Preparing for Your Summer Holiday


Summer Holidays are approaching. Airports can be busy places and Security tends to be strict. When travelling with Diabetes, you need to be prepared.




If you are starting your Summer travels soon and are on insulin, we have a useful checklist for you. You will need:

  1. A letter on medical stationary stating you have diabetes and you require insulin delivered via insulin pens or via an insulin pump device along with brief information on your glucose monitoring device.
  2. A written prescription using generic medicine names and a copy of it in another bag or with a friend in case of theft/loss.
  3. Spare pens/insulin, extra glucose strips, and ketone tests if travelling for a long break.
  4. Always get the required vaccines if travelling further afield.
  5. Check out the carbohydrate content of foreign food before you travel. Check with a dietitian before you go.
  6. Frio bags are the most convenient way to carry insulin – It is important that your insulin supplies are kept at the correct temperature. For more details, read our more detailed post here




The holiday often starts at the Airport so just remember:

  • Carry quick-acting carbohydrates in the case of a hypo and advise your travel companion on what to do. Read more about hypo management in our download leaflet
  • Alcohol may lower blood glucose so don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach and if you drink alcohol, eat some carbohydrates before going to bed
  • You should carry vital medication and equipment in your hand luggage and Airport Police are aware of this, therefore you can ask for their assistance if you encounter difficulty at security.



You may need to test more often while on holiday


Drink plenty of water in a hot climate and paying the extra cost for air conditioning may be beneficial to help prevent nighttime glucose fluctuations.



  • Insulin may be absorbed faster in warm climates, this may cause blood glucose levels to drop which may lead you to require less insulin.
  • Lounging around, eating more carbohydrates than usual, and increased excitement about doing something new or travelling can also increase your blood glucose levels.
  • Blood glucose is measured in mmol/L in Ireland but in mg/dl in many other countries for example in the United States. So if you need to contact a healthcare professional abroad, the conversion rate is 1mmol/L= 18mg/dl. e.g. 6 mmol/L= 108mg/dl.


Travel  Worry Free – Travel Insurance


Ordinary holiday insurance or backpackers insurance booked through your travel agent may not cover your diabetes. Read the small print. Diabetes is categorised as a ‘pre-existing condition’. If you fall ill while abroad as a result of diabetes or the diabetes is deemed to be aggravating the illness, an ordinary travel insurance policy will not cover it. ERM Brokers will quote you for Travel Insurance covering Diabetes and we recommend getting a quote.  Tel Grainne at ERM on 01 845 4361

Check out this BLOG on the experiences of people with Diabetes travelling through Airports.



 Book an appointment in our Dublin or Cork Centres , click here