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Travel Tip: Packing In-Flight Snacks

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This post describes how planning snacks for long haul flights saves a traveler from frustration and hunger.


In a previous post, In-Flight Essentials, we discussed taking charge of your own destiny when it comes to food consumed during the flight.

Even with the ability to pre-arrange a custom meal ahead of a flight, airlines don’t always get it right. This is especially true if you have a combination of food allergies or sensitivities, like dairy-free + gluten-free preferences.

Flights magnify how a lack of preparation can lead to hunger or indigestion

That’s why always having snacks on hand or a list of snacks is critical when traveling.

On a long-haul, 15 hour flight to Sydney, Australia, we took a lot of care in packing a hearty bag of snacks and meals to make sure we were prepared in case the in-flight selections left something to be desired.

Our flight did not depart from my port of origin until 11:05PM. We ate a large meal at home prior to leaving for the airport. After boarding, we wrapped up in my blanket, put on ours eye masks and caught eight hours of sleep.

Upon waking up, the flight attendants were passing out hot meals. We were not surprised that breakfast meal served was yogurt-based, something that does not at all agree with us.

That’s where preparation was key in avoiding frustration with the airline for not finding us food options that worked with our dietary restrictions. Had we not packed a number of tasty, healthy food choices, we would have been at the mercy of whatever the selection was available at the Sydney Airport, some seven and a half hours later.

Note that at the conclusion of a flight, you may need to abandon any fruit, nuts or seeds, due to custom laws.

In-flight snacks to prepare ahead of time

  • Nuts: Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds etc.
  • Pasta with sauce (any kind that is not dairy-based/does not require refrigeration)
  • Sandwich: the options are endless
  • Lara Bars or favorite protein bar
  • Fruit: Apples, avocado, sliced bell pepper
  • Peanut butter packets
  • Chips & dip (mind the 3 ounce/100 ml liquid limit)

Don’t forget

  • Wet wipes
  • Cutlery: fork, spoon and knife

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