“I got back a few months ago from a year away travelling and working overseas. Although there was some extra organisation involved in transporting pump supplies, I managed to do and see some amazing things all over the world—central and south America, US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. At this stage, diabetes hasn’t stopped me from doing anything that I’ve wanted to do! Some of the places were a little rough and out of the way, but with careful preparation you can do anything.” (Anonymous)
Travelling overseas and seeing the world is a dream of many young Aussies. If you live with diabetes, however, a little extra planning before you head off is a good idea!
If you are travelling on planes with insulin and syringes there are some regulations to follow to get you through airport security without any hassles. You should also be aware of security measures for taking medications and liquids on a flight. For further information see our fact sheet Travel.
As a rule, you should always travel with your NDSS registration card and a letter from your doctor. If you’re travelling overseas, make sure you also check with the embassy of the country you’re travelling, as each country has different rules. Get on the internet before you leave and print off a list of hospitals or contact the embassy of the area you’re travelling to find out about the health system there, just in case. It’s also best to check with your doctor if any vaccinations are needed for where you are headed. Smarttraveller.gov.au provides useful information on travelling to different destinations.
Medical insurance is a must if you are travelling overseas. The paperwork and extra premiums are well worth it.
You will need to take care when travelling with insulin. What’s more, flying long distances can also mean a break in your usual diabetes routine.
Talk to others and find out how they have managed diabetes on an overseas adventure. Best advice? Think ahead and imagine the ‘what ifs’ and plan for them.
Here are some tips on travelling for people living with type 1 diabetes. Read more in our travel and type 1 diabetes booklet.