keeping insulin cool, traveling with diabetes


Keeping your cool

If you take insulin and you’re traveling Nomad insulin carrier (below). It comes

somewhere hot this summer, you may with a car adaptor, portable bag. The

want to consider ways to keep your battery will work for 12 hours in up to

medication cool. Check the leaflet that 35ºC temperatures and is rechargeable.

comes with your insulin for guidance as Portable and lightweight keeps insulin

to best practice for keeping it cool (it’s 2-8ºC. Interior Refrigeration space is 170

normally not necessary to keep it chilled x 46 x 18cm (L*W*H), weighs 540g and

all the time. When it’s in use -- in your costs £235.

pen or pump -- it need not be kept cold There are other models in the range

but it should not get too hot either, so from small to large so you can big-up if

be sensible. Frio bags (right) are good you need to carry a lot of insulin or other

to keping insulin cool for short periods medications that need to be kept oool for

of time. But anyone concerned with a sustained period of time.

keeping their kit cool can consider the Happy packing up and have a good trip!





For the traveling diabetic, overnight stays and short trips should

not cause any real anxieties, other than if you are newly

diagnosed or the diabetic is a young child. For adults, short trips

are easy enough. You will need to take all your normal stuff with

you, and might need to remember to take your long-acting

insulin with you as well.

1. Check your supplies before you go – do you have enough blood test sensors to

last you? Enough insulin and a hypo treatment (just in case). Longer trips and

overseas travel need a bit more fore-thought and planning. Two weeks’ before

you go check all your supplies and to get any extra you may need from your GP.

2. Keep your insulin in your hand luggage (If it goes in the hold of a plane it

could freeze and be deactivated). Keep all your diabetes equipment in your hand

luggage – the last thing you need is it being part of any lost luggage.

3. Security is now such an issue, it’s a good idea to keep all your diabetes kit and

medication in one place that you can easily access and show to anyone who may

need to see it at customs. As diabetes is now quite common, you should not

have real issues with this in the UK, US and many Western countries.

Some tips for traveling overseas:

□ Contact Diabetes UK to see if they have a factsheet on the country you

are visiting.

□ Get the address of the British Consulate in the country you are visiting and

have that handy in case you need advice from people who speak your

language but know the local culture.

□ If you’re traveling with people whom you do not know it is wise to tell them

you have diabetes. It’s not fair on them if you’re suddenly taken ill, and

they don’t know what to do to help you!

□ Keep a hypo treatment handy at all times – new cultures and new foods

may well lead to high sugars, though.

□ If you are traveling to very hot climates, you will need to keep your insulin

cool. See below for more info.

Keeping insulin cool: Each bottle or box of insulin cartridges has an information sheet

in it. You can also check with your diabetes nurse and GP, but in the main if you use

some common sense and keep your insulin away from extremes of temperature, you

should be OK. When it’s not in use (unopened and not in an insulin pen), it should be

kept in a fridge. If it’s in use – an open bottle of insulin or a cartridge already loaded into

a pen, the insulin should be fine at room temperature for a few weeks. If you think it

necessary, there are specialist bags and carry cases that keep insulin cool and there are

even mini-fridges that you can plug into the car to keep insulin cool if you are traveling in

very hot countries.

Travel resources: See the Desang Directory at for a list of all

sorts of diabetes management equipment. *

Another excellent diabetes and travel website can be found at


  1. Desang online diabetes magazine
  2. Bayer Contour Next USB
  3. Desang online diabetes magazine
  4. diabetes news
  5. DRWF's Crystal Ball Type 1 diabetes
  6. diabetic diet news
  7. diabetic bariatric surgery
  8. salt and diabetes
  9. Accu-Chek Mobile
  10. salt in the diabetic diet
  11. Mendor Discreet blood test meter
  12. insulin pumps and airports
  13. Desang kitbags Desang online magazine
  14. keeping insulin cool
  15. keeping insulin cool, traveling with diabetes
  16. counting carbohydrates
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