Checking in, lugging luggage, and waiting in a winding security line at the airport makes anyone peckish. I’ve traveled through eight international airports this year and I picked up a few key tips to navigating through them. My most important advice comes down to: avoid bringing liquids in your carry on, pack 45 lbs or lighter to avoid fees, and carry plenty of airplane friendly snacks (with snacks being the most imperative!). Everything for sale at an airport is exceedingly expensive, especially the food. Keep a few dollars in your pocket by planning your snacks ahead of travel time. The main goal is to carry your snacks through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) without any issues.
Here are 5 that shouldn’t give you any issues:
1. Candy and Chocolate
Grab a bag of your favorite sugary treat to munch on while you wait at your departure gate. Candy won’t fill you up, but it will curb the occasional sweet tooth craving. Make a batch of dark chocolate peppermint bark, orange rosemary cashew brittle, or Almond Joy candied bacon and pack in zip lock bags for easy portable portions.
2. Cereal, Granola, and Trail Mix
Cereal without the milk is a must for airplane snacking. A small travel hack is to ask for milk, if available, on the plane if you simply can’t eat dry cereal. Homemade or store-bought granola and trail mix are quintessential travel snacks. I mean, most of the approved items on this list are ideal ingredients in both granola and trail mix. The addition of nuts (which are also allowed) gives you protein and a hint of salt. Get creative and try our coconut-cranberry granola or our nuts and bolts trail mix.
3. Cookies, Crackers, Chips, and Popcorn
Sure, these sorts of snack items are super convenient to pack in your kids’ bags for school, but they’re also handy to carry for travel as well. There are plenty of ways to spruce up these classic snacks to make ‘em a bit more exciting (and adult-ish), like adding a spicy seaweed seasoning or savory chili garlic seasoning to your popcorn. Kale chips and beet chips are a exceptional alternative to traditional potato chips if you’re wanting a healthier option.
4. Fresh Whole Fruits and Dried Fruits
You can’t beat the fresh factor and ease of fruit. The best fresh options to travel with are apples, bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapes, pears, peaches, and plums. In other words, fruits with edible or easy-to-peel skin are best. If you are traveling internationally and depending on various customs policies, you may or may not be able to bring fresh fruit into another country. Dried fruits are always fair game. Try a tropical blend by mixing dried mango, pineapple, papaya, and/or coconut chunks. Golden raisins, cran-raisins, and cherry raisins are also solid go-tos.
5. Dried Meats
When my sister visited me in Paris from Atlanta, she came with a bag of sliced salami in tow. Up until that point, I had no idea you could carry meats in your carry on. Dried meats like chorizo, beef jerky, and pepperoni give you salty-savory satisfaction as well as protein to keep you full for a minute. They’re tasty alone, but even better when you pair it with crackers and perhaps a handful of dried fruits.
*If you are traveling with an infant or a child 12 and under you are permitted to bring formula, breast milk, other forms of baby food, and juices on the plane with additional security clearance. Be sure to alert a TSA agent of these contents.
For a complete list of foods you can and cannot bring on a plane visit the TSA website.