Road Tripping and Type 1 Diabetes (a few tips)

I’m getting ready for a road trip and as I packed I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve learned over the last decade about diabetes care and road trips. Flying is a whole separate topic so maybe I’ll do a post on that sometime.

If you are pumping, at least a week before your trip take an inventory of your supplies and reorder if you are low. It takes at least 2 days to get supplies shipped out so allow for enough time.


Here’s what I’m bringing. I’ve learned to figure out how much supplies I’ll need for the trip and then bring double incase something happens. This is especially true for pump supplies. If you run out of test strips or syringes you can get those from any pharmacy but if you run out of pump stuff you’re stuck. If you’re active you’re more likely to rip out an infusion set and need to have extra’s.

Always bring a few old school syringes incase your pump malfunctions. I also use them for intramuscular injections for any blood sugar over 250.

I packed an extra sensor for my dexcom that I most likely will not use but am packing just incase. My meter is in the photo but I keep that in my purse next to me in the car not in my suit case.

The homemade “granola” in the picture is so I can have a quick low carb breakfast. I’m super insulin resistant in the morning so I try to keep breakfast around 5 or 6 carbs. It’s a mix of raw nuts and seeds that I can eat with almond milk or by itself. It’s filling and has a lot of protein. Even though I would like to eat junk food on vacation I’ve learned that if I’m high I don’t feel good and that makes it harder to have fun. High blood sugar also makes me nauseous so the car sickness is worse.

Speaking of car sickness.. when I’m car sick it helps for me to eat something sweet. Snacking on oreos would be a really bad idea though so I planned ahead and made myself some almond flour and swerve sweetened cookies that are 1 carb a piece. I’ll still have to bolus for them but they are a whole lot better than gas station snacks. I also packed myself some stevia for my starbucks 🙂

IMG_6198 The day before you go (or earlier is better) refill any prescriptions such as insulin and test strips that you’ll need. Keep in mind that on vacation you’ll need to test more than usual because of sleeping in or being active or eating at different times etc.

I’m always paranoid that I’ll forgot my insulin since it’s not something I can pack the night before since it needs to be refrigerated. I usually do this: Yep, that’s a piece of paper on the front door that says, “insulin.” Put a reminder where you will see it!

IMG_6199 I bring a lunch box with an ice pack in it to keep my insulin cool on the road.

Don’t forgot sugar to treat lows!

Also if you are not pumping I would really recommend putting some sort of mark on your long lasting insulin to help you not confuse it with your short acting insulin. It’s so much easier to make mistakes when you are outside your usual routine.

Save your doctor’s number on your phone incase of an emergency or you need an unexpected prescription written.

I think every chain restaurant out there has their nutritional information on their website so if you have a smart phone you’re all set. If not, most places have that information that they can give you.

The only other thing I can think of is be prepared that you may need to set a higher temp basal if you are usually active. My blood sugar will run a lot higher sitting in the car all day than working around the house.

Make sure and drink plenty of water if you are high, dehydration doesn’t feel good!

Let me know if this was helpful and if there is anything else I can add to this list!


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