We’re off to Sri Lanka in a couple of weeks, and I’m in high gear preparing for the trip. I’ve already organized the travel details, booked our train to Paris, and I even got my what-to-bring list ready to go. All that’s left to do now is prepare the most important thing: food.
I’m not kidding. Planning what to eat during the trip is THE most important part of preparations for me! Whenever I travel for longer than an hour, I get absolutely famished no matter how much I eat and I feel super lousy if I don’t have enough food in my stomach.
I’m also not a big fan of airplane food and find the airport prices for anything that’s remotely healthy absolutely ridiculous, so I usually just bring my own homemade travel snacks wherever I go.
I’ve put together this post for fellow travel snackers to help you pre-prep for your trip. I’ll cover quick and healthy travel food ideas, good travel snacks to bring on a plane, and recommend some quick snacks you can order online in case you don’t have much time to prepare for your flight. I’ll also share some tips on how best to pack the food.
Quick Tips for Carrying Your Own Food
- Don’t take big packs of liquids – most airports limit you to 100 ml per item when it comes to liquids in your carry-on, so leave things like juices, pre-made tea/coffee, and even water at home.
- Only bring foods that stay good at room temperature, so you don’t end up sick during your trip.
- Be considerate to other passengers – avoid eating smelly and noisy foods.
- Stay hydrated – pack hydrating foods such as juicy fruits or cucumber sticks and bring an empty water bottle you can fill up at the airport.
Healthy Travel Dishes You Can Make Yourself
You don’t have to rely on unhealthy airplane food to keep you full. There are plenty of quick and healthy dishes you can prepare the day before your flight.
I always bring a mix of things with me whenever I fly: real meals I eat before boarding and lots of filling homemade travel snacks to eat during the flight.
Here are a few ideas of healthy foods to pack for a long flight:
Salads are an ideal travel food as they are filling, quick to make and there are literally endless combinations you can try. I usually whip up something simple: lots of greens, raw veggies, slices of apples for carbs, seeds for healthy fats, a good chunk of feta for protein, and a quick vinaigrette that Max prepares for me.
Sandwiches make for another super easy and filling meal you could bring on your next flight. Pretty much anything goes, just make sure you choose wholemeal bread for extra fiber and fill your sandwich with lots of veggies like salad greens, capsicum, cucumber, and tomato. Sandwiches are probably THE best travel food in my opinion because you can prepare a fully balanced delicious meal in just a couple of minutes.
Sweet and savory muffins
I often bring sweet muffins like these apple-cinnamon muffins or savory ones like these egg-veggie muffins on my flights. They are easy to make and very filling, especially if you add other healthy ingredients such as nuts, seeds or even protein powder. I always make my muffins with wholemeal or oat flour to pump up the fiber content.
Homemade muesli bars
Homemade muesli bars make one of the best travel snacks as they are packed with nutrients and healthy fats, are full of fiber, and you can make a lot of them in one go. Try this muesli bar recipe from the Minimalist Baker or this 4-ingredient vegan granola bar recipe.
Omelets are an easy and filling dish you can make the morning you’re leaving. Here’s a recipe to my favorite oven baked omelet: quickly fry onion, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach on a pan; transfer the mix to an oven tray; mix two eggs with a little bit of salt, pepper, water, and herbs; pour it over the veggie mix; top with cheese and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad on the side.
Healthy Snacks You Can Buy from the Store
In addition to your main meals, you could also pack healthy snacks grabbed from the store. I always bring a BAG full of food with me: one of the meals and homemade snacks I mentioned plus quick bites like apples and carrot sticks.
Here are some ideas of the easiest travel snacks you can pack for your trip:
Apples, bananas, mango slices, and other fruits can provide much-needed energy during those long tiresome flights. Watermelons and melons make for a quick snack that also keeps you hydrated and healthy. Eat easily damaged fruits like bananas and grapes first and keep hard stuff like apples for later to avoid wasting food.
Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
Almonds, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds are high in fiber, protein and good fats – all of which keep your belly fuller for longer. Dried fruits like apricots and prunes are high in fiber and can help avoid constipation which commonly happens during long flights.
Veggies and dip
Sliced capsicums, baby carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and olives are just a few veggies that taste delicious with hummus and salsa dips. Avoid cheesy, and other dairy-based dips as these don’t stay fresh for long and stinky veggies like cauliflower and broccoli.
Hard-boiled eggs are also one of the best travel snacks as they provide heaps of protein and healthy fats in a small package. I usually eat them before boarding the plane as eggs can get stinky if they’ve been traveling in your luggage for hours.
Quick Snacks You Can Order Online
If you don’t have much time to prepare for your trip or just can’t be bothered, there are plenty of pre-made travel snacks you can order online:
Packing Food for Travel
Finally, when I’m packing food for travel, there are some things I pay special attention to:
- Packing cutlery – there have been plenty of instances when I’m about to eat my salad, and I realize I have forgotten my cutlery at home. Trust me, eating a salad with only your fingers is not easy.
- Choosing the right containers – I try to avoid plastic containers and usually pack my foods in either reusable zip lock bags or disposable paper boxes. Whichever container you choose, make sure it’s airtight and doesn’t leak.
- Packing napkins and wet wipes
- Packing several meals – as I get ravenous while I travel, I usually pack lots of small meals instead of one or two large ones.
- Planning meals ahead – planning ahead saves a lot of time and last-minute stress. I prepare my foods the day before and pack them on the day I travel to ensure it stays fresh.