Tim Omer travels with Type 1 diabetes


Before I went away I created an

amazing spreadsheet to calculate my

medical supplies that I was fully prepared,

or so I thought. Do not underestimate how

much your eating habits may change and

you will need more insulin and equipment

that you expected. How much? No idea!

But have enough spares to last you two

additional months, which should be

enough to get you out of trouble if needed.

Keeping cool: Insulin is hardier than you

may expect, especially Humalog, but you

do need to take care of it. I took a couple

of Frio cool bags with me that did a great

job at keeping my Insulin cool, but not

fridge cool. When possible I stored my

insulin in a fridge but this was not always

possible, the majority of the time keeping

in the Frio bag in the shade did the job.

Insulin will not just stop working once it

has had enough - it's more likely that its

action will degrade over time -- therefore

you must keep a close eye on your blood

readings and adjust your dose based on

the sensitivity of the insulin. If you are in

an unfamiliar part of the world, you are on

your own and no one cares about your

situation, you will have to make do with

what you've got.

My top tip for insulin care when you

are travelling is never to put all your insulin

in one place. One particularly unfortunate

event occurred when I put my insulin

in a fridge in the hotel I was staying in

and the next morning it was frozen.

Freezing insulin really is not good as it can

completely deactivate it. I should have put

the majority in the fridge and kept at least

one bottle left in a Frio bag in my room.

Had I done that I would have had enough

with me while I looked for new insulin.

Storage: Keeping organised with your

medical supplies means you can avoid

issues and reduce stress so you can

enjoy your trip. Seeing it and knowing you

have enough supplies is a real confidence

booster. I used eBags and waterproof zip

bags to organise and easily identify my

medication and kit, which was a great

help. Surprisingly the heat and humidity

while travelling caused no issues with my

meds. One tip as you start to get towards

the end of the trip and have collected

too many souvenirs to carry, airports and

hotels can arrange for storage for any

unneeded bags for a few weeks. We did

this in China and Burma and it was a great

help! But, don't be silly and keep all your

spare medication in this bag, as you never

know what may happen to it while you are


Kit: You may struggle with purchasing

supplies as you travel. Even if your brand

is available you may find its been adjusted

to work only for that region. I discovered

that was the case with my Roche blood

testing strips. Small things like a needle

clipper, a spare Frio bag, supplies of

Hypogel are a God-send when needed!

Security: Insulin pumps and blood test

meters are sensitive medical equipment

and it's advised that you keep them

away from the metal detectors and X-ray

machines you get at airports. While I think

this is possibly unnecessary, it's not worth

the risk of finding out. I had very little

issue with getting past airport security or

shopping mall or public transport checks.

continued over


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