When you're preparing for a trip, there's always a lot to think about. Where will you stay? How will you get there? What sights do you want to see? People who have diabetes have one more consideration: Do you have a diabetes first aid kit ready? Whether you'll be traveling for a night or a month, it's important to have a diabetes first aid kit on hand to help you deal with any special circumstances or emergencies that may arise. You know your treatment needs best, so do your best to anticipate what you may need in an emergency. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following tips to help you be better prepared.

For general diabetes emergency preparedness:

If you're able to, store three days worth of supplies. Depending on what you use to treat your diabetes, this could include oral medications, insulin, insulin delivery supplies, lancets, extra batteries for your meter or pump, and a quick-acting source of glucose (such as a few candies).


You should also include a list of emergency contacts in your supply kit. If you have children, include information about their school's contact numbers and child care providers. You may want to wear a medical bracelet or other identification so that people around you or emergency medical personnel can immediately recognize your condition to begin the appropriate course of action.

In addition, you should look into having an extra glucagon emergency kit. The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center says the kit includes a bottle of glucagon (a dry powder) and a syringe of clear liquid. Be sure your supply kit is in a readily available location for easy retrieval during an emergency.

For day trips or short overnight stays:

Make sure to have plenty of supplies available. Always pack more than you think you will need. Include an extra bottle of insulin, a few additional syringes, and multiple vials of test strips. The National Diabetes Education Program recommends storing your medications in a cooler to keep them from overheating. Always keep them out of direct sunlight.


Have a variety of snacks on hand for long car trips. Make sure to have glucose tablets and extra juice boxes. Cheese and crackers and trail mix are easy snacks to pack and to eat on the go. If you have these snacks, you'll be prepared in case of unexpected events, such as a traffic jam or bad weather.

For air travel:

When flying, the ADA recommends keeping a special diabetes carry-on bag with you at all times. If you pack your supplies in a checked bag, you risk them getting lost or delayed if your luggage doesn't make it your destination with you.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which regulates flight travel, says that diabetes supplies are allowed on the flight once they are screened. You're allowed to bring are insulin and products that dispense insulin (such as epipens, infusers, and bioinjectors), an unlimited number of unused syringes, lancets, blood glucose meters and supplies, and insulin pumps and supplies, among other things. Make sure these items are clearly marked.

Include all the insulin and syringes needed for the duration of the trip. Also bring your blood and urine testing supplies with extra batteries for your glucose meter. All oral medications (including an extra supply) and any other medications or medical supplies (like glucagon) should also be packed. Don't forget to include a well-wrapped snack with a juice box and always carry your identification and diabetes identity card.