With airline delays and heightened security measures, traveling can be a stressful experience for everyone. However, if you have diabetes, that stress can go into overdrive as you worry about how you’re going to make it through your travels. Here are some tips on how to alleviate your worries.
#1. Give yourself plenty of time.
Your diabetic supplies will need to be appropriately screened, so make sure that you arrive at the airport early enough. Different airports will have different security wait times, which you can usually check on the airport’s website. As a general rule, though, it’s not a bad idea to arrive 2 hours before your flight.
#2. Pack your medication correctly.
Insulin should not be packed in checked baggage because it can be affected by the conditions in which checked luggage is stored. Pack it and any other medication in a clear bag, similar to the bag in which you pack general liquids. However, don’t pack medication and other liquids in the same bag.
You don’t have to bring prescriptions, but having them on-hand can make the process go faster. Always be sure to check the TSA’s website for the most updated info on what you can carry and how you can carry it.
#3. Remember your glucose.
While you can carry liquid sources of glucose, it may be easier just to pack non-liquid sources, like glucose tablets or hard candy. It’s also a good idea to pack a snack, like a nutrition bar. You never know if your layover will last longer than planned and no one likes to pay airport prices for meals and snacks.
#4. Be ready for screening.
Declare your medication before security screening begins. The TSA also offers a TSA Disability Notification Card that you might find handy. Then just proceed with screening as normal. The X-ray machine should not affect your insulin or other medications, but if you’re still concerned, you can request that your medications be inspected by hand.