3 Savvy Rules for What Food to Pack for Your Next Flight

Family Travel on 12.30.12
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Save time and money on your next family trip by bringing food from home that everyone can enjoy on your next flight. When traveling as a group, it can be a challenge to buy everything you’ll need at the airport for meals and snacks due to long security lines and less time than anticipated between flights. It’s also a challenge to find healthy food on the go, and all airport food is incredibly expensive. For these reasons, I always have food packed in advance of arriving at the airport to feed my family while traveling.

Despite all the other items I have to pack while traveling, like activities for the kids and luxuries for myself, food is the one thing I never forget to get into my carryon. I pack up the bag of goodies the night before the trip so it is ready to go when it’s time to leave for the airport. There are a few rules that guide me on what food is airplane savvy enough to make it worth carrying on and that we will all enjoy eating.

1. Portability. Stick with solid foods when traveling through airport security, so you don’t have to deal with additional screening or different interpretations of the rules at each airport. Also, some foods certainly travel better than others. I avoid soft foods that can get mashed or bruised, like bananas, unless they can be packed in a protective plastic container.

2. Shelf-stable. Foods that last without refrigeration can help you avoid spoilage when traveling and can also be reused for your return trip if they still haven’t been eaten. I do bring sliced chicken or beef with me when traveling, but I eat it within two hours or so of leaving my house or I keep an ice pack on it while on the way to the airport.

3. Easy to eat. Space is tight on an airplane, so it’s important to contain the mess from certain foods getting onto your clothes or your seatmate. Prepare food ahead of time so it is easy to eat by chopping it into pieces that can be easily eaten with a plastic fork or by hand. Avoid foods that are particularly juicy like oranges, unless they are broken up ahead of time. Luckily, there are always extra napkins or paper towels on the plane and plastic forks and spoons are easy to pack. 

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