I count how many site changes I’ll do, and almost double the supplies. You never know how many pods will malfunction or if a site goes bad. Just bring extra supplies!
  3. Syringes are also a good idea. They tend to bring be back to the early days of diabetes when I see and pack them, but it’s always safe to bring them as backup.
  4. This isn’t a fun one, but pack the glucagon. Keep it with you wherever you go, and just knowing it’s there will decrease stress immensely. Make sure your travel companion(s) know how to use it in case of an emergency 🙂
  5. To be safe, keep your supplies in your carry on — and make sure the insulin is secure and the bottle won’t break. As tempting as it is to throw those supplies in your large suitcase and check the bag, you can never guarantee that you will see your bag again when you land.
  6. This goes with #1, but be careful about how new food and drinks affect your blood sugar, especially when alcohol is involved. When I was in college and about to turn 21, I had a serious conversation with my endocrinologist about alcohol. My mom was at that appointment too, and I wanted her to know that if I drank I was going to know how to manage it!! One of our stops is Oktoberfest in Germany, so I am going to watch my numbers very closely as we drink merrily from those steins.
  7. Using your phone with the CGM…I monitor mine through the app on my phone, but to save the data internationally, I’ll bring the actual display device/pager looking thing. Just keep that in mind if you have a CGM and usually monitor it through your smart phone. Thank God for the Continuous Glucose Monitor!
  8. This is an eye-roller to experienced diabetics, but always be prepared…ESPECIALLY when going out of country. Think of anything that can happen, and pack for that.
  9. Train yourself to always double check, and know exactly where your supplies are.
  10. Have a blast. T1D will only hold us back if we let it.

salz

Salzburg, Austria. And you bet we’ll do the Sound of Music Tour.

What are other tips you’ve learned on traveling with T1D? Let’s hear it in the comments. Stay tuned on social for photos from our trip, and also for part 2 post-vacation.

paris

Paris, our last stop

Au Revior!

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t know what it’s like to live with T1D, but I do know what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. I work hard to be able to manage my day-to-day needs, but when fun things come up like traveling I know it comes with added complications. I could totally relate to your post! Love how you talked about making sure you have your doctor’s note handy. I found myself at an airport onetime with a forgotten port access needle in my purse (whoops!). Thankfully I managed to convince airport security it was a medical device and they let it slide. Safe travels and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  2. Great tips traveling with Type One Diabetes abroad! Even though I am a nurse and know much about diabetes, I always learn from those that have first hand experience! Thank you again for sharing. I enjoy your blog and I look forward to reading when you return!

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