Life is like a book, and traveling is one of the best ways to write it. We all like to travel, but sometimes, thinking about packing everything properly and getting to the airport on time can generate some stress. The mere hustle and bustle of preparing everything correctly for our trip sometimes don’t leave us space to stop to think about what we are going to eat in the terminal or on the plane, especially if the flight is long.
Some may simply think of buying food at the airport, but if you are an experienced traveler, you will know this is not always the best option. Packing your food for the trip may sound like a silly thing to do, but the truth is that it can be the best option, especially if you want to save some money and you are a health-conscious traveler.
The truth is, there are plenty of pre-packaged healthy snack options available online, and when it comes to making your own healthy snacks at home, you don’t have to be the most expert cook or come up with complicated or time-consuming recipes. If you’re looking for a bit of guidance on the best healthy snacks for plane travel, you are heading in the right direction. This article brings you a well-studied selection of practical, nutritious, tasty, and TSA-approved snacks. But first, let’s start by answering a ubiquitous question, especially among enthusiastic travelers.
Quick answer, yes. You can bring your own healthy snacks for travel as long as they are under the TSA liquid security regulations. Any liquid foods like yogurt, or spreads like peanut butter, must follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule. In short, this means that any liquid or spreadable item, gel or spray, must be in a 3.4 Oz or 100ml container or less. Nonetheless, meals you buy after passing the airport security checkpoint do not need to follow this regulation. As long as you buy it at the airport, you can take with you all the liquid or spreadable food you want.
So, what kind of snacks can I take on my trip? Actually, the TSA snack rules are pretty clear and straightforward:
“Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage.”
So any solid food like sandwiches, chips, crackers, even pasta, you should be able to get them through TSA security with no problem. When we talk about foods that you cannot take on your plane trip, we refer to foods that are not TSA-approved, such as liquids and pastes in containers larger than 3.4 Oz, like juices, yogurt, coconut water, hummus, or peanut butter.
There are no restrictions on what you can take on the plane regarding international travel. However, there are restrictions on what type of food can enter the country in some borders. Australia, for example, has strict regulations about what food travelers can bring in and will confiscate any home-cooked food and any fresh produce you have in your carry-on or luggage.
Thus, if you’re traveling internationally, it’s best to eat the food you brought with you while you’re in flight. In this way, you will avoid any inconvenience or having your food thrown away when you try to enter your destination country. If you want to bring a snack but are unsure if you will eat it, try to get a pre-packaged snack like chips, crackers, or protein bars.
As a matter of courtesy to other passengers on the plane, try to avoid bringing smelly foods such as tuna, onions, or garlic and allergens such as peanut butter or any peanut-based product. Additionally, avoid bringing messy meals or liquid foods that you can easily spill. For example, it’s good to remember that yogurt tends to explode when you open it at a high altitude. If you choose to take yogurt with you on your flight, try to open it slowly to allow air to escape without making a mess. Keep the same in mind for any food packaged in a way that it feels pressurized when you’re at altitude.
The best way to stick to your diet is to try to eat at home, plan your meals in advance, and eat well before leaving for the airport. But if you don’t have enough time to cook, you can always pack a healthy snack to take with you when you have to catch a flight.
Although packing your snacks to get through airport security is no big deal, it’s good to keep certain factors in mind to avoid any hassle or inconvenience. If you’re wondering how to pack your healthy snacks for airline flights properly, here are the things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure the food you want to bring is TSA-approved.
- Pack all snacks in a zip bag or if you have food containers, store them in a single layer of your carry-on or luggage so you can pull them out quickly when going through security. This way, you will also protect the rest of the bags if something gets worn or spilled.
- If you carry any liquid, check that it falls within the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rules.
- Pack your own napkins.
Among the best healthy snacks for plane travel, trail mix is one of the healthiest and most nutritious options. Nature’s Garden Trail Mix combines the best nuts and berries in one easy-to-carry package.
When it comes to convenient and healthy snacks to take on plane trips, protein bars definitely have a place on the podium. The RXBAR brand variety pack offers different flavors so that you can choose your favorite according to your tastes.
High protein content, low in calories, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. If you like salty snacks, a packet of shelled and salted pistachios can be a perfect option to take with you when traveling by plane. There are many brands available on the internet, and, likely, some in-airport stores will also sell them if you do not have time to buy them beforehand.
Almonds by themselves are an intelligent choice packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Covered in salt and vinegar, they are truly irresistible and can be the perfect addition to salads or as a side dish.
Roasted chickpeas are some of the best healthy snacks for plane travel, as they are both delicious for your health. They’re packed with fiber and protein and contain less fat than peanuts, making them a perfect healthy snack option for airline travel.
You can eat it plain or combine the string cheese with a handful of walnuts and a little apple, and you’ll have a complete meal in-flight. At 80 calories each strand, it’s a great on-the-go choice for your air travel.
If you are looking for some non-refrigerated snack options and a Doritos fan, you can opt for some beans-made chips. They have more protein, more fibers, and are just as tasty and better for your health.
If we’re talking about health-conscious snacks to take on your air travels, we should definitely mention crispy chickpea puffs. With an exquisite cheese flavor and packed with protein, these organic chickpea snacks will deliciously satisfy your hunger.
If you are looking for an option to satisfy your munchies healthily while you are flying, the moon cheese may be what you are looking for. Cheesy, salty, and crispy, Moon cheese has everything we generally look for in a snack while being gluten-free, high in protein, and a tremendous source of calcium.
Meat bars are a convenient option, full of protein, and will keep you full during your flight. In addition, you can find them in many airports in case you do not have time to pack them beforehand.
Pretzels are a snack of choice for many people, and what better than taking them with you on your flight? You can find many different brands of pretzel sticks online, and these can go perfectly with various foods or on their own. You can spread them with hummus, mustard, cheese spread, or chocolate if you like sweets, and they will keep you full during your air travel.
If you are looking for an organic, different, and delicious option to take on your flight, Annie’s cheddar bunnies may be ideal. They’re made with organic ingredients and real cheese, they’re GMO-free, and they’re a fun and healthy option to satisfy your cravings on the go.
If you have the option of bringing a container of food on your flight comfortably, a mix of cut vegetables can be the perfect meal for your trip. You can combine the vegetables you like the most and make them your preference. It may take a moment to prepare before you leave, but if you can do it, it is one of the best options to ensure a healthy meal during your plane trip.
There are few healthy grab-and-go snack options as tasty and convenient as Greek yogurt. Chobani’s Creamy Lower Sugar Greek Yogurt Single Servings may be the perfect pick to take with you to satisfy your hunger before you head into the airport.
Although it may sound unlikely, it’s entirely possible to make instant oatmeal quickly and easily on the plane. All you have to do is ask for a glass of hot water, mix it with your packet of instant oatmeal, and you will have a filling snack, rich in fiber and full of Omega 3 in a matter of seconds.
Low-sugar cereal may be all you need to satisfy your in-flight hunger. There are many low-sugar cereal options to choose from online, and even plenty of keto-friendly choices if you’re following this diet.
And we mean dried fruits with no added sugar because, yes, dried fruits have their own natural sugar, as well as nutrients and vitamins, which makes them an excellent choice to take as a snack for your plane trips.
Of course, fresh fruit had to be on this list of grab-and-go snacks for air travel. Nothing easier than simply opening the fridge, grabbing your favorite fruit, and packing it in your carry-on bag to enjoy later when you’re flying. You can combine the fruit with other snacks and thus have a complete meal. Nevertheless, sometimes a single apple or a couple of bananas is enough to satisfy your cravings for a long time.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, you choose the type of berry that you like the most and pack it in your carry-on luggage to enjoy them while traveling by air. You can pre-chill them before leaving for the airport, and the berries will transform into a delicious cold snack to enjoy while admiring the scenery out the plane window.
If you are looking for a crunchy, nutritious, and natural snack to take on your trip, carrot sticks may be the ideal option. Just cut a carrot into small sticks and pack them in your bag to take with you. You can fill a food container or zip bag and enjoy a completely healthy in-flight snack.
We are probably talking about sandwiches if we talk about practical and complete grab-and-go snacks to take on plane trips. You can make a sandwich out of basically anything you can think of, pack it up, and take it with you when you get hungry on the go. To make it healthy, try to use wholemeal bread stuffed with healthy ingredients according to your tastes.
Like carrot sticks but with a different nutritional value and flavor are celery sticks. Celery sticks are a great healthy snack to enjoy on your flight, as well as being packed with antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and helping with the digestive process. If you’re trying to stick to your healthy diet while traveling by air, celery sticks are for you.
If you are going to travel by plane soon and are unsure what snack to bring, get some grapes, put them in the freezer, and take them with you to your flight. The grapes will get crispy, and even if they thaw on the way, you’ll have a tasty cold and natural snack to enjoy while you fly.
For this grab-and-go snack, you’ll need a container and a bit of preparation. But without a doubt, chickpea salad is a highly nutritious option and can leave you feeling full for several hours. Also, you can make chickpea salad with different vegetables to your liking, allowing you to give it as much variety as you like.
If you are looking for a sweet snack option to take on your next flight, you will love these Blue Diamond chocolate-covered almonds sprinkled with cocoa powder. They are the perfect sweet snack to take on your trip, rich in protein, fiber, and an excellent source of vitamin E.
If you want to bring a sweet snack to enjoy on your flight but you want to stay within your healthy diet at the same time, granola bites may be the ones for you. With only 120 calories for the whole package, you can eat them all if you want without feeling any kind of remorse.
When it comes to sweets, chocolate is one of many people’s favorites and, when combined with peanut butter, it really can be irresistible. Theo offers a choice of Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups that are truly delicious. These candies made with 85% dark chocolate, in moderation, can be beneficial for heart health while also being packed with antioxidants.
Have you heard of fruit chips? That’s right; it’s a fascinating trend and an excellent sweet snack option to take with you on your trips. You can get strawberry banana chips at many online stores and even at many airports. These sweet treats are great as a topping on Greek yogurt, with instant oatmeal, to add texture and flavor to a salad, or even on their own.
Portable, tasty, nutritious, and definitely tastier than the regular nut mix you get on airplanes. This is the mix of cashews with pomegranate and vanilla from Sahale snacks. Also, if you don’t have time to buy them beforehand, you can most likely get them at any variety store in the airport to enjoy them during your air travel.
These nut butter squeeze packets have become almost a standard for sweet and healthy snacking. They are an ideal choice to take with you on your air trip and an excellent complement for fruits, crackers, or any other snack that you take with you.
The classic Quaker Rice Crisps are a sweet and healthy snack option that the whole family will love. They are gluten-free, low in cholesterol, low in fat, high in fiber, and come in a convenient package that is easy to carry in your hand luggage.
Chocolate and peanut butter is undoubtedly a killer combo that is hard to resist. If you follow a keto diet, this can be a sweet and flavorful snack option to take on your air travels. There are several recipes that you can get online. Just bake a batch of these delicious keto-friendly cookies the night before your trip, and you’re good to go. You will have a tasty and healthy sweet treat to enjoy during the flight.
If you are a lover of classic flavors, you will love this snack. Van’s PB&J Bars offer a fiber-packed, gluten-free option with blueberries and peanut butter that’s simply delicious. If you’re looking for a healthy sweet treat to enjoy as a snack on your next flight, PB&J bars may be just what you’re looking for.
Another sweet snack option that you will love and is as healthy as the rest of this list. Apple chips can be a delicious complement to other snacks like yogurt, or you can eat them alone if you prefer. With apple chips, you will enjoy a tasty sweet treat with all the apple’s nutrients, and it will sustain you for a long time during your trip.
Organic dried apricots are the perfect sweet to stick with any diet as they are rich in fiber and are high in iron and antioxidants. You can find different brands selling this product on the internet, and you can probably get it at airport stores as well. If you are looking for a healthy and sweet snack to take on your air travel and have a penchant for nuts, organic dried apricots may be the one for you.