Airplane food has gained a poor reputation over the years. Sometimes plane food exceeds expectations, and other times it is truly inedible. It can be quite costly, too, especially since the airlines have a monopoly in the sky. In fact, in 2018, search engine KAYAK.com found that in some cases, the markup on airplane food increased by nearly 8900%. If you’re a first-time traveler, you might be wondering if you can take snacks on an airplane. The answer is yes, and it is encouraged!
Whether you’re on a long overseas flight or a short flight, it is always a good idea to bring snacks for the plane and something to drink with you for the sake of your pockets and stomach. Traveling by plane does come with restrictions, though, including the size of liquids and, in some countries, the types of food that are allowed in. In addition, when you’re trapped on a small vessel, you don’t want to be the passenger who stinks up the plane with a smelly tuna sandwich. So what can you bring? We here at Road Affair have compiled a list of the best airplane snacks to give you a better idea about what’s easy to bring with you on your journey.
Naked Protein Cookies
If you’re looking for a high-protein snack for the plane, then check out these delicious protein cookies from Naked Nutrition.
The cookies come in three different flavors: oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and sugar cookie. All the cookies are also gluten-free, GMO-free, soy-free, and include 10g of grass-fed whey protein. Each box comes with 12 individually wrapped cookies that are each 210 calories or less. A high-protein snack like this is great for planes because it will keep you full and energized for hours.
Pringles are a great snack you can bring on a plane. Not only are they a filling chip, they also come in a cylinder canister instead of a bag like other chips. This is great for traveling, especially on a plane, as the change in cabin pressure won’t make the chips explode in your bag. The canister also comes with a lid, so you can easily snack on some chips and then store them away for later without making a mess. Travel-size Pringles are also convenient if you have a smaller cabin bag.
If you are looking for an airplane snack for kids, then you can’t go wrong with a Lunchable. Lunchables have a little bit of everything in a great travel size that little ones can share or munch on their own. There are different types of Lunchables, and we recommend staying away from the pizza ones as the marinara sauce packet could be susceptible to cabin pressure and they are a little messier. The cheese and crackers Lunchable is healthy and less messy, plus it usually comes with a sweet treat. Also, don’t be fooled. This snack pack might be marketed for kids, but it is also great for the young at heart!
Veggies and Dip
Veggies and dip are a classic healthy airplane snack and are easy to travel with. Before heading to the airport, grab a plastic bag or a Tupperware and fill it with healthy veggies! A good veggie pack is filled with color, so consider making your veggie pack with baby carrots, snow peas, celery, cauliflower, or any other of your favorite raw vegetables. You can munch on these healthy snacks alone, or you can grab a small Tupperware holder and fill it with your favorite dip, like ranch or Caesar dressing.
If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for a good airplane snack, then consider bringing some Peanut M&Ms! This chocolaty snack is a favorite for travel. The peanuts are filling and the coating is satisfying, making it an ideal plane snack. If you’re traveling with a group of people, consider purchasing the resealable party pack. This way, you have enough to share, and the bag is resealable to keep the snack fresh and easy to carry.
Another great high-protein airplane snack idea is trail mix. Trail mix usually consists of different types of nuts and seeds, along with raisins and sometimes a bit of chocolate. This airplane snack is especially good for those who have stomach issues while flying. Nuts are a great source of fiber and protein, plus they have the added bonus of magnesium, which helps fight against bloating. If you do suffer from stomach issues while flying, then try to purchase a salt-free trail mix. Flying already dehydrates the body, and salt tends to further this dehydration.
Making your own sandwiches to bring on a flight is a great idea as sandwiches travel quite easily and are filling. Now, it’s important to be courteous to your fellow passengers and try not to pack a sandwich that could be smelly or cause an allergic reaction. This means no peanut butter and no fish (Here’s looking at you, canned tuna). I was once on a flight with a fellow passenger who had such a severe nut allergy that the cabin crew had to make an announcement to ask people not to eat any nuts during the flight, so keep that in mind while you’re making your sandwiches or packing other snacks. The easiest sandwiches to bring consist of cold meats, cheese, and a bit of mayo and mustard. If you don’t have time to make sandwiches before your flight, premade sandwiches can often be purchased at the airport after security.
Protein Bars or Cereal Bars
As mentioned, high-protein snacks are great for flying as they help to keep you energized and full. Snack bars, whether protein-based or not, are filling and easy to throw in your bag, and they can last in your pack for quite a while. When picking your snack bar, try to choose one that doesn’t crumble apart easily or that tends to be messy. There is nothing worse than sitting in an airplane seat full of crumbs poking at your bum for the entire flight!
Candy and Gum
Treat yourself to a sugary treat on your flight! After all, it’s vacation, right? Candies like Starbursts, Jolly Ranchers, or Sour Patch Kids already come in a great travel size and are easy to munch on while on the plane. It’s also a good idea to keep gum on hand while you’re flying, as it can help relieve some of the pressure in your sinuses and ears while you are ascending and descending. It also will leave you with minty fresh breath, which is especially ideal if you have been on a long-haul flight and sleeping for a few hours. The customs agent will thank you, too.
Where are all the meat lovers at? There is no need to sacrifice your love of beef in the sky! Beef jerky is a good snack for the plane as it is high in protein and, let’s face it, downright delicious. Jerky tends to come in resealable bags with a drying agent so the meat won’t go bad, making it ideal for plane travel. You can also purchase beef jerky in smaller, travel-friendly sizes or in large sharing packages.
Charcuterie Snack Packs
For all of us that grew up on Lunchables, the adult version will bring back great memories. Charcuterie travel plates or packs have become quite popular over the last few years, and there are plenty of different ones on the market. You can also opt to pack your own charcuterie by packing a Tupperware box with your favorite crackers, cheese, and nibbles. This is a great snack you can bring on a plane as it pairs well with a glass of wine and is quite filling.
Another great healthy travel snack for airplanes is sliced apples. These can easily be stored in Tupperware or in a resealable plastic bag. In fact, green apples have been shown to help with nausea, which is especially helpful if you tend to get a bit queasy while traveling by plane. Cut-up apples can also be paired with a nice dip, like caramel, almond butter, peanut butter, or cream cheese! To help keep your apples fresh for your journey and prevent browning, add a little lemon juice to your slices.
While you’re flying, you’ll most likely be watching a movie or a show to pass the time. So why not bring a delicious salty snack to tide you over while you binge-watch TV?
Travelers can premake their own popcorn at home and pack it in a resealable bag or opt to purchase Smartfood or other popcorn packages. Bringing your own tends to be a bit better as you can seal it and store it away easily if you don’t finish it all in one sitting.
Bananas already come in a protective organic wrap, so they are easy to toss in a bag and bring with you onboard. This snack is especially good for those who have sensitive stomachs while flying. According to Lisa Moskovitz, author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan, “With bloat-fighting potassium, bananas can be easy on digestion, easy to travel with, and easy to eat no matter where you are on your journey.”
Last on our list is another great salty filling snack: pretzels! Pretzels are a good snack for traveling as they are easy to carry, especially if you prepack them in a resealable bag, and are great for munching while on the go. They also don’t cause a huge mess and can leave your stomach satisfied for quite a while. While pretzels aren’t the healthiest snack to bring on the plane, they are surely one of the yummiest!
There you have them, the best snacks to bring on an airplane journey. Please do keep in mind that liquids or pastes (including yogurt, peanut butter, and hummus) must follow the 3-1-1 rule. This means they cannot be larger than 3.4 ounces. Also, since some countries don’t allow you to bring in certain meats, dairy products, and vegetables, it’s best to consume these snacks on your international flight so that you don’t need to declare them or don’t have them confiscated. Also, don’t forget to bring a refillable water bottle or purchase a bottle of water before boarding the plane to avoid getting dehydrated during your travels.