Quick packing tip: Bring snacks!

Kind barYou guys know I love packing lists, and have them for all types of situations. But what goes in my purse, and is therefore accessible during a flight, doesn’t really change. Maybe I’ll bring an extra book for a super long trip, but for the most part I put the same stuff in there. I do this for a reason—these are specific items that I need on almost every flight. Things like my Kindle, a pashmina, headphones, and….snacks.

I have recommended that travelers keep snacks in their bag for years, ever since the beginning of this blog. There is no telling when your flight will be delayed, or there’s no food for purchase, or you are stuck in traffic and desperately need something to eat. Yesterday, right before I left for the airport, the Home Warrior called out, “Hey, do you want me to throw some snacks in your bag?” “No worries!” I said. “I’ll get something at the airport!”

Fast forward a few hours. I had a conference call during my layover in DFW, and didn’t have a chance to grab snacks. I knew there would be some food for purchase on my flight, so wasn’t too worried. After boarding, I got the dreaded text: flight delayed. Then another. And another. Our flight eventually left, over an hour late. At this point, as you can imagine, I was so hungry I was about to start eating my arm. Eagerly, I asked the flight attendant which sandwiches they had. “No sandwiches,” she said, handing me the menu. On the menu? Crackers, popcorn, and a brownie. Not exactly filling, but better than nothing. But by the time I got to my hotel, I was hungry again. Nothing like room service at 11pm to make you feel good about yourself!

If I had done as the Home Warrior suggested and gotten some snacks, I could have avoided a lot of angst last night, not to mention going to bed with that uncomfortable too-full feeling. There are plenty of choices that don’t take up much room, including nuts, carrots, peanut-butter crackers, or granola bars (like one of my personal favorites–tasty Kind Bars). So be smart! And keep something to much on with you all the time.

Readers, what are your favorite snacks for travel?


  1. This is one thing I am a stickler about–snacks and a bottle of water (for the very issue you had–delayed on the tarmac!). Also, on an international flight my mom ended up needing to take medicine, the flight attendants weren’t responsive to her hitting the call button for water. Luckily, I had a full bottle with me, but she never boards flights without agua now!

  2. Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart.. in fact I did an entire post about it on my blog! If it’s an all day flight (i.e. west coast/eastcoast) I try and pack my lunch – Whole foods has some terrific slaws/salads that don’t wilt (think Kale/brussels sprouts) so if I’m pressed for time I pick up one of those (pre dressed so no need to add anything to the 3-1-1 bag!) – grain salads also travel well. Obviously, crackers, the small disks of Laughing Cow cheese or cheese sticks, carrots, granola bars, packets of Justin’s almond butter (in 3-1-1- bag) and tangerines in season – great strategy if your connections are tight since you can’t always count on the plane having food or having time to grab it on the way. If space isn’t an issue, I’ve also been known to pack an instant soup or oatmeal (the ones in the cup) and get hot water on the plane. Have also brought small container of hummus (in 3-1-1 bag) and of course, sandwiches! Pack stuff with an small baggie of ice and throw it out before hitting security. If you still want to keep something chilled – freeze grapes to use as a cold pack.

  3. I recently discovered GoPicnic boxes, and highly recommend them.. They don’t have a lot of calories (won’t replace a meal) but they do contain delicious and healthy combinations. Perfect for car or plane travel.

  4. I like Kind bar and Luna bars (there really is a flavor for all preferences).

    Sometimes I pack trail mix, almonds, other times a peanut butter sandwich (or Justin’s almond butter package and just have some pb straight), if I can I am with Nancy on packing tangerines or clementines and string cheese.

    I try my best to bring something that feels substantive even if it’s not.

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