Travel

Travel

Traveling with an insulin pump


It is important to check your glucose levels more frequently while you are traveling. All of these factors can affect your diabetes control: the routine hassle and stress of travel; changes in time zones, schedules, and activity levels; and unpredictable meal times and types of food. Be extra attentive to monitoring your glucose levels frequently, and be prepared to respond if needed.

Before you travel, review our general travel tips, see how to update the time on your device, and read through our travel checklist just to make sure you have everything you need.

Travel Loaner Program
For US-based customers, the Travel Loaner Program allows you to take a "back-up" insulin pump for a fee of $50 (USD) every 90 days. Take a "back-up" pump when you:

  • Go on a cruise
  • Travel to Hawaii or Alaska
  • Travel internationally

Complete the Travel Loaner form and submit it at least 2 weeks prior to your trip to ensure on-time delivery. A signature is required upon delivery and you will need to return the travel loaner when you arrive back home.

Note: The program only includes insulin pumps and does not include blood glucose meters or CGM devices.

Note: Make sure you have more than enough insulin pump supplies for your trip. Keep in mind that depending on your insurance and quantity of supplies, it may take up to 14 days to get your supplies refilled. Place an order when you have your trip planned to make sure you get your supplies in time to pack.

Use the following checklist as a guideline to remind you of important items to take on your trip. All of these items may not apply.

  • Extra insulin with a current prescription
  • Insulin pump reservoirs
  • Insulin pump infusion sets
  • Insertion device for infusion sets
  • CGM transmitter
  • CGM charger
  • Glucose sensors
  • Insertion device for sensors
  • Tapes and adhesives
  • Pump batteries
  • Blood glucose meter
  • Test strips and lancets
  • Glucose tablets or fast-acting sugar
  • Snacks
  • Ketone strips
  • Medical ID
  • Emergency card with airport information for your MiniMed™ 670G system, for your MiniMed™ 630G system
  • Document with current pump settings
  • Insulin syringes for emergency injections and dosing instructions from your doctor

We recommend that you print out the travel checklist to keep handy.

It is important that you check your glucose more frequently while you are traveling. The routine hassle of travel, including stress, changes in time zones, schedules and activity levels, meal times and types of food, can all affect your diabetes control. Be extra attentive to monitoring your glucose frequently, and be prepared to respond if needed.

Insulin pumps are designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference, including some airport security systems. Taking an insulin pump through airport security is quite common. It is always a good idea to carry the airport Information card for your MiniMed™ 670G system, or your MiniMed™ 630G system (located in the front pocket of your user guide) when you are traveling.

Because travel rules are subject to change, it is advisable to check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before traveling. You can find TSA information here or by calling 1-866-289-9673. International passengers should consult their individual air carriers for international regulations.

  • Your pump should not go through the x-ray machine that is used for carry-on or checked luggage.
  • The full body scanner is also a form of x-ray. If you choose to go through the full body scanner, you will need to disconnect and remove your insulin pump, and, if using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), remove your sensor and transmitter prior to the scan.
  • Your infusion set should be disconnected at your site when going through the full body scanner.
  • To avoid removing your devices, you should request an alternative screening process that does not use x-ray.
  • Your insulin pump, infusion set, reservoir, and CGM system can withstand exposure to airport metal detectors used at airport security checkpoints.

Equipment Interference

Read about guidelines for equipment interference, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements that devices with radio frequency capabilities should not be used on an aircraft.

All of these factors can affect your diabetes control: the routine hassle and stress of travel; changes in time zones, schedules, and activity levels; and unpredictable meal times and types of food. Be extra attentive to monitoring your glucose frequently, and be prepared to respond if needed.

Our tips on flying and airport security guidelines apply to travel within the United States. These tips are subject to change, so please also check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). International passengers should consult their individual air carriers for international regulations.

Insulin Pumps and Blood Glucose Meters
Manually check your glucose levels using a blood glucose meter.

Personal CGM
If you wear a CGM device, it is safe for use on US commercial airlines. If questioned by airline personnel about the use of your device, please show them your Airport Information Card. If they still request that you turn off your CGM device, you must comply.

If you are asked to turn off your CGM device, you will have a "data gap" when uploading data into CareLink™ Personal Software, where information is missing from the period of time when your CGM system was turned off.

As you travel through different time zones, you should remember to update the time on your insulin pump and blood glucose (BG) meter.

Note: Speak with your healthcare provider before you travel to get their advice on which settings and time adjustments will be best for you.

You will want to pay extra attention to updating the time on your insulin pump:

  • If you have multiple basal rates, or carb ratios, or targets that vary significantly throughout the day
  • If you experience dawn phenomenon
  • If you experience low blood glucose in the middle of the night
  • If you are traveling far distances (with a time zone change of more than three hours)

Make sure to check your glucose more frequently while traveling, especially when a time change is involved.

Note: To update the time and date on your blood glucose meter refer to the instructions for use.

Medtronic Support within the United States
Medtronic Diabetes provides a 24-Hour Technical Support for technical assistance. When calling the 24-Hour Technical Support or your local Medtronic Diabetes office, please have your insulin pump and serial number available. The phone number is also on the back or bottom of your insulin pump (depending on pump model). For calls within the United States: 1-800-646-4633.

Medtronic Support Outside the United States
Be prepared when you travel internationally with the following information:

  • For calls from outside the United States: +1-818-576-5555
  • A list of Medtronic Worldwide Sales Offices may be able to help you source extra insulin pump supplies or CGM supplies should something unexpected happen.