Here's Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Insulin Refrigerated on a Plane.

2023-01-09 03:04:26 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, and I haven't always had access to a refrigerator to keep my insulin cool while in Patagonia. This is especially true when camping or taking day trips to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

My insulin has survived thus far thanks to the Frio bags I use to transport it to and from the refrigerator. Ushuaia was the site of my first glacier hike, and it was frigid enough that I was prepared to bury my insulin supply because I was sure the Frio bags wouldn't survive the ascent.

There will always be times when you aren't near a refrigerator while backpacking or driving with diabetes. This could last a day, or even a couple of days. During my winter road trip through Switzerland and Austria, I didn't have access to a refrigerator for storing my insulin due to the extreme cold. I used a Frio bag to transport and store my insulin from a place with a consistent temperature range.

Also, check out these: Top-Rated Insulin Coolers.

Diabetic monitor in Ushuaia, Patagonia

In the absence of refrigeration and in the sweltering heat, how do you store insulin?

Without a frosty ice pack, refrigerator, or specially designed insulin cooler bag (frio bag), keeping insulin cool in the heat can be difficult. Heat makes it harder to manage diabetes; avoid adding insulin complications.

As a diabetic backpacker in South America, I visited the Amazon Rainforest and the Atacama Desert, and in Asia, I was constantly exposed to searing heat that put me at risk for both hypos and the premature decomposition of my insulin.

Your Frio bag, or another medication cooler, is your best bet in the absence of a refrigerator or freezer bag with ice packs. These bags are ideal for keeping insulin cool during day trips, overnight camping trips, and other similar situations. Insulin must be kept cool at all times, but having extra on hand in case of an emergency is paramount.

You can use a cheap cooling bag (like a lunch box) and ice blocks that you freeze in the fridge in place of a Frio bag if you don't want to use one or can't afford one. If you're just going out for the day, this is a good way to keep your insulin cool.

Cazzy in Atacama desert

When camping, how do you keep insulin cool?

The weather in Torres del Paine can change from warm to chilly in an instant. If you're fortunate snow Consequently, insulin loses efficacy below a certain temperature and can even freeze; as a result, my trusted Frio was essential in maintaining an optimal temperature range for my insulin in this -4 degree environment; no insulin was lost to the cold.

Keep in mind, I've been taking these Frio bags with me on all my vacations. In total, South America and Asia have 7 months. Even when it has been out of the fridge for longer than the recommended time, NONE of my insulin has ever perished. That's proof positive that they can keep your insulin functioning properly, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.  

I overestimated my insulin needs for both South America and Asia, so I brought 25 bottles with me. Insulin manufacturers warn that their product will spoil if left at room temperature for more than 28 days; however, I have yet to experience any insulin spoilage while using Frio.

Managing my type one diabetes is a hassle, and I'd rather just get on with my life and see the world. The fact that I haven't had to fret over whether or not I've packed my insulin, which I'm always afraid of spoiling if it's not kept cold, has eliminated a major source of anxiety for me on this trip.

Since my first international trip to Paris, I've used an insulin cooler whenever I've been in a hot climate. This includes my visits to Paris, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Rome.

Check out my article on Insulin Carrying Cases.

Blood glucose monitor camping

Methods for Maintaining Frozen Insulin During Flight

How to keep insulin cool while flying is a question I've been asked by many passengers. My extensive air travel experience has taught me that the same advice applies everywhere: bring an insulin travel case like a Frio bag. Your insulin pens and cartridges will remain at a safe temperature for the duration of your flight if you activate them in cold water before boarding the plane.

Your insulin must remain in your carry-on, NOT checked luggage. It will freeze due to the low temperatures in which it is located.

Everybody who needs to know how to keep their insulin cold on vacation will find the same advice here. This information is useful even if you're not planning on spending a year on the road. Two weeks of lounging in a pool at 35 degrees? The bags are just as comfortable for that. what I'd love to be doing right now.

Alternatives to the Frio medicine cooler for air travel are available, such as those manufactured by MediCool. I have written extensively on the topic of insulin travel cases, and the consensus among people with type 1 diabetes is that the Frio is the best option.

Take a look at this article for more details about how diabetes affects flying.  


Maintaining the cold temperature of my other diabetes supplies while I travel

You can transport your Frio bags in a diabetic travel case; Myabetic offers a case specifically designed to hold Frio bags. That's so ideal. I just got one, and it's the right size and style for weekend trips to the city. In my most recent trip to Torino, I brought mine along.

Frio also makes an insulin pump cover that keeps your medical device at the proper temperature, but the temperature in the airplane won't have any effect on your handsets. You can put anything in these cases, from insulin syringes to insulin pump parts.

For the first time ever, Frio is my first pick. I consider them the best purchase I have made for my frequent travels and diabetes, and I will never stop using them.

Insulin pump in the Atacama desert

Don't forget that some of Frio's best features are

  • Insulin is protected and kept cold. In-use insulin requires refrigeration, but this cooler is ideal for keeping your insulin at the required temperature of 18-26 degrees when you don't have access to a fridge.
  • It's compact and fashionable, and it's available in several colors, including the brand-new TEAL. Red is my favorite color. You can find the perfect Frio bag for any event among their many sizes and styles.
  • The Wallet has a minimum use period of 45 hours and a maximum use period of 28 days, though I have personally used mine for 3. 5-month stretches with zero incidents
  • They are hassle-free to use (you just need cold water), and they can keep you cool for at least a year before they stop working (my oldest Frio bag is three years old, and it's still going strong thanks to my careful maintenance).

Consequently, I'd like to extend my gratitude to FRIO one last time.

Medi-Angel One

Med angel one
That's the tiny sensor right there.

To complement your Frio bag or insulin cooling wallet, I have recently found this fantastic sensor. You can use this simple sensor to monitor the temperature of your insulin throughout the day by placing it in your insulin cooling wallet or in the refrigerator of your hotel, motel, or Airbnb. There is a mobile app that will notify you if your insulin is in danger.

You can wear it on a day trip to a warm location, while skiing or hiking in a cold one, and more. Moreover, the sensor's battery is replaceable after nine months of use, making this a worthwhile investment in your health. If you buy our NEW ebook or course before April 30th, you'll save 20%!

All you have to do to get 20% off is enter the code "" on either website.

Alternative Insulin Coolers for Diabetics

Frio is the only product I've found to be effective in keeping insulin cool while traveling, so I've been using it exclusively. On the other hand, Fridge-to-Go and Medicool aren't the only products of their kind on the market. If you have type 1 diabetes and plan to travel, you should read my review of various insulin travel cases.

Share your own stories and thoughts, or ask me anything in the comments!

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Remember that I'm not trying to sell you anything with this post. I know I go on and on about how great Frio is, but that's only because I use it all the time. If they can keep my insulin cold for 10 months out of the year, then they must be doing something right.

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