Road Trip Questions

So on May 28th my best friend and I are FINALLY taking a road trip. Something we have wanted to do for the past couple summers and finally decided this is the best summer to do so.

But I have a few questions.

We are headed to Grand Canyon, Arizona. Making a stop in Denver, Colorado on the way. How worried do I need to be about my insulin pump and elevation?

2nd we will be gone for 9 days. How many supplies should I bring and should I bring lantus just in case (god forbid) my pump malfunctions?


And now just in general... anyone been on a road trip? Any tips and suggestions diabetes or non diabetes related?


thanks everyone!

I have been on a few trips and I have a list of everything I should bring in my diabetes binder. Might be a good idea for you to do the same and add to it after this trip, so that when you go on another one, you know what to bring.

Bring DOUBLE the infusion sets, reservoirs, etc. that you will need. 9 days means a max of 3 set changes, so bring (at least) 6 of everthing. Bring your current Novolog (or whatever fastacting you are using) as well as a new one (keep it cold in the cooler). DEFINITELY BRING LANTUS! You don't want to have to risk a malfunction without having Lantus with you. If your pump malfunctions then you have to give shots of Novolog every two hours. Bring Lantus so that you could quickly switch over if needed.

Along with that-- bring lots of syringes in case.

Alcohol swabs, Ketoxtix, test strips, control solution, meter, glucagon, plenty of glucose tabs/juice...the list keeps going.

When you think you have finished packing your supplies look through the bin(s) you keep everything in. If there is nothing left in there, or you have packed several of whatever is in there, you should be good to go. Make sure you check all the different places around the house where things could be (like I have forgotten Ketostix because I keep them in my bathroom cabinet).

I cannot answer your question about elevation; I have heard that pumps can get bubbles more easily at high altitues. I flew in an airplane twice and didn't have any problems, but that may be a different scenario.

Hope this helps!

[quote user="Melissa"]

We are headed to Grand Canyon, Arizona. Making a stop in Denver, Colorado on the way. How worried do I need to be about my insulin pump and elevation?

2nd we will be gone for 9 days. How many supplies should I bring and should I bring lantus just in case (god forbid) my pump malfunctions?


Hi Melissa, hey have fun that sounds great I am jealous!  I have been both places, and I travel for work so I have to fly every week these days, I have never heard of problems with pumps and elevations.  I did drop a camera lense at the Grand Canyon, "elevation" is bad for camera lenses!

the general guide is 2x the supplies you'll need, but 125% works for me on longer trips.  I brought backup lantus and syringes to China 2 years agom but that was because I was a little far off the beaten path.  My pump manufacturer will loan me a pump for a vacation if I ask for one.  Hiking the canyon is tiring, bring carbs!

Airports are not a problem, but you may be asked for prescriptions, that's why it's best to have insulin individually boxed and labeled with the script info.  take all your supplies as carry on!  Liquid medicine is okay in carry on bags, but you sometimes will get a "bag check". 

do NOT forget to have a blast!

coffee pot rock, Sedona Az.


me and Lisa at the Grand Canyon


My pump manufacturer (OmniPod) will overnight me another PDM if mine ever malfunctions.  I typically bring 2x the pods I'll need though, just in case any of them are defective.  I never bring backup Lantus though, just for this specific reason.  So far there's never been a reason that I WON'T be able to use the pump.

I've even been stopped at one of the fancy new scanning machines recently at the airport, but once I told them once it was (that was making the lights go off) they let me pass through with no more questions asked.  All I did was pull up the bottom of my shirt to show them my pump and CGM on my stomach.

I typically keep a ziploc bag full of my backup pods, novolog for my pump, as well as my CGM stuff, and this all goes right through the scanning equipment at the airport.  No one's ever pulled it out and asked me what it was (even though there's needles in it).

And if you're traveling in the US, there's almost always a pharmacy nearby should you need emergency insulin, syringes, etc.  You can always call your pharmacy back home and have them transfer the prescription to wherever you are, for an emergency fill.  Sometimes you'll have to call your insurance company though, to OK it.  So just keep that in mind.

Kristen has great advice (well everyone does) and most places will overnight you a pump if something happens.

Pump malfunctions can happen any where any time on long trips, short ones, and at home. I don't carry extra long acting so when my pump has broke I normally take an injection of humalog every hour. It works in a pinch until I can get to a pharmacy or hospital for lantus. But because you have the option to be prepared, go a head and pack some long lasting insulin just to be safe.

Keep it cool and have a great time! (post pictures too)

Not strictly diabetes-related, but remember that at thigher altitudes you are much more likely to be affected by the sun, so be more careful about dehydration and about sunburn!


I grew up at 6000 ft, and then went to college at sea level. Every time I go home, I am so surprised by how thirsty I am. In fact, I probably delayed my diagnosis about a month because I assumed I was just thirsty from the altitude!


So yeah, drink water and wear sunscreen. And have an amazing time.

Thanks for all your advice.

I won't be traveling via airplane at all... all driving for me! but I appreciate all the advice as I definitely found most of it useful.

I will post pictures as soon as I can!!