17 Healthy Airplane Snacks You Can Bring Through TSA

Published September 23, 2019

Written by:

travel snacks plane

Jessie Beck

Jessie is a writer, editor, and content marketer who covers travel gear and adventure travel. She’s called many places home...

Fred Perrotta

Fred Perrotta

Co-founder, tortuga.

Fred Perrotta is the co-founder and CEO of Tortuga. His first backpacking trip to Europe inspired him to start the...

Woman looking at pastries

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Table of Contents

Can you bring your own snacks on an airplane? Yes, absolutely!

To avoid spending money on expensive airport food and make sure you have lots of healthy options while flying, bring your own DIY snacks and food packed in your carry on or personal item .

For health-conscious and budget-savvy travelers, there’s even more motivation to pack your own airplane snacks. Bringing food from home helps you avoid unhealthy choices at the airport, saves money, and gives you something to look forward to on your flight. 

You don’t have to be a master chef to level up your in-flight food game, either. Many of our favorite in-flight snacks are quick to make and easy to pack. If you’re not sure where to start, these packable, healthy, airplane food ideas will keep you and your travel crew satiated.

Can You Bring Snacks on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks from home as long as they’re TSA compliant. Spreadables, like peanut butter, and liquids, like yogurt, must follow the standard 3-1-1 liquid rule . 

Read the Travel Toiletries Packing List for more details on carry on liquid rules.

Foods you purchase after the security checkpoints at the airport do not need to follow the 3-1-1 rule. As long as you’re buying it at the airport, you can enjoy all the in-flight hummus and coconut water you want.

TSA Food Rules: What Snacks Can You Bring on a Plane?

When we talk about food that’s not allowed on an airplane, we’re actually talking about food that’s not allowed through TSA. As mentioned above, you can bring solid foods like chips, crackers, sandwiches, and pasta through TSA in your carry on , but anything liquid or spreadable will have to follow the 3-1-1 rule. So, a 1.15 ounce squeeze pack of Justin’s nut butter is fine, but a four ounce tub of yogurt will be thrown out.

Once you’re past security, this rule no longer applies, and you can bring liquids and spreadables of any size purchased in the airport. So, yes, you could technically bring a sixteen ounce bowl of soup on your flight from the Panera Bread at the airport.

The TSA’s snacks page states:

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage.

Common foods you can’t bring through airport security include:

  • Any liquid (e.g., yogurt, juice, coconut water) over 3.4 ounces
  • Any paste (e.g., peanut butter, hummus) over 3.4 ounces

If you have questions about a specific food item, check TSA’s foods page .

What Snacks Can You Bring on an International Flight?

For international flights, there are no restrictions on what you can or cannot bring on the flight. However, at some borders, there are restrictions on what you can or cannot bring into the country. For example, Australia has strict regulations on what travelers can bring past customs and will confiscate any fresh produce or homemade meals you have in your luggage.

If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to eat your food in-flight so you don’t get it tossed at the border. If you want to pack something just in case you’re hungry, but aren’t sure if you’ll eat it, go for a packaged snack like crackers or a protein bar.

Snacks Not to Bring on a Plane

While technically allowed, you should also avoid smelly foods and allergens as a courtesy to your fellow passengers. For your own sake, skip messy foods you could easily spill.

Foods to avoid bringing on an airplane include:

  • Smelly foods like tuna
  • Allergens like peanut butter or any peanut-based snack
  • Liquids that are likely to spill and harder to get through security due to size limits

Also, a word about yogurt. We all know it’s a good last-ditch breakfast option when your airport has few healthy options, but it has a tendency to explode when you open it at high altitudes. If you choose to bring yogurt on your flight, open it veerrrry slowly to escape an in-flight disaster. The same goes for anything else that feels pressurized at altitude.

travel snacks plane

The best airplane snacks are un-messy, un-stinky food you can enjoy at room temperature, like dried fruit or a sandwich. If you’re bringing anything from home, make sure it’s TSA compliant, and won’t stink up the cabin.

If you’re not sure what to bring, use this list of healthy, packable airplane snack and meal ideas. Even the most amateur chef can pull off these recipes.

Healthy, Packable Meals (with Recipes)

If you have the time and motivation, make one of these healthy, easy-to-pack airplane meals before you hit the road.

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

For a quick, in-flight breakfast that won’t get smashed, explode, or cause a mess, reach for one of these nutrient-rich and antioxidant-filled blueberry oat breakfast cookies.

Banana Bread (Vegetarian)

Banana bread is another packable airplane breakfast option. For health-conscious travelers, choose a whole-wheat recipe that uses coconut oil instead of butter. Whatever you don’t pack, you can freeze until you’re back from your trip.

Chickpea Salad (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

This easy lunch recipe also works as a make-in-advance airplane meal. The salad is healthy, TSA-approved, and doesn’t need to be reheated. Plus, the recipe is flexible: toss in some feta cheese or cucumbers to make this meal your own.

Chicken and Vegetable Wrap (Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Options)

Wraps are one of the best sandwiches for flights. For a healthy option, make this chicken and vegetable-filled version from the New York Times. If you’ll be on a long flight, skip the lettuce to avoid a wilted mess at mealtime.

Fruit, Vegetable, and Cheese Bento Box (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Dairy-Free Options)

Fancy-looking but simple to make, a DIY snack pack is a versatile and easy-to-pack homemade airplane snack. Simply cut up a variety of fruits, cheeses, veggies, and meats. Throw in a few crackers or a piece of bread if you’d like.

Grapes and blueberries are good options for fruits. For cheeses, stick to something low-odor and hard, like parmesan. For meat, go for a dried salami, which is preserved and doesn’t need refrigeration. 

Kale Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free Option)

Salads, the world’s go-to for a healthy meal that’s still tasty at room temperature, are another good airplane food option. To make sure your salad isn’t a mushy mess by the time you board, keep your dressing in a separate (smaller than 3.4 ounce) container. Also, opt for a heartier green like kale, shaved brussels sprouts, or cabbage, which won’t wilt like lettuce or arugula.

Cold Asian Noodles (Gluten-Free and Vegan Options)

You’re an intrepid eater, so why not give your airplane food an international twist with an Asian-inspired cold noodle dish? Sesame soba noodles are a simple classic, but if you want more ideas, check out Brit+Co’s line-up of cold noodle dishes.

Vegan Pasta Salad (Vegan)

For vegans and omnivores alike, recipes like this creamy vegan pasta salad from Love and Lemons are a great food option for air travel . Not only is it delicious, but meat and dairy-free dishes don’t require refrigeration. Even if you don’t end up eating it until halfway through a long flight, it’ll keep.

Chickpea Pan Bagnat (Vegetarian)

A French picnic classic, the pan bagnat is an easy and delicious make-in-advance sandwich option that actually gets better (not sad and soggy) the longer it sits. However, the original recipe has tuna, a major airplane no-no. Instead, try this vegetarian twist with chickpeas to make one of the best sandwiches for long flights.

travel snacks plane

Airplane Snacks

For short flights or just-in-case-I’m-hungry moments, toss one of these healthy airplane snacks in your bag.

  • Dried fruit: Unlike real fruit, you can’t crush these babies. If you’re crossing time zones, go for dried berries. Target (Good & Gather) and Trader Joe’s both have good options without added sugar. I’m partial to Target’s dried mango and pineapple.
  • Popcorn: The perfect accoutrement to your in-flight movie binge.
  • Almonds: A protein-filled snack to keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Crackers: Go for a healthier whole-wheat option that’s great for kids and adults.
  • Fruit and veggie slices: Pack a bag of snap peas, apple slices, or any other fruit or veggie you love. 

There are also a few snacks you can make with hot water from the drink service.

  • Miso soup : For a warming, in-flight snack, bring a packet of instant miso soup. Just be sure to keep your cup ¾ full, or use a thermos with a lid to avoid any turbulence-induced soup burns.
  • Instant oatmeal : Grab a packet of oats or throw some quick oats in a thermos with your favorite toppings.
  • Instant noodles : Choose a low-sodium instant noodle, since salty foods exacerbate the dehydration caused by air travel. Again, keep your bowl or food jar only ¾ full.

How to Pack Snacks for an Airplane

With most homemade airplane meals, your food is only as portable as its container. When packing your carefully crafted sandwich, salad, or noodles, make sure to choose a leak-proof container that will keep your food intact. 

travel snacks plane

Vremi Collapsible Food Container ($20)

Vremi’s line of collapsible containers is leak-proof and will keep your food safe in transit. After you’ve finished your snacks, the container collapses flat so you can stash it in your bag without it taking up as much room as traditional Tupperware.

travel snacks plane

Zojirushi Food Jar ($28+)

Japanese brand, Zojirushi, makes an affordable but high-quality line of thermoses and food jars designed to keep your warm food warm and cold food cold. If you prefer sturdier Tupperware or want to keep your food hot or cold in transit, use Zojirushi’s food jar to transport your pasta, salads, or snacks.

travel snacks plane

Stasher Bags ($8+)

Use a reusable, silicone bag from Stasher to transport your sandwich, pretzels, dried fruit, or any other snack you’d normally toss into a Ziploc bag. These bags pack even smaller than collapsible Tupperware and can be reused during your travels or on your return flight home. Like Bee’s wrap, they’ll also help you create less trash while you travel.

travel snacks plane

Bee’s Wrap ($15+ for 3)

Unlike foil or plastic wrap, you can wash and reuse these natural, beeswax-covered wraps — a plus for eco-friendly travelers who want to reduce the amount of trash they create on the road. Use them to transport sturdier foods, like sandwiches or carrot slices, and pack them on the outside or top of your bag.

travel snacks plane

Humangear Spork ($4)

If you’re bringing a dish like noodles or salad, you’ll need a utensil. Toss one of these petite, BPA-free sporks by Humangear  in your bag, instead of disposable forks and spoons from airport stores. Go for the titanium spork ($14) for an upgrade.

travel snacks plane

Snow Peak Chopsticks ($38)

Prefer chopsticks with your noodles? Grab a pair of portable chopsticks from Snow Peak . Made from high-quality stainless steel and bamboo, these chopsticks break in half when not in use and, when put together, form a full-sized chopstick. They’re expensive compared to the $4 spork but incredibly well-made and designed to last. My partner, Jon, has been using his for over ten years.

Snacks on a Plane

You can eat healthier while saving time and money by packing your own foods and snacks in your personal item . Just make sure your food:

  • Follows TSA’s 3-1-1 rule : Spreadables, liquids, and liquid-ish foods like hummus, yogurt, and nut butter must be in 3.4 ounce containers or smaller.
  • Tastes good at room temperature : Consider sandwiches, cold noodles, and salads.
  • Isn’t smelly or messy to eat : Just say no to in-flight tuna.

When packing airplane snacks, consider using eco-friendly collapsible Tupperware, beeswax wraps, silicone sandwich and snack bags, and camping sporks you can reuse throughout your travels.

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Jessie is a writer, editor, and content marketer who covers travel gear and adventure travel. She’s called many places home and traveled to 45+ countries.

She now lives in San Francisco with her husband where she splits her time between traveling, adventuring outdoors, and cooking (okay, eating).

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33 Easy Travel Snacks for your Airplane Carry-On Bag

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When I travel, the foodie in me always has to bring snacks for the trip. I always plan for easy travel snacks for a few reasons. For starters I’m not always sure what terminal I’ll be in at the airport so the food choices might get dicey once I get past security. Next, depending on the airline I’m flying there might not be great options once I board the plane (we’ve all been there). Lastly, I like to be prepared when I’m traveling even when I arrive at my final destination to have quick portable fuel sources on hand for when *hangry* hits in the form of easy travel snacks.

In this blog post I’ve compiled all of my favorite easy travel snacks into one ultimate packing list for your carry-on bag and I’ll walk you through my process for what to consider when selecting the best snacks to bring on a plane.

easy travel snacks

How to Pack Easy Travel Snacks for your Carry-On Bag

Depending on the length of my trip I usually bring a variety of snacks intended to carry-on a plane. I consider these easy to pack snacks, snacks that travel well, and also snacks that fall into the healthy(ish) convenience food category following these guidelines: 

  • Food I can’t find at my final travel destination

Drink Mixers

  • Airport Snacks (snacks to bring on a plane and at the airport terminal)
  • Emergency snacks (for when I’m super hungry)
  • Perishables
  • Non-Perishables
  • Sweet Treats/Comfort Items

These categories might look a little different for you but it helps to determine what you might need at least a week before your trip so that you have time to shop around. This will also help to keep your trip planning a little less stressful so that you can spend your time concentrating on the last minute things you need to do before you go out of town.

To verify what easy travel snacks you can and cannot carry on flights check out TSA’s security guidelines and the rules of each country for International flights. Keep in mind that TSA considers foods like yogurts and cooked oatmeal as “gels” and they will be confiscated at security (I learned this the hard way). For any other liquids review the guidelines but generally speaking most liquids and gels are allowed if they are less than 3.4oz/100 ml.

How to Transport your Easy Travel Snacks

My last consideration for packing easy travel snacks are the containers the food will travel in. For the most part I lean towards things that are easy to dispose of like foil, wax paper, plastic baggies, and repurposed takeout containers. However, in consideration of the environment I often try to lean to more sustainable options if I can, such as: silicon bags, collapsible cups, collapsible bowls, insulated containers, and beeswax paper. 

The con to these items is you will have to carry them in your luggage throughout your trip. But the pro of these items is being environmentally responsible, having a vessel you can reuse throughout your trip for something else, and some of these containers can keep your snacks from getting crushed, hot, or cold (triple bonus). 

I like Stasher Bags and Zip Top Bags for a reusable bag option. Both of these brands are super durable, always hold up really well for traveling, and are great to repurpose for other easy travel snacks on a trip. 

Silicone Bags

Stasher Reusable Silicone Storage Bag, Food Storage Container, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe, Leak-free, Bundle 4-Pack Small, Clear

Stasher Bags

These are great reusable bags for packing your travel snacks on the go.

Zip Top Reusable Food Storage Bags | Full Set of 8 [Teal] | Silicone Meal Prep Container | Microwave, Dishwasher and Freezer Safe | Made in the USA

Zip Top Bags

We love these bags for items that can’t lay flat! The structure of the bag makes it easy to carry your snacks and keep them from being crushed in your carry-on luggage.

Collapsible bowls have also been one of my favorites for eating things like oatmeal on the go and pre-made meals I might travel with (in an effort to clean out my fridge before I head out of town). I also like these collapsible cups from Stojo to make drinks portable and they don’t take up much room. If you have space for something bigger I like using the Snack Swell thermos containers for some travel foods on my trips since its a small insulated container to keep food hot or cold.

Bowls and Cups

STOJO Collapsible Bowl - Lilac, 36oz - Reusable Silicone Bowl for Hot and Cold Food - Perfect for Travel, Meal Prep, To-Go Lunch, Camping & Hiking - Microwave & Dishwasher Safe

Stojo Collapsible Bowl

We are loving the STOJO Collapsible Bowl. This holds 36oz and is a reusable silicone bowl for hot and cold food which makes it perfect for travel, meal prep, to-go Lunch, camping, and hiking. This is also microwave & dishwasher safe.

S'well S'nack Stainless Steel Food Container - 24 Oz - Azure Forest - Double-Layered Insulated Bowls Keep Food Cold for 8 Hours and Hot for 6 - BPA-Free

S’well S’nack Food Container

We love the S’well S’nack Stainless Steel Food Container. It’s 24 ounces and great for holding food you are traveling with that you want to keep hot or cold. This will keep your food for 8 Hours Hot for 6 Hours Cold.

S'well S'nack Stainless Steel Food Container - 10 Oz - Peppermint Tree - Double-Layered Insulated Bowls Keep Food Cold for 10 Hours and Hot for 4 - BPA-Free

This is a smaller version of the bigger S’nack by S’well Food Container. Its 10oz and has Double-Layered Insulated walls to keep food and drinks cold for 10 hours and hot for 4 hours!

STOJO Collapsible Travel Cup With Straw- Eucalyptus, 16oz / 470ml - Reusable To-Go Pocket Size Silicone Cup for Hot and Cold Drinks - Perfect for Camping and Hiking - Microwave & Dishwasher Safe

Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup

This collapsible travel cup comes with a straw and holds 16oz of liquid. Its reusable and pocket size for hot and cold drinks making it perfect for travel, camping, and hiking. Like the other Stojo products its microwave and dishwasher safe.

If you are traveling with any items that must stay at a colder temperature these PackIt Freezable pouches are a great option to transport your food. The PackIt Freezable pouch has groundbreaking cooling technology that includes freezable gel that is permanently built into the bag so that you don’t need to deal with separate ice packs.

To start collapse the bag flat and freeze in the freezer overnight until you are ready to use it. You can add any of the easy travel snacks that are perishable items in this post to store in this bag. You can also keep this item throughout your trip for other easy to pack snacks.

PackIt Freezable Snack Box, Rainbow Sky, Built with EcoFreeze Technology, Collapsible, Reusable, Zip Closure with Buckle Handle, Great for All Ages and Fresh Snacks on the go

PackIt Freezable Pouch

This is our favorite travel product for traveling with items that are perishable and need to remain cold like yogurt and cheese. Simply pop the pouch in the freezer the night before your trip and it will keep your perishable snacks at the correct temperature for a few hours. This collapsible and folds up and comes in many colors!

My last favorite sustainable travel item is reusable wax paper. I like using the Bee’s Wrap brand. It takes a bit to get used to if you normally use regular wax paper. If you have a few baked goods, sandwiches etc. to carry while traveling it comes in handy to reuse a few times and store it completely flat in your carry on bag.

Bee's Wrap Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps Made in the USA, Eco Friendly Beeswax Food Wrap, Sustainable Food Storage Containers, Organic Cotton Food Wraps, Assorted 3 Pack (S, M, L), Honeycomb Pattern

Bee’s Wrap

This Bee’s Wrap is an assorted 3 Pack great sustainable option. It’s plastic and silicone free reusable beeswax in 3 sizes great for traveling with sandwhiches.

PackIt Freezable Snack Box, Black, Built with EcoFreeze Technology, Collapsible, Reusable, Zip Closure with Buckle Handle, Perfect All Ages and Fresh Snacks on the go

Freezable Pouch

PackIt® Freezable Snack Bag, Polka Dots, Built with EcoFreeze® Technology, Foldable, Reusable, Zip Closure, Perfect for Babies, Kids, Adults of all Ages, and Fresh Snacks on the go

Freezable pouch

Small Cooler Bag Freezable Lunch Bag for Work School Travel,Leak-proof Small Lunch Bag,Small Insulated Bag For Kids/Adults,Freezer Lunch Bags,Freezable Snack Bag,Mini Lunch Bag Fit For Yogurt

Order of Operations For Your Easy Travel Snacks

If you are planning to take some snacks to the airport for future travel plans my suggested cheat sheet of how to go about eating your easy travel snacks includes a simple order of consumption:

  • Eat your perishable items first (for obvious reasons)
  • Pack napkins and/or wet wipes (these are not always available as you are on the go)
  • If you are bringing whole fruit wash these items before you get to the airport and use your napkin or paper towel as the vessel to carry the item (it also doubles as a napkin as you eat your fruit)
  • Pack some travel utensils (for any snacks that require some deep diving or for complete meals)

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes, Fresh Scent Wipes | Travel Wipes Case, Antibacterial Wipes | 20 ct. Travel Size Wipes (10 pack)

Travel utensil set

Reusable Travel Utensils with Case, 4 Sets Wheat Straw Portable Cutlery Set Chopsticks Knives Fork and Spoon for Lunch Box Accessories, Camping Flatware Sets for Daily Use or Outdoor

Portable utensil set

TO GO WARE Repeat Bamboo Utensil Set - Cayenne (Red), 1 EA

Bamboo utensil set

My favorite snacks to bring on a plane.

Below is an easy travel snack list I’ve compiled of my favorite airport (and TSA) friendly snacks. I’ve grouped the items into perishable vs. non-perishable categories since I often will travel with a few perishable items that I strategize to eat first and then work my way through the rest of my snack stash either on the trip or eat other items during a longer flight to tide me over until I reach my destination. 

Perishable Easy Travel Snacks

For perishable easy travel snacks I always tend to pack food that can last a while at room temperature. Regardless of the length of your flight you’ll want items that won’t go bad in case it takes a while to get through security or to the airport (we’ve all been there!). Or even worse if your flight is delayed (done that!). On my list I usually include:

Cured Meats and Deli Meats

This includes salami, pastrami, pepperoni, ham, and turkey. These are great options because they can travel well at room temperature for short periods of time.

I think everyone loves cheese (even us lactose intolerant folks) and it travels well for short periods of time at room temperature. Some of my favorite cheese options are the Babybel Gouda Semisoft Cheeses. I like these because they have their own carrying case with the wax they are packaged in which qualifies the product as easy travel snack in my book.

My next favorite is Trader Joe’s Tapas cheese (it’s amazing! Grab it if you have a TJs near you). This includes several slices of three types of cheese including: Iberico, Cabra Al Vino (a.k.a. “ Drunken Goat “), and Manchengo. I really enjoy how the flavors in this set are so different and it feels very fancy while you are enjoying them.

easy travel snack trader joe's tapas sampler

Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are one of the best snacks for traveling. I typically boil eggs once a week so I’ll grab 2-4 for a flight or whatever is left over in my fridge for the week (this is also a good way to clean out your fridge before you head out of town). You can also purchase eggs that are already boiled from almost any local grocery store for an easy travel snack on an airplane.

Another fun option for hard boiled eggs is from a brand called Perfectly Peckish which sells hard boiled eggs in packs with a fun crunchy dip. Their selection includes:

  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & EVERYTHING Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & FRIED RICE Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & RANCHEROS Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & SALT & PEPITAS Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & RANCH Dip

Check out their store locator to find a store that sells these near you .

travel snacks plane

Crackers and/or Bread

I personally can’t have cheese and cured/deli meat without crackers or bread! These are easy to transport and can be stored at various temperatures which make them a great addition to your carry-on bag for an easy snack pairing (and crunch)!

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers, Fine Ground Sea Salt Snack Packs - Gluten Free, Vegan, Healthy Snacks, 4.9 Ounce (Pack of 3)

I love fruit for an easy snack that travels well. The fruit that travels the best are apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, and grapes. I like these fruits because they have their own “skin” which can serve as its own carrying case so that they don’t get squashed (thanks mother nature!).

For oranges you can even pre-slice these and add them to a travel container or baggie to eat right out of the peel (or peel them later). And for kiwi I like slicing these in half and using a spoon to scoop out the insides for easy eating. If you have never tried Golden Kiwi its a real treat (they taste like a cross between a mango and a strawberry)!

Putting It Together

Combining these items also creates a nice balance for traveling to ensure you have enough protein, fat, and carbohydrates for fuel while on the go. You can also pair the meats, cheese, and crackers or bread and make a makeshift sandwich in a pinch (great easy travel snack idea!). You can also grab some pre-made snack boxes for a perishable option to take through security.

Non-Perishable Travel Snacks

My favorite non-perishable easy travel snack list is a bit longer. I group these by foods I might eat on the plane or at my final destination as I get hungry or peckish.

I eat oatmeal almost daily when I’m home for breakfast so it’s an item I always travel with especially internationally since it’s not something that all countries will provide for breakfast. It’s also a really nice snack on a plane since you just need water to make it. You can use one of the collapsible bowls or cups I mentioned above as the vessel to make these in or any disposable cup at the airport. I typically use the McCann Irish Oatmeal brand because it’s very hearty as a travel snack or the Unsweetened Individual Oatmeal packets from Trader Joe’s .

McCann’s Regular Instant Irish Oatmeal, 11.85 ounce, 12 Packets

Bringing nuts on a flight can be controversial so be sure to read your airline’s individual rules regarding what is allowed. I like going for the individually portioned nuts that are completely sealed in case I can’t eat them on a particular flight due to restrictions or nut allergies. If that’s the case I can always have them as a snack at my final destination.

My favorite nut options for an easy travel snack include: 

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Trail Mix (for something different)

Emerald Nuts, 100 Calorie Variety Pack, 18 Count

Crunchy Snacks

Personally I’m a big fan of crunchy snacks in general but definitely when I travel. I think it’s nice to have a variety of items on hand. For this category I pack:

I usually air pop popcorn and bring it in my reusable silicon bag for trips. Did you know that you can air pop popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave? I also like these individually wrapped White Cheddar Popcorn bags from Smartfood .

Smartfood Popcorn, White Cheddar, 0.625 Ounce (Pack of 40)

Peanut Butter Crackers

I also like bringing Peanut Butter Crackers as easy travel snacks for my final destination. These have saved me many times while traveling to have something to tide me over until my next meal.

Lance Sandwich Crackers, Toasty and Toastchee Peanut Butter, 40 Ct (Pack of 2)

There’s something nostalgic about Chex Mix that just makes it a travel staple! I use to have these all the time as a kid on trips. I usually will grab the individual baggies for my carry-on bag.

Chex Mix Classics Snack Mix, 1.75 Ounce (Pack of 30)

I also always grab Cheez-Its for a fun crunchy cheesy snack.

Cheez-It Cheese Crackers, Baked Snack Crackers, Office and Kids Snacks, Variety Pack, 17.72oz Box (20 Pouches)

Moon Cheese

These are a newer to me product. I saw them once at Starbucks and then purchased them last year from Target and I’m a fan! These are little cheese balls that come in different flavors. If you like cheese and something with a crunch you’ll like these little cheese balls as a snack.

Moon Cheese Variety Pack of 5, 1 of each (Cheddar Believe It, Oh My Gouda, Garlickin Parmesan, Get Pepper Jacked, White Chedda Black Peppa) GF, High Protein, Low Carb, Keto Friendly, 100% Real Cheese

Anytime I think of pretzels I think of that Seinfeld episode “these pretzels are making me thirsty” but they still make for a great easy travel snack!

Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels, 100 Calorie Individual Packs, 36 Ct

Veggie Straws

Veggie straws are the perfect easy travel snack to take on the go! They are both crunchy and salty which you is always needed on the road.

Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, cheddar cheese,cheese, Snack Size, 24 Count

Marinated Vegetables

This might be an odder pick but eating vegetables on the go is hard so I love this option. POSHI Vegetable Snacks offers a marinated steamed portable snack option. If you like pickled vegetables you will like these! Plus you can add a little fiber to you day while in transit.

POSHI Marinated Vegetables Variety Pack | Asparagus, French Beans, Cauliflower, Artichoke | Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Gourmet, Healthy, Fully Cooked (12 Pack)

Snack Olives

If you’ve never had olives while on an airplane you are missing out! Something about eating olives at 42,000 feet cruising in the air is a totally different experience. I like buying these Olives to Go from the grocery store and Trader Joe’s also sells individually packed Olive packs which are so yummy. I was inspired to add Olives to my easy travel snack list after having the Mediterranean Travel Snack box on a United Flight which has a great mix of olives, bruschetta, hummus, and chocolate almonds as a great snack mix.

Mario Camacho Foods Pitted Snack Olives, Variety Pack, 1.05 oz Pouches (Pack of 12)

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a really fun easy travel snack! My favorite picks are dried apples and mangoes. They make such a sweet treat and they are also crunchy (or chewy).

Bare Baked Crunchy, Apples Fuji & Reds, 0.53 Ounce (Pack of 16)

When traveling with dips always choose brands that are shelf stable so that they can fall into the perishable category. If you go this route you should plan to consume the entire package in your trip since they will need to be refrigerated once opened.

Mezete Tahini Rich Hummus Assortment, 100% All-Natural Dips and Spreads, Ready to Go Vegan Dip, Shelf-Stable with No Preservatives and Requires No Refrigeration, 7.5 Ounce (Pack of 6)

Something Sweet

Honey stinger organic waffles.

Honey Stinger Organic Waffles are sweet yummy waffles that double as a healthy(ish) treat. These pack really easily in your carry-on or a day pack on your trip and make them one the best snacks for traveling.

travel snacks plane

Brownies & Cookies

Brownies and Cookies fall into a comfort item category for me. It’s nice to always have a sweet treat on hand but also something you are familiar with. I like the Nature’s Bakery brand Brownies and old faithful Nabisco Cookies like Oreos.

travel snacks plane

Fruit Snacks

I recently discovered a new brand called Pink Panda which offers high fiber fruit snacks. Why high fiber fruit snacks? Because fiber is such a hard micro nutrient to consume when you are traveling and I like that these snacks trade the sugar for fiber when it comes to carbohydrates in the snack. These come in two varieties: Astro Blasters and Treasure Chews. I’ve had both and think they taste yummy (you’d really never know there is no sugar in these)! And it’s only 90 calories for the entire bag.

If you are interested in trying out this new brand use our code “BREADANDBUTTERPANDA10” for 10% off if you order directly on their website . Pink Panda fruit snacks are also available on Amazon below.

travel snacks plane

Smart Sweets

I’ve been eating SmartSweets for years! They are similar to the Pink Panda brand but I’m not really sure which I like more. These are also high fiber fruit snacks and I really enjoy them for traveling. My favorites to date have been the Sour Blast Buddies and the Peach Rings.

travel snacks plane

Other Fruit Snacks

As you can tell I really love fruit snacks! My other favorites for travel and just as a general comfort item are Gushers and Fruit by the Foot. I also really like fruit leather and the “That’s It” brand is a great option for something healthy(ish) when it comes to fruit snacking.

travel snacks plane

Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Energy Chews is an organic candy that’s great to chew and eat before, during, or after activity (especially when flying if your ears ring at high altitudes). It has multiple carbohydrate sources including glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose.

travel snacks plane

I discovered this candy while on vacation in Hawaii. I think the best way to describe these are somewhere between candy and a gummy since they are chewy. I like Mango as my favorite flavor. Amazon offers a variety box if you want to check these out.

travel snacks plane

Protein Snacks

Protein is always hard for me to get in even when I’m not traveling so I always like to bring some protein snacks with me just in case. These are really great to cure hangry when you need some  stabilizing energy.

Pepperoni Sticks

These are new to me but I started eating Pepperoni sticks last year as a quick snack when I was out doing errands. That makes them perfect for an easy travel snack! The two brands I’ve liked so far are Vermont and Applegate Naturals. To me the flavors of these taste the most neutral for dried meat and come in a casing so it’s easy to eat and move on to the next thing.

travel snacks plane

Protein Bars

Protein Bars can sometimes leave an aftertaste in my opinion so there are not too many tasty ones that have a balanced calorie to protein ratio. My favorite pick so far as been Barebells Protein Bars which come in a variety of flavors and have 20 grams of protein per bar. I’ve been able to find these on Amazon and at Trader Joe’s so far. If you don’t typically like protein bars give these a try for something a bit different.

travel snacks plane

Protein Powders

I like to travel with protein powders that are individually wrapped since protein is often difficult to fit in when on the go. Most protein powder servings will have at least 18 grams of protein which is a great boost to hold you over until your next meal.

You can mix your protein powder in with some bottled water at the airport. As a great hack you can also find a bistro, Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts in the airport and request a milk of your choice in a bigger cup to add your protein powder for an easy travel snack.

travel snacks plane

Collagen Peptides

I’m also a big fan of collagen peptides! Collagen is not a complete protein but it works well in a pinch to supplement other sources of protein for the day. It’s not completely tasteless but the flavor isn’t too strong. I prefer to dissolve these packets in water or hot coffee while traveling. They come in individual sticks which make them easy to transport. Collagen is also really great for nail and hair growth and has really helped my joints.

travel snacks plane

Granola and Fruit Bars

Something about granola bars are so nostalgic to me and I love to bring them as an easy travel snack. They travel really well on planes and are also great for in your day bag at your final destination.

I like the Nature Valley, Made Good, and Nature Bakery brands.

travel snacks plane

Peanut Butter

Again, a controversial pick for travel since usually peanuts are not allowed on all flights but I must have peanut butter with me as a basic comfort food while traveling! If I can’t have these on the plane I just eat them at my final destination. I like the JIF To Go Natural Peanut Butter cups that come individually packaged and will eat them as is, or with something I buy at the airport for some extra fat and protein. My second pick is the Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter brand which comes in a packet making it one of the best snacks for traveling.

JUSTIN'S Classic Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Spread Squeeze Packs, 1.15 Ounce (10 Pack)

Dehydration is real when you travel! I have two easy solutions to stay hydrated when you are on the go. These are not exactly an easy travel snack but they will come in handy while on the go.

I recently started using GoHydrate this spring as a way to stop my leg muscles from cramping and get my water levels up. GoHydrate is a water enhancer which makes it a great option if you are not particularly a fan of drinking water. I started thinking that this would also be excellent for travel due to the individual packets which make them great for on-the-go. GoHydrate provides almost instant hydration by delivering 5 electrolytes immediately to your body. Those electrolytes are: calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.

This water enhancer also provides 40%+ of the recommended daily Vitamin D dose that most of of are deficient in due to sitting inside so often. To use GoHydrate just pour the pre-packaged stick into 20-24oz of water and drink. If you’d like to order GoHydrate I suggest ordering their mixed 10 stick sample box or their 30 stick sample box to see which flavor you like before stocking up on their 30 box sets of one flavor. My favorite flavors so far have been Lemon Citrus , Kiwi Strawberry , and Fruit Punch if you need a flavor recommendation.

GoHydrate Electrolyte Drink Mix - A Naturally Flavored, Sugar Free, Hydration Powder (Mixed, 30 Count (Pack of 1))

True Honey Tea

We found this brand True Honey Tea at a farmers market last year and its been our favorite tea! Based in Virginia these are tea bags that have honey granules already in the tea. We really like the Earl Gray (add some half and half to make a London Fog) and also the Peppermint tea for a really great non perishable travel snack.

True Honey Rooibos Tea Bags - Honey Crystals Blended in Every Sachet - Decaf Red Rooibos Tea - All Natural Organic Herbal Caffeine Free Tea Bag 24 Count

My next favorite drink mixer to travel with is from Cusa Tea . This brand was recommended to me by a friend who uses them while hiking. The best part is you don’t have to walk around with a wet tea bag once you prepare your tea. The flavors Cusa Teas has are unreal. I started with their Iced or Hot Variety Pack and the flavors are so delicious, truly premium tea with no sugar or artificial ingredients. I’ve tried this both in iced and hot tea and they work great. You can use these just by ordering hot water while on at the airport, on the plane, or at your final travel destination. 

If iced tea is more your style I’ve used them in even room temperature water (though cold water is better) and they dissolve no problem with no grainy stuff at the bottom. They are not sweetened so if you like sweet tea I suggest adding a sugar packet or something like Truvia to lightly sweeten the drink. My favorite flavors so far have been Blueberry Chrysanthemum and Hibiscus Rose . I recommend starting with the variety pack so that you can figure out which flavor you like before committing to an entire pack.

Cusa Tea & Coffee | Herbal Tea Variety Pack | Premium Caffeine Free Instant Tea | Hot & Iced Tea with No Added Sugar (10 Single Servings)

I typically buy a large water bottle once I get through security to keep with me in the airport and on the plane. If you don’t like buying water I suggest traveling with a stainless steel water bottle that you can fill up at the airport and throughout your trip. Our favorite travel options include Swell , Iron Flask, Yeti, and Stanley water bottles as great options that close.

Travel Water Bottles

S'well Stainless Steel Traveler - 20 Fl Oz - Azurite - Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug Keeps Coffee, Tea and Drinks Cold for 36 Hours and Hot for 15- BPA-Free Water Bottle

S’well Stainless Steel Traveler

This S’well Stainless Steel Traveler is 20 Fl Oz and is Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulated to keep Coffee, Tea and Drinks Cold for 36 Hours and Hot for 15 Hours.

Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw - Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle for Home, Office or Car Reusable Cup Leakproof Flip Cold 12 Hours Iced 2 Days (Alpine) , 30oz

Stanley IceFlow Tumbler

Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw is a Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle for Travel, the Office or a road trip. Its a reusable cup with a straw Leakproof Flip. The Stanley IceFlow will keep your drink cold for 12 Hours or Iced for 2 Days. This comes in various colors!

YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with Chug Cap, Seafoam

YETI Rambler Bottle

The YETI Rambler Water Bottle holds 26 oz of liquid and is vacuum insulated with a Chug Cap.

Which Easy Travel Snacks Are Your Favorites?

What easy travel snacks do you like to bring on your trips ? Did I miss any easy to pack snacks that you would recommend? Keep these travel snacks in mind for your next trip to beat hangry.

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This post is perfect timing! We’re taking the family to Disney World in two weeks and I have “travel snacks” on my to-do list! I love the high fiber gummy options, my little one struggles while we travel, so these will be perfect! Oh, and I have both the Emerald Nut Packs and the Nature’s Bakery bars as my car snacks, they are perfect, so I never have to hit the drive-thru!

Disney World sounds so fun! Yes, any sort of extra fiber on a trip makes things so much easier for all of us. And in candy form even better. I hope you get to try them 🙂 -Monica

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20 Healthy Travel Snacks Your Future Jet-Lagged Self Will Thank You For

Never fly hangry again.

healthy travel snacks

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Aim for a minimum of 4 grams each of protein and fiber per snack (as in one apple and a small piece of cheese), and bring options so you’ll never go longer than four hours without a bite. Keep added sugar to a minimum (under 6 grams). That way, you can enjoy real dessert once you arrive. Munch on anything that needs refrigeration within four hours of heading to the airport , on a road trip , or out to sea. Don’t forget to plan for unexpected delays, too.

Take things that work as a light bite on their own or in a combo for a heartier snack. The best way to do this is by following the 3-2-1 rule : Pack three small snack items you know you always like eat (yogurt, cheese sticks, nut-based bars, etc.), two drinks, and at least one piece of fresh produce .

Here's how you can meet your quota:

Peeled Snacks Dried Fruit (4 Count)

Dried Fruit (4 Count)

Go for unsweetened versions like this variety pack from Peeled Snacks. Dried mango, pineapple, apples, or other options like pears and cherries will fill you up with fiber whether you eat them solo or as part of a trail mix.

KIND Pressed by KIND Fruit Bars, Strawberry Apple Chia (12 Count)

Pressed by KIND Fruit Bars, Strawberry Apple Chia (12 Count)

At 100–150 calories, you can use these fruit-based bars as a light nosh between meals. Don't miss the Pressed by KIND bars with chocolate for sweeter treat. 

Justin's Classic Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Classic Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Nut or seed butter packs provide stick-to-your-ribs healthy fats and you can add them to crackers, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, or other snacks you've packed. Bonus: Packs smaller than 3 ounces, like these ones, get the thumbs-up from TSA . 

Nature Valley Protein Chewy Granola Bars, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (20 Count)

Protein Chewy Granola Bars, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (20 Count)

These heartier bars filled with 100% whole grains work as a base for breakfast, or reach for them when you’re nearing the 3- to 4-hour mark but won’t eat for at least an hour or two.

RELATED:  The 25 Best Breakfast Bars to Fuel Busy Mornings

RXBAR Real Food Protein Bar, Peanut Butter & Berries (12 Count)

Real Food Protein Bar, Peanut Butter & Berries (12 Count)

Another filling choice, RXBARs pack in 12 grams of protein with ingredients like egg whites, dates, and nuts.

LÄRABAR Fruit & Nut Bar, Cherry Pie (16 Count)

Fruit & Nut Bar, Cherry Pie (16 Count)

Lärabars also get the thumbs-up because they're fruit- and nut-based. Plus, they're easy to find in most gas stations, convenience stores, or wherever you're loading up on snacks. 

Rule Breaker Plant-Based Deep Chocolate Brownie (4 Count)

Plant-Based Deep Chocolate Brownie (4 Count)

These brownies are actually made from black bean flour, so they're a better option than what you'll find at the airport coffee shop. 

Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt (10 Count)

Roasted Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt (10 Count)

Reach for these 1.5-ounce snack packs for plant-based protein and fiber. 

Bob's Red Mill Classic Oatmeal Cups (12 Count)

Classic Oatmeal Cups (12 Count)

Oats are an easy base for when you're at a hotel or during any travel experience. When you're making breakfast on the go, aim for about 300 calories, 6+ grams of protein and fiber, and around 8 grams or less of added sugar.

Wild Friends Oats and Nut Butter Cups, Almond Cashew (6 Count)

Oats and Nut Butter Cups, Almond Cashew (6 Count)

These oatmeal cups come with nut butter packets attached so all you need to do for a super-filling breakfast is add hot water and mix.

RELATED: 25+ Healthy No-Cook Breakfasts

Eda-Zen Cruncha ma-me Edamame Veggie Snack (8 Count)

Cruncha ma-me Edamame Veggie Snack (8 Count)

One snack-sized bag of these freeze-dried edamame contains 90 calories but 8 grams of fiber, plus 10% of your daily value for iron. 

Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt

0% Plain Greek Yogurt

Unsweetened Greek yogurt is a great way to get portable protein. Stick to the plain versions and choose in your own add-in, like unsweetened dried fruit or nut butter, to avoid the added sugar found in many flavored varieties. (FYI: You can't bring cups bigger than 3 ounces through security , so plan on buying it once you get to the gate.)

RELATED:  A Definitive Ranking of the Best Greek Yogurts

Siggi's Skyr Icelandic Style Yogurt

Skyr Icelandic Style Yogurt

Skyr is another great way to go. Pick low-fat or non-fat versions for light snacks; full-fat is fine if you’re looking for something to hold you over for longer.

Cheese Sticks

Cheddar Cheese Sticks

Single-serving packs of refrigerated cheese, like Arla, Babybel, BelGioioso, or Polly-O can also help you get protein on-the-go.

Cello Whisps Cheese Crisps (12 Count)

Whisps Cheese Crisps (12 Count)

These 1-ounce bags of dried cheese crisps can actually stay in your suitcase if you're really planning ahead. 

RELATED:  20 Best Low-Sugar Snacks to Satisfy Every Type of Craving

purely elizabeth Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola

Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola

With sunflower seeds, cashews, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds, this hearty granola can get stirred into milk or yogurt, or just eat a scoop on its own.  

Kashi 7 Grain Sea Salt Pita Crisps (12 Count)

7 Grain Sea Salt Pita Crisps (12 Count)

A handful of whole-grain crackers like these can pair with cheese sticks, fruit, or nut butter. 

Close-Up Of Hand Holding Water Bottle Against Colored Background

Staying hydrated is the key to savvy travel — especially for long plane rides. (You can thank me when you’re sitting on the tarmac waiting for takeoff … and your plane is #52 in a line.) Plan to bring at least one 16-ounce bottle of plain or sparkling water and one bottle (or cup) of something else unsweetened with you on the plane. Save some bucks by bringing an empty refillable water bottle with you and filling it up at a water fountain once you get through security.

Unsweetened Drinks

Cape Verdean woman drinking iced coffee

Since the altitude is dehydrating, and turbulence/delays can make beverage service unpredictable, it’s worth the investment to buy a second, unsweetened drink at the airport. Choose coffee, iced tea, lemonade, Bai, LaCroix, Spindrift, or another favorite.

Red Apples At Market

As the final part of the 3-2-1 rule, always bring at least one piece or one prepackaged snack bag of produce with you. Whether you go for a banana or carrot sticks, a fresh fruit or veggie will help keep you hydrated and full.

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The 15 Best Travel Snacks of 2024

RXBar Protein Bars Variety Pack is always a wise choice to have in your bag.

Katherine Alex Beaven is a Los Angeles-based travel, food and drink, and culture writer.

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Seasoned travelers know that purposeful packing extends down to your edible extras. “There’s nothing wrong with planning for a bit of indulgence, but you want to prioritize bringing along snacks that will fuel you and help you feel your best,” says registered dietician Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, and owner of Planet Based with Amy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Taking her advice to heart, we focused our best travel snack recommendations on key features like the number of grams of protein, added sugars, and fiber to help control blood sugar levels and sustain energy; how easy the snack is to pack; and the perishability. In our perishability ratings, snacks that can stay fresh for months without any refrigeration are labeled “low,” those that will need to be refrigerated after opening to stay fresh are labeled “medium,” and snacks that will need to be temperature controlled at all times are labeled “high.” 

RXBar Protein Bars Variety Pack grabbed our best overall spot since they pack a protein punch, have a wide selection of flavors (particularly when it comes to satisfying chocolate enthusiasts ), and are made with just a few simple ingredients. These snacks are also rough and tough and can easily fit into everything from your carry-on to your pocket. Whether you’re looking for a low-calorie, travel-friendly snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, one that falls in line with a specific dietary restriction, or just something to keep your energy levels up, we’ve got you covered.

Best Overall

Rxbar protein bar variety pack 6 flavors.

They pack a punch of protein and travel well. 

Some flavors are bigger winners than others.

RXBars are an easy and palatable way to quickly sneak in heaps of filling protein — without a ton of filler. Most bars give you around 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of protein, and only 220 calories or less. You’ll find exactly all the ingredients listed on the front of the package, no added sugars or flavorings. These chewy bars get their protein from egg whites, their sweetness from dates, and their staying power from hearty nut fats. RXBars also rely on simple, straightforward ingredients like cocoa and real fruit for their flavors. 

RXBars are shelf-stable for 10 months after the manufacturer dates listed on each package, and they're compact enough to toss into your suitcase, hip pouch, purse, backpack, or pocket. If you’re new to RXBar or just like variety, we recommend going with one of their variety packs, like this six-flavor collection from Amazon that covers some of their most popular offerings like vanilla almond, blueberry, and a selection of chocolate-based fan faves. However, you can also find chocolate-only variety packs and nine-flavor packs with more niche flavors like apple cinnamon, coffee chocolate, and maple sea salt. 

Gorin also highly recommends their plant-based versions, which pack 10 grams of plant protein (made from gluten-free oat and nuts) and 4 grams of fiber into just 210-calorie bars. 

The Details: Dairy-free, vegetarian, gluten-free, some vegan flavors | Low perishability

Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips

The ingredients are all things we’d find in our own kitchen. 

Kale chips can easily get crushed in luggage and bags.

Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips are slowly dried to retain the kale’s natural vitamins and then seasoned with easily recognizable ingredients like garlic powder, white pepper, onion dill weed, and apple cider vinegar (for that ranch tang!). The fact that they are suitable for several different types of dietary restrictions means they’re also an inclusive bet to bring on group trips (that is, unless you don’t want to share). The 2-ounce bags equal two servings but still only have 260 calories and zero cholesterol (take that, Doritos!). You’ll also snag just 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar along with a surprising 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. Just be careful when you pack them — these “dried-not-fried” chips are brittle and can easily get crushed. 

The Details: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free | Low perishability

Best Vegetarian

Harvest snaps mixed multipack.

These delicious snacks go over well with all ages. 

Easy crushability makes them less convenient to pack.

Gorin says Harvest Snaps are the travel snack that is always in her carry-on. She recommends the Harvest Snaps Mixed Multipack for its individually-packaged servings of “fun flavors” such as Lightly Salted, Tomato Basil, and Crunchy Loops Sour Cream & Onion. She points out that the first ingredient is veggies. “In the Lightly Salted, for example, the first ingredient is green peas. In the snack pack, you get a good amount of protein and fiber, which will keep you fuller for longer,” she says. We love that these are not only gluten-free and vegetarian but also a healthy crowd-pleaser for all ages. We just wish we didn’t have to worry about them getting crushed in our bags before we dig in. 

The Details: Vegetarian, gluten-free | Low perishability

Best Dried Fruit

Rind snacks chewy dried fruit.

These dried fruits come skin included.

They're expensive considering they are technically just fruit.

Rind Snacks didn’t reinvent the dried fruit, but they’ve reintroduced it in a nutritious and delicious way. Scan the label and you’ll just find fruit, nothing else. Like most dried fruit, these snacks have a high carb and sugar count, but rest assured there is no added sugars — it’s all nature’s candy, here. Thanks to the inclusion of the fruits’ cores, rinds, seeds, and skins, there’s a good amount of fiber in each pouch, too. Leaving the skins on also adds an unexpected extra dose of flavor and varies up the texture, which sets them apart from other dried fruit snacks on the market. We also love the variety of fruits, some of which aren’t usually your first go-to when choosing a dried fruit, like kiwi or persimmon. The only downside is that it’s hard not to finish them in one sitting — which can become a pricey habit. 

The Details: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo | Low perishability

Best for Long Flights

Backpacker’s pantry chicken larb.

Backpacker’s Pantry

It's a classic (and delicious) Laotian dish made available on-the-go.

You’ll need a fork or spoon to eat this. 

Dehydrated meals are perfect when only a substantial snack will do the trick — or the in-flight meal just isn’t cutting it. They're lightweight and easy to pack, making them perfect for hiking, road trips , and long plane rides. All you need is some hot water and a fork or spoon and — voila! — you’ve got a hot snack. This Backpacker’s Pantry Chicken Larb is a take on the national dish of Laos and gives tired tastebuds a much-appreciated zap of tang and slight spice. It’s a welcome departure from the usual dehydrated meals menu. Bonus, we love that it’s spreading the national dish of Laos to travelers who may otherwise never have the chance to try larb. Just remember to pack a fork or spoon in your bag along with this snack packet. 

The Details: Gluten-free, dairy-free | 10-year shelf life

Best Hot Snack

Bulbhead yummy can potatoes.

You can use it at home, too!

Baked potatoes can get messy.

A bundled-up baked potato may not be your first choice for bringing with you on a trip, but Gorin swears by this “fantastic snack.” She says that a medium baked potato has 4 grams of plant-based protein and is a good source of fiber, both of which will keep you satiated. With the Yummy Can Potatoes, you can make a no-fuss, perfect baked potato in minutes right before you head out the door. “Wrap it in aluminum and bring it with you,” she says. “Plus, it takes awhile to eat, making it a fun snack to enjoy while watching an in-flight movie.” Don’t forget to pack a fork — and napkins. 

The Details: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo | High perishability

Best for Digestion

Sunsweet ones california prunes.

These individually wrapped prunes easily fit into your bag or pocket. 

Eating too many prunes may cause diarrhea. 

It’s no secret traveling can make some of us a bit irregular between the high altitudes, travel anxiety, and new surroundings. This is why we recommend bringing a little wing snack with you on our trips, and dietician Gorin agrees. “I never travel without prunes,” she says. These individually packaged prunes are a good way to casually snack and keep your body moving. Throw a couple in your travel bag to snack on or even just add them as fruit in your breakfast. These prunes are pitted (so you don’t have to worry about broken teeth) and contain 3 grams of fiber per serving. Studies show eating around three to five prunes a day will help keep you regular thanks to the high fiber nature of this fruit. Gorin adds that daily prunes can also help prevent bone loss, too. Just start slow and don’t eat more than five a day; too many prunes can cause too much movement (and nobody wants to deal with that while traveling). 

The Details: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free | Low perishability

Best Protein Treat

Skinnydipped snack attack minis variety pack.

They truly taste like an indulgent treat.

The chocolate may melt in warmer weather and environments.

SkinnyDipped Almonds quickly became one of our travel snack staples. In each tasty pack, you’ll get 2 grams of protein, good nut fat to keep you full, and a completely crave-able flavor (the deep cocoa taste of the dark chocolate is our favorite). This variety pack comes with 25 perfectly portioned 60-calorie mini packs — eight Dark Chocolate Cocoa, five Super Dark + Sea Salt, and six each of Lemon Bliss (a yogurt-covered version) and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. These delicious nuggets are free from preservatives, so they’ll only last around three months even unopened. Hot tip: They can also melt into a gooey mess at higher temperatures, so consider how (road trip?) and where (to the desert?) you’re traveling before packing this snack.

The Details: Gluten-free | Medium perishability

Best for Your Sweet Tooth

Unreal dark chocolate almond butter cups.

Your sweet tooth will barely even notice the swap.

The bump in ingredient quality translates to a higher price. 

Minimizing added sugar in your snacks is one way to keep your travel snacks on a more healthful track. Gorin says this doesn’t mean you need to deprive your sweet tooth completely, but she does recommend opting for snacks that use “real” sugar such as honey, maple syrup, and cane sugar. UnReal’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are a wise swap for classic peanut butter cups since they contain less sugar, offer a little bit of protein and fiber, and contain healthy fats. This also helps you stay fuller longer. Plus, they’re a safe choice for anyone with a peanut allergy. However, all these extra points add up, so expect to spend a bit more on these clean peanut butter cups than the usual. 

The Details: Vegan, gluten-free | Low perishability

Best for People With Diabetes

Justin's almond butter squeeze pack.

The small, individual packages pack and travel well. 

These are most effective when paired with a high-protein food. 

Keeping blood sugar levels under control is key for a person traveling with diabetes. Gorin notes that slowing the digestion of the carbs eaten will help to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels. “That can either look like choosing a food that contains fiber, protein, and/or fats (in addition to carbs),” she says, “or it can mean pairing a carb-rich food with a food that features those nutrients.” Justin’s Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Packs are an ideal good-fat snack without too much sugar that you can squeeze into your mouth directly from the single-serve package or onto something like protein-rich Greek yogurt. Don’t have diabetes? Carrying a few packs of this nut butter in your suitcase, carry-on bag, or pocket is still a great way to help keep you satiated and energetic between travel day meals. 

The Details: Gluten-free, vegan | Low perishability

Best Gluten-free

Love corn fab four variety pack.

They’ve got a satisfying crunch and pop of flavor. 

The snack packs are a little small. 

Gluten-free folks who grew up in the Corn Nuts era will definitely appreciate the satisfying crunch and flavor choices in the Love Corn Fab Four Variety Pack. Each pack comes with five bags each of Sea Salt, BBQ, Habanero, and Salt and Vinegar. These perfectly crunchy corn puffs aren’t packed full of protein or fiber like most of the picks on this list, but they are made with non-GMO ingredients and have way less sodium than the O.G. corn snacks. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with snacking for snack’s sake — it’s one of the perks of travel. We just wish these Love Corn snack packs were a little bit bigger (thank goodness there’s 20 of them.) 

The Details: Gluten-free (certified), vegan | Low perishability

Epic Provisions Keto-friendly Bar Variety Pack

It’s a solid hit of pure animal protein. 

This variety pack has two spicy flavors. 

Beef jerky ain’t got nothing on these Epic Provisions protein bars. If you’ve never had an Epic bar before, get started with this keto-friendly pack that lets you taste chicken, beef, and venison varieties. You’ll get 10 to 13 grams of animal protein in each bar, single-digit carbs, and a good amount of fat to fill you up and keep you full. Ingredients are simple: just non-GMO meats and spices. Less salt means less bloating, and simple ingredients means cleaner snacking. The individually wrapped bars hold up in most packing situations and without refrigeration, making them an ideal snack for car trips, hikes, camping, or even day tours. Fair warning, though, this particular variety pack is full of half Beef Jalapeno and Chicken Sriracha, so if you’re not into spice, you may want to check out another variety.

The Details: Gluten-free, paleo, keto | Low perishability

Best Subscription Snack Box

Bokksu snack box.

It gives travel vibes, even if you’re not going anywhere. 

People with dietary restrictions or allergies may have limited things they can eat in the boxes.

Bokksu boxes are filled with curated and themed Japanese snacks, teas, and candies that are hard (or impossible) to find outside of Japan . The boxes are shipped from Japan, giving you a little dose of travel vibes, even if you don’t have a trip in the works. Choose your subscription length: either three, six, or 12 months — you’ll get a new box each month, but subscription fees are billed quarterly. Gorin is on board with Bokksu boxes, too, noting that the box contains up to 25 portion-controlled snacks that are perfect for tossing in your bag for a trip. While not knowing exactly what is coming in your next box is part of the fun, there’s a drop in value for people living with dietary restrictions or allergies (though the company does send an allergen list with each box). 

The Details: Varies | Low perishability

Best Snack Pack

Duke’s smoked sausages and cheese crisps.

These meat-and-cheese packs give grown-up, shelf-stable Lunchable vibes. 

There are no options for vegetarians or vegans. 

These conveniently packaged snack packs feature plump smoked pork sausages and 100 percent real cheese crisps. One pack provides travelers a filling serving of satiating double-digit grams of protein and fat, all with less than 1 gram of carbs. We like to think of them as better-tasting and travel-friendly Lunchables for grown-up palates. These snack packs come in either original sausage flavor with cheddar cheese crisps or, for those who like a little kick, Hatch chile flavored sausages with asiago crisps. Both packs are gluten-free, but they are not dairy-free or suitable for vegans and vegetarians. You’ll need to refrigerate any uneaten sausages after opening. 

The Details: Gluten-free | Low perishability

Best Veggie Chips

Sensible portions veggie straws screamin’ hot.

They are a feel-good, taste-great alternative to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. 

They contain little or no protein or fiber and are high in sodium. 

Move over, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos , these spicy veggie straws are a healthier way to scratch the fiery itch while traveling. Made from non-GMO vegetables like potatoes, spinach, beetroot, and carrots, Sensible Portions Veggie Straws have up to 30 percent less fat than regular potato chips. We love how crunchy and airy they are and that a serving equals about 38 straws. Are these the healthiest snacks on the list? No, but they are a more nutritious alternative to other similar snack foods, so we’re counting it as a win. Each bag has about four servings, so be sure to seal it between snacking to keep these straws from going stale. 

The Details: Dairy-free, gluten-free | Medium perishability

Tips for Buying Travel Snacks

Purchase the right snacks for your type of trip.

Consider your mode of transport, packing options, and destination when choosing your travel snacks. For example, if flying internationally, many countries will not allow meat products through customs. Avoid choosing snacks that are easily crushed or need to be kept cool, if planning a hiking excursion. 

Don't forget about cleaning up

Remember, whether you’re just snacking while in transit or on a long weekend camping trip , you’ll need to be able to properly dispose of any waste from your snacks. Choose snacks that have easy cleanup. Bonus points if they have recyclable packaging. 

Keep taste and lasting satiation top of mind

Gorin recommends looking for snacks that will not only taste good but have staying power. Snacks that are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber are best for helping to keep you full and give you energy while you travel. A good source of protein will provide roughly 10 percent of the recommended 50 to 60 grams of daily protein. 

Read product labels

To make sure you’re getting a healthy and hearty snack that will keep the gas burning throughout your travel day, Gorin says to look for minimal added sugar (5 grams or less) plus at least 5 grams of fiber and/or protein. “Many products don’t contain this amount of fiber and protein,” she says, “do look for at least one or the other."

Yes, you can bring your own snacks on a plane as long as they comply with the TSA rules where applicable. Keep in mind any cooling packs will also need to comply with security limits (i.e., gel freezer packs need to be under the allotted liquid amount, even when frozen).

Insulated coolers are the best and easiest way to keep your food either hot or cold while traveling. Cold packs, heat packs, and dry ice are not advised, particularly if traveling by plane. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, Katherine Alex Beaven sourced recommendations and tips from a registered dietician about which snacks are the best for travel and what to look for when shopping for travel snacks. As a veteran traveler and someone with celiac disease, Alex also shared her tried-and-tested best snacks for travel. While researching travel snacks, we spoke with registered dietician Amy Gorin , MS, RDN, owner of Planet Based with Amy in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Best snacks to bring on a plane

These airplane food ideas will help keep away the munchies on your next flight. From healthy snacks to sweet treats, there's something for everyone.

Best snacks to pack when traveling by airplane

We all need airplane snacks!

Whether you're taking a long haul flight, or just a quick jaunt to your next destination, having some good snacks on hand can make all the difference. After all, airline food can be pretty lackluster to say the least!

In addition to airline food not being the greatest, many airlines no longer include complimentary meals in economy class (unless you're flying internationally). Which means you have to pay extra for the not so nice looking food they have on board. It's like being insulted twice!

A look at the Scoot inflight meal selection. We didn't think it was too badly priced overall.

(Actually, in all fairness, this Scoot menu when flying from Athens to Singapore looked pretty good! We had our own snacks anyway though).

So, in order to make your next flight a little more enjoyable, it's more important than ever to be prepared with your own food.

I've done this many times, including when I flew from Athens to Singapore on a budget airline!

I've rounded up some of the best snacks to bring on a plane, that includes healthy travel snacks as well as some of those little indulgences that make flying a bit more bearable. You might also want to check out my road trip snacks article for more ideas!

The Best In-Flight Snacks

There are a few things you should keep in mind when packing snacks for your flight. First, they should be easy to eat without making a mess. No one wants to be that person who's managed to cover themselves and their seat in food.

Second, they should be relatively compact so they don't take up too much space in your carry-on. You don't want to have to lug around a big bag just for your snacks!

And lastly, they should ideally not require refrigeration, particularly when taking long flights. Obviously this isn't a hard and fast rule, but it does make things a lot easier.

Related: Long Haul Flight Essentials

With those guidelines in mind, here are some of the best airplane snacks to bring along:

1. Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit

Nuts and seeds are the perfect in flight snack to bring on a plane because they're packed with protein and healthy fats. They'll help keep you feeling full and satisfied during your flight, without being too heavy or greasy.

And since they're small and lightweight, they won't take up too much space in your carry-on. You can buy ready made bags of mixed nuts and dried fruit, or make your own trail mix to take with you.

2. Granola Bars and Protein Bars

These types of bars are prefect snacks for long flights. They are well wrapped, don't need to be kept at any specific temperature, and will give you some much-needed energy.

It's always good to have a couple of bars tucked away in your carry-on. Even if you don't eat your granola bar during the flight, they make great snacks for afterwards when you're feeling a bit jet lagged and need something to tide you over until mealtime.

Related: How to prevent jet lag

Since living in Greece this last 7 years, I love taking olives as a healthy snack when bringing my own food on a plane. I have to say, they are one of the best snacks for long flights!

Olives are a great source of healthy fats, which are beneficial for your heart health. They're also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. And lastly, olives are very filling, so they can help keep you satisfied during your flight. Oh, and they taste lovely too!

4. Pre-peeled carrots and cucumbers

These are another ‘go-to' when I want to being snacks. Best packed in a small Tupperware, they're filling, satisfying and easy to eat without making a mess. Carrot sticks and cucmbers go well with the olives mentioned above!

5. Chocolate Bars

While it's always better to eat healthy food whenever possible, why not treat yourself to a delicious chocolate bar while you're flying?

It's understandable if you want to indulge your sweet tooth while on your flight. And since chocolate bars are small and easy to pack, they make the perfect snack to bring on a plane. Just be sure to choose one with a high cocoa content for the health benefits.

6. Sandwiches

If you're bringing your own food, then sandwiches are a great option. They're filling, satisfying and relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess.

Just be sure to wrap them tightly so they don't get squished in your carry-on. And if you're taking a long flight, it's best to choose a meat or cheese that doesn't need to be refrigerated.

7. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is another great option for a protein-packed mess free snack. It's high in protein and low in fat, so it's perfect if you're watching your weight. Plus, it doesn't need to be refrigerated, so it's ideal for long flights.

Just be aware that beef jerky can be quite salty, so it's best to eat it in moderation. And if you have high blood pressure, you might want to avoid it altogether.

Fruit is always a good option, whether you're flying or not. It's packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and it's relatively easy to eat without making a mess. You'll not want to being fresh fruits that might get squished though such as bananas. Fruits like apples travel well, and hold up better in your bag for short periods of time.

Note: Some countries may have restrictions on what fruits you can bring in from other countries, so be sure to check before packing your plane snacks for international flights.

Related: Why do flights get cancelled

9. Hard Boiled Eggs

This might not be for everyone, but hard boiled eggs make a great snack. They're relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess, but be sure to pack them in a container so they don't get squashed and you end up with egg covered carry-on!

What your fellow passengers may think to you bringing on board boiled eggs is another issue, but as long as you're prepared for some funny looks, go for it!

10. Cooked Meats

Cooked meats are another great option for a protein-packed snack for when you want to bring food on a plane. And like hard boiled eggs, they're relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess. When bringing food like this on a plane, just be sure to pack it in an insulated container to keep it fresh if it's not got a sealed packet.

What food not to take on a plane

When you're thinking to bring snacks on a plane, it's also important to know what to avoid if possible. Here are some foods that are best left at home:

  • Instant Oatmeal or Instant Miso Soup – While some people have mentioned they asked a flight attendant for hot water, it's not always possible to get hot water on a plane.
  • Bananas – These never end well on a plane, as they only need the slightest knock and they bruise and split.

Related: Can I take a powerbank on a plane?

Tips on taking food items on to planes

Liquid drinks – Don't bring these from home, as you won't be able to get them through security. Once you have gone through airport security though, you can pick some up before boarding if there are small grocery stores in the departure area.

Pack food – Plan ahead and pack snacks and food you want to travel with into containers or small bags, that way they are easy to grab when you're feeling peckish on the plane.

Choose wisely – Be mindful of what foods you're choosing to take on the plane in a snack bag. If it's a long flight of more than a few hours, you might want to avoid anything that needs refrigeration or will go bad quickly.

Flying Scoot Athens to Singapore direct

Related: Pros and Cons of traveling by plane

FAQ – Taking Snacks On A Plane

If you're planning to bring along your own snacks when you next fly to save money or to eat more healthily, these commonly asked questions will come in handy:

What are some healthy snacks I can travel with in carry on?

Some healthy snacks that you can travel with in carry on include: Nuts and raisins, clif bars, dried fruits and veggies.

Can you take your own food on board a plane?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food on board a plane. However, there are some restrictions on what types of food you can bring depending on the country you're travelling to. It's best to check with the customs agency of the country you're travelling to before packing your snacks.

Can I pack baby food in my carry on?

Yes, you are allowed to bring baby food in your hand baggage. You may need to take them out to be scanned separately when going through airport security.

What is a filling snack for a flight?

Some good options for a filling snack for a flight include: beef jerky, fruit, hard boiled eggs, cooked meats, and nuts and raisins.

Can you take peanut butter on a plane?

Airline and security rules normally allow 100 ml of liquid or gel-like foods which include peanut and other nut butter.

Bringing your own snacks with you on the plane can make the journey more comfortable and less stressful. It's always better to go with a few healthy options when possible, but there are plenty of tasty snacks to choose from as well. Just be sure to check the rules and regulations before packing your snacks, so you don't end up with any surprises at the airport. 

Do you have any suggestions of airplane snacks for adults and kids? Leave a comment below!

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The 21 Best Plane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

The only list of the best airplane snacks you need for a better flight: healthy snacks, vegan ones, or what kids and babies can eat on the plane.

Thomas Busson

Thomas Busson

Plane snacks - one of the essential components for an enjoyable and satisfying long flight, yet so often overlooked.

You race through airport security and either forget your plane snacks entirely or grab an overpriced and underwhelming packet of M&M’s.

That’s not going to keep you going for your 3 hour flight, is it? And with all the nervous energy that air travel brings, sugar isn’t going to improve the situation.

Then, you’re faced with the horror show that is snacks on a plane and in-flight meals. Both you and the flight attendant know that they’re a lot scarier than the 2006 film starring Samuel L Jackson.

So, perhaps it's a good idea to plan ahead, DIY or bring packable airplane food. It’s healthier, cheaper and cuts out the stress of last minute snack panic.

Keep reading to discover travel tips on the best airplane snacks there are! It’ll transform the way you travel.

But first, did you know that you can get more than a snack when your flight is delayed , cancelled, or overbooked?

With ClaimCompass, get compensated when your flight is disrupted

Can You Bring Snacks on a Plane?

Considering all of the other terrible options, you will be asking yourself, ‘Can I bring snacks on a plane?’ Well, thankfully, yes.

You can bring plane snacks on board in your carry-on luggage, however they must comply with airport guidelines.

Check out our guide on how to pack your carry-on luggage to make sure you don’t miss anything!

In the UK, you can pack all sorts of delicious cakes, pies, sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables (if you’re that way inclined).

But, unfortunately you’ve got to leave Grandma Mary’s pea and ham soup behind. This is  because foods with a high liquid content, like soups, stews and foods in sauces like pasta, won’t make it through security.

While you can bring your own snacks, foods like crisps, cakes and crackers must be wrapped up or in a container.

Additionally, although a whole piece of fruit is okay unwrapped, once you take a bite of your juicy, green apple, it’s got to be wrapped up.

These containers should also not exceed 100ml. And, don’t forget that the homemade blueberry jam you’ve made for your friend in Maine, also falls under these guidelines.

Similarly, in the US, food taken on board in hand luggage must comply with TSA guidelines.

This means solid foods like crisps, sandwiches, and even pasta can come on board. However liquids must comply with the 3-1-1 rule.

The 3-1-1 rule outlines that each liquid (strawberry yogurt, peanut butter, hummus) must be in a 3 .4 ounce container (or less), contained in 1 clear plastic bag, and you may have only 1 bag per passenger.

Which Snacks Shouldn’t You Bring on a Plane?

While not officially outlined in TSA or other airport guidelines, there are some snacks that you should steer well away from.

Anything that has a strong or unpleasant smell can be saved for a time when you’re at least 40-50 meters away from company and not in a confined space.

Messy, sticky and crunchy snacks or foods likely to spill should probably be left at home too. Doing this will help you avoid a bad atmosphere and uncomfortable, angry eye contact on the long flight.

Some of these foods include:

  • Fishy foods - your tuna sandwich may seem like a good idea now, but give it a few hours, your breath will stink and so will the cabin
  • Eggs - flying can be nauseating enough without someone bringing eggs into the equation. Scrambled, boiled or fried - its a no-no
  • Burritos and fajitas - these yummy wraps can be hard to eat without spilling filling everywhere, and a rumbling stomach can also produce unpleasant smells…
  • Peanuts - while they may not cause you any issues, other passengers could be highly allergic, so leave them at home to avoid a medical emergency
  • Yogurt - yogurt in a plastic container can be pretty lethal and will explode at high altitudes. Leave the redecorating to the professionals

Best Airplane Snacks

The best food to pack for long flights is tasty, healthy and easy to transport. You should also make sure that you bring travel snacks that will keep fresh when left at room temperature.

Healthy plane snacks

Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring, and there are a ton out there that are both yummy and easy to prepare.

Dried fruit

When people think of dried fruit, it’s often limited to raisins or bananas, but there’s a whole world of dried fruit out there. Dried pineapple, mango, peaches and pear are just some of the mouth-watering options available.

Quinoa or chickpea salad

A quinoa or chickpea salad is a satisfying and scrumptious snack to bring aboard. Not only will it curb your appetite for the long flight, but these plane snacks are also considered superfood. So, delicious and nutritious.

Protein bars

If you’re on your way to a conference and need to do some last minute prep, or you’re a student who needs to finish off an essay, protein bars are great sustenance. This chewy flight snack will keep your tummy happy and keep you focused for the long plane ride.

Crunchy cheese bites

For the cheese fans out there, why not pack some crunchy cheese bites? From Gouda to Pepper jack, they’re high in protein and an excellent source of calcium. These crunchy cheese bites are also the perfect accompaniment for a long flight, needing no refrigeration.

Gluten-free banana and chocolate-chip muffins

These moreish muffins are scrummy, low-fat, low-sugar and gluten-free. This means that they’re good for your cholesterol and guilt-free!

Popcorn is the perfect food for snacking. It’s light, easy to pack and once you start, it’s hard to stop! Don’t think that popcorn is just limited to the cinema either, take it to the skies.

In recent years, companies have brought out a range of flavours from aged white cheddar and sea salt to cookies and cream!

Organic jerky

Stuck for snack ideas? Try jerky!

It comes in all shapes, sizes and flavours. From chicken to buffalo, teriyaki to habañero there’s something for everyone, even non-meat eaters, with jerky made from soy curls and black beans!

Vegan snacks to take on a plane

With growing awareness of climate change, and the poor treatment of farmed animals, veganism is becoming more and more popular.

And, why shouldn’t it? These days there are so many fantastic vegan options to choose from, meaning you can eat well while doing your bit to save the planet!

Baked kale chips

These delectable little morsels are a delightful crispy alternative to potato chips. They come in a wide range of flavours, from tomato to vegan nacho cheese.

They’re also lower in fat than potato chips and are easy to make yourself! Just don’t crunch too loud!

Tofu Caesar wrap

A vegan Caesar wrap is just as good as it’s meaty counterpart and a great snack for healthy travel! Using vegan mayonnaise and a touch of Dijon mustard is the key to giving this tasty treat a kick.

Vegan dark chocolate brownies

You’re allowed to treat yourself from time to time, and vegan dark chocolate brownies are a fantastic treat to take on your travels.

Fudgey goodness with a gooey centre, they’ll make your flight just that little bit more luxurious.

Marinated lentils

Packed with protein, marinated lentils will keep you going on your long flight. Whether you throw in some coriander and fennel seeds, or garlic and chilli, you can be sure each mouthful will explode with flavour.

Vegan spiced chai bread

More of a cake than a bread, vegan spiced chai bread is the perfect accompaniment for your journey. Add a little almond butter, or peanut butter to take it to the next level.

Vegan tuna sandwich

While you probably shouldn’t bring your stinky tuna sandwich on board, a vegan tuna sandwich is just the ticket!

Replace the fish with tofu, add a little vegan mayo, your preferred seasoning and some pickles to make this top-notch long flight snack. Just have a mint afterwards.

Whole grain pita / veggies and hummus

As long as you make sure you comply with TSA guidelines, hummus (from the grocery store or homemade) with dippers is an excellent snack to have in your snack bag.

Make sure you eat this snack first though, as it’s only good for 2 hours at room temperature.

Plane snacks for babies and kids

Travelling on long flights accompanied by children is by no means anyone’s idea of heaven.

And kids, we get it. It’s boring, the airplane’s hot and stuffy, and you have way too much energy to sit in one seat for more than 30 minutes.

However, there are some great plane snacks that can make long flights, dare I say it... fun!

Check out other ways to make long flights fun for kids here !

Kids trail mix

Trail mix is easily transportable and filled with an array of nuts, fruit, pretzels and sweet treats. If you’re making it yourself, you can even include your kid’s favourites, perhaps marshmallows and cashews or maybe cheerios and sultanas!

Fresh fruit

This may not be your child’s favourite, but there are lots of ways you can make fruit fun and entertain them on the long journey.

You could make apple slices into fun shapes, or hide kiwi slices in little sandwich cakes topped with almond butter!

Granola bars

Granola bars are a good way of ensuring that your child won’t go hungry on a long flight.

Packed with yummy nutritional goodness like oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, these snacks will keep your child quiet...for a while.

Cereal or puffs

Cereal or puffs are great for babies and toddlers. Kid’s can pick them up easily and even have a little fun with them.

And remember, presentation is also important. Why not put the cereal in a bag and tie a colorful ribbon around it? Or, put colorful stickers on the packaging and personalize it by writing their name in bright colors!

Banana cookies

Kids love sweet things, however most of the time, the things they like will see them sent to the dentist with a filling! These banana cookies allow you to treat your child, while being in control of their sugar intake.

Use coconut oil, vanilla essence and a few chocolate chips for that sweet hit rather than packing them with sugar.

Organic animal crackers

Just as puffs and sliced fruit can be a surprisingly entertaining snack for kids, animal crackers can also bring a lot of fun to the flight.

Full of vitamins, and flavored with fruit juice, these little treats will keep a smile on their faces.

Honey and chai oatmeal balls

These snacks are a fantastic source of protein and fibre and taste just like cookie dough, without all the bad additives and artificial flavors.

Sweetened with honey, almond butter and dried fruit, they’re a great healthy alternative and will keep your kid’s tummy from rumbling.

Final words before the flight

Hopefully this blog has simmered your long-flight snack nerves! Plane snacks don’t have to be excruciatingly expensive and unsatisfying. They can be full of flavor, easy to prepare, and for the little ones, a source of entertainment.

Bringing snacks from home will ultimately save you time, money and disappointment!

And, if you’re one of the unlucky passengers whose flight is disrupted each year, those snacks will help you from pulling your hair out in frustration. They’ll also save you from spending a fortune while you wait for your plane to arrive.

Something to also bear in mind when preparing your snacks is how you will transport them. Opt for planet friendly packaging! This includes biodegradable ziploc bags, reusable lunch boxes , biopaper and beeswax wraps instead of cellophane or foil.

Head over to our guide and find out how to navigate flight delay compensation if you do find yourself stuck in the airport for hours!

Had a delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight? You're going to need those snacks, but more importantly, you could get up to 600€ in compensation.

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Healthy Airplane Snacks

Published: May 24, 2023 · Modified: Jun 28, 2023 by Marisa Moore ·

flat lay of peanuts in a jar, tangerines, water bottle, tea packet, fig bar and almond butter packets

Get the best healthy snacks for traveling by air plus non-perishable snacks for road trips and more. This dietitian-approved list of airplane snacks, travel-friendly snack recipes, and tips to pack food for the your next trip is just what you need to keep your healthy eating habits up on the road.

flat lay of peanuts in a jar, tangerines, water bottle, tea packet, fig bar and almond butter packets

These airplane snacks for adults will keep you help you eat healthier while traveling and keep you full on long days with unpredictable food options. Plus, taking your own snacks on the plane saves money. 

Going by car instead? Check out my ideas for healthy road trip snacks and road trip meals !

Easy Airplane Snacks

Whole fruit. Firm bananas, apples, and oranges are top picks for fruit. But you can also carry along rinsed and dried grapes and blueberries with a little forethought.

Fruit is a good choice for hydration and for an extra dose of vitamin C for the road.

SKIP: Cut melons. Keep cut melons refrigerated and eat within 1-2 hours otherwise.

Nuts. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts and other nuts are one of my favorite snacks to bring onboard a plane. Don’t wait for the flight attendants to pass them out.

Carry a small bag of your own to squash hunger when it strikes and keep blood sugar levels stable. You can also carry little packets of nut butter to enjoy on an apple or with crackers.

Seeds. Like nuts, seeds provide plenty of satisfying protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full as you go through the day. These are especially helpful if you’re traveling with kids or others who have a nut allergy. Try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to start.

Flatlay of jar of peanuts, tangerines, tea packets, water bottle, nut butter packets, bags of pumpkin seeds and pistachios

Dried fruit. Raisins and dried cranberries are common but you can also pack dried cherries, blueberries, mango, apricots and more for an energizing sweet snack.

Dried fruit tends to be high in fiber and iron. It’s a good addition to snack mixes, topper for oatmeal or on its own.

Dried vegetables. Freeze dried peas and beans, okra, carrots and other vegetables are a good option for a crunchy snack and boost of fiber.

Most “veggie” crisps and chips are not the same. Many are simply made with potato or rice flour and very little of the vegetables they claim to contain. 

TIP: Look for the vegetable to be listed as the first ingredient. Bonus points if it’s the main ingredient with only salt, other seasonings or oil listed after it. 

Puffed Beans and Peas. Look for chickpeas, lupini beans, fava beans and lentils. Many will be simply salted and others will be heavily seasoned with flavors ranging from barbeque and buffalo to garlic and herb.

Find these: Check the snack or gourmet foods aisle and end caps for baked peas, beans and lentils.

Trail mix . Pick up a bag of your favorite trail mix at the store or make your own. Include a combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, dried vegetables for a nourishing and delicious snack mix that can go from planes to a hiking trail.

Water. Yes. You can buy water in the airport but it’s expensive and a waste of plastic. Consider instead bringing a reusable water bottle to fill once you get through security and to use throughout your trip. 

TSA-Friendly, Healthy Snacks

Peanut butter is classified as a liquid according to the TSA. 

You can’t carry on a jar of peanut butter but you can carry peanut or almond butter squeeze packs . Those are usually just over 1 ounce – well under the 3.4 ounces of peanut butter the TSA allows in carry-on bags.

If you need a jar of peanut butter, put it in your checked bag – preferably with plenty of coverage to avoid any spills.

Yogurt is also considered a liquid. I found this out the hungry way a long time ago as I thought I’d eat my 5 ounce container of Greek yogurt at the gate. No. They took it. 

Other tricky foods limited to 3.4 ounces for carry-on include hummus and other creamy dips or spreads, salsa, jam and jellies.  

Check the full list of foods the TSA allows in carry-on and checked luggage before heading to the airport next time.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to take with you including the snacks I shared above and these travel-friendly recipes below.

Travel-Friendly Snack Recipes

If you have time to prep a few snacks, try these travel-friendly recipes.

Berry Oat bars with crumbs

Vegan Berry Oat Bars

These bars are one of the most popular recipes here and for good reason. They are made with oats, ground flaxseed, jam and just enough sugar for an easy snack bar that is mostly handoff to make. You can easily cool, slice and carry these for breakfast or a snack throughout your travel day.

Double Almond Baked Oatmeal Cups

These oat cups are perfect for an easy breakfast on the go. They freeze well and are perfect for a filling, slightly sweet snack on the way to the airport or on the plane. 

Prune Oatmeal Cookies Travel can be tough on the digestive system. These cookies might help. These cookies are held together with prunes which add natural sweetness plus sorbitol and phytonutrients which help support gut health.

Prunes can be a natural laxative too. So you might wait to eat these when you get to your destination!

Savory snacks can make you feel like you’re eating a meal. These are some good picks for travel.

Side view of air fryer chickpeas in a white bowl with beige napkin.

Crunchy Air Fryer Chickpeas Seasoned however you’d like, crispy chickpeas are a high protein and fiber rich snack that eats more like a meal. To keep them fresh and uncrushed longer, consider packing in a small glass jar if that doesn’t add too much weight to your bag.

Herbed Cheese Cookies These cookies can be made up to 3 days ahead, packed and enjoyed throughout your travel day or the day after.

Want more of a meal than a snack? This Mediterranean pasta salad , smashed chickpea salad or quinoa salad with apple cider vinaigrette are all great options to carry on the plane.

How to pack snacks for the plane

Prevent spills and keep your meals and snacks from being crushed in your bag with the right gear. These sustainable options can help make plane snacks perfectly portable for years to come.

This section may contain affiliate links.

stasher silicone bag with peanuts in shell inside

Get a variety of reusable snack bags – either silicone reusable storage bags or the more affordable reusable cloth snack bags and pouches . 

You can also protect and carry a sandwich or snack bars in reusable beeswax food wrappers .

Reusable zippered cloth snack bags

A reusable water bottle takes up a little room in your carry-on. But it’s a great way to stay hydrated especially on travel day. Most airports have filtered water stations available.

stainless steel food jar and bottle

Instead of spending $4 on a bottle of water or waiting a couple of hours or more for a half cup of water from the snack cart on the plane, consider taking your own bottle. Fill it up once you’re through security. Then use it to get water upon arrival in the hotel fitness center.

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28 Healthy Snacks to Pack For Your Next Long Flight

Because soggy airport pizza is no way to start a trip.

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Epic Provisions Snack Strips or Meat bars

Snack Strips or Meat bars

Lauren Cadillac , Manhattan-based Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, is a big fan of EPIC’s Snack Strips or Meat Bars which are high in protein to keep you full throughout your flight. The best part? You can find them at some airports, just in case you forgot to pack them. 

Wonderful Halos California-Grown Mandarins

California-Grown Mandarins

These particular mandarins “are seedless and easy to peel, making them another simple grab-and-go option when you're heading to the airport,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE and creator of  ForTheLoveOfDiabetes.com . Not only that, but eating just two Halos will provide you with natural energy and half a day’s worth of vitamin C, she says. 

Gaea Packaged Olives

For a salty option, Keri Glassman, R.D., recommends packing olives. You can enjoy them on their own or include them in what she refers to as “mini meals” which can consist of olives and pairings like a small salad, a packet of tuna, “or a KIND bar that only has 4-5 grams of sugar per serving.” Just one thing olive-lovers, skip olive bar varieties which “are actually sitting in canola oil” and go for those stored in water and packaged in a glass jar or to-go container for a healthier option (like these Gaea olives she loves).  

Chopped Apples With Cinnamon and Almond Butter

Glassman takes her apples to the next level by chopping them up and topping them with cinnamon and almond butter. Not only is this a delicious way to fit some fruit into your trip, but it's also a simpler way to pack.

Pete & Gerry's Hard Boiled Eggs

“These are an easy addition because they are pre-peeled and ready to eat and much more nutritious than most other airport options,” says Zanini. Convenience aside, these eggs “are high in protein, organic, free-range, and certified humane” so you can travel with a full belly and a clear conscience.

Soozy's Grain-Free Muffins

If your idea of a great airport snack is less giant Toblerone and more muffins and croissants, Cadillac suggests Soozy’s Muffins. “Grain-free, gluten-free, certified paleo, these muffins are a much healthier choice than the muffins at the airport,” she says.

Frozen Grapes

Grapes not enticing for you on their own? Freeze them before your flight for a sweet and satisfying crunchy snack! Glassman recommends doing this and then popping them in a reusable on-the-go bag to keep them frozen for a few hours. “They will start to defrost, but will still be super cold for snacking,” she says.

Justin's Squeeze Pack

These packets of nut butter may not fill you up on their own but they're a great addition to crackers, fruits, and other snacks you may already have on hand. 

KIND Snack Bars

Last-minute packers, this one’s for you. The easiest thing you can do is reach for a granola bar. Glassman recommends KIND’s Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar. It’s her favorite “because they are made with real, wholesome ingredients like nuts, whole grains and fruit, plus the bar has only 5 grams of sugar,” she explains. 

Wholly Guacamole Classic Guacamole Minis

Avocado is a nutrient-dense food packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, says Glassman. She makes her own avocado mash at home using salt, pepper, lemon or lime, and garlic powder but if you’re not a fan of DIY, just toss some of Wholly Guacamole’s single-serve guacamole packs in your bag. “At 2 ounces each, they're totally TSA friendly. Plus, they pair so well with other nutritious snacks like crunchy veggies and whole grain crackers, so I feel encouraged to eat lots of healthy items while in-flight,” says Blechman.

Dang Unsweetened Toasted Coconut Chips

Even if you’re not jetting off to some tropical island, these coconut chips will make you feel like you’re in snack paradise. Not only are they super tasty but as Cadillac explains, “medium chain triglycerides from the coconut are great for brain function and sustained energy levels.” In other words, they’ll fill you up and help you ace that crossword puzzle you’re saving for the flight.  

Nature's Path Qi'a Superfood Organic Hot Oatmeal

We never thought to make oatmeal on a flight but it’s honestly a no-brainer. As Cadillac points out all you need to do is bring a packet with you, ask for a cup and hot water, and voila! A tasty, filling, and hot snack rich in fiber and “brain boosting omega threes” suddenly materializes.

Gimme GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Cadillac packs seaweed snack on her trips because they’re “a low calorie treat that satisfies that salty crunchy craving.” But not only are they low-cal, they also pack a ton of vitamins and minerals such as as calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine zinc, and vitamins C and A! Potato chips who?

Dates With Almond Butter

“While it still satisfies that sweet tooth in the same way a candy will, dates are a real food that will provide you with vitamins and minerals compared to empty calories that you’ll get from candy,” says Glassman. Additionally, “the protein and fat from the almond butter will help satiate you” so you don’t feel the need to snack during your entire trip.

Light & Fit Two Good Mixed Berry Greek Yogurt

For a light snack that's still filling enough to hold you over until the concessions cart comes around, Blechman suggests Greek yogurt. "Right now I'm loving Two Good. The little cup has 2g of total sugar, 3g of carbs, 12g of protein and 80 calories." So, you'll save plenty of room for a fun meal when you land.

Wonderful Pistachios Wonderful Roasted & Salted Pistachios

“Pistachios are a good source of plant-based protein and nearly 90% of the fats found in them are the better for you mono and polyunsaturated type,” says Zanini. 

Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks

“I am always looking for items that are individually wrapped because they’re so much easier to grab from the kitchen on my way out,” says Blechman. Her current go-to is Horizon organic string cheese for a good source of protein that easily fits in a personal bag or carry-on.

Sabra Classic Hummus Snack Dips

For a savory snack that’s indulgent without being unhealthy, Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, and health and nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY show, recommends hummus cups, because they’re the perfect thing to accompany some fresh veggies like baby carrots, celery sticks, or bell pepper slices, she says. Or, if you're a carb-lover (who isn't?) enjoy the pita chips that come with most cups.

Finn Crisp Thin Rye Crispbread Original

If you're looking for yet another option to dip into your hummus or guac (another healthy go-to), Blechman recommends whole-grain crackers to stay on the more nutritious side. Her favorites (with or without hummus) are Finn Crisps.

Nourish Snacks Chewy Granola Bites

To satisfy your cravings for those Delta biscotti, Bauer suggests her very own Nourish Granola Bites in flavors like chocolate peanut butter, blueberry apple, and chocolate banana. The yummy snacks come in 1o oz single serve pouches as well as resealable 4 oz bags and are made with good-for-you ingredients like whole grain oats and chia, so they're filling, Bauer says.

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10 TSA-Approved Snacks For Your Next Flight

we're trading in bland for yum

10 TSA approved snacks for your next flight.

Confessions of a chronic snacker: I love bringing TSA approved snacks on any long haul (and even lengthier short-haul) flights.

The TSA allows a surprisingly large number of food items . And over the years, I’ve found that I prefer to bring my own snacks in lieu of purchasing overpriced chips and protein bars at the airport ( though, occasionally, I slip up whilst planning and will cave ).

Here are our top 10 fuss-free TSA approved snack ideas for your next flight!

Table of Contents

cheese at a market to choose from

Aged gouda is a hard cheese , making it one of the most popular TSA-approved flight snacks!

It’s a little sharp and a little sweet ( caramel-like with savory undertones ), not the easiest to cut ( I always end up with Cheeto dust style flakes all over my fingers) , but delicious overall ( thanks to its slightly nutty texture ).

If you’re planning on slipping in some aged gouda, consider pairing your snack with ( also TSA-approved ) red pepper crackers .

These salty bites with a bit of a kick complement gouda’s smoky flavors and work well on their own too!

If you’re looking for TSA-approved snack ideas, trail mix is always a good bet .

My go-to trail mix recipe involves cashews, chocolate chips, almonds, and dried raspberries. But I also love tossing together macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, dried mango, and pumpkin seeds.

Cornbread & Tea

Cornbread and tea is my guilty pleasure combination .

I normally pack my cornbread in a clear, reusable container along with a few dry tea bags. I ask for hot water on the plane and make the tea on-the-spot!

Protein Bars

purchasing a Munk Pack protein bar to bring on a flight...here's one of my favorite TSA approved snacks

To save money, I usually always grab a protein bar or two from Target before a late-night flight.

Protein bars are easy to pack. They’re clean, unmessy eats, making them some of the best TSA-approved snacks!

My favorite brands are Larabar ( Apple Pie flavor for the win ), Munk Pack Vegan Cookies ( so soft. so good ), and KIND Bars.

Apple Slices

Apple slices are one of my favorite TSA approved snacks because they are so refreshing and hydrating .

I usually bring a small packet of cinnamon-honey RX nut butter ( under 3.4 ounces ) to go along with it!

There are plenty of sandwiches that you can make with TSA-approved ingredients.

My usual is two slices of bread, a leaf of lettuce in between, and some cooked chickpeas ( not mashed beforehand. I mash them with a fork on the plane ).

Hummus & Celery

A classic combo typically found in kids’ lunchboxes, hummus and celery also makes a great TSA-approved snack!

You’ll have to keep the hummus under 3.4 ounces ( as it is considered a liquid ), but feel free to load up on celery ( or carrots or any other veggies of your choice ) for the ride.

grapes I love to bring on a plane

You can bring pretty much any solid fruit past TSA. Grapes just happen to be my personal favorite.

I especially love freezing the grapes for an hour before packing them ( once you try frozen grapes, you’ll never want to go back )!

My mum made kale chips all the time when I was younger. When I first tried them, I had no idea they were kale ( so even if you don’t like kale, like me, you’ll love these) and kept requesting for more every night after school.

Kale chips are light and healthy low-calorie snacks.

Heads up, kale chips are the only TSA-approved snacks on this list that require a little bit of prep work.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees . Chop up some kale. Drizzle some olive oil and salt over top. Bake for 10 minutes .

Viola! Kale chips.

Did you enjoy this list of TSA-approved snacks? What are your favorite TSA-approved snacks? Let me know in the comments below!

Update: Exciting news! I’ve been mentioned as one of the top 100 travel & lifestyle bloggers by Feedspot. Thank y’all so much. It means the world to me that y’all are reading and engaging with this little slice of the Internet.

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Anshula Varma

Anshula Varma is the Editor-In-Chief of Passport To Eden. She grew up with a love of stories and places. Thirty-five states and 100 bookstores later, she's made her hobbit home in Middle Tennessee. Her Tookish side still takes over and leaves her chasing window seats, literary destinations, adventure books, sunrise coffee, and indie bookshops. She's appeared as a travel source on HuffPost, Reader's Digest, and MSN.

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Wait. You can snacks through TSA? Mind blown.

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I had to give up my sliced apple to customs when traveling between Toronto and Chicago. If I left the apple whole, no issue.

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Oh, thank you for sharing this! I’ve heard things can get weird when you’re traveling internationally. Different countries have different rules about what kind of foods you can bring. This post is for domestic travel (within the USA) in particular (though if you’re flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can not bring most fresh fruit on board either).

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30 Healthy Travel Snacks For Flying

Business Travel Life

Healthy travel snacks that are easy to pack!

Packing your own food for the airport may sound like a silly thing to do. Most corporate travelers are able to expense their meals, so why bother bringing your own?

There are many reasons to consider packing at least a few healthy travel snacks on your next trip. Any seasoned traveler can share a horror story about a time they were stuck on a plane, on the tarmac for up to three hours with limited water and no snacks. If you travel enough, this scenario is bound to occur and you will be thankful to have a snack while you are stuck.

travel snacks plane

Packing your own healthy snacks will also help you resist the temptation to buy something unhealthy at the airport (remember-you are flying to work, not on vacation). If you are traveling with a daily per diem, avoiding overpriced airport food provides more money for you to enjoy a nice dinner when you arrive at your destination (hello Morton’s!).

Most importantly, if you have committed to staying on track with your diet or following a specific meal plan, packing your own healthy travel snacks ensures you will stay on track.

healthy travel snack

Healthy Travel Snack Ideas

  • Fresh Fruit (firm fruit is best like a whole apple, so it will not get smashed)
  • Bars ( protein bars , fruit/nut bars , natural fruit bars or granola bars )
  • Dried Fruit
  • Pretzels (in a sealed container or bag to avoid getting smashed)
  • Popcorn Chips ( Popcorners  or Popchips )
  • Crackers (healthy cracker like Mary’s Gone Crackers )
  • Protein Powder in a shaker bottle (add milk or water post security or in-flight)
  • Dry oatmeal cup (add hot water post security or in-flight)
  • PB&J Sandwich or Wrap
  • Nut butter *
  • Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
  • Granola or healthy, low sugar cereal
  • Applesauce or fruit squeezes *

healthy travel snack

How To Pack Cold Travel Snacks

There are many ways to keep your food cold during travel. You can borrow your kid’s lunch box or pick up a small soft-sided cooler. Our recommendation is to maintain your professional look and travel in style with a 6 Pack Fitness Bag that features an insulated compartment to keep your food cold and additional space to carry your laptop.

healthy travel snacks for flying

Healthy Travel Snacks To Keep Cold

  • Cheese Sticks
  • Grilled chicken or turkey
  • Turkey or Ham Roll Up with Cheese
  • Sandwich or wrap
  • Grapes, berries or cut melon
  • Fresh cut veggies
  • Fresh fruit such as grapes or berries
  • Greek yogurt*
  • Homemade salad (add dressing to salad before security, it is considered a liquid)
  • Quinoa Salad

healthy travel snacks for flying (1)

Check out tips for packing cold food and remaining compliant with TSA regulations.

All items with a * are considered gel or liquid by TSA and will have to be 3.4 oz. or smaller and packed with your liquid items following the TSA 3-1-1 regulations.

Stylish Cooler Bags for Travel Snacks

Smelly travel snacks to avoid.

There is nothing worse than being exposed to a strong odor when you are trapped in an air sealed room like an airplane. Prior to packing your food, please keep your future seat mates in mind. Yes, fish is very healthy, but it is incredibly rude to eat fish on an airplane (tuna fish included). I am the first to understand the need to eat protein (fish, eggs, etc.) so just be courteous and eat the smelly food in the airport terminal before you board the plane.

Odorous foods to avoid eating in-flight:

  • Fish or Shell fish
  • Garlic or Onions (raw or cooked)
  • Strong smelling cheese (like Limburger or Silton)
  • Anything fermented (Sauerkraut/ Kimchee)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli)
  • Hard boiled eggs/ egg salad

Example DIY Airplane Meals

Breakfast : Greek yogurt + dry cereal

Snack : Grapes + nuts

Lunch : Turkey & veggie wrap/ sandwich + apple + granola bar

Snack : Fresh cut veggies + hummus

Dinner : 1 Bag of Pre-Mixed Salad + olive oil/dressing (add this at home & shake with lettuce, discard remaining liquid) + chopped vegetables +  rotisserie or grilled chicken (you can mix all of this in the salad bag to save space and avoid bring an extra container)

healthy travel snacks for flying

Meal Prep Guide for Home & Travel

If you are interested in learning how to prepare meals at home and during travel, our meal prep guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started!

meal prep guide for travel business travel life

Business Travel Life Meal Prep Guide Features:

  • Nutrition basics
  • Meal prep basics
  • Meal prep tools
  • How to meal prep at home
  • How to get food through TSA
  • How to meal prep during travel
  • Easy hotel meal prep ideas
  • 30 Healthy Travel Snacks
  • 4 easy meal prep recipes
  • Example meal plan
  • Weekly meal planning list
  • Delivered electronically so you can get started immediately!

Click here to download now!

What are your favorite snacks for travel? Please comment below!

healthy travel snacks

Business Travel Life

Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.


Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS

Kristina is the founder of Business Travel Life. Her love of fitness and travel unified to create a resource for business travelers and road warriors who want to take a healthier approach to business travel. She has traveled for business on and off for the past eight years. Kristina received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and received her Bachelors of Arts in Business Marketing from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

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How to pack healthy food for air travel - tsa food rules and regulations.

You might think about editing this list and not including nuts or items with nuts. Many people are alergic to nuts and deserve to have a safe flight without fear of being exposed to something they are allergic to.

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travel snacks plane

10 Tasty Snacks You Can Bring on the Plane

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Kate H. Knapp

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We’ve all been there: standing at the airport newsstand, desperately searching for a snack to get us through the upcoming flight. Sometimes we find something reasonable (at least until we see how much it costs). Sometimes we’re not even that lucky . The same can be said for in-flight snack boxes: It’s rare to want everything inside one, so you’re essentially paying for things you won’t eat (or enjoy).

But there’s a solution to all of this. Skip the airport snacks and bring your own instead. Here are 10 plane snacks for all types of food fans that cost less than those from the airport, can be tailored to your tastes, and will save you any pre-flight stress at the newsstand. Oh, and they all comply with the TSA’s stringent 3-1-1 rule, too.

Author’s note: I found these items at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but other grocery stores may carry similar products.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is a refreshing and healthy snack , and the variety available today makes it a snap to create something amazing. I like to buy several different types of fruit and then make my own mix, so I get a little bit of everything I love. The tropical mix (as seen above) is simple and will make your flight feel easy-breezy, but have fun mixing whatever types of fruits you fancy. This mix made enough for several flights, so it only ends up costing a few dollars per flight.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Soft & Juicy Mandarins, Trader Joe’s  Freeze-Dried Mango, Trader Joe’s  Coconut Strips, and Trader Joe’s Dried Baby Sweet Pineapple .

Beef jerky

One of the greatest road-trip snacks has evolved a bit since its humble gas station days. Nowadays beef jerky comes in a variety of meat and with different seasonings—all of which are perfect for a long flight when you want something a bit more substantial than the usual light-snack fare. Choose from buffalo, turkey, lamb, chicken, and even bacon for your favorite flavor. The Whole Foods Epic Bars are a neat twist on the traditional jerky, as they include fruit and unique spices, are easy to pack, and taste more like a meal.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s  Turkey Jerky, Trader Joe’s  Buffalo Jerky, and Epic Bars .

Feel-Good Flying

Feel-Good flying

Mom always said to eat your veggies, and now it’s easy to do that even at 30,000 feet. You can find almost any type of veggie or bean that has been dehydrated, dried, or roasted and seasoned for your snacking pleasure. Don’t believe me? How about kale, broccoli, chickpeas, sprouted flax, or seaweed? And these are just a few of the many options out there. You’ll feel good and your taste buds will thank you for mixing it up a bit.

Pictured: Go Raw Zesty Pizza Sprouted Flax Snax , Biena All-Natural Chickpea Snacks Honey Roasted , Trader Joe’s Seasoned Kale Chips , and Halo Seaweed Sea Salt .

Cheese & Crackers

Cheese & crackers

This classic combination will cost you when ordered in-flight, but why pay high prices when you can pack your own cheese and crackers? Trader Joe’s makes it simple to do with its Spanish Cheese Tapas Sampler pack that includes three different types of cheeses, each sliced thin for easy snacking. All you need is a suitable cracker, which you can pack in a small zip-top bag. And since cheese is best served at room temperature, you don’t need to worry about keeping it cold until the flight. Plus, the entire platter costs less than a glass of airline wine.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Fig & Olive Crisps

Don’t Want a Million Wrapperzz?

travel snacks plane

One of the newest sustainable trends is swapping traditional plastic snack bags with beeswax. It sounds obscure, but these reusable and environmentally-friendly gizmo s can help you preserve your in-flight snacks and eliminate a mess.


Early morning flights are already enough of a pain without having to think about what to eat. Thankfully, there are a slew of easy-to-pack options for on-the-go breakfasts. Granola bars have always been a reliable standby, but the dried rectangles of our past have gotten a new lease on life and are jam-packed (sometimes, literally) with flavor and toppings. You can also skip the bar and opt for something a bit fancier like the individually wrapped chocolate crepes pictured above. There really is something for everyone when it comes to the most important meal (or snack) of the day.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s “This Fig Walks into a Bar” Cereal Bars , Kind Bar , Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Chewy Coated and Drizzled Granola Bars , and Jacquet French Crepes Chocolate .


Nothing cures a dull flight like a little bit of sugar, and these easy-to-pack plane snacks are sure to put a little pep in your step. Enjoy mini biscotti, thin cookie crisps, or small packs of four butter cookies with your afternoon coffee or tea. Or, make your in-flight entertainment even better with better-for-you chocolate-coated peanut candies or red licorice. I like to buy the snack-sized zip-top bags and fill them with several of my favorite treats for when I need something sweet.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Soft Bite Mini Almond Biscotti , Hannahmax Baking Crunchy Cookie Chips Cinnamon Sugar , Panda All Natural Cherry Licorice , Unreal Candy-Coated Milk Chocolate Peanuts , and Pierre French Pure Butter Cookies .

Fresh Snack

Fresh snack

This timeless pairing of apple and peanut butter makes an ideal snack for those wanting something healthy and fresh on their flight. These TSA-compliant individual pouches (1.15 ounces) of nut butters make it easy to snack without a bulky jar or knife. Keep your apple slices in a separate zip-top bag or simply pack a whole apple and spread the nut butter on it before you bite. Bananas are another great and easy-to-transport option for fruit, but you can also opt for your favorite cracker if you don’t want to pack something that can spoil.

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that allergies to peanuts and other nuts are common and can even be deadly in an enclosed environment such as a plane. You might want to check with your flight attendant and/or neighboring passengers to make sure there isn’t anyone nearby with a severe allergy before you open any snack item containing nuts.

Pictured: Gala apple and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter .

Trail mix

If it’s good enough for scaling mountains, it’s good enough for flying. Trail mix may be the go-to snack for many, but it can also be disappointing when it contains unwanted ingredients. There are two ways to combat this. Trader Joe’s sells a wide variety of different mixes, each including an array of fruits, nuts, candies, chocolate, yogurt, granola, and so on. Chances are good you’ll find something you like. They also offer some mixes packaged individually for easy transport. Whole Foods, on the other hand, offers a Make-Your-Own Trail Mix bar ($8.99/lb.), which allows you to create your ultimate mix for the flight. No sneaky filler peanuts for you.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Cashew Macadamia Delight Trail Mix , Trader Joe’s Macadamias Gingerly Mix with Cranberries & Almonds , and Trader Joe’s Handfuls of Breakfast Trail Mix .


Chocolate cravings are no laughing matter, especially when you’re stuck 30,000 feet in the air. Thankfully, you can avoid these situations by keeping a quick bite close by. Since chocolate bars are so personal and everyone has their favorite, I’ll instead share some neat alternatives to the typical. These chocolate wedges from Trader Joe’s make it so simple to get your chocolate fix with an easy-to-carry tin and 16 individual wedges. On the other hand, chocolate-covered anything is also a fantastic way to kill the craving, and these dark-chocolate-coated coconut chips are sure to take you someplace tropical.

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramel Wedges , Trader Joe’s Extra Dark Chocolate Wedges , and Dang Chocolate Toasted Coconut Chips .

Alternative Chips

Alternative chips

There’s no denying that potato chips make a great snack, but you can do better for your flight. Turn on your favorite flick and break out one of these individual bags of kettle corn. Each bag is more than enough for a filling snack, and you get six in a pack. This cheddar snack mix is also a great way to shake things up a bit during your favorite shows. It brings the cheese and crackers into one box and is way better than any standard airline snack. These, however, are just two ideas for chip alternatives. Have fun with the flavors and your flight will be smooth sailing (or flying).

Pictured: Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn  and Annie’s Organic Cheddar Snack Mix .

For more ideas, see 31 Airplane Snacks that are TSA-Friendly, Delicious, and (Mostly) Healthy .

The Weekend Bag from Away

travel snacks plane

When traveling, everyone needs a mini-duffel bag for their immediate belongings (electronics, books, + SNACKS!), so why not get this bag that’s cute and practical?

More from SmarterTravel:

  • 8 Foods You Should Never Eat Before Flying
  • 10 Most Fattening Foods in the World
  • Foreign Fast Food Chains We Want in the U.S.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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Travel Fashion Girl

These are the Best Airplane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

Packing , Packing Tips


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Airplane food (or no food at all) can take a flight from bad to worse. Whether you’re a picky eater, follow a strict diet, or hate the idea of going hungry, follow our readers’ recommendations for good airplane snacks so you know exactly what to pack!

Note: please read product labels for all airplane snacks in advance to ensure you are not allergic to the ingredients.

Airplane Food Ideas

Table of contents.

Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:

I’m in search of packable foods that don’t require refrigeration and that I can take from the U.S. into Canada in a carry-on. I won’t have a fridge or microwave in my room and I’m not sure if I’ll have hot water. A tight schedule of events for the conference I’m attending prevents me from having much time to seek out food from grocery stores in-country and a tight budget has motivated me to get creative with meals and snacks.

Many readers ask us, “can you bring snacks on an airplane?” The answer is yes, but not all food makes for the best travel snacks. Our readers share their recommendations for what snacks to bring on a plane.


Veggicopia Dips Variety Pack

Hummus and Crackers

Hummus and crackers is one of the best food to pack for long flights. While hummus is usually refrigerated, there are alternatives, including shelf-stable versions and hummus powder.

One reader says, “I bring single serving-size shelf-stable hummus and pack that with crackers.” Another adds, “I pack hummus powder and dried bean dip. Just add hot water from your hotel coffee maker or ask a flight attendant!”


GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals Tasty Favorites Variety Pack

GoPicnic Boxes

A number of readers rave about  GoPicnic boxes  . These small, individual-sized snack boxes are delicious, nutritionally balanced, all-natural ready-to-eat meals that come in handy picnic boxes. No refrigeration, preparation, or heating required! If you’re looking for healthy snacks for long flights, these fit the bill.

One reader says, “My favorite travel snack is GoPicnic boxes,” while a second says, “I second GoPicnic boxes! They’re fantastic.” A third says, “I love these for the plane! They come in many different varieties and each are unique and delicious. They are packaged in such a way that the crackers or chips will not be crushed, and the meats do not need to be refrigerated. The box opens in so that you can lay it right on the tray and see everything inside. I take these on every trip.”

You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly !


Nut Harvest Nut & Fruit Mix

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Like peanut butter and jelly, fruit and nuts go hand in hand. Several readers recommended mixed nuts, trail mix, and dried fruit strips. All of them are available in individual sized packets, making them easy to stuff into your carry-on.

You can also make your own trail mix for DIY airplane snacks. Combine nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate nibs or something sweet for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.


Nuts and Spices Variety Pack

Granola Bars

Like dried fruits and nuts, granola bars are a great snack for giving you a boost of energy. One reader says, “I usually just throw in some Kind bars in my bag,” while another reader recommended Nature Valley cereal bars.

Keep a few different granola bars in your bag so you can grab and enjoy them at any time. Look for those that have several grams of protein to keep you feeling full longer. Along with Nature Valley and Kind, we also love Luna and Clif bars.


World Gourmet Quinoa Ready To Eat Meal

World Gourmet Quinoa Meal Pots

Like the GoPicnic packs, these meals from World Gourmet are ready to eat anywhere and at anytime. While you can heat them up, you can also eat them as-is.

One reader says, “These are so great for travel! Yummy, healthy, and you don’t have to heat them up. Every flavor I have tried is delicious. It’s nice to have a real meal instead of a snack.”


Maple Almond Butter Squeeze Packs

Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Packets

While a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be tricky to pack and keep fresh, packets of peanut or almond butter are easy to take on long flights. One reader says, “I like to bring crackers and small peanut butter or almond butter packs.”

Justin’s is an organic brand that offers individual-sized packets of peanut butter and several types of almond butter, including a delicious maple almond butter.


Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

Instant Oatmeal Bowls

Several readers recommend instant oatmeal as they’re easy to pack and make for a great meal when you want to eat more than a granola bar or snack. One reader says, “I like to bring instant oatmeal for a quick breakfast and as healthy snacks for airplane travels.”

While you do need hot water, you can ask a flight attendant for hot water if you’re on a plane, or use the coffee maker in a hotel room.


Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container

How to Pack Airplane Snacks

Our readers also shared their tips for packing snacks for flights, recommending  Tupperware and Ziploc bags. Freezer-size Ziploc bags are great for combining all of your snacks. Add your Tupperware or Ziploc bags to a packing cube in your personal item so that you can have easy access to your snacks when you get hungry.

With Tupperware, you can take it with you in your day pack for days out if you want to save money and avoid eating out. They’re also great for separating airplane snacks for toddlers.

A spork can also come in handy, or you can always carry around a disposable plastic spoon I you opt against these travel products. This is a must have essential in my pack but it may not be in yours!

What are your  favorite airplane snacks ? Share in the comments below!

For more airplane essentials, please read:

  • What to Wear On A Plane
  • What To Do on a Long Flight
  • How to Alleviate Back Pain During Flights
  • How to Survive Long Flights Over 20+ Hours



Hope you liked these ideas for snacks for long flights. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


If you take a Justin’s packet on any flight TSA will bomb swipe search each packet do to it having a foil lining which will set off the alarms. Take it from me who has had each packet of my Justin’s Peanut Butter searched


Hi Pilar, thank you for sharing this with us! ?

Sunjar Kumar

My favorite snack I pack in Tupperware is Keema Matta and paratha . I also like a good sardine in easy open cans.

Hi Sunjar, thank you for sharing! Happy travels!


Instead of premixed peanut butter, I pack peanut butter powder.


Can you take these on a plane in your carry on?

Hi Kay, thank you for your comment! Yes you should be able to take these on a flight with you but it is always best to check with your airline directly first! 🙂


I have to say, I love tuna, but if someone opened up a can or pouch of tuna on the plane…ugh! The whole plane would smell like tuna! Maybe best to make and eat your tuna salad in the terminal 🙂

Hi Carrie, thank you for sharing!! 🙂

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Forever Lost In Travel

15 Healthy Plane Snacks That Beat In-Flight Meals

Disclosure: Advertising and affiliate services, including Amazon Associates, help the cost of running my blog. Clicking ads or making purchases through affiliate links may, at no additional cost to you, earn me a small commission. I appreciate your support .

salad snack bowls

Ever get really excited for your in-flight meal? Do you anticipate with childlike wonder what gourmet cuisine you’ll find beneath the foil wrapped tray? Yeah, me neither. I’m past the point of hoping that the meal will be edible enough to sustain me on a long flight . Instead, I now pack my own healthy plane snacks – a much more delicious and nutritious alternative. And cheaper than buying airport food – at least in Vancouver.

Why bring your own healthy plane snacks?

Unless you’re on a superior airline, or seated in First Class or Business Class, it’s a safe assumption that your in-flight meal will be less than desirable. That’s if you even get a meal – many airlines don’t offer an in-flight meal if you’re in Economy . So how can you make sure you don’t go hungry your next big travel adventure ?

While you can pay for a snack if you want them, it’s better to bring your own. Firstly, it’s much cheaper than buying something in the terminal, or worse, on the plane itself. Secondly, bringing your own healthy plane snacks is way better for you – and a heck of a lot tastier.

In-flight meals are loaded with salt which dehydrates you while simultaneously making you more bloated when you can’t easily move around. We’ve all been through that uncomfortable feeling on a plane, or gotten a headache you can’t get rid of (that’ll be the dehydration). Healthy plan snacks are a way to combat both of these issues.

Important things to note about bringing food on a plane

airport terminal

There are a few considerations to think about when bringing your own food from home for a flight. Some are practical, some around restrictions and some are around your fellow passengers.

Can you get it through security? No liquids over 100ml means you can wave goodbye to your soup, smoothie, pudding and basically anything “spreadable”. It’ll be fine on a sandwich but you can’t bring a jar of Nutella or jam with you.

Is it allowed in the country you’re visiting? In case you have leftovers it’s worth noting restrictions around meat, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables and even honey products at your destination. You may have to be willing to throw something away should it not be allowed.

Will it affect someone with allergies? Just because you can bring it, doesn’t mean you should. It’s probably best to forego peanut-based snacks to avoid causing unnecessary discomfort to a fellow passenger.

Will it stink up the entire plane? For the sake of everyone on the plane, don’t pack overly smelly foods. Maybe leave the tuna sandwiches at home, as well as anything else that could be an assault to the senses of those around you.

Do you need cutlery to eat it? Since you can’t bring a knife on a plane think about how you will eat your food. I never travel without my plane approved travel cutlery (also great for camping), but anything you can eat with your hands or a spoon/fork is best.

How will you pack your food? Reusable seal bags or compressible containers are easier to store once you’ve finished your food – and great for keeping snacks in on your trip. They don’t take up much room in your hand luggage so are great to use.

How will I keep my food chilled? Since you can’t bring an ice pack you might have to rely on an insulated lunch bag to help. Remember to store food in the fridge until you leave. Top Tip: Some cold gel packs fall under the 100ml liquid limit. So if they’re small enough you can take them through security.

Bringing your own food on a plane is not like sneaking snacks into the movies – yes, we’ve all done it. If you’ve done your checks around legal restrictions you’ll be able to take something to eat with you.

Healthy plane snacks for your next trip

The dos and don’ts have been covered, now for the fun part – talking about food. You can have some really good healthy plane snacks with just a little bit of effort and creativity. Here are some I recommend.

Veggies and dip

veggies and dip

Choose vegetables with a high water content like celery, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Mix with some nutrient-rich vegetables like broccoli, carrots and green peas. Pair with some hummus or tzatziki dip (just keep it under 100ml).

Make your own charcuterie plate

Bring your favorite cured meats and individually portioned cheeses. Pair with some bread or crackers, maybe a few grapes and you’ve got yourself a party.

Pre-slice your cheese to make things easier and pack a trial-size jar of fig jam or grainy mustard to add to the flavors.

Homemade granola bars

healthy plane snacks - home made granola bars

Use up any dried fruit, nuts and other items in your pantry to make quick and easy healthy plane snacks like these granola bars .

I adapted the recipe a bit to suit what I had in the cupboard. Adding in some dried currants, shredded coconut and even added a little maple syrup in place of some of the honey gave some extra flavor. They’re easily packable and will last for a few days.

Dried fruits

Get some of your five-a-day without worrying about your fruit getting bruised (or confiscated). Dried apricots or dates will even go great with your charcuterie plate.

Little boxes of raisins are super packable, or why not get some dried apple slices, mango or pineapple to really turn things up a notch.

sandwiches - the ultimate travel snack

A cheaper and better alternative than a Subway sandwich from the terminal, make your own at home. You can opt for healthy toppings, and fresh ingredients.

Choose low sodium condiments that won’t do you any favors – and maybe keep away from the mayo or items that will soak into bread. No-one wants a soggy sandwich three hours into a flight – if you did, you’d take the airline’s offering.

Mix some of your favorite nuts (maybe leaving out the peanuts for those around you who might have allergies), with dried fruits and chocolate chips to make an easy on-the-go snack. You can add a few M&Ms or some popcorn for something a little different.

Not a nut fan? I love a good Chex mix. This is my go-to recipe right now – maybe just lower the salt content for your in-flight snack.

Top Snack Travel Tip: I like to leave out the nuts and add in some Honey Nut Chex instead. The sweet/savory mix is so good!

Coconut chips

Ditch the salty potato chips and instead choose much more healthy plane snacks like coconut chips. These lower carb chips will make you less bloated and dehydrated than regular potato chips.

They’re really tasty and sometimes even come in various flavors. I take them hiking with me, but they’re also great on a plane.

bring popcorn instead of chips on your next flight

Lower in calories than potato chips, and more filling too. Make some popcorn at home before you leave, adding your favorite flavors or just eat it plain.

Remember to keep salt content low to avoid dehydration and jetlag. Make a fancy popcorn flavor using some truffle oil, parmesan or dust in a little cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Fresh fruit

Make sure to pack your healthy plane snacks for your next trip

Bring your own fruit salad for a delicious healthy plane snack. High water content fruits like watermelon, apple slices and grapes will keep you hydrated. Blueberries are a great superfood filled with antioxidants plus a delicious treat. And for a great source of magnesium, pack a banana – use a plastic banana holder so it doesn’t get squashed.

Kiwi fruit and sour cherries are really good at combatting jetlag – their high levels of melatonin (and serotonin that converts to melatonin) help induce and regulate your sleep quicker.

Fresh veggies are way better than over-processed foods you usually eat on an airplane. Instead of a salad of greens (which may wilt), go with couscous, quinoa or some other grain.

Mix with some chickpeas, crunchy vegetables, maybe a little feta cheese, then pre-dress the salad to avoid any additional liquids.

Home-made pasta or rice bowl

salad bowls for your next flight

Pre-make some fresh pasta or rice at home before you travel and bring it with you. Add your favorite vegetables and a light dressing/sauce that still works with the liquid guidelines.

My go to? Add broccoli, peppers and onions to pasta and dress in a lemon pesto mix which isn’t at all liquid-y. It’s just as delicious cold, but if you prefer it hot, bring an insulated travel container to keep it warm.

Dehydrated soup

I discovered dehydrated soup when looking for camping meals. Bulk Barn or your nearest whole food store will likely have some good ones (I like a hearty corn chowder).

When you get on the flight just ask for some hot water and voila – delicious healthy plane meal. Bring some crusty bread or saltine crackers to make it a meal.

Top Travel Tip: Some water filling stations or food kiosks in the airport may also have hot water if you don’t want to bug your flight attendant.

Muffin/banana bread

home made banana bread

Traveling with the family? Make your healthy plane snacks in bulk using some of your fresh fruit at home if you won’t eat it before you leave.

Some overly ripe bananas will make a great banana bread – add a few dark chocolate chips for something even more yummy. Or how about a batch of blueberry muffins?

Making your own is much cheaper than paying $4-6 per item at Starbucks in the airport. Plus any leftovers make great day trip snacks for your first couple days of vacation.

Green smoothie shots

Get all your daily veggies in one quick shot. They’re easily packable and can be made to be under 100ml so they’re allowed through security.

Wellness shots can often be found in your local supermarket, as well as through online retailers. Veggies, ginger or turmeric make a good base for these shots – make some at home before you leave.

Veggie sushi

salad rolls - healthy plane snacks idea

Eliminate concern about well traveled meats, and stick to some crisp, fresh vegetables wrapped in seaweed or rice paper. You can add any vegetable – or fruit – you like, and can even bring a small amount of dip or a packet of soy sauce to dip them into.

Quick to make, no cooking time, healthy plane snacks that are easy to pack in a little Tupperware box.

Bonus Travel Tip: Drink plenty of water

Stay away from the carbonated drinks while flying. Drinking soda will just fill you up and make you all gassy. The high altitude only makes this worse because of the cabin pressure. It’s much better to stick to water.

With most airports now equipped with water filling stations you don’t have an excuse anymore. Bring your reusable water bottle to fill up – it’s free and you’ll feel better in the long run. Read more tips for staying healthy while traveling here .

Opt for healthy plane snacks instead

There’s nothing like getting to your destination feeling full, bloated and just not great after munching through bags of chips and other carb/sugar loaded snacks on a plane. As someone who now lives in Canada but regularly travels to the UK to visit my family, I’m used to the long haul flights.

On your next travel adventure, pack some of these healthy plane snacks and see if it makes a difference for you .

I know for me it has, and being comfortable both on and after a flight is more important than being able to grab a quick and convenient snack just before boarding. Not to mention how cheaper it is, and we all love some good travel saving tips .

If the airline isn’t going to look out for your health, make sure you do. And trust me when I say these snacks are way more tasty than anything you can get in a foil-wrapped plastic tray .

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17 thoughts on “15 Healthy Plane Snacks That Beat In-Flight Meals”

These are all great ideas, we have been lucky with food mostly, but I do love the idea of fresh vegetables and snacks. Thanks for the inspiration

Great ideas! It’s been a hassle at times looking for food at the airport at night, especially as many shorter flights are not catering due to the pandemic…

Um I dont think I ever would have thought about muffins/bread! That’s great! I hate the feeling of bloat when on a cramped plane – lot of these would deal with that – thank you!

I love this post! So smart and great thinking points and ideas for snacks. Very helpful nowadays.

Homemade trail mix (with just the good stuff) is definitely my go-to!

Why I never think to bring proper plane snacks I will never know. I am never in the mood to eat the onboard food yet get soo hungry and a museli bar just does not cut it!! Plus I want something fresh and/or healthy and not cookies or crackers. I am saving this so I can have some inspiration next time!!

I usually take with me dried and fresh fruit and popcorns will try to get granola the next time! Great article

What genius ideas!! I never thought to pack popcorn or banana bread and I love it! Also I’m here for the veggie sushi. This is a great list! I’m going to share it with my friend who I think will love it too. Thank you!

Great post! For me the humble sandwich does it every time… I pack a lot of peppers or crunchy lettuce leaves in, and it keeps usually in an air-conditioned airport or airplane. Love the idea of the noodle or rice bowl, but emptying the fridge before travelling makes it a bit harder to get all the ingredients together

I’ve never taken food on board a plane with me, as most of the airlines seem to discourage it. In fact recently one long-haul airline refused to allow me to take a resealable , small cup of coffee on board that I had bought at the airport coffee shop next to the gate and I had to leave it behind. As I travel hand luggage only even on long-haul flights I find I have little room inside for the food. I have taken snacks eg granola bars or sweets (candy) on board to stave off any hunger pains. Some good ideas here for what I can sneak through next time. I hadn’t thought of sushi (I love sushi) and that will be small enough to carry onboard in my hand.

So strange, I don’t think I’ve ever had any issues taking food onboard a plane. I often take my own things, especially on a long flight as I tend to eat out of boredom so find it better to be eating something I brought rather than chips and chocolate bars

These are all very healthy and delicious looking snacks! Have to try brining a few of them the next time I fly.

So many great ideas to replace airplane meals! I agree unless your on a high end airline the food served isn’t great. I love the idea of making your own charcuterie plate! Ok I seriously need a plastic banana holder as mine always get smushed. I had no idea these existed!

Agree with you, airplane food in economy is rather disgusting. I’ve only flown long-haul a handful of times in my life with the latest to Australia. Qantas food was actually ok, but Singapore Airlines was the worst I’ve ever had. I had to send it back and they would also not provide any bottled water. Horrible airline. Anyway, your ideas are all excellent and inspiration to make sure you’re not starving to death on a long-haul flight. I would be a bit careful with rice as it contaminates really quickly and you don’t want to start your trip with food poisoning.

I love ‘If the airline isn’t going to look out for your health, make sure you do.’ You’ve inspired me to start making healthier food for trips (I usually chuck a sandwich together with crisps, oops)! And it saves money.

I’ve never taken food on the plane before. I try and resist the temptation to eat or drink while flying. But if I was, I would pack a protein bar. Something that is filling and takes up no room in my carry on. But these are some great suggestions. I see mostly families packing a lot of treats for their kids, to keep them occupied.

Great post! I truly need to bring healthy snacks with me on planes, feel like we always end up buying the most expensive and unhealthy stuff around lol

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Table to crave, holistic nutrition, 15 healthy travel snacks for airplane travel (+ brands).

15 Healthy Travel Snacks for Airplane Travel (+ brands!)

Traveling is happening! Just in case you are traveling for the holidays or have a trip planned sometime soon, it’s best to be prepared with healthy travel snack ideas that can keep you feeling healthy and satisfied. Having a stash of healthy snacks that travel well will help you avoid the temptations of processed, greasy and expensive (!) airport food.

Below is a list of healthy snacks while traveling - although these are listed for airplane travel, they will also be great options for road trips, bus, or train travel. Most of these are paleo travel snacks, along with some healthy vegan travel snacks. Some require a bit of prep and planning, while others are ready-to-eat.

How to Select Healthy Travel Snacks

We want to pack foods that are high in fiber and protein, but lower in sugar. We are looking for mostly whole-foods with high nutrient and antioxidant content. Gotta stay healthy and support the immune system with the stress of travel!

Of course, you want to make sure the foods work for YOUR body. If that’s still something you are not sure about, try working with a Nutrition Therapist to help you develop strategies bioindividual to you!

Plane travel throws another wrench into the situation since we need:

TSA approved snacks that can be taken as a carry on.

Tidy snacks so our fingers stay clean and we don’t make a mess.

Items that can keep for quite a few hours, especially if you are looking for snacks for international travel.

How to Pack Healthy Snacks While Traveling

There are tons of small containers that travel well, and since you are loading up your carry-on, you want to focus on silicone, stainless steel and plastic (plastic is usually a material to avoid particularly for heating food , but it’s very convenient to use when traveling!).

Some travel-friendly container ideas include:

Stasher Bags

Stasher Bags are perfect for storing cut veggies, trail mix, hard-boiled eggs, tea bags, or anything else that you want to stay organized! There are tons of different sizes and colors. They are pricey, but they last forever and are freezer and dishwasher safe.

Small dip containers

I have been absolutely loving these OXO Baby Food Containers - scoop hummus or any other dips in these. They are also freezer safe, so you can bring frozen dips for longer trips!

Stainless steel bento-style boxes

U-konserve makes great stainless steel containers with silicone lids. These are lightweight and have a nifty adjustable divider that can separate foods if that’s your desire.

15 Healthy Travel Snacks for Airplane Travel

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. This is my list that I keep handy whenever I have a trip coming up. I set aside some time the evening before a trip to prepare a few things - wash and slice veggies, scoop sauce into containers, throw together a trail mix… And yes, I’m usually the person whose carry-on bag is *mostly* healthy snacks that travel well. Here’s our list!

1. Pre-sliced vegetables and hummus

Let’s start with the Plain Jane of travel snacks. Carrots, celery and jicama travel really well. Cucumber and bell pepper slices are good, just make sure you don’t crush them in your carry-on. You can scoop your dip (hummus, olive tapenade, mashed avocado) into an OXO Baby Food Container .

Always a satisfying option! Apples travel well and can take a beating in your carry-on bag. Bonus: bring a nut butter packet so you can have some healthy fats to spread on each bite (see below).

3. Nut butter packets

Spread these on an apple or celery, or just eat straight from the packet! These often come loaded with oils and sugar - make sure to check the ingredients. I like Artisana nut butter packets since the only ingredient is nuts. I love how easy these are for travel - they take away the hassle of the jar.

Oh yes, I bring an entire avocado, along with a plastic spork with serrated edges so I can cut it in half and scoop it. If you’re up for it, bring along a seasoning option, or grab a salt packet from any airport restaurant.

5. Packaged olives

Many grocery stores will sell small bags of olives, ready-to-eat. Olives are a fantastic snack and superfood! Check out this blog post I wrote to learn more about the benefits of olives.

6. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix

You can buy a pre-made mix, or make your own. If you buy a pre-made mix, check for inflammatory oils (canola, sunflower, soybean, etc.) or added sugars! The trail mix ingredients should be ONLY nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

I like to throw a variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit into a Stasher bag - I use whatever I have in my cabinet. Sometimes I like to add some dark chocolate chips, too (wink wink).

7. Hard-boiled eggs

Ahh, this is a slightly stinky option, but hey, just be quick! You can pre-peel the eggs and place them into a container to make your life easier and to be conscious of your fellow passengers (as long as you know you’ll be eating the eggs relatively soon).

8. Bars (protein bars, meat bars)

This is a tough one - there are SO MANY bars on the market now, it’s so hard to decipher which ones are healthy! Most of them are heavily processed and are high in sugar. Try to stick to bars that are under 5g of sugar. Certain sugars can cause digestive issues (sugars that end in -ol like xylitol), so just watch to see if you have any problems. For protein, you want to aim for at least 10g in each bar. I like to focus on organic ingredients, and grass-fed animals if you are looking for meat bars.

Here are some good options, just check the labels to make sure they follow any of your dietary restrictions and preferences (vegan, paleo, grain-free, etc.): Perfect Bars , Aloha , Dang , Primal Kitchen , Bulletproof , Epic Bars , Wild Zora , Chomps .There are tons of bars on the market, so find the healthy ones that you like!

9. Tempeh cubes

If you are plant-based and want a protein-packed snack, marinate some organic bite-sized cubed tempeh for at least a few hours or overnight. Once marinated, cook the cubes in a hot pan and let them cool before storing in a travel container. If you are able to eat soy, this is a DELICIOUS and satisfying travel snack!

10. Canned tuna in olive oil

Ok ok, so this is a messier one. I recommend avoiding this one ON the plane, since it may be a little potent for your fellow passengers, and a bit messy for you. Make sure you have a spork, paper towels, and maybe some crackers to spice it up (see below). Also, ensure you don’t need a can opener.

11. Canned smoked oysters

I know, have you ever seen anyone do this? Hey, if you’re on a long trip and want a fantastic source of protein and zinc, try smoked oysters on crackers with a splash of hot sauce. Find some hot sauce at a restaurant and you’re good to go.

12. Crackers

Crackers are a nice salty snack while traveling - bring a dip or use them as a base for canned fish. I like Flackers , Mary’s Gone Crackers and Simple Mills brands.

13. Kale chips

Even if you don’t like kale, once kale is dehydrated into crunchy chips and tossed with seasoning, it is truly delicious! Check the label of the package to make sure the brand uses high-quality ingredients.

14. Healthy granola

Granola is a satisfying sweet treat, while still being relatively healthy. If you’re up for it, you can make your own , but I like the gluten-free Purely Elizabeth granola which is both vegan and has paleo-friendly & grain-free options.

15. Tea bags

Not exactly a snack, but I love bringing a thermos and asking a coffee shop for hot water. I drop in my favorite tea bag and have (almost) free delicious tea, rather than paying an arm and a leg for tea at an airport.

And honorary #16: Spork and paper towels, just in case you need them for anything.

Safe, healthy and fun travels! <3

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The Best Snacks to Pack for the Plane

Published by kate chamberlain on june 19, 2020 june 19, 2020.

More than one time the StudentUniverse office has dissolved into chaos over a never-ending debate that we just cannot agree on: if you were going on a plane trip, would you not be able to go without headphones or snacks? 

Snacks, right? Thankfully, it’s probably not a choice that anyone is going to ask you to make any time soon. However, it’s not even more important to make sure you pack your snacks for the plane, as many airlines are no longer offering food and beverage services due to COVID-19. 

To make sure you have the best trip possible, here is the official StudentUniverse staff-approved list of best snacks to bring on an airplane. Make sure to grab a few before you head out to the airport for your next cheap flight . 

Airplane snacks for the health-conscious:

Protein bars. An easy snack to throw in your carry-on for the plane, protein or energy bars can help hold you over between meals without too many calories or unhealthy ingredients. We like RX bars , because they have very few ingredients and are still tasty. 

Fruit. Make sure to pack fruit that is easy to eat without making a mess, like apples, bananas or grapes. 

Veggies. Celery and carrot sticks with some hummus dip are a great, easy snack for staying healthy while flying. Just make sure your hummus is less than 3oz to stay TSA-compliant. 

Dried Fruit. Some dried fruit is an easy, healthy snack for the plane. Dried mango slices, apple chips, raisins, etc. can help satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you satisfied on the plane. 

Sweet snacks for the plane:

Chocolate. Need we say more? 

Cookies. Both pre-packaged or homemade will do just fine to satisfy those cravings for sweets when you’re traveling. 

Snacks for pretending you’re in first-class:

Make your own cheese plate . Bring a few different cheeses (make sure they’re already pre-sliced!), a few slices of deli meat, some of your favorite crackers and maybe a few grapes, and you’ll feel just like you’re flying first-class. 

Make a filling grain salad. Pack a nice salad full of veggies and grains for a nice healthy and delicious meal on the plane. 

Sandwich. Pack yourself a nice sandwich (with whatever you like on it) and you’ll be sure to have a much more enjoyable flight than the hangry guy next to you. 

Airplane snacks for your inner-child: 

Cheesy Crackers . Cheez-its or Goldfish crackers will take your right back to childhood and make your snacking thoroughly enjoyable. 

Lunchables (or this adult version ). Nothing will feed your inner child and make your flight enjoyable like lunchables as a snack for the plane.

Peanut Butter and Jelly. PB&J is a classic for a reason: it’s easy to make, delicious and can go a long time without being refrigerated. 

Classic plane snacks:

Here’s a few of our favorite snacks you usually would be offered on the plane.  If you’re looking for a real authentic experience, bring these classic snacks for the plane:

Popcorners Terra Chips  Pretzels And don’t forget the sky’s favorite cookie treat ! 

Important tips for packing snacks for the plane:

  • make sure your snacks are approved by TSA .
  • pack all of your snacks in one big ziploc bag so you can easily pull it out for security. (This will also protect you if anything breaks open in your bag.)
  • Pack yourself napkins! 

Make sure you do NOT bring these snacks for the plane: 

  • Nature valley granola bars. Sorry, but there are just too many crumbs!
  • Tuna, or any kind of fish—don’t be  that person 
  • Soup: it’s just too difficult to heat or to eat on a plane, and you’ll certainly regret it if there’s turbulence
  • Egg salad / hard-boiled eggs: too stinky! 
  • Salad  in the wrong type of container—you don’t want to end up with dressing all over the place 
  • Peanuts or other nut products. Some airlines have implemented policies asking passengers to avoid bringing nut products out of consideration for those with allergies.
  • Yogurt, peanut butter, and other spreadable foods over 3oz – likely to be taken away by TSA  

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Your Ultimate Guide to Essential Items for Airplane Travel: Pack Like a Pro for a Smooth Journey

According to a survey conducted by SmarterTravel, a whopping 94% of travelers regard their smartphone as the most essential item for airplane travel. But what about the other items that can make your flight not just bearable, but enjoyable?

  • Discover the must-have items for a hassle-free flight
  • Learn how to pack smart and comply with FAA regulations
  • Explore personal travel tips from seasoned travelers like Brian Kelly
  • Leverage technology for a smooth travel experience

The Essential Airplane Travel Kit

Technology is your best travel companion.

Fact: 94% of travelers consider their smartphone as the most essential item for airplane travel.

Smartphones can store your boarding pass, itinerary, hotel information, and more. Don't forget your charger or power bank to keep your device fueled up. E-readers or tablets can also keep you entertained during the flight.

Abide by the Liquids Rule

Fact: The FAA allows passengers to carry on board a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes, each container being 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less.

Airlines enforce this rule strictly . Make sure your toiletries conform to these limits. Miniature versions of your favorite products or travel-sized containers can be lifesavers.

Comfort Essentials

A good flight is a comfortable one. Brian Kelly , the founder of The Points Guy, quotes: "I always pack my travel essentials: a comfortable eye mask, noise-canceling headphones, and a soft, thick scarf that doubles as a blanket." These items, along with a neck pillow and compression socks, can make even the longest flights comfortable.

Snacks and Hydration

Airplane food may not always hit the spot. Pack some healthy snacks like nuts or protein bars. A collapsible water bottle will keep you hydrated throughout your journey.

Dress for Comfort

Layering is the key to airplane comfort. As temperatures may vary from the airport, the plane, to your destination, dressing in layers can ensure comfort at every stage. Easy to slip on-off shoes also aid the security check process.

Health Essentials

Air travel can take a toll on your health. Packing a small first-aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, pain relievers, motion sickness medication, and any prescription drugs you take is always a smart move. Don't forget your hand sanitizer and a pack of disinfecting wipes.

Entertainment Essentials

Long-haul flights can get boring, so make sure to bring your own entertainment. Load your device with ebooks, music, movies, or games that can function offline. A good book or a crossword puzzle can also be great companions.

Personal Insights and Secret Tips

Organize your essentials in a small bag or pouch for easy access. Remember, space is limited on planes. An organized packer is a happy traveler!

Also, keep a copy of your documents such as your passport and driver's license on your phone - they can be real lifesavers.

Maximizing the Tech Advantage

As our dependency on technology deepens, there's no denying that it can offer tremendous benefits to the savvy traveler. Use travel apps like Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and Duolingo to navigate, find local attractions, or even learn a few phrases of the local language. Wi-Fi can be unpredictable, so remember to download offline maps, movies, or music.

What are some essential items for airplane travel? These include a smartphone, charger, toiletries in appropriate sizes, comfort items like an eye mask or neck pillow, snacks, and a water bottle.

Can I bring full-sized toiletries on the plane? No, according to FAA regulations, each container must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less.

What items do frequent travelers recommend? Items like a comfortable eye mask, noise-canceling headphones, a soft scarf that doubles as a blanket, and a neck pillow are often recommended.

Is it necessary to carry a physical copy of my boarding pass? While it's not necessary, it's recommended to have a backup. Most travelers now use their smartphones for boarding passes, but technology can sometimes fail us.

What kind of snacks can I bring on a plane? Dry snacks like nuts, protein bars, or crackers are recommended. Note that there might be restrictions depending on your destination due to customs regulations.

What are some ways to make a long flight more comfortable? Items such as a neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, and a blanket or warm scarf can contribute significantly to comfort during long flights. Also, regular movement and hydration are vital.

What should I wear for a long-haul flight? Wear breathable, loose-fitting clothes. Layering is recommended as it allows for adjustments according to varying temperatures. Slip-on shoes are also recommended for ease during security checks.

What health essentials should I carry? A basic first aid kit, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and prescription medications are all important. Remember to carry any necessary health-related documents as well.

How can I entertain myself during long flights? Books, music, movies, games, or learning apps are great options. Make sure they're downloaded and accessible offline.

Traveling doesn't have to be stressful. With the right essentials and a bit of planning, your journey can be as enjoyable as your destination.

Being prepared can take a lot of the stress out of travel. By taking the time to pack wisely, you'll ensure that you have everything you need for a comfortable, enjoyable flight. So, start your journey on the right foot by packing these essential items for airplane travel.

With careful preparation and packing, your journey can be just as delightful as your destination. Here's to hassle-free travels and unforgettable adventures!

  • SmarterTravel
  • FAA Guidelines
  • The Points Guy
  • TSA Travel Tips
  • Google Maps
  • TripAdvisor

Remember, each journey is unique , and the essential items for airplane travel may vary from person to person. Always prioritize comfort, convenience, and compliance with the airline and security guidelines. Bon Voyage!

Your Ultimate Guide to Essential Items for Airplane Travel: Pack Like a Pro for a Smooth Journey

What Can I Bring With Me on the Plane

Am i allowed to bring my diabetes supplies with me on the plane.

Yes. TSA specifically states that diabetes-related supplies, equipment and medications, including liquids, are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been properly screened by X-ray or hand inspection. Passengers should declare these items and separate them from other belongings before screening begins. 

What are some general tips as I prepare to travel?

  • Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours prior to flight
  • Review TSA's website for travel updates
  • Download  My TSA Mobile App
  • Whenever possible, bring prescription labels for medication and medical devices (while not required by TSA, making them available will make the security process go more quickly) Consider printing out and bringing an optional  TSA Disability Notification Card .
  • Pack medications in a separate clear, sealable bag. Bags that are placed in your carry-on-luggage need to be removed and separated from your other belongings for screening.
  • Keep a quick-acting source of glucose to treat low blood sugar as well as an easy-to-carry snack such as a nutrition bar
  • Carry or wear medical identification and carry contact information for your physician
  • Pack extra supplies
  • Be patient with lines, delays, and new screening procedures

What are some examples of items that are permitted through security?

  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers and preloaded syringes)
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication
  • Lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter and needle)—insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin
  • Glucagon emergency kit
  • Urine ketone test strips
  • Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container
  • Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips
  • Liquids (to include water, juice or liquid nutrition) or gels
  • Continuous blood glucose monitors
  • All diabetes related medication, equipment, and supplies

Do I need to have my prescription with me?

While TSA does not require you to have your prescription with you, having it may expedite the security screening process if you are subject to additional screening. 

What if my insulin, liquids, and gels are more than 3.4 ounces?

  • Despite the general rule prohibiting passengers from bringing most liquids and gels through security, people with diabetes may take their insulin, other medications such as Smylin, Byetta, and Glucagon, and other liquids and gels, including juice and cake gel, through TSA checkpoints, even if they are in containers greater than 3.4 ounces.
  • Although TSA does allow multiple containers of liquid or gel to treat hypoglycemia, as a practical matter you may want to consider alternative forms of carbohydrates, including glucose tablets, hard candy, or raisins.
  • All medical liquids in containers greater than 3.4 ounces must be removed from your carry-on luggage and declared to TSA. They should not be placed in the quart-sized zip-top bag used for non-medical liquids.
  • Under normal conditions, insulin can safely pass through X-ray machines at airport terminals. If you have concerns about X-rays, you can request hand inspection.
  • Also, insulin never should be placed in checked baggage. It could be affected by severe changes in pressure and temperature. Inspect your insulin before injecting each dose. If you notice anything unusual about the appearance of your insulin or you notice that your insulin needs are changing, call your doctor.
  • Travel Tips

Jennifer Garner Talks Family Travel, Working on Planes, and Her Go-To Snack Bar

The actor and mom of three shares a few of her favorite travel memories—and what she’s packing in her bag..

Published on 1/17/2024 at 9:07 AM

Jennifer Garner

My family loves a good road trip. Long car rides can be tricky with little ones, but now that they’re all officially big kids at 11, 14, and 18, it’s gotten a lot easier. In fact, I would say my kids are awesome on a road trip.

We recently explored a new route in the Pacific Northwest and it did not disappoint. Our family already loves Seattle and has spent time in the Yakima Valley working with Save the Children . I jumped at the chance to explore Portland. Then we piled in the car to journey to Montana. Friends, I had no idea what adventure awaited us.

While our car had all-weather tires, we quickly found out that “all” weather does not include Rocky Mountain winter storms. We found ourselves going through mountain passes during white-out snowstorms. As a parent, I try to remain calm for my kids, but I was petrified. I woke up at 4 am somewhere in rural Idaho so that I could be the first person in line when the Walmart tire center opened. I purchased tire chains and we set off to continue the last leg of our journey.

Despite the peril of being unprepared for the weather, the mountains remain my favorite place to travel. I find myself going back to the snow, over and over. I didn't start skiing until I was 40, and while I do love learning new things, I am often in the middle of a production over Christmas and the winter months. Because of that, I’ve taken up snowshoeing every day when I can. I love being in the quiet woods, talking to a group of women, enjoying nature.

When we aren’t seeking out mountains, my family is exploring in other ways; we rarely lounge around. One of our favorite stops was Sir John Soane's Museum in London , an architectural marvel full of fascinating antiques and artifacts.

While in the UK, I also decided to take my children to Stonehenge . I remember being blown away the first time I visited the ruins and I wanted my kids to have the same memorable experience. Unfortunately, it was so cold and windy that my middle child spent the entire visit hiding under an informational sign. Travel with kids is unpredictable, to say the least.

Window, middle, or aisle seat?

Window, always. I like to be tucked away.

Pack light or overpack?

Pack just right, which may look like overpacking, but compared to so many people I know, I’m packing quite economically.

Favorite way to pass time on a plane?

I almost always work on every flight, the entire time I'm flying—even if I'm going 12 hours, the backlog of things I am supposed to do is always insane. It's the one place that you can be totally quiet and turn off Wi-Fi for a couple hours.

Biggest travel fear?

My travel is always so carefully orchestrated. I’m always landing and skating right into a kid’s performance or bedtime. So my biggest fear is delays that could get in the way of making it to something for my kids. But those are part of life.

Best tip for fighting jet lag?

Work out first thing.

Favorite travel snack?

Once Upon a Farm Refrigerated Oat Bar . Any of the flavors—you can’t go wrong. Also, anyone who follows me knows that my favorite snack to take is nuts; I don't care about the brand.

Go-to drink order on a plane?

Sparkling water with a side of cranberry juice. I do drink sometimes, but I definitely have downshifted so that it is not my total go-to. I just kind of realized, “Why am I having wine on a plane? It is dehydrating; it doesn't do anything for me.”

Must-have travel items

Tumi backpack

When I'm traveling, I'm a backpack person. I think Tumi backpacks are great for travel. It feels so slick when you know where the gum is and where your chargers are.

Graphic Image datebook

I usually travel with my iPad that has a keyboard because it's easy, but I'm very analog; I have my date book. I have a traditional favorite date book called Graphic Images. I do use Google Calendar, but then on Sundays or on planes, I transfer it to my date books so that I can see what's coming up in the week. Because I have a lot of jobs, and trying to keep track of what I owe to whom and when, and how each day is getting split up, makes my head spin sometimes.

Once Upon a Farm oat bars

I co-founded this brand and it’s inspired by my family’s farm in Oklahoma. Not only are all of our snacks delicious and approved by my own kids, but my adult self is obsessed with them. The oat bars are perfectly safe for up to a week without refrigeration.

Apple AirPods Max

I like an over-ear headphone, so I went with the AirPods Max. I am a podcast listener, and have some favorites. I love the Kelly Corrigan Wonders podcast, and of course  I’ll do a little Andrew Huberman. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s new podcast, Wiser Than Me, too.

Mother jeans

I pretty much wear jeans and a sweater when I fly. I love a lot of different brands of jeans, but on my most recent flight I wore Mother jeans, one of my favorites. 

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