Travel and Driving
If you are going on a trip it is essential that you plan your
diabetes management for the duration of the journey.
These travel resources have been specifically developed to help
people with type 1 diabetes have a safe, fun and hassle-free trip,
whether travelling by plane, train or motor vehicle.
Travel tips to ensure you've got everything covered
- See your GP before your travels. Ask for a letter outlining
your medical condition/s, medications and equipment. Take multiple
- Ask for extra prescriptions if you require them.
- Check you have all relevant vaccinations and carry a
- Discuss any time zone changes and how to adjust medication for
- Discuss a sick day management plan.
It is recommended that you take extra supplies with you. This
includes a spare blood glucose meter, blood glucose strips, extra
batteries, lancets, pen needles, sharps container, ketone strips,
sensors (if required).
If you're using a pump, have a blood glucose meter and insulin
pen with you just in case the pump stops working.
Medications and insulin
Ensure that you have enough medication for your entire trip. If
you are staying for an extended period of time, check if your
medication is available at your destination.
If you are taking insulin, ensure you can store this safely in a
Choose and book a travel insurance that covers you adequately
for your health condition/s and activities.
You may require extra carbohydrates during your travel,
especially if travelling by plane. Consider packing some extra
carbohydrate snacks you can easily access.
Make a list of contact numbers for your health team and insulin
company (if required). Make copies and pack in both carry on and
Consider some form of identification that indicates you have
diabetes and take your NDSS card.
Hypo and first aid kits
Carry a basic first aid kit to treat minor ailments eg vomiting
and diarrhoea treatments.
If required, take a hypo kit containing fast and slow acting
The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
with a range of countries providing travellers with benefits
similar to Medicare if needed, but only for acute or emergency
care. In this event, you would need to produce your Medicare
For more information, call Medicare Australia on 02 6124 6333 or
visit their website www.medicareaustralia.gov.au.
As long as your diabetes is well-managed, there's no reason why
you shouldn't be issued with a licence, but you must notify your
road transport authority and insurance company that you have the
Check your blood glucose level before driving and ensure
the reading is above 5mmol/L. Carry fast and longer acting
carbohydrate when you drive. Also carry your blood glucose meter.
Check your blood glucose level at least every two hours on long
trips and check that the reading is above 5mmol/L. If a hypo
occurs, pull over safely and treat it immediately.
You should not drive if you:
- Have difficulty recognising the early signs of
- Are just starting to take insulin and your blood glucose levels
are not yet controlled
- Have problems with your eyesight that are not corrected with
- Have numbness or weakness in your limbs
- Have been feeling unwell - this can upset blood glucose
For more information, visit http://www.transport.qld.gov.au
Most insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions
such as diabetes, because although diabetes can be treated, people
with the condition are more likely to develop medical complications
(such as blindness, nerve damage and kidney problems).
It is essential when arranging a policy that you fully inform
the insurance company about your diabetes even if they do not ask.
If you don't, you might find your claim is rejected.