Tips for travelling with CGMs, Insulin Pumps

By: 
Karen Munger, MS, RD, CD, CDE, BD-ADM

The routine hassles of travel – long lines at security checkpoints, flight delays, lost luggage – are compounded when the traveler has diabetes. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and make informed choices to help ease any potential stressors. Below are some travel tips to help those who use CGMs or insulin pumps.

  • Let the TSA Security Officer at the airport know you have diabetes and are using a continuous glucose (blood sugar) monitor and/or insulin pump, and this is a prescribed medical device.
  • These types of devices are not removable and need to remain connected, because sensors and infusion sets are inserted under the skin.
  • All of the devices can withstand common security systems such as airport metal detectors and hand wands, but full-body or advanced imaging technology scanners used by TSA may be capable of damaging the devices. Thus, it’s recommended that alternate screening be done, such as pat-down and visual inspection of devices. The devices will be damaged by baggage x-ray machines.
  • Place all supplies (such as sensors, infusion sets, batteries, and insulin with prescription label) in a separate plastic bag to hand over to the Security Officer.
  • For other medical supplies, such as medications, meters and strips, check the manufacturer's instructions or the TSA website (www.tsa.gov).