Tips for travelling with an insulin pump
We'd like to offer a few tips for travelling with an insulin pump, especially during holiday season when we're eager to get out there and start an adventure.
Whether your travelling for work or leisure, an adventure or chill trip, there are some things that can happen during travel that are out of your control and can cause some stress. It might be that your plane is delayed, you can't check in to your hotel as early as you thought, infusion sets accidentally detach during all the hustle and bustle or your diabetes just simply isn't behaving.
Emergencies can happen too.
However, there are lot's of ways to alleviate the affects that these stressful events can have on your diabetes and we can help you plan for the unexpected.
It's important to remember that your insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) supplies require a prescription and can’t be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy. Make sure to pack extra supplies where you can! We want to try and ensure you are prepared for any unplanned time where you may be disconnected from your pump.
If you can, it's a good idea to also carry a copy of your insulin pump settings, just in case.
Travel Supply List
Cartridges and infusion sets (2-3 times normal)
Rapid-acting insulin and a prescription
Long-acting insulin or a prescription
Syringes or insulin pens (a back up of how you could deliver insulin)
Backup plan describing how to deliver injections if you aren’t using your t:slim X2 insulin pump (discuss with your healthcare provider)
t:slim X2 insulin pump USB cable for charging
Glucose treatment supplies
Low glucose treatments
Continuous Glucose Monitor supplies
Glucose testing supplies (including meter, strips, lancets, and meter batteries)
Glucagon emergency kit
Ketone test kit
Travel Support Documentation
It can be helpful to identify local pharmacies and healthcare providers at your destination in case you need them
Diabetes identification card
Civil Aviation Authority Medical Device Awareness card
Additional Travel Tips
Insulin should not be left in a hot place.
Keep insulin in a cooler, cool bag, or other storage designed to keep insulin at the correct temperature.
Carry-on luggage supplies
Diabetes supplies should be packed in carry-on luggage to ensure access during the flight and prevent any issues with lost or delayed luggage.
Use a small personal bag
Keep low glucose treatment, a blood glucose meter, extra infusion sets and snacks in personal luggage rather than stored in the overhead bin for easy access.
Protect the pump from sand and direct sunlight.
The pump has a temperature alarm that will sound if the pump is exposed to extreme temperatures with the potential for the insulin to be compromised. Consider whether you need to change the insulin, cartridge, or infusion set if this happens.
Update the time
Ensure that you update the time on your pump when you land if you're travelling between time zones by going into your pump settings.
Are you ready to disconnect if you need to?
It's really helpful to have a plan for when and how long to disconnect from your pump, maybe when you swimming or doing other activities.
Note: The t:slim X2 pump is watertight to a depth of 3 feet for up to 30 minutes (IP27 rating).
Use the table below to help determine how to replace insulin when disconnected from the Tandem insulin pump.
With thoughtful planning and these practical tips, traveling with a pump can be a breeze. We hope you enjoy your trip!