Traveling with Diabetes Checklist for Canada

Man traveling with an insulin pen, using it to check his blood glucose level

An estimated 415 million people worldwide live with diabetes. While diabetes can be treated and controlled, it can still make things like travel a little trickier than usual, but by no means impossible!

If you or someone you love has diabetes and is going to travel to Canada, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Traveling with Diabetes Checklist

While each person with diabetes has different medical needs, this general checklist for traveling with diabetes is a good place to start.


Whether you’re a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic, it’s essential to pack the right supplies on your trip to Canada. This may be different for every person, but some common supplies people with diabetes should carry include:

  • Insulin pen or insulin pump
  • Glucose tablets
  • Gel packs
  • Continuous glucose monitor
  • Any diabetes medications with their original prescription labels
  • Snacks and drinks

Make sure to keep your diabetes supplies and medical equipment in your carry-on luggage if you’re flying. This makes it easier to check your blood sugar levels and keep your insulin cool (avoiding fluctuating temperatures in the cargo hold).

When flying with diabetes supplies, it’s always a good idea to have them accessible for yourself and airport security. Also, make sure to declare your diabetes supplies to airport security when you’re being screened.

Important Note: If you wear an insulin pump it may be affected by metal detectors. In this case, inform security and receive an alternative (like a pat-down).

Doctor’s Note

Another important item on your checklist when traveling with diabetes supplies is a doctor’s note. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, a diabetes travel letter should include:

  • Your diabetes treatment plan
  • Your need for traveling with insulin pens so airport security understands why you may be carrying syringes or needles for your treatment
  • Your specific diabetes supplies
  • Any needed vaccinations

This letter makes it easier to get through airport security with your diabetes supplies.

Travel Medical Insurance

Your travel checklist for diabetes is not complete without travel health insurance. Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. It’s recommended that all visitors to Canada, regardless of their pre-existing conditions, get travel health insurance before their arrival to cover any medical costs.

Diabetes is considered a pre-existing health condition by most insurance companies. This means it may be excluded from coverage even if it has been stable for longer than 365 days. This ultimately depends on the definitions outlined by the provider.

However, travelers to Canada with diabetes can still find travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. BestQuote helps you compare the largest group of leading Canadian travel insurance providers simultaneously. This includes Super Visa Insurance, insurance for visitors on short trips, for longer International Experience Canada work visas, or when returning to Canada after a long time away.

Get a free quote on visitors to Canada insurance!

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