Some snacks just aren’t meant to fly…
By Stefanie Michaels
As a busy gal (like everyone else), I’ve always found it hard to find healthy snacks convenient for my on-the-go lifestyle. I was never a fan of grabbing chips or candy from vending machines between meetings. So, I began researching tasty and nourishing snacks that were perfect for busy people—ones without sugars and easily transportable without the need to be refrigerated.
I’ve always had a bag of raw almonds or a few pieces of fruit, like apples or bananas to snack on throughout the day. Even though these are easy to carry and provide a good source of protein and fiber, once the fruit is opened up, they begin to smell if you don’t eat them all at once. And, finding the convenience of protein bars was challenging since most are packed with sugar and the same sugar as candy bars. ONE Bar changed my life, and I’m always reading labels for other brands with whole grains, nuts, and seeds sweetened with natural sources like honey or dates.
I am aware that some people bring Greek yogurt to places like work, and add-ins like fruit can be refrigerated, but that’s not my lifestyle. I’m usually on planes or in a film studio where it’s impossible even to ask to utilize their appliances for personal purposes. There are also some varied requirements, which can prove challenging for travelers, on what you can bring through TSA and on a plane and what can be brought into other countries.
I once learned the hard way leaving Paris. After a jaunt in Greece, I made sure that any liquids I purchased were under the required maximum. I had purchased the right amount of the most delicious Greek lavender honey, which I brought through French customs upon my departure.
I figured, since it was under the amount alotted to travel with, I was good. I also thought of it as a food item, however, security considered it a “liquid,” and I was told it was to be confiscated.
After discussing this situation nicely with the manager of the international security team, and explaining the relevance of my delectable purchase, including that it was a food item, not a liquid, I ended up getting on the plane sans my honey souvenir.
What foods can’t you bring on a plane or into other countries?
Certain foods are not allowed on planes or in certain countries due to customs regulations or potential risks to local agriculture.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Many countries have strict rules about bringing in fresh produce as it could potentially carry pests or diseases that could harm their crops. It’s always a good idea to check the regulations of the country you visit before packing any fresh produce in your suitcase.
- Meats and dairy products: Snacks like fresh produce, meats, and dairy products can also carry risks of introducing foreign pests or diseases to a new environment. They may also be subject to additional inspections or quarantine procedures.
- Homemade baked goods: While it may be tempting to bring along your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies, homemade baked goods are often not allowed on planes due to concerns about food safety.
- Alcoholic beverages: Each country has rules about the amount of alcohol bottles a traveler can bring in. It’s essential to check the restrictions of the country you are visiting before packing any alcohol in your suitcase.
- Plant seeds: Some countries have strict rules about bringing in plant seeds–inclusive of raw almonds eaten as snacks, due to the risk of introducing non-native species that could harm their local environment. This includes snacks in the form of protein-type bars.
After several lessons learned, I can pass this on. It’s always a good idea to check the customs regulations of each country you plan to visit before packing your snacks inside your to-go bag for the plane. Also, remember this pertains to your packed suitcase.
Make sure to check your departing country’s rules, as well. This will ensure that you will get to bring back the foodie souvenirs picked up on your travels.