RD Airplane Snack Survival Kit

Today I’m lucky enough to send an update from FLORIDA, where I’m spending the weekend (woohoo!). Traveling from my home to my hometown is an all-day affair, so I thought I’d take this chance to talk about how I keep myself nourished on a cross-country flight… because life’s too short to subsist on the world’s smallest bag of pretzels.

My kit includes things that:

  • Are without liquids – the only reason TSA will confiscate your munchies are if they are jealous that your lunch looks better than theirs!
  • Are shelf-stable at room temperature – cold-packs are a no-go through security, so we gotta stick with foods that will be safe.
  • Supply good doses of the nutrients and fiber that are tough to get enough of when traveling.
  • Easy to eat in cramped conditions.
  • Inoffensive to your seatmates – nothing is worse than sitting next to smelly food.
  • Interesting enough that we’re not tempted to ditch them in favor of whatever terrible airport food that we’ll regret later.

Get out a couple pieces of tupperware or some of my favorite reusable snack bags, and let’s fill ’em up with goodies!



Old faithful. The sandwich that feels right whether your flight overlaps with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This one uses my banana jam (I’m addicted). This is a personal quirk, but as a kid my mom made PB&J with a sprinkle of wheat germ in the middle, and I still do it to this day. It gives a little extra texture and nutty flavor, and also boosts the protein and B vitamins. Cut the sandwich into quarters, so you can stretch out your grazing.

On-the-Go Sliced Apple

On-the-Go Sliced Apple

I first saw this trick – where else? – on Pinterest. That’s a rubber band that keeps the slices together. It seems a little fussy, but really just takes a second and is a nice feature in any packed lunch. In the tight quarters of the airplane, I just like being able to nibble on a dainty stick rather than gnaw my way through the whole fruit.

Carby Crunchies

Carby Crunchies

Instead of chips or pretzels, I like to munch on something with a little more substance. This may seem like an odd combination, but cheesy goldfish crackers actually really compliment the hint of brown sugar in Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Both are whole-grain (although the Goldfish aren’t 100%)  and hit all the right notes for salty-sweet cravings.

Carrot Sticks

Carrot Sticks

Sturdy, travel-friendly vegetables that can hold up to the perils of the inside of your purse. Enough said!

Indulgent Antioxidants

Indulgent Antioxidants

Don’t succumb to overpriced post-security candy impulse buys. Grant invented this genius combo of dark chocolate and freeze-dried strawberries, which packs some antioxidant power into your treats. Be mindful of the fact that the reusable snack bags are not airtight, so if you’re in humid conditions the strawberries may begin to rehydrate. Take that as my permission to start with dessert!

That kept me satisfied for the trip, but I’m thinking I could use a few fresh ideas for my return flight! What are your go-to travel-friendly snacks?

6 thoughts on “RD Airplane Snack Survival Kit”

  1. Where did you get the little bags you put your goldfish/cereal and strawberry chocolate chip combo in?

  2. You mention being mindful of your fellow passengers and seat mates, but your first suggestion is peanut butter. Airlines have made conscious efforts to help make air travel safer for those that have severe nut allergies, and you might be asked to not consume it on the flight. As someone who suffers from a severe nut allergy and travels often, packing your own food is the best way to go! For long haul flights I freeze a tortellini salad that’s been lightly dressed with a vinegrette. 2-3 hrs after take off its defrosted but still chilled, and it helps to act as an ice pack for other snacks.

  3. Great ideas. I have found that the plastic containers from liquid coffee creamer make great containers to carry on the plane. I fill them with almonds, dark chocolate chips and dried fruit. I also like to take Fresh Gourmet baked cheese crisps for a crunchy salty protein snack, similar to the moon cheese from Starbucks, these snacks also fit nicely in the creamer containers and keep them from getting crushed into crumbs. Love the idea of cereal and goldfish. I will add that on my next trip.

  4. I have used frozen fruit packed in reusable 8 oz plastic containers in place of cold packs. It works wonderfully!

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