The Things I Carry: Packing for Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Packing for a trip with type 1 diabetes requires a bit of extra thought. When I travel I like to bring only carry-on items so that I can keep an eye on everything and ensure my essential diabetes supplies are always close. This can be difficult on longer trips or when a trip requires lots of gear. My current adventure of three weeks requires camping and hiking gear as well as a decent set of camera gear and essentials for a weekend long music festival, not to mention diabetes supplies. It was tricky getting everything I needed into two carry-on sized bags but I made it happen. Here is a list of what I packed and some tips for packing pesky diabetes supplies.

The Bags

I did endless research on the best backpack and camera bag for my needs. I had to be sure I could pack everything I needed and still fit my luggage on the plane with me. So far so good as I was able to fit both of these bags, bursting at the seams packed with everything below, into the overhead compartment and under my seat. Read why I selected the Gregory Savant 48 backpack here!


Gregory Savant 48

Evecase Vintage DSLR Laptop Bag







Diabetes Supplies


I usually pack around double the supplies I would need for the same time at home. Here is everything I took with me on this adventure.

  • Medical Supplies Travel Case
  • Army Medic Belt Pouch
  • 3 Flex Pens of Novolog
  • 2 Flex Pens of Toujeo (more units per pen at 500)
  • 50 or so BD Ultra Fine Pen Needles
  • 2 Medium and 1 Large Frio Cooling Sleeves for Insulin Pens

Pro Tip- Carry an extra Frio so that one can dry out while the others are in use. Frios work for 3-5 days then need to be dried out. Also keep your Frios in a mesh pocket or somewhere with air flow because they rely on evaporation to keep your insulin cool.

  • Accu-Chek Aviva Expert Meter
  • 300 Aviva Expert Test Strips
  • Freestyle Lite Meter (back-up)
  • 150 Freestyle Lite Test Strips
  • Aviva Fast Clix Lancer
  • 10 Extra Lancet Sets
  • Ketone Test Strips
  • Glucagon Syringe (not pictured)
  • 150 Alcohol Prep Pads
  • 16 extra AAA Batteries (my Aviva meter eats up batteries!)
  • Diabetic Multi-Vitamin
  • Tons of Sweet Tarts, Granola Bars and Crackers
  • Dry Bag

Sea to Summit 1 Liter Dry Bag

Pro Tip- Pack a dry bag like this Sea to Summit 1 litre bag and some zip-loc baggies in case of a water adventure. This is also where your back up glucose meter comes in handy!

Here my dry bag is clipped to my life jacket

Here my dry bag, with back-up meter and snacks, is clipped to my life jacket.

Camping and Festival Gear


I am a notorious over-packer but I think I did a decent job of keeping it simple this trip. The key is layers!

  • Medium Water Resistant Jacket
  • Kimono “Dawg”
  • 2 Long Sleeved Shirts
  • 4 Short Sleeved Shirts
  • 2 Pants
  • 3 Shorts
  • Board Shorts
  • Vintage Greek Hat
  • Frogg Togg Rain Jacket
  • Slip On Shoes
  • Merrell Hiking Boots
  • 4 Pair of Socks

Camera Gear

I am shooting equal amounts photo and video on this trip so I had to come up with an efficient yet compact set up.

Pacsafe Exo Mesh Bag Lock

Pro Tip- For added security, especially at music festivals, invest in something like the Pacsafe Exo Mesh Bag Lock. This one goes over and locks up my camera bag, keeping my laptop, camera and some essential D supplies safe. For added security against tricky little fingers, throw a rain cover over the bag, under the mesh lock.


I hope this helps you on your next “Travelbetic” adventure! If you see anything on this list that may, just click the name (if its blue) and it will take you straight to an Amazon link where a small percentage of your purchase will go to help me on my adventures.

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