Rules for Traveling With Medications that Require Refrigeration
If you are diabetic, it is important to remember to pack twice the amount of medication that you will require on your trip. In addition, it is also vitally important to pack all of your medications in your carry-on luggage so that your medication is with you at all times. Baggage that has been checked can get lost, and then what do you do? It is vital that you visit your doctor prior to any extended or over seas travel so you have every thing you need.
Regardless of how you travel, your bag should include the following items for any trips:
- All Insulin pens, vials, and syringes you will need for your entire trip. Remember, to pack more than you will need. It is recommended that you pack twice the amount of insulin and medications, and twice the amount of blood-testing supplies that you might usually use over the same duration of time at home.
- Blood glucose and urine testing supplies. Extra batteries for your glucose meter are also a good idea
- Your other medications. Pack more than you need, and if you traveling over seas, you should include a new prescription from your doctor for any medications you may need, as well as a letter from your doctor on letterhead indicating that you require all medications prescribed.
- If you are prone to sea sickness or motion sickness, pack anti-nausea medications, and if the water supply is questionable where you are going (discuss options with your doctor) pack at the least anti-diarrhea medication just in case.
- Band-aids and antibiotic ointment.
- Diabetic Identification should be included and should be on your person.
- Empty zip-lock style bags (quart or gallon) (see below for an explanation why).
Your Gel Packs, Airport Security, and Keeping Your Cool
When traveling with medications, it is important that your gel packs are properly frozen beforehand. If you arrive at the airport and try to check in with a nearly thawed gel pack, or a somewhat “squishy” gel pack, airport security may have to remove the gel pack from your bag. This can be highly stressful. But Don’t Panic!
If your gel pack is seized or your plane is delayed or if you have an extended layover, and you are worried that your medication will get too warm, you have options.
- If you remembered to pack your zip-lock bags, you can ask a vendor at the airport to either give you or sell you some ice, which you can then place in your diabetic bag.
- In the event of an extended layover – refreeze your gel pack at your hotel, or ask a vendor in the airport to place your freezable gel pack in their freezer while you wait.
Additionally, when dealing with check-in, it is important that you let your TSA or airport security personnel know that you are diabetic or carrying injectable medications, and transporting medication with syringes. Your baggage will be screened and possibly searched. It can feel like a huge inconvenience, but this is actually a good thing as it means you have nothing to hide .
For more information on traveling with Chronic Illnesses or Immune Disorders from the U.S. visit the CDC website.
All of us here at ChillMED wish you safe travel!