Tips for travellers with diabetes

by Yasmin Ungerfeld, VisitorsCoverage

Globetrotting diabetics shouldn’t let their condition keep them from enjoying their holidays or family visits.

Travellers with health conditions are challenged when dealing with flight delays, bad airline meal choices, sleeplessness on a plane, time zone changes and jet lag. For those with a condition such as diabetes, unforeseen delays, lack of sleep or inaccessibility to healthy food can all increase the potential for a medical incident to occur.

Travelling with diabetes doesn’t mean your condition has to overshadow your travels. With advance preparation, packing additional items and a thorough checklist, you’ll enjoy all the sights and won’t miss that big moment you’ve planned for.


  • Obtain your medical records, prescriptions, and a doctor’s letter outlining your condition and medication needs.
  • Buy a suitable travel insurance policy that covers pre-existing conditions.
  • Pre-order a special inflight meal from the airline and order a wheelchair if getting to the gate will be an issue.
  • Pack your carry-on with sufficient medication for the duration of the trip, and don’t forget testing supplies and snacks or glucose tablets.

During the trip, let your flight attendants know of your condition as a precaution. Simple things like moving around on the plane and packing snacks or glucose tablets prevent circulation issues and drops in glucose levels. Monitoring your glucose on long flights is critical.


For too many travellers, the perception of travel coverage is, ‘my credit card will cover most travel mishaps, I only need health insurance.’ Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. Travellers – especially seniors – need to secure a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers incidents such as theft and repatriation.

Ensure that your travel policy includes the following:

  • Ambulance services
  • Emergency air medical evacuation
  • Medical air transport
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Lost or stolen passport
  • Replacement of necessities due to lost luggage

Most pre-existing conditions are not covered by travel insurance without a policy rider. For more information on coverage options for acute onset conditions, visit our website or call us at 1-866-384-9104.

Source for medical information: Diabetes Canada

Yasmin* oversees the team of licensed insurance consultants at VisitorsCoverage Inc. based in Silicon Valley, California, an InsurTech company that is simplifying travel insurance by providing technology to redefine the way international travelers purchase and manage travel insurance. She oversees a team of customer service insurance specialists who provide travel insurance support to over 2 million customers in 45 countries.

*Yasmin Ungerfeld is not a medical professional. This article is for informational purposes only.

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