How to Pack to Travel with Diabetes
Below is a packing list provided as a guideline. Feel free to augment as you feel necessary. We recommend travelers bring checked-bag-sized backpacks that they can easily unpack/repack as well as a smaller day backpack for hikes, excursions, and shorter activities.
We encourage our travelers to take a “less is more” approach to packing. We also require our travelers to carry their luggage on their own. As such, we recommend packing only what you can carry.
Our terrain will vary vastly in Thailand (jungle, beach, mountains, cities), but we can count on experiencing heat, humidity, and rain. Due to the humidity, it can take awhile for clothes to dry. We recommend packing a few pieces of quick dry athletic clothing as such.
Most importantly, be sure to remember your passport and student ID.
- Backpacking backpack (with waterproof cover)
- Day pack
- Dry bag (for SCUBA diving)
- Packing cubes (optional)
- Water-resistant fanny pack (optional)
- Glucose gel packets or other forms of rapid-acting glucose (3x what you think you might use for the duration of program)
- Enough of your preferred travel-friendly low treatment to last 3x the length of your program
- I.e. 3x the quantity of glucose tablets, Gatorade powder, fruit snacks etc. you might think you’d need for the 18-day program.
- Frio insulin cooling pouch (recommended) or another insulin-cooling mechanism
- Waterproof phone pouch
- External charger to recharge devices on-the-go
- Insulin vial protector(s) to prevent shattering
- “STOP: Don’t forget your diabetes supplies” door hanger (provided to all travelers by Program Leaders upon arrival to program country)
- Insulin (at least 2 vials more than what you think you will use/need)
- For insulin pump users: be sure to get a prescription for 1-2 backup vials of long-acting insulin in the event of pump failure
- For pump users: Pumps/pump sites (3x beyond what you think you will use/need) + pens + pen needles/syringes as a backup
- For CGM users: Extra transmitter, sensors (3x beyond what you think you will use/need)
- For Loopers: A backup Riley or OrangeLink and a backup phone with your Loop app already built onto it, an extra charging cable, extra batteries
- For MDI users: Pens and pen needles or syringes (2x what you think you will use/need)
- Alcohol swabs
- Skin Tac or your preferred adhesive (2x what you think you will use/need)
- Medical device adhesive patches (3x what you think you will use/need)
- Note: If you do not typically use adhesive patches or use them on your CGM but not your pump, purchase and pack them for all devices nevertheless. Humidity often affects the duration of devices staying in.
- For those with prescriptions for nasal glucagon, please bring at least one form of injectable glucagon as well.
- Blood glucometer, test strips, and a lancing device
- Ketones strips
- Copies of prescriptions
- Signed note from endocrinologist stating necessity of carrying supplies with you
NOTE: Practice the art of packing a “backup to the backup to the backup.”
- I.e. If you are a pump user, plan to bring a backup pump, if possible (many pump company sales representatives can loan you out a backup pump) AND pens + pen needles/syringes.
- If you are a Looper, plan to bring a backup RileyLink and a backup phone, but also bring whatever you need to pump without Loop, AND pens + pen needles/syringes.
CLOTHES & SHOES
- Socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
- T-shirts (some quick dry)
- Long sleeve shirt
- Long sleeve quick dry shirt
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
- Please note: Modest dress is considered culturally respectful in many places. Please pack clothing pieces accordingly.
- Comfortable/hiking/everyday pants
- 1 nice shirt/top to be worn to a more formal dinner
- 1 layer (light jacket, pullover hoodie, etc.)
- Swim suit(s)
- Durable athletic sneakers with good grip (to be worn hiking, climbing, and with livestock)
- Sandals with heel straps (for water activities, dive boat outings, general everyday wear)
- Toothbrush + toothpaste
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap
- Note for travelers with periods: It can be difficult to find tampons in many parts of the world. Bring 2x what you think you will need.
- Face masks
- Reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen
- Deet-free mosquito repellent
- Small personal first aid kit: Band Aids, Neosporin, bite/sting + itch cream, Ibuprofen/Panadol, etc.
- We also recommend that travelers consult with their doctors before departure and bring a just in case supply of antibiotics, immodium, and anti-nausea/motion sickness medication.
- Hand sanitizer
- Medications (any prescription medications should travel in the original bottle with traveler’s name)
- Journal and pen
- Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
- Alarm device (could be phone, watch, portable alarm clock)
- Debit card/US Dollars
- We recommend about $100-$300, depending on number of desired snacks, souvenirs, etc. Note: many restaurants and street vendors only accept cash. Please bring cash and a backup debit card to transact. Make sure you notify your bank of your travels to prevent erroneous fraud detection.
- Durable water bottle
- Quick-dry towel
- Deck of cards or other portable games
- Thai/English phrasebook