The first thing that comes to mind when making plans to travel is the storage of your insulin. With the best insulin cooler for diabetics you can travel, hike or go on a long road trip and keep your insulin cool at any times. Insulin is a heat-sensitive drug, and it's very important to keep it in a cool place for its best results.

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • How do I keep my insulin cool while traveling?
  • How to deal with frozen insulin?
  • Is it safe to travel with insulin?
  • The best standards to store your insulin.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a life-saving drug for diabetics. It's a hormone that is released by the pancreas to regulate the blood sugar levels. Without insulin, your body wouldn't be able to cope with the sugar levels in the blood due to eating carbohydrates and may result in high blood sugar levels.

What is the life span of insulin?

You should note the opening date of your insulin vial or the date when you started using your insulin pen. It's essential to use insulin within a limited time. Never try to use a vial for more than 28 days as it becomes expired and loose the effect on regulating your blood sugar levels. If you notice higher blood sugars that don't have any other explanation it might be you are using expired insulin. Insulin coolers are available to hold and preserve your insulin.

How do I keep my insulin cool?

The best and easiest way to keep your insulin cool is to store it in the fridge. But if you are hiking, traveling or going on a long road trip it's not always that easy. Especially if the areas you are traveling to areas above average temperatures.

Insulin should be kept cool and stored at ideal temperature conditions. The best temperature for insulin is 35.5 °F (2 °C) to 46.5 °F (8 °C). Various quality insulin coolers for diabetics are available in the market to store insulin the correct way and to preserve its nature. The critical temperature on which your insulin starts decaying is 77 °F (25 °C).

There are multiple solutions to keep your insulin cool;

  • Cooling and traveling bags like the Frio Bag
  • Insulin cooling cases
  • Battery powered insulin cooler cases are available for giving you the feasibility of easy traveling. You can carry it along anywhere without the fear of your insulin getting too warm. It will keep your insulin on the correct temperature for a long time.
  • Powered mini fridges

What are the benefits of an insulin cooler for diabetics?

If you are planning to spend your holidays on the beach, as an insulin dependent person, you need an insulin cooler to store your insulin. If you are away from home for a long time and you don't have access to your fridge to keep your insulin cool, there are solutions. The perfect temperature and ideal space inside the insulin cooler is very important. Some insulin coolers are very spacious and provide a maximum storage and include multiple ice packs to hold all of your vials, pens or even your insulin pump.

The best insulin cooler for diabetics provides a maximum cooling time and it depends on your needs for how much time you want to preserve your insulin. A battery powered insulin cooler is easy to carry along. It only needs a little extra time to charge it. Keep in mind that some of the coolers have a USB charger so you can easily cool all your diabetic supplies whenever you have access to electricity or a USB power bank.

The biggest benefit of all is, that you as a diabetic, can go and stand anywhere you want without the feeling that insulin won't survive outside of your fridge. Some of the best insulin coolers for diabetics can you keep your insulin cool for 6 hours and even 12 hours.

My first review of the 5 best insulin coolers for diabetics will give you more information on all the benefits.

Why insulin should be kept cool?

Insulin contains protein dissolved in liquid. If insulin is not kept in a cool place, bacterial growth alters the chemical nature of insulin, and a diabetic will not be able to take his/her required dosage on time. That's why insulin coolers are introduced in the market to store insulin at their exact required cooling temperatures.

Insulin has a specialized life span. Therefore, an insulin travel cooler is feasible in carrying your daily dosage of insulin along with you. I would recommend a battery powered insulin case to spend more time on your favorite location without worrying that your ice packs will melt.

How to deal with frozen insulin?

If your insulin gets frozen, you should not use this because freezing may change the insulin chemical nature and it can loose its effects and not control your blood sugar levels as it should.

If you live or travel in a cold area, you should keep an eye on the room or area temperature where you store your insulin. It may not need any bag or case to store.

In the best insulin cooler, you use the ice-packs for keeping the temperature up to the required level. Many diabetics are using insulin pen carrying case coolers, and they are satisfied with the quality and feasibility of these products without freezing insulin.

Is it a good idea to inject cold insulin?

Studies suggest that injecting extremely cold insulin may be painful. Always rub your insulin pens or insulin vials in your palm to regulate the insulin before injecting the syringe into your body. It is recommended to inject insulin in the superficial layer of the skin at the ideal room temperature. 

Can you take your insulin on an airplane?

Yes you can! There is no way that a diabetic can travel on a plane without insulin. I travelled from Belgium to Thailand and from Thailand to Australia. That is about 20 hours of flying. I brought with me around 30 bottles of Humalog insulin. It's not that complicated you can buy a battery operated insulin cooler to keep your insulin in a safe condition. 

How to travel as a diabetic?

If a diabetic is on an insulin medication, it's very essential to think about traveling protocols. Insulin coolers are available to facilitate people with the best way to store insulin and keep it cool wherever you go.

Some insulin pen carrying case coolers come with pockets to carry along your snack and glucose meter in one place. The best option is to buy an insulin travel bag that gives you all the ease and comfort when traveling. Simply, manage to keep your insulin with protection at an ideal temperature on your journey.

Some people are not aware of the consequences that diabetes might bring with it. Somehow, it's a matter of great concern to identify your daily need for insulin and manage some efficient ways to keep your insulin along with you all the time.

  • If you are traveling in a different time-zone, you should consult your physician to reschedule your insulin dosage according to the traveling time zone. It could be more convenient for you to travel with a dosage chart. A lesson I learned myself is to make sure you change the time and date if needed on your insulin pump.

  • You should keep your prescription and medication close to travel safely.

  • Get yourself the best insulin cooler to store your insulin safely and cool.

  • Carry your doctor recommended prescriptions of any equipment or medication you are taking.

  • Ask for the sugar-free meal plan if available during flight.

  • Pack all your medical health care things apart from other essentials. A separate bag that you take on the plane with you is not a bad idea.

The best standards for storing insulin

If you are dealing with type 1 diabetes, it's very important to take care of your daily insulin dosage. Traveling and flying won't affect your sugar level if you have proper arrangements to take your insulin along with you. The ideal temperature to store insulin is 2 to 8 degrees, and 25 degrees is considered to be the bottom line for insulin. 

Thus, you should keep insulin at the standard specified temperature with the help of an insulin cooler. There are some points you should take in consideration before using or injecting insulin. Let's have a look.

  • Syringes related to the delivery method must be kept in a fridge

  • Pen-filled insulin cartridge packaging must not exceed 10ml

  • Only recommended 8mm or below 8mm syringes should be used

  • Shake your pre-loaded insulin 20 times back and forth if you're using cloudy insulin


Traveling with diabetes is and was never difficult. There are certain ways to get through this situation. The best insulin cooler is one an incredible product for diabetics. You can plan your distant holidays without worrying about your blood sugar levels and the storage of your insulin. The insulin carrying bags are available at affordable prices for providing you the best opportunities.

Life is so precious, never be afraid of anything. Just think about some ways to deal with specific situations. Never make diabetes your weakness, travel anywhere with the best insulin coolers to provide you with all the ultimate benefits.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Medtronic Guardian 4 and a Minimed 780G insulin pump with Humalog.

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