Our resource hub is home to a wealth of articles, stories and videos about managing and living with type 1 diabetes.
Place your order for our free information packs that support adults and children who have been recently diagnosed.
Our researchers are working on different ways to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes - from growing insulin-producing beta cells in labs to hacking the immune system.
Learn about the technologies that can deliver insulin automatically when needed. And discover the next generation of insulins that are currently being developed.
We have a wide range of fun and festive designs to choose from. Fund life changing research while spreading joy this Christmas!
This Christmas, your gift can bring us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes – and every pound you give to our Christmas Appeal will be doubled.
The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
This event is designed for anyone living with type 1 diabetes who would like to learn more about managing their wellbeing across a variety of contexts.
We provide a wealth of information and free resources to help you support and empower your patients or students.
Take our free course for schools to learn more about supporting pupils with type 1 diabetes in educational settings.
Home > Knowledge & support > Living with type 1 diabetes > Everyday life > Travelling
Take some time to work out how much insulin, test strips, glucagon, glucose tablets, lancets, needles and set change equipment you need. When you’re packing, take three times as much medical equipment as you expect to use.
If you use an insulin pump, take insulin pens and insulin cartridges in case your pump fails, along with manufacturers’ helpline numbers for any countries you’re visiting.
Make sure you pack emergency supplies for the journey and for days out once you start your holiday.
Buy some medically approved cooling packs to keep insulin cool in hot weather while you’re out and about. Make sure they’re medically approved, otherwise you may not be able to take them through airport security.
Divide supplies between bags just in case you lose one.
If you’re flying, don’t put any of your insulin in your checked-in luggage as it can freeze in the hold. Instead, keep it with you in your hand luggage.
Make sure you check the government website for information about where you’re travelling to.
It’s a good idea to check where the nearest pharmacy or hospital is so that you can get there quickly in an emergency.
You will need to take a doctor’s letter with you to prove that you have type 1 diabetes and need to carry medical supplies. Your GP or Diabetes Healthcare Team can provide you with this.
Take a medical prescription with you in case you need to get supplies while you’re away, and a diabetes identity card or bracelet.
Print off a Medical Device Awareness Card to show airport security that you are carrying type 1 diabetes tech. If you don’t have a printer, you can email Rachel Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to have one sent to you. Get more information about taking tech through airport security.
Many airports provide a hidden disability lanyard for people travelling with type 1. Find out more about how to get one.
You may find you need to vary insulin doses for very active holidays or places where the weather is hot or cold, which may affect your blood glucose levels.
If you’re doing activities like swimming for extended periods, test your blood glucose level regularly. In the evening and night, your blood glucose level could drop after periods of activity, so beware of night-time lows.
Learn more about managing your glucose levels around exercise and physical activity.
Insulin absorption is more rapid in a hot climate so watch out for after-meal lows, followed by a spike. If you’re on a pump, use the dual or square wave function.
Download the Diabetic Travelers Network’s checklist to help you plan for travel and make sure you take everything you need.
You will need to take a doctor’s letter with you to prove that you have type 1 diabetes and need to carry medical supplies, especially when you go through airport security. Your GP or Diabetes Healthcare Team can provide you with this. This letter will also allow you an extra bag to carry diabetes supplies.
Yes, but only as hand luggage (though you will need to put it in a separate plastic bag to go through security). Temperatures in the hold can drop to freezing which will affect the effectiveness of insulin.
Yes. Keep your insulin pens in your hand luggage so you have easy access to them.
Yes. Keep it in your hand luggage in case you need to check your levels whilst you’re in the air.
The reduction in atmospheric pressure on planes can sometimes cause them to deliver insulin by accident. This can be caused by air pressure, dissolved and/or visible bubbles or the plunger moving.
The following steps are recommended for insulin pump users going on flights:
You can use continuous glucose monitors (CGM) or flash glucose monitors on a plane and connect them to the handset or your phone using Bluetooth. They will still work if your phone is on airplane mode.
You can take some items, like insulin pens, safely through airport security. Other equipment – like insulin pumps – may be damaged by x-rays and scanners. Find out more about taking type 1 tech through airport security.
When you’re travelling, make sure you take snacks with you – don’t rely on having to find somewhere in case you need to eat quickly or treat a hypo.
Contact your airline before you travel to tell them you have type 1 diabetes so that they can accommodate you. You can also ask to be served your food first.
If you’re going on a long train or car journey, make sure you have plenty of snacks with you in case you’re not able to stop when you need to.
If you’re buying food on the train, wait for it to arrive so that you can judge how much insulin you need.
If the time zone change is less than four hours, you don’t need to change how you would normally take your insulin. Talk to your Diabetes Healthcare Team before you leave for your trip to get their advice on how to manage your diabetes across time zones.
You can find information about how to manage changes in times zones (going east to west and west to east) in the Diabetes Travel Network’s Guide to Traveling with Diabetes.
Travel insurance is available for people with type 1, although it may be slightly more expensive. You can usually find insurance to cover things like medical expenses and loss of insulin and devices (find out more about insuring type 1 technology).
When buying insurance, you will need to give details about how your type 1 has impacted you, for example, if you’ve had any hospital stays within a certain period of time.
If you’re travelling in European countries (apart from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland) carrying a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will entitle you to low cost or free medical care. Formally known as a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can find out more on the government website.
If you’re travelling over a period of weeks or months, you can still follow the guidance on this page. Ask your Diabetes Healthcare Team to prescribe enough supplies to cover the length of your trip (up to six months).
It may seem like a lot to pack in your suitcase, but it will prevent you having to spend time looking for places to get supplies when you’re away.
Insulin is available almost everywhere, but it’s a good idea to check if your insulin is available in the country you’re travelling to. You can do this by checking the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes brand names are different in each country, so make sure you know what yours is before you go.
If you need to get your supplies abroad, you can use your travel insurance.
Download the Diabetic Travelers Networks® ’Guide to Travelling With Diabetes‘ for information and tips on travelling with type 1.
This content was created in partnership with Julie Kiefer from the Diabetic Travelers Network®.
“I have travelled to 28 countries and navigated through 3 different health care systems with type 1. It is through planning, and some trial and error, that I discovered what works and what doesn’t and gained the knowledge and experience to travel freely with type 1.”
Get information about how to get through airport security as smoothly as possible.
Learn about what technology is available to manage type 1 and how to access it.
If you’re moving to the UK, discover information and guidance on navigating a new health system.
If you have type 1 there are a few things you will need to be aware of when you eat and drink, but that needn’t stop you enjoying delicious and nutritious food.
Find information about different types of jobs, how to manage your type 1 at work and the laws in place to protect you from discrimination.
Whether you’re walking the dog, ballet dancing or training for a marathon, learn how to manage your glucose levels and insulin intake for exercising.
You can still drive if you have type 1 diabetes, but there are some extra steps you need to take to be legal and safe on the road.
Different types of alcohol can affect your blood glucose in different ways. Get tips and advice to stay safe with alcohol.
Drugs can impact how you manage your type 1 and stay safe. Learn about the effects of drugs on type 1.
When you have type 1 diabetes, smoking can make it harder to manage your blood glucose levels and increase your risk of complications.
If you’re moving to the UK, understanding a new health system as well as everything else that comes with moving to a new country is a challenge.