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  • Writer's pictureMeg

The Ultimate Packing Guide for T1D

Packing with diabetes can be stressful because I have a hard time striking the balance between being prepared and overpacking. With T1D, I would obviously rather be overpacked, but over the years I've come up with a pretty fool-proof method that prevents me from packing every t1d thing I own, while still having enough to get me through!

Note that this blog is just a packing list, not T1D travel tips.

My credibility in the T1D + Packing department is that I've had T1D for 25 years and I've travelled to 27 countries. I've backpacked across India, spent a month travelling Eastern Europe, studied abroad in Spain, and also lived in Ireland for a year.

I wear Omnipod 5 and Dexcom g6, so that's how I'm framing this list, but obviously you can change to be specific for whatever supplies you use in your day-to-day!

Here's how I approach packing:

CORE ITEMS I consider these items to be basics that I need for any overnight stay. To get the amount of supplies, I calculate how much I would need if nothing went wrong, then multiply by 1.5-2x. If I am not anticipating any site changes, I bring 1 of each.

  • Controller + Pods (1.5-2X as many as I think I need)

  • Long-lasting and fast-acting insulin pens + Needles (Enough to get me through trip 1x)

  • Insulin Vials (at least 2, more if away for 1 week + )

  • Insulin Vial protector

  • Dexcom Sensors (1.5-2x as many as I think I need)

  • Transmitter (if possible)

  • Low Snacks (depending on my destination/time spent away, I will sometimes only bring enough for 2-3 days if it will be easy to restock on the trip.)

  • Adhesive Overlays

  • Alcohol Swabs

  • Insulin Cooling Case

  • Glucose monitor, finger pricker (+ lancet), enough test trips to hold me over if something were to happen to my Dexcom

  • Chargers + cords for devices

  • Glucagon

  • Extra batteries for devices/meter

  • Portable Charger (Just in case!)

  • Hydrocortisone cream (or anything that you like to apply post-site change!)

I pack most of this stuff in Stasher Bags. Waterproof, see-through (so it's easy to find what you're looking for), and they fold flat!

International Add-Ons

  • For most domestic trips, I know that if needed I could always call my doctor and have them send a prescription to a pharmacy if I ran out of something. However, it gets a little more complicated with international travel. Therefore, when going abroad, I bring 2-3x times as many supplies as I think I need (compared to 1.5-2).

  • Remember to bring plug converters so that you can charge your devices!

  • If travelling to a country where you do not speak the language, you may consider bringing a paper with you Medical information translated into the local language.

Beach/Pool/Active Trips

  • If I know I'm going to be in water or in situations that may require more than anticipated site changes, I bring 2-3x times as many supplies as I think I need (compared to 1.5-2). I also bring extra adhesives.

Insurance Vacation Overrides If you're headed on a trip but won't have enough supplies (or enough for extras) because your next shipment comes when you're away, consider getting a vacation override through your insurance! Simply call your insurance company and they can walk you through the process. This has come in handy for me several times!

Medical Bag

Airlines will allow an extra medical bag free of charge, but I recommend confirming with your specific airline(s) to double-check their policy. I've never used this accommodation, as I prefer to keep everything in one bag (less to carry!), but worth noting. This biggest thing for me is just keeping EVERYTHING T1D-RELATED with you. Nothing T1D should be in your checked luggage!

And if possible, try to split up your supplies into two bags. Then, if something happens to one bag (lost or stolen), you still have some supplies to get you through!

Doctor's Note

It can be a good idea to travel with a doctor's note or additional prescriptions. I personally have never needed either, but you never know!

And there you go! Wherever you're going, I hope you have a great trip! And if you have any questions, please DM me on IG as that is where I'm most responsive <3.

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