Everyone loves going on holidays. People with diabetes need to take time and prepare for their holiday to ensure they have a fun and healthy time.


  • Make an appointment with the doctor to discuss diabetes medication or insulin
  • Because of safety and security you may require a letter from the doctor stating the medical condition and the medication(s) you are carrying. Discuss how the insulin should be carried and stored
  • Find out where the closest hospital is where you are going
  • Discuss the option of travel insurance
  • Write up a travel itinerary listing all stops and breaks, arrival and departure times and time zone changes

This will help identify if the medication and blood glucose level testing times will be different from the usual routine

If they are, seek advice from the doctor about when and how to make the changes to the regular routine

  • If any meals are pre-arranged ensure the travel company is informed of the meal requirement to ensure the correct food and drinks are available

What to Pack in the Hand Luggage

  • A copy of the Diabetes Medical Management Plan and Low and High blood glucose Plan if required
  • Adequate supply of medications, test strips, insulin syringes and glucose meter
  • Diary to record blood glucose test time and results
  • Medication sheet to record time and amount of medication given
  • Carbohydrate foods in case of delays
  • Jelly beans, sandwich or small can lemonade in case of a hypo
  • A letter from the doctor

It is recommended the person wear some form of diabetes identification at all time, especially if they are on diabetes medication or insulin.

What the Carer Needs to Know

If the person with diabetes is going on holidays and requires support with their diabetes it essential the 'holiday' carer has the following knowledge and skills:

  • Understands diabetes can be managed
  • Ensures diabetes management is to be taken seriously
  • Knows how the person manages the diabetes themselves
  • Understands who the members of the diabetes health care team are, their roles and the recommended times for checkups
  • Understands exercise:
    • How exercise impacts on diabetes
    • The person's exercise program
  • Understands diabetes and food:
    • Eat meals at the same time every day
    • Eating out
    • Grocery shopping
    • Meal preparation
  • Has a medication/insulin plan:
    • Know where the medication is stored and how the person takes their medication
    • Medication dosage and times
  • Knows about blood glucose testing:
    • What the person can do for themselves
    • Where it is kept
    • How to take a blood glucose level
    • Recording the level
    • Understanding the ranges and taking appropriate action
  • Understands low and high blood glucose levels:
    • Symptoms
    • Treatment
    • Recording
  • Understands insulin:
    • What the person can do for themselves
    • Where it is kept
    • Who administers the insulin
    • Time of injections
    • Recording the dosage and site
  • Has a Diabetes Medical Management Plan
  • Understands the importance of stress and its impact on diabetes
  • Is aware of other medications