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Traveling to Europe

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by MaggieM, May 31, 2011.

  1. MaggieM

    MaggieM Approved members

    Mar 20, 2007
    Just looking for anyone's handy tips and suggestions for traveling overseas. Heading to Italy in a few weeks. My son is on a medtronic pump. We just received a new pump recently (his old pump functions very well and we will be bringing that along as a back-up). Any thoughts and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
  2. swimmom

    swimmom Approved members

    Feb 23, 2007
    We are heading to Europe this summer too, so anyone with good advice or tips - please share!
  3. Susanne

    Susanne Approved members

    Nov 1, 2009
    We are travelling the Germany every summer. This year will be the first trip on the pump.

    Definitely take lots of extra supplies. Last year I brought four vials of insulin for the trip (2 were the back-up) and the first evening there I was so tired that one vial slipped out of my hands and broke. The second one got too hot on a warm day (insulin lost potency) so I had two weeks left without a back-up. That taught me to bring a frio pack and triple the amount of insulin.

    The other thing I found difficult was carb-counting since all the food products are different (calorie king was often useless!). The pump should make that easier (since I can correct more easily). I did find a website with nutrition information for German food though which helped tremendously.

    And do ask your endo for a letter that documents that your child has diabetes. It could come in handy at the airport.

    Other then that my daughter had the best BG numbers during last year's trip since food in the restaurants was prepared with a lot less fat than in many restaurants here.

    Have a lot of fun in Italy! I would love to go there. The country is absolutely beautiful.
  4. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    May 1, 2008
    My son was dx'd while we were living overseas, so we did lots of long travel with D.
    2-3x the amount of supplies you think you'll need. It's always better to have too much than to run out in a foreign country.
    A frio pack is great in the summer
    A spare meter and extra batteries.
    Extra lancing devices
    strips, lancets, syringes or pen as a backup.
    blood ketone meter & strips
    Low supplies - tabs, candy, whatever.
    Snacks! Air travel is stressful and often has delays. It's good to have stuff he'll eat and that is easy to carb count.

    Letter from the endo, both for travelling and in case you need to see a doc there.

    All supplies should go on board with you in a carry on (or split it into two). I put the D bag under his feet, so it's easy to get to. Not in the overhead, which you can't get to during takeoff & landing or turbulence.

    Have a great time!:)
  5. gerry speirs

    gerry speirs Approved members

    Dec 18, 2010
    We just got back yesterday from a vacation in Europe. The first weeks numbers were a nightmare. We cruised there and the ship had an abundence of food, I know it dosent mean you have to eat everything but he biggest kicker for us was fat and not sugar. I hate fat spikes and always chasing that high. Glad to say though after ramping up the basal the numbers got better. At the airport in Los Angeles the main problem was liquids, we had a small cooler bag with a few juice boxes and some water and a bigger bag with sites, lancets and all the other good supplies and then some but the liquids were the red flag for us, taken to the side and every liquid bottle was analysed through a machine even with a note from our endo which I advise to take. To top it off I failed the first pat down and was take to a "private" room for a more thorough pat/rub down. Not a problem but almost made me miss my flight! Again, no particular intrest paid to Miranda;s pump or giant bag o' supplies but just the damn liquids:rolleyes: As for amounts I worked out how much we used in 1 day and then tripled it, it was way too much but I didn't want to take any chances and the supplies are really quite light and dont count towards any carry on luggage. Another space saver if you use 1 touch ultra strips, I doubled up on the amounts and put 50 in one black cannister and this saved some space.
    Coming back from Spain was no problem though, again more interested in me setting off more alarms with my belt and other stuff I never knew could beep:eek:

    Good luck
  6. suz

    suz Approved members

    Feb 9, 2010
    Not sure what pump you use, I'm sure they all offer the same - but Animas will send you a "loaner" pump to take with you. This gave me immense peace of mind when we travelled to the UK last year.

    Then, same as everyone else - take triple what you think you'll need and split it between bags. Pack some pump supplies in your case, carry the rest with you. Get a Frio pouch for insulin, and pack lots and lots of snacks. I knew my son wouldn't eat the airplane food so I packed a lunch for him which I knew he'd eat, that made life a LOT easier.

    CGMs on the plane are great, for a long flight you'll probably want increase basals with all that inactivity. I found it useful for me to hold his CGM so that I didn't have to keep bugging him, and I could keep a closer eye on it.

    As you approach security, let them know you are carrying diabetes supplies. They are totally used to it. I have heard that pumps shouldn't go through the new xray machines. We've never had any problems with security, and have never needed the endo letter we have. Our endo also gave us a printout of all our prescriptions to take with us - not that we can fill it overseas, but it's useful to have it all written down in case you do need to find a pharmacy.

    I always take an empty water bottle through security with me, then I can refll with water from the water fountain, and I always carry Crystal Lite. I also usually casually mention to the flight crew that my child is diabetic when they first bring drinks/snacks around, and they have always been very accomodating - one time allowing us to do an emergency site change in their private area instead of having to go in the bathroom.

    Above all, relax and have a great time!!!
  7. gerry speirs

    gerry speirs Approved members

    Dec 18, 2010
    Just want to add, if your pumping dont forget to adjust the time on the pump to local time. This caught me a few times and even tonight when I checked Miranda before bed, 483 and I'm thinking WTH, she didn't have that much for dinner!! Problem was I changed the time back to our time when we got home last night but it was at a.m instead of p.m and this meant she was getting very low doses of basal as she always wakes up on the lower side. She should have been on double the dose of what she was getting:(

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