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Travelling and diabetes

Travelling With Insulin or Other Medicines
People who travel overseas with essential medication are advised to carry a letter from their doctor that confirms their need to carry those medicines, and any additional equipment such as needles or glucose monitoring devices.

During air travel, people who take insulin or diabetes drugs (or any other medicines) are encouraged to store the entire supply needed for their trip in their hand luggage. Security restrictions in place at UK airports do allow this. Insulin should be kept cool, but it is not advisable to store insulin in hold luggage as the temperature may be too low.

If travelling through different time zones, it may be useful to plan adjustments to insulin dose schedules beforehand. For very short trips, some people may prefer to remain on UK time.

Provision For Medical Care Overseas
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows UK residents to receive necessary medical treatment at reduced cost or for no charge in European Union states and (in most cases) in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. More information about the EHIC card is available via the link on the right of this page.

Standard travel insurance policies may not provide cover for medical care of pre-existing illnesses. Diabetes UK offer a range of insurance policies, including travel insurance, that are aimed at people with diabetes.

Download a template letter for travel with insulin below:

Travel with insulin template (in pdf format)

Note these files are in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. If you have not installed and configured Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system, a free download is available from Adobe.