Traveling and food go hand in hand, but flying and food is another story. Healthy travel snacks are tough to come by. Most airports stock up on candy bars, chips, and soda. These sugary snacks are easy to shove in a carry-on bag, but they’re not going to hit the spot the way healthy plane snacks will. Fortunately, you can pack your own healthy airplane snacks – these are our top choices for healthy travel snacks for flying.
Before getting started on your healthy snack packing, here are some items to avoid:
- Smelly foods like boiled eggs, garlic, and pickles.
- Easily spoiled foods like mayonnaise, deli meat, and sushi.
- Fried foods like battered fish, chicken wings, or french fries.
It’s also important to check that any liquids you pack meet TSA guidelines. This means 3.4oz or less. You can find a list of all travel restrictions through the Transportation Security Administration website.
From fresh veg to trail mix and beyond, here are the best travel snack ideas for your next flight.
Looking for more travel tips? Check out these other articles:
Best Healthy Travel Snacks For Flying
Early flight and not much appetite before setting out for the airport? No problem.
Grab a thermos and your favorite cereal. The average thermos will keep food and drinks hot or cold for 6 hours or more. Due to security restrictions, purchase milk from a shop or cafe after you’ve passed through security.
In the main thermos compartment, pour cold milk (1 cup of almond milk is 60 calories vs. 2% cow’s milk which is 122 calories per 1 cup). Choose a healthy breakfast cereal of your choice and pour it into the thermos cup. Snap the thermos into the cup, and pack a spoon to go.
Applesauce is a healthy travel snack and easy to make at home or buy at the store. The most convenient form of applesauce for travel is pouches. Applesauce pouches come in a variety of flavors, depending on the brand you choose, including:
- Apple and berry
- Tropical mango and pineapple
- Apple strawberry
- Wild berries
Applesauce pouches can be squeezed out onto a spoon if you like, but they don’t require utensils. This means less to pack and nothing to wash up. These are also a great snack if you have small children.
3. Veggies and Dip
Some don’t think of veggies and dip when considering healthy snacks for international flights. There’s concern about the dip staying fresh. One way to avoid spoiled dip is by skipping anything with a cream base. Rather than ranch, opt for cheese spread or peanut butter.
Celery and cucumber slices are a great choice for peanut butter dipping. Peanut butter doesn’t require refrigeration and travels easily in a small airtight container or even a sandwich baggy.
For cheese spreads like Cheese Whiz, sliced bell peppers, carrot sticks, and broccoli florets are the perfect bite.
4. Trail Mix
Trail mix is easy to make and healthier than a bag of chips or pretzels. The best thing about trail mix for travel snacks is you get to create the flavor yourself. Some ingredients to add to your trail mix include:
- Dried cranberries
- Dark chocolate chips
- Shaved coconut
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Remember that some of these ingredients are high in natural fats and sugars. Our bodies need some but not a lot. So, eat it sparingly, but enjoy! Trail mix is an excellent source of fiber and energy, making them one of the best healthy plane snacks.
5. Tuna and Crackers
Yes, tuna is fish, and fishy things are sometimes frowned on during long flights. However, a small can of tuna with a peel-back lid is the perfect protein to pack as part of your good travel snacks.
There are plenty of small individual servings of tuna in various flavors. Some come with crackers, and some don’t. Whether you pack your own crisps to accompany the can or grab a tuna snack pack, this is an easy option on the go.
When you think of beef jerky, you might think of salty, high-calorie meat snacks. When it comes to healthy snacks for traveling, however, jerky comes in all shapes and sizes. If you have a food dehydrator, you can make meat and plant-based jerkies with any seasoning you choose.
Some popular types of jerky include:
- Fruit (Apples, bananas, apricots, and figs)
- Veggies (Artichokes, carrots, peppers, beets)
- Meat (Beef, venison)
- Poultry (Chicken, turkey)
Muffins are one of the best traveling snack ideas because you can go savory or sweet. Yes, you can go savory with your muffins! How? Think outside of the box. Reduce sugar in your recipe, and instead of blueberries, chocolate chips, apple, and cinnamon, add ingredients like:
8. Nutella and Pretzels
If you’re looking for a crunchy salty snack with a twist, skip the chips and go for pretzels with a nut dip like Nutella. Nutella is rich in fiber and iron, so while it’s got the sweet chocolatey taste of a treat, there are nutritional benefits to this snack.
Not one for pretzels? You can dip fruit as well. Strawberries, apples, pears, and melon all make great dipping vessels for Nutella.
To pack fruit as one of many healthy snacks for international flights, package them in airtight containers. For fruit, you need to cut first like apples, bananas, and pears, sprinkle a bit of lemon juice to minimize iodization.
9. Packaged Crispy Snacks
Potato chips rarely make the list of healthy travel snacks. Fortunately, there are plenty of other crispy snacks, including:
- Freeze-dried edamame
- Chickpea veggie crisps
- Jalapeno sticks
- Green pea snack crisps
You can also get freeze-dried fruit snacks, including tangerine and pineapple.
It’s a simple fan favorite, but it’s popular for a reason. Popcorn is versatile and can be flavored in many ways.
Three cups of plain air-popped popcorn are only 90 calories. From there, you can sprinkle on flavor boosters like:
- Parmesan cheese
- Cocoa powder
- Chili powder
Popcorn is also tasty when drizzled with honey, peanut butter, or dark chocolate. Although this makes it stickier, so be sure to pack some wipes.
In Summary – Healthy Travel Snacks
Whether you’re flying, going on a road trip, or taking a long-haul bus trip, having healthy travel snacks on hand is essential to stop you reaching for the salty, sugary, and fatty snack options that populate most of the snack stores at airports, gas stations, and bus terminals.
These are some of our most favorite healthy travel snack ideas, which will hopefully serve as a great basis for creating your own travel snacks for your next adventure.