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Healthy Snacks for Travel

healthy snacks for travel

As a frequent traveler, I get sick of airplane and airport food quite easily. While some airports and airlines are developing more healthy options, I usually find myself in the terminal with only refrigerated sandwiches or overpriced fried foods.

The more I travel, the more I’ve started bringing my own meals and healthy snacks. This is an especially good idea for those of us who have dietary restrictions, as I no longer consume dairy products.

So before we can talk about what to eat while traveling, let’s talk about what not to eat. Avoid overly salty foods, as they can dehydrate you and exacerbate the effects of jet lag. And while a glass of red wine on an overnight flight can lull you to sleep, don’t overdo the alcohol or else you’ll be feeling a hangover on top of lack of sleep. It can lead to your first day in your destination being spent in bed, rather than exploring.

Savory Snacks

I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I want something savory to crunch on. But chips (or crisps, as some of you may call them) aren’t exactly healthy or filling. Substitute them out with roasted nuts like almonds, peanuts or pistachios. Chickpeas and corn nuts are also good for salty snacks. Popcorn and rice cakes can be bland without any butter or seasoning on them, but try your rice cakes with peanut butter and your popcorn with lime zest for extra zing without additional calories.

Just remember to drink some water and not overdo it with the salt to avoid dehydration.

Sinless Sweets

Caroline's homemade trail mix.
Caroline’s homemade trail mix.

I don’t consider myself to be someone with a sweet tooth, but every now and again I crave it. Granola and trail mix can be boring if you buy the pre-packaged variety, but if you build your own, you can add items you like and leave behind things you don’t. For example, I’ve made my own combination with plain granola, freeze dried strawberries, toasted almonds and chopped dark chocolate. It gives you that bitterness of the chocolate cut with the sweetness of the strawberries.

Yogurt with honey is another great travel snack, especially if you’re looking for a quick breakfast before catching your early morning flight.

Additional Snacks

There are so many healthy snacks for travel, but the easiest to find throughout the world is dried fruit. I’ve seen it in the markets in Thailand and Turkey, as well as throughout the United States. Dried mango is one of my personal favorites, and is easy to throw into your purse for later.

Energy bars are another, with brands like Lara Bar, Power Bar and Clif Bar being some of the best.

A container of peanut butter (go for the no sugar added kind) can be a life-saver on the road. All it takes is a couple pieces of bread, crackers, rice cakes and the like to make a meal. And it travels well in a backpack since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

And if all else fails, get yourself a small bag or box of dried cereal, like Cheerios or Raisin Bran.

>> Take a look at some of our “traveling kitchen” tips for more food and travel tips.

What are your favorite healthy snacks for travel?

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Rose says

    Have you ever had issues with peanut butter in a carryon? I presume as it’s a “liquid” it would have to fit the standard liquid requirements?

    • Brooke says

      Sorry will have to clarify – I wouldn’t take PB as a carry-on item for flights, but it would be OK for train and bus travel. There are individual packages of PB that you could take as a carry-on item. Haven’t had personal experience with it, but I assume some TSA agents would think PB is a no-go.

  2. Julie says

    Just an FYI, I’ve had peanut butter confiscated by airport security, so be careful putting it in your carry-on!

    • Brooke says

      Oh yes, good point! I wouldn’t take it as a carry-on unless it’s those little individual travel packs. When heading around on trains and buses, or just from hostel to hostel, a jar of PB, however, is a lifesaver.

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