Top ten tips for traveling

Traveling with insulin pump

Summer is here and it’s time for many of us to hit the road – or air. Traveling with diabetes and an insulin pump can be daunting at times, but it shouldn’t keep you from exploring. Before you set out to satisfy your wanderlust, check out our answers to the top questions we receive about traveling with an insulin pump and/or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). 

Bon voyage!

Q. What should I pack? 

A. This goes without saying for all you experienced travelers, but it’s good to pack extras of everything– insulin, infusions sets, sensors, reservoirs, alcohol swabs, sensor tape, extra compatible batteries for your pump, and even syringes in cases of emergency. The mentality is, “it’s better to have more of what you need, than not enough.” Check out our full travel checklist here. Pack most of your supplies in your carry-on if you’re able, with any snacks or glucose tabs you’re planning to bring. Some people with diabetes recommend storing supplies in a few different places (like splitting in between your carry-on and your checked luggage) to cover your bases in the event something should happen. You might like some of these Myabetic accessories to help keep everything organized. 

Q. Can go through security wearing my pump or CGM? 

A. You do not need to remove your insulin pump or CGM if you’re going through common security systems like a metal detector. However, you do need to remove your insulin pump if you’re going through one of the airport body scanners. Never send your pump through an x-ray machine or body scanner as it may damage the part of the pump that regulates insulin delivery. Check out this handy chart for reference on which machines may cause interference with which devices. 

Q. What else should I know about TSA and airport security? 

A. Explain to the TSA agent that you are wearing a medical device before walking into a body scanner.

  • Try to wear socks so your feet are protected if you’re asked to remove your shoes.
  • Once you’ve removed your insulin pump and done the body scan, they will have you put your pump in your hands and then swab your hands. This process only takes a few extra seconds to complete.
  • If you do not want to go through the TSA body scanner you can always request a visual inspection and pat down of your person and device.

Q. Can I use my CGM when flying? 

A. Yes, if you wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) system, it is safe for use on U.S. commercial airlines. If you’re questioned by airline personnel about the use of your device, show them your airport emergency card. If you use a MiniMed™ 600 series insulin pump, you may experience an issue with the keypad becoming temporarily unresponsive when the atmospheric pressure around the pump increases or decreases rapidly. If this happens, in most cases you may not even notice because the pump will resolve this on its own. 

Q. Should I bring a travel buddy? 

A. It’s always good to have someone travel with you who knows you have diabetes, the signs of high and low blood glucose, and what to do in both scenarios. It’s really nice to know someone else is looking out for you. If you frequently travel alone, try getting a medical bracelet or ID necklace so people can assist you in case of an emergency. Be sure the medical ID has your name, diagnosis, address, allergies, phone number, and emergency contact. There are many online outlets where you can buy custom Medical IDs.

Q. How should I store my insulin? 

A. If you’re flying to your destination, it’s best to bring your insulin in your carry-on, rather than your checked bag. If your insurance allows it, take one more bottle of insulin than you think you will need since you will likely have different eating and activity levels while on your trip. While on the road, many hotels provide you a mini fridge free of charge or at very low cost. Although your insulin does not need to be refrigerated, keeping it in the fridge reduces the chance of it getting too warm and becoming unusable. (Most insulin companies advise not to store it in temperatures over 86ºF, but check the label on the insulin you use.) 

Q. What happens if something goes wrong with my device when I'm traveling? 

A. If you’re traveling to Hawaii, Alaska, on a cruise, or internationally, you can request a backup pump to bring with you in cases of emergency with our Travel Loaner Program. Just be sure to fill out the form at least two weeks prior to your scheduled departure date. If you’re in the continental U.S. and you need support on your trip, call 1.800.646.4633. 

Q. What do I do if I need Medtronic support while I’m outside the U.S.? 

A. When traveling internationally, be sure to keep our contact number with you (1.818.576.5555) as well as contact information for our Worldwide Sales Office in the areas you’re visiting. 


Q. Do I need to change the time on my insulin pump? 

A. As you travel through different time zones, you might need to update the time on your insulin pump and blood glucose (BG) meter. With automated systems like the MiniMed™ 770G insulin pump (while in SmartGuard™ Auto Mode), you might not need to change the time. However, take note of your varied carb ratios and how they vary throughout the day. Speak with your healthcare team to get their advice on which settings and time adjustments will be best for you. 


Q. Do you have any tips for traveling abroad? 

A. If you’re traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language, translate a few key diabetes-related phrases like “diabetes,” “insulin,” or “I need juice” and write them down somewhere so you have them if needed. You can also download a translation app that can speak for you if you know you’ll have internet on your phone. The most important thing is to get out and travel. Don’t feel like you can’t travel—the world is an amazing place with so many beautiful things to see. Get out and enjoy your life and the world. Yes you have diabetes, but remember you control it—it does not control you!



The MiniMed™ 770G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons two years of age and older requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 770G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery of basal insulin based on continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor glucose (SG) values and can suspend delivery of insulin when the SG value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values. 
The Medtronic MiniMed™ 770G system consists of the following devices: MiniMed™ 770G insulin pump, the Guardian™ Link (3) transmitter, the Guardian™ Sensor (3), one-press serter, the Accu-Chek® Guide Link blood glucose meter, and the Accu-Chek® Guide test strips. The system requires a prescription. 
The Guardian™ Sensor (3) has not been evaluated and is not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a fingerstick may be required. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using a blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ Sensor (3). 
All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using the Accu-Chek® Guide Link blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ Sensor (3). Always check the pump display to ensure the glucose result shown agrees with the glucose results shown on the Accu-Chek® Guide Link blood glucose meter. Do not calibrate your CGM device or calculate a bolus using a blood glucose meter result taken from an Alternative Site. It is not recommended to calibrate your CGM device when sensor or blood glucose values are changing rapidly, e.g., following a meal or physical exercise. 
WARNING: Do not use the SmartGuard™ Auto Mode for people who require less than 8 units or more than 250 units of total daily insulin per day. A total daily dose of at least 8 units, but no more than 250 units, is required to operate in SmartGuard™ Auto Mode.

WARNING: Do not use the MiniMed™ 770G system until appropriate training has been received from a healthcare professional. Training is essential to ensure the safe use of the MiniMed™ 770G system. 
Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional. The safety of the MiniMed™ 770G system has not been studied in pregnant women. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult and the appropriate user guide at

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Blog comments

Submitted by Mike Hefferly (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Hello - Two of the Q&A above seem to contradict. One statement discourages taking pump and CGM through a body scanner, while the next one describes what to do when you take your pump through a body scanner. Can you please help clarify the best course of action? Thanks. Mike

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Mike Hefferly (not verified)

Sorry for the confusion, Mike. You should not take your pump through the body scanner. It should be removed and you should notify the TSA agent that you have a pump, so they may complete any security reviews as required. If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Submitted by Patricia Schramm (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Well written, information I have hoped for ...
I bookmarked and can refer to forever
I have hard copy manuals that come with Medtronic 670G but find this guide more user friendly.
FYI ... so many times I been TSA that most pump users go through X-ray...I was told to get avoid this . I prefer hands on check.
Also did not realize sensors could go through X-ray....carried them with me I can leave supplies in my carryon per article per X-ray check.
I showed my husband the comprehensive list
Article cited for packing ... he was surprised to see me packing all the diabetes supplies for my trip. List is handy.
Thank you again Ms. Schmitz
Your well written professional article will make my traveling days easier. Thanks for caring.
A 46 year insulin user and a Medtronic pimp user for 18 years.

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Patricia Schramm (not verified)

We're glad you enjoyed the article and found some helpful tips, Patricia.

Submitted by John Storvick (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Went on a world cruise last year for four months. Spent over a month coordinating with the insurance company to ensure had enough insulin, sensors, injection sets and reservoirs. When travel exceeds the time between allowed refills, talking with your insurance company needs to happen earlier than close to the time for the departure.

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by John Storvick (not verified)

Great tip, John! Hope you had a great cruise.

Submitted by Darin (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Still confused about wearing the pump through an airport scanner. One Q/A says do not and another Q/assays just to notify agent you are wearing one before entering and they will swap it on the other side!

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Darin (not verified)

Hi Darin, you shouldn't take your pump through the new body scanners or put it on the belt to go through the x-ray. Safe travels!

good to know about loaner program and intl support I'm writing those number down now

Submitted by John Johnston (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Thank you Susan. i know with your help I'll gave a safe trip.

Johnny Johnston

Submitted by Lee E. Soberg (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I travel 4 to 5 times yearly. When I fly I've been total by tsa agents. You can go thru the boby scanner with your pump on. I explain to them they are incorrect. I than ask for a pat down. While I'm recieving my pat I explain that my vacation would be over if the body damaged my 670g pump. Do you lnow why they tell punp users they can go through the scanner without issues.

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Lee E. Soberg (not verified)

You're correct, Lee, you shouldn't take your pump through the new body scanners or put it on the belt to go through the x-ray. We do have an airport emergency card that you can download, print and bring with you to the airport to help explain your devices to airport officials. You can download it here Best of luck on your next trip!

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