5 tips to help you fly fuss-free with t1d

Cazzy and Bradley are the travel fanatics behind Dream Big, Travel Far.  They both write a fantastic blog about their travels with the hope it will inspire and motivate fellow type 1 diabetics that they can still live their dreams and overcome the challenges that this illness presents. She has kindly allowed us to repost this article.  For more on Dream Big, Travel Far. CLICK HERE.

I fly a lot. I usually take around 30 flights a year, so I have a lot of experience when it comes to flying with diabetes. I actually LOVE flying, especially long-haul! So below I present to you 5 tips to help you fly fuss-free with t1d.

1 Extra Cabin Baggage Allowance

99% of airlines will allow you to bring an extra piece of hand luggage with you on the plane for your additional medical supplies. Some airlines require you to fill in a form to request this extra baggage, whereas others will just let you go ahead with it. You can usually contact your airline on live chat beforehand to confirm, but I’ve always carried an extra bag filled with diabetes supplies and never asked permission. So far, no one has denied me! This is really useful since you won’t have to give up space for clothes, makeup or even souvenirs.

2 You Can Dispose Of Your Sharps On Board

All airlines are required to carry a sharps bin, so if you don’t fancy holding onto your sharps, or you don’t have somewhere to put them, simply ask the air hostess for assistance.

3 Never Put Your Insulin In Checked Baggage

Do NOT, I repeat do NOT put your insulin in your checked baggage. There is a high chance it could freeze in the hold, and you’ll lose all your supplies. Keep all your insulin with you on board. Airlines will not hold your insulin for you on board their fridge, instead you’ll need to invest in a Frio bag or other insulin cooling case to keep your insulin cool on the flight.

4 Bring Extra Snacks On Board

When flying and your meal is included in the flight, you typically get two food options, but it’s not always guaranteed. So if you do not get served your first option, then make sure you have some alternative food on board with you. Especially sweets or some form of sugar for annoying hypos. Tip: Seat yourself in the first 10 rows at the front of the plane in order to get your food served and actually get your first choice of food.

5 Remember Alcohol Affects You More In The Air

When flying long haul, alcohol is often included in your plane ticket, so why not treat yourself! It’s just important to know that alcohol lowers your blood sugar in general, but it also has a greater effect on you when you’re flying. If you find you can handle 2 or 3 drinks on ground level without feeling anything, then you might find one drink in the air gives you a buzz! Be aware that the symptoms of feeling tipsy and being in hypo are similar and always make sure you monitor closely to avoid hypos on board.

I hope you find these 5 tips for flying with diabetes.

Safe travels, Cazzy xx