I’m always on the hunt to find new suggestions for travel food. Traveling can be expensive enough without the added expense of over-priced food. Not only does flying and driving all increase your food budget, but airport food and fast food restaurants are full of salt and fat – completely unhealthy.
Deciding what type of foods to pack will be determined by when you’re traveling, how long you’re traveling, and how you will be traveling. Will you be traveling during dinner? Flying or driving? Do you need snacks?
I remember flying to Disney World with my parents last year. Our flight didn’t take off until about 4:30 (which meant arriving at the airport at 3pm), so I knew the kids would be starving even though the flight was only 1.5 hours. I packed subs, chip, and a cookie for each of us. I’d asked my Mom if they wanted me to pack extra for them, but they declined stating they would eat once we arrived.
Just before the plane took off, a huge storm passed through. Lightning and pouring rain meant that we were stuck sitting on the runway for about 45 minutes. My parents (and other passengers) were sure envious of our dinner on the plane!
How I Pack Travel Food:
In the case of our Disney flight, each sub went into a baggie, chips in another baggie, and a cookie in a 3rd. All 3 items were each put into a gallon size bag with napkins and a Wet One packet. Since we all like different sandwiches I made sure to label the different types. For the trip to the airport, I just had all 4 baggies in a plastic grocery store bag. It was super easy to get past security and I had somewhere to store our trash until the flight attendant came around after beverage service.
While traveling I always try to use baggies to keep food items separate. In our everyday lives I try to use reusable containers for school lunches or other quick travels. If we’re flying or going on a long road trip, I’d rather save space over being “green.”
Suggestions for Travel Food:
Vegetables such as carrot sticks and celery are a perfect healthy option. You can use veggies you cut or buy prepared veggie snacks at the store to place in the plastic baggies. You could also put dip such as ranch or hummus in a 2 oz. Tupperware Midget cups. Individual ranch packages from a fast food joint or Jif To Go Creamy Peanut Butter would also work well.
Cookies or brownies are easy to transport and will make a delicious treat. Homemade is best, but store will be a lot less expensive then airport food.
PB&J are great and you can even make your own uncrustables. Freeze them in advance and they will be thawed and ready to eat a couple of hours later.
Cold cut sandwiches or wraps make a tasty meal. Just make sure they are consumed within a few hours!
Another easy meal that is perfect for kids is crackers with cheese and pepperoni. You can pack a homemade lunchable – the kids will be thrilled.
Tuna sandwiches can be great in the car. I pack bread and purchase the Starkist Tuna salad pouches on sale. They make it super easy to make a sandwich. I’ve also mixed tuna at home and stored it in container then rinsed it out at a rest stop.
Hard fruit such as apples and pears is also a good choice. Stay away from soft fruit such as bananas that can get smashed in luggage. Berries in a small container are also a yummy option. Personally I prefer to throw everything away so having a bunch of containers to keep track of isn’t ideal.
Don’t pack fruit if you’re traveling internationally. You can’t take fruit and vegetables through customs.
Go Gurt is a great travel food. If you’re flying, you can freeze the go-gurt before you leave then consume it within a couple of hours. If you’re driving you can just add it to the cooler to keep cold.
Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, pita chips, rice cakes, granola bars, popcorn, muffins, bread such as banana nut or other family favorites are fantastic suggestions for travel food. These items are good for you and are filling. If you’re staying in a hotel with a microwave, bring a few packs of popcorn to pop in the room for a late night snack.
Water! Staying hydrated while traveling is essential. If flying, you can’t take water through security. Most flights offer a free beverage, but I always take an empty water bottle or filtered reusable water bottle to fill up before getting on the plane.
I also like to pack wet ones and napkins. Not only can you use them to clean your hands before eating, you can wipe down that germy tray on the plane then place a napkin (or 2) under your food.
Keep in mind that you don’t want anything that will be messy, get soggy, or get warm. Also don’t forget to be considerate of other travelers and try not to pack something smelly like eggs.
Don’t forget to make something such as soup or chili to freeze for when you return home from your trip. You’ll arrive home hungry and exhausted, so make things a bit easier by preparing ahead. You’ll be glad you did.
What are your suggestions for travel food?
You should also read my post on Five Reasons to Use Travel Size Food