Preparing for a trip with snacks for the airport, flight and first few days in your destination is a great idea for so many reasons. You’ll have something to reach for right away when you’re hungry. Your favorite snacks are probably better for you than quick options throughout your trip, and eating well will help you stay healthy while traveling.
To resist the temptation of airport restaurants, choose snacks you wouldn’t normally splurge on at home. What seems extravagant at the grocery store is likely still more affordable, and healthier, than options you’ll have while traveling.
TSA Food Guidelines
Both solid and liquid foods can be packed in your checked luggage. However, to breeze through security with snacks in hand, you need to make sure they comply with TSA rules. Most solid foods can be put in your carry on. One exception to this rule is restrictions on produce when traveling internationally.
Foods considered liquids and gels, including nut butters, hummus and soft cheeses, must comply with TSA regulations. That means that no individual liquid food item can be over 3.4 ounces. All of your liquid and gels, including foods and toiletries, need to fit in a single quart-sized bag.
7 Airplane Snack Ideas
- Cereal: One of the most versatile airplane snacks is one you likely already have in your cupboard. Pack cereal in structured containers so it isn’t crushed in your bag. Pour in milk from an airport shop in the morning or snack on it alone any time of day.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, grapes, berries, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers are both healthy and easy to carry. They’re also hydrating, which you’ll welcome on long flights.
- Granola Bars: Pick up a box of granola or protein bars at the grocery store on the way to the airport. You’ll have an airplane snack that doubles as a small meal in a pinch.
- Instant Oatmeal: If you like oatmeal, your favorite brand probably makes travel-friendly packages. Individual bowls become a filling morning meal with hot water from the coffee shop or flight attendant. This is a helpful option for days you go right from the plane to a midday meeting.
- Nut Butter Packets: Individual servings of peanut or almond butter are great on apple slices, crackers, pretzels or banana bread. Check with a flight attendant and passengers seated nearby to make sure no one is allergic to peanuts. To be safe, opt for sunflower seed butter.
- Salads: Make your own salad or buy a prepackaged option. Dress your mix beforehand to avoid bringing extra liquids through security. Tougher leaves like kale will last longer against ambient temperatures and dressing.
- Trail Mix: Mix your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit together for an airplane snack that’s both sweet and salty. Skip the peanuts to be allergen-friendly.