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Need Info on bringing US snacks to France and London

We will be leaving in a few weeks. My husband is diabetic. I always travel with some emergency snacks for him. I need to know what we will be allowed to travel with.

Posted by
1296 posts

Other than the 3-1-1 restrictions on liquids in carryon, really nothing is a problem.

Posted by
7167 posts

You can bring whatever you want except follow the same rules the TSA imposes on liquid sizes when you fly domestically.

Posted by
3979 posts

If you take any cured meats, vegetables, fruit, or dairy, plan to eat it all before arrival. Candy and packaged dried fruit and nuts, and most packaged snacks shouldn’t be an issue.

Posted by
783 posts

We always travel with snacks - granola bars, jerky, nuts, gorp, etc. Never had anyone in Europe even look in our bags.

Posted by
9673 posts

If you are taking the Eurostar between Paris and London, you can bring any food you want onto the train. There are food outlets in the Gare du Nord where you can get sandwiches or salads to take on the train with you.

Posted by
5842 posts

As others have said, any packaged snacks or ziplocs of nuts, dried fruit or candy are fine. Avoid any meats (even beef jerky), but since any troublesome dairy would be liquid or need refrigeration, you will likely stay away from those, so no problem; cheese snacks and shelf stable stuff would be OK.

You might though expect TSA to check the snacks if in your carry-on, they went through a phase where they were doing residue tests and visual checks on packaged snacks.

Finally, do not feel like you need to pack a bunch, lots of stuff available over there; take a stash for 3-4 days, then take a trip to a grocery store or market to stock up for a few days. You will get to try some new things, maybe find some healthy options you didn't think of, or new favorites.

Posted by
843 posts

Grocery stores and markets seem to be on every corner in many cities in Europe. You’ll find them in the airport and train stations, too. Don’t overpack snacks. Take the opportunity to explore the local options.

The one caution is that stores may be closed on Sundays. We encountered this in Germany. If this is the case, head to a train station and the grocery store will be open. Also keep in mind that stores may close earlier (7-8 pm) than in the US.

Posted by
292 posts

Visiting grocery stores in where ever I travel is one of my favorite things to do. It'll be fun. Make sure you keep whatever snacks you take in an accessible place at the airport. Here in Colorado, we have some very potent CBD snacks that TSA is always on the lookout for.

Posted by
8889 posts

There are 3 places to consider

1) Airport security (TSA) on departure from US - don't know, others have commented.

2) Customs on arrival in France - No meat or dairy, otherwise OK. Eat that ham and cheese sandwich on the plane! Official rules here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/meat-dairy-animal/index_en.htm

3) Train from Paris to London. Absolutely no restrictions. The EU has a common food inspection system, anything legal in one EU country can be brought into any other EU country (don't mentions Brexit - anything could happen).

Posted by
2907 posts

My daughter is a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed just within the last three years. On her first trip back to the UK to visit her mother in law post T1D diagnosis, she was very nervous due to all the insulin, needles and snacks that she needed. She was amazed how quickly she was through security with not even a glimpse at all her paraphernalia. For snacks she took her standbys: peanut butter and crackers, Swedish fish, and hummus and veggies as well as some glucose tablets.

Posted by
5697 posts

Except don't break out the peanut butter on the plane -- possible allergic reactions of other passengers.

Posted by
774 posts

I like Lara Bars, they have some protein. Nuts in ziplock bags. I do bring a piece of fruit or veggies for the plane, making sure to eat it before landing. Cheese and crackers too, make sure to eat the cheese before entering a foreign country.

Once there, I do find a grocery store or market to refresh the nuts, reusing my ziplock bag. Open air markets sometimes have nuts of every kind. Easy to carry those around.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
27707 posts

Please don't eat the nuts on the plane lest there be nearby a allergic person who needs medical care after you start chomping. Bad or terrible for them, an innocent victim, bad for everyone on the plane which is diverted.

Might not happen, but you wouldn't want to be the cause if it did.

Posted by
3303 posts

We will be leaving in a few weeks. My husband is diabetic. I always
travel with some emergency snacks for him. I need to know what we will
be allowed to travel with.

I am a Type 2 diabetic. Bring whatever you like that isn't a liquid over 3.4 oz/ 100 ml in the carry on. If you want to bring nuts in which others have a terrible allergic reaction like peanuts, only do so if you pack them in luggage that you check. If you're not checking any bags, please avoid those kinds of things in an aircraft. There is always something to buy at an airport store if you're stuck for hours on end.

Is this the first time your husband has ever flown with diabetes? What does he want to do?

Posted by
2907 posts

Actually, there is a protocol for flying for people severely allergic to nuts/peanuts. They inform the airline and the attendants, and numerous announcements will be made. Then it would be correct to switch to a second snack, possibly not as affective as the primary one, but would be done, I think, by anyone in this case. So, you will know if there is a person who is severely allergic. I've never flown on an airline that prohibited these items, but I was on one flight when such an announcement was made. Those with such allergies or more likely their travel mate also are allowed to board early to wipe down their area just in case a prior passenger got peanut fingers all over their seat, which is another issue.

I see no reason to not eat something when it will not bother anyone on the flight and is not prohibited, especially if it assists to manage another person's health issue, especially when any snack won't do.

What we really need to know is whether he's Type 1 or Type 2 as they are different and have different needs.

Posted by
6 posts

I do appreciate all of the responses. We were always able to bring staples such as jerky and nuts on our US/Territories travels. My husband is type 2, so it's hard to keep the carb count as low as possible with airplane food. The side effects of not staying low carb are blurry vision and disorientation along with the quite damage to organs due to elevated glucose. Of course, we choose to travel so these are the life challenges we have to accept. It is very disappointing that we can't take dried meat products with us. Not quite sure that I understand the harm to others. We are still going even though getting there and back will be a challenge.

Posted by
3303 posts

My husband is type 2, so it's hard to keep the carb count as low as
possible with airplane food. The side effects of not staying low carb
are blurry vision and disorientation along with the quite damage to
organs due to elevated glucose. Of course, we choose to travel so
these are the life challenges we have to accept. It is very
disappointing that we can't take dried meat products with us. Not
quite sure that I understand the harm to others. We are still going
even though getting there and back will be a challenge.

It actually is not hard or a challenge today to travel with Type 2 Diabetes as it was years ago; I have had Type 2 since 2003.

There are many options and conveniences now.

Request a diabetic meal from the airlines. They have them. I travel on business 4-5 times per month and I have to watch my blood sugar vigilantly so I understand. You can take cashews on the flight, you can buy a huge variety of salads at airports. You can eat grilled chicken as they are in their plastic containers as any salad is. Many places have no-sugar added yoghurts. Plastic containers of carrots and celery to bring on board are sold at the airport or you can bring it from home. Options like these were not available in 2003. Again for meals, order the diabetic meal option in advance.

As an aside, I've never taken dried meat products like beef jerky with me as they are so salted, they make me thirsty and miserable for the entire day.


I asked you upthread -- What does your husband want to do?

Posted by
120 posts

I am also a traveling type 2 diabetic. All of the above ideas make sense. I find that many things sold as “lunch box” items are handy (crackers, cookies). I always travel with more snacks than i will ever need. I try to have some low carb snacks for if my stomach needs something but i don’t want too many carbs and I always carry something that is high carb to treat low sugar immediately. One time it came in handy when another diabetic passenger needed something. Be sure, if you purchase yogurt, that you do that after security. I find small baggies of pretzels another good travel snack that most people are not allergic to.

Good luck and have a great trip.

Posted by
4672 posts

Unfortunately the airlines' typical 'diabetic meal' is rarely suitable for people manging their diabetes by diet rather than insulin.