Bringing A Snack Through Customs

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy

We always recommend bringing a backup snack if you have a food intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity. Not only does it provide peace of mind to know that you have a backup food option you know you can eat without worry in challenging food situations, but it also helps in places where options are limited and there might not be a soy-free option. This is especially true when traveling. Traveling can mean new experiences, but it is hard if not impossible to determine if these experiences will be soy-free before you get there. As a result, we always carry some backup snacks (typically granola bars) with us whenever we travel.

 Make sure your soy-free snack is allowed through customs - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Make sure your soy-free snack is allowed through customs - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Sometimes, though, bringing a backup snack is not quite as straightforward as tossing a granola bar into your backpack. Traveling across country lines means going through customs, and customs is where transporting food gets tricky. It is fine to bring granola bars across most border crossings, and you may even not need to declare that you have them, but some areas are more restrictive.

For example, crossing into New Zealand requires an extensive review of any and all food you are carrying with you. New Zealand restricts passengers bringing many foods into the country, including fruits, nuts, and even honey. We know that bringing fresh fruit across any border is a big no-no, but we were surprised by these more stringent restrictions on dried fruit and nuts as they are more rare.

This is where it gets complicated with a food requirement. We frequently travel with dried fruit and nuts because they make great backup snacks. They are portable, last a long time, and are filling in case they need to substitute for a meal. However, we would have had to declare these items and we weren't sure of the exact ingredients, so to be on the safe side, we chose to leave them behind when traveling into New Zealand. We had to be extra careful since fruits and nuts are also very common granola bar ingredients. Even our pre-packaged food could be restricted at the border. Even further complicating the situation, New Zealand limits bringing honey into the country (another granola bar staple).

 With a little preparation, traveling soy-free is no problem at all - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

With a little preparation, traveling soy-free is no problem at all - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Before you travel, make sure to check the customs restrictions for food! Bring a backup snack that you will be able to bring into the country! Don't lie to the customs agents or think you can sneak something into the country. A bit of preparation is all that is needed to identify food that can safely clear customs and you don't want to be found out by the beagle who sniffs your bag.

Once you've cleared customs, travel in your new country with confidence from your backup snack!