How to be sugar free when travelling

tsbu snow shopping trolley supermarket ny usa americaLike many of you, over the Christmas break I’ve been travelling with my family.

It’s the first time I’ve been overseas since becoming sugar free and really wondered how I would go. Previously I’ve eaten my way through countries, trying every cake, biscuit or interesting ‘foreign’ candy I could get my hands on.

But this time I was determined for things to be different. The key has been a little bit of preparation.

Airplane Food

My meals were ok – a main with salad and a dessert, easy to not eat the dessert. The kids meals were more challenging – a main, juice, a slice of brownie and biscuits! How painful do they want kids to be in a confined space hyped up on sugar!?! Preparation stepped in with some alternate offerings for the kids (plus a bit of negotiation).


When staying in a hotel you often eat every meal out which after a while can be tiring and expensive if travelling as a family.

tsbu hotel room bircher ny usa americaMy second stage of preparation is to carry a small paring knife (in my checked in luggage) and some zip lock bags. We’re travelling in the USA so have been able to visit supermarkets where I’ve picked up breakfast goodies like oats, milk, chia, coconut milk, nuts and fruit.

In a zip lock bag I can mix oats with milk and soak overnight in the minibar fridge (you can always ask a hotel to empty the minibar fridge of the alcohol & sodas). Using the hotel room glasses add some nuts and fruit in the morning and you’ve got a delicious Bircher muesli to fill you up for sight seeing.

Or a can of coconut milk split between 2 glasses with 2 heaped tablespoons of chia, stirred and in the minibar fridge overnight. Breakfast for two ready to go in the morning.


Kids always want snacks. Again there are some small items that can be kept in a minibar fridge such as a couple of carrots, a cucumber and capsicum all sliced into sticks and into a zip lock bag along with some cherry tomatoes.

Nuts are also another great snack to keep in the backpack whilst travelling along with whole fruits such as apples and oranges (less likely to get squashed).

Dining out

tsbu salad plate dressing on the side ny usa americaPretty easy in America as there is no language barrier but I’m careful to order dressings or sauces on the side and read the menu carefully.

Check out my enormous salad! (Gotta love American serving sizes).

Getting caught out

tsbu organic date paste ny usa americaIt happens. I thought I’d been careful selecting some baby food to have in case of emergency. I didn’t read the ingredients thoroughly and what was advertised as chickpeas, beef & tomatoes also had date paste, tomato paste and salt added. Not something permitted in Australian baby food. But it was organic!! Yes I fell for that old classic.

As an aside – reading food labels is quite difficult when they don’t have a “per 100g” baseline comparison.

I was recently challenged buying sliced bread as the serving size per bag kept changing ranging from 27g to 43g (and there can be a lot of sugar in American bread). I am thankful in Australia that we have the “per 100g” baseline to work from.

The washout

In the past I have suffered badly from jetlag and used sugar to prop me up, swinging wildly from giddy highs to seriously cranky lows. I still get jetlag but this time I felt I dealt with the lack of sleep better. Yes I was tired but it didn’t feel as extreme or difficult to deal with.

That’s me, love to hear how you travel sugar free. Share your tips and ideas with us below.

tsbu julia the sugar breakup signoff handwriting dakota jpg

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