The 21 Best Plane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

The only list of the best airplane snacks you need for a better flight: healthy snacks, vegan ones, or what kids and babies can eat on the plane.

Thomas Busson

Thomas Busson

Plane snacks - one of the essential components for an enjoyable and satisfying long flight, yet so often overlooked.

You race through airport security and either forget your plane snacks entirely or grab an overpriced and underwhelming packet of M&M’s.

That’s not going to keep you going for your 3 hour flight, is it? And with all the nervous energy that air travel brings, sugar isn’t going to improve the situation.

Then, you’re faced with the horror show that is snacks on a plane and in-flight meals. Both you and the flight attendant know that they’re a lot scarier than the 2006 film starring Samuel L Jackson.

So, perhaps it's a good idea to plan ahead, DIY or bring packable airplane food. It’s healthier, cheaper and cuts out the stress of last minute snack panic.

Keep reading to discover travel tips on the best airplane snacks there are! It’ll transform the way you travel.

But first, did you know that you can get more than a snack when your flight is delayed , cancelled, or overbooked?

With ClaimCompass, get compensated when your flight is disrupted

Can You Bring Snacks on a Plane?

Considering all of the other terrible options, you will be asking yourself, ‘Can I bring snacks on a plane?’ Well, thankfully, yes.

You can bring plane snacks on board in your carry-on luggage, however they must comply with airport guidelines.

Check out our guide on how to pack your carry-on luggage to make sure you don’t miss anything!

In the UK, you can pack all sorts of delicious cakes, pies, sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables (if you’re that way inclined).

But, unfortunately you’ve got to leave Grandma Mary’s pea and ham soup behind. This is  because foods with a high liquid content, like soups, stews and foods in sauces like pasta, won’t make it through security.

While you can bring your own snacks, foods like crisps, cakes and crackers must be wrapped up or in a container.

Additionally, although a whole piece of fruit is okay unwrapped, once you take a bite of your juicy, green apple, it’s got to be wrapped up.

These containers should also not exceed 100ml. And, don’t forget that the homemade blueberry jam you’ve made for your friend in Maine, also falls under these guidelines.

Similarly, in the US, food taken on board in hand luggage must comply with TSA guidelines.

This means solid foods like crisps, sandwiches, and even pasta can come on board. However liquids must comply with the 3-1-1 rule.

The 3-1-1 rule outlines that each liquid (strawberry yogurt, peanut butter, hummus) must be in a 3 .4 ounce container (or less), contained in 1 clear plastic bag, and you may have only 1 bag per passenger.

Which Snacks Shouldn’t You Bring on a Plane?

While not officially outlined in TSA or other airport guidelines, there are some snacks that you should steer well away from.

Anything that has a strong or unpleasant smell can be saved for a time when you’re at least 40-50 meters away from company and not in a confined space.

Messy, sticky and crunchy snacks or foods likely to spill should probably be left at home too. Doing this will help you avoid a bad atmosphere and uncomfortable, angry eye contact on the long flight.

Some of these foods include:

  • Fishy foods - your tuna sandwich may seem like a good idea now, but give it a few hours, your breath will stink and so will the cabin
  • Eggs - flying can be nauseating enough without someone bringing eggs into the equation. Scrambled, boiled or fried - its a no-no
  • Burritos and fajitas - these yummy wraps can be hard to eat without spilling filling everywhere, and a rumbling stomach can also produce unpleasant smells…
  • Peanuts - while they may not cause you any issues, other passengers could be highly allergic, so leave them at home to avoid a medical emergency
  • Yogurt - yogurt in a plastic container can be pretty lethal and will explode at high altitudes. Leave the redecorating to the professionals

Best Airplane Snacks

The best food to pack for long flights is tasty, healthy and easy to transport. You should also make sure that you bring travel snacks that will keep fresh when left at room temperature.

Healthy plane snacks

Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring, and there are a ton out there that are both yummy and easy to prepare.

Dried fruit

When people think of dried fruit, it’s often limited to raisins or bananas, but there’s a whole world of dried fruit out there. Dried pineapple, mango, peaches and pear are just some of the mouth-watering options available.

Quinoa or chickpea salad

A quinoa or chickpea salad is a satisfying and scrumptious snack to bring aboard. Not only will it curb your appetite for the long flight, but these plane snacks are also considered superfood. So, delicious and nutritious.

Protein bars

If you’re on your way to a conference and need to do some last minute prep, or you’re a student who needs to finish off an essay, protein bars are great sustenance. This chewy flight snack will keep your tummy happy and keep you focused for the long plane ride.

Crunchy cheese bites

For the cheese fans out there, why not pack some crunchy cheese bites? From Gouda to Pepper jack, they’re high in protein and an excellent source of calcium. These crunchy cheese bites are also the perfect accompaniment for a long flight, needing no refrigeration.

Gluten-free banana and chocolate-chip muffins

These moreish muffins are scrummy, low-fat, low-sugar and gluten-free. This means that they’re good for your cholesterol and guilt-free!

Popcorn is the perfect food for snacking. It’s light, easy to pack and once you start, it’s hard to stop! Don’t think that popcorn is just limited to the cinema either, take it to the skies.

In recent years, companies have brought out a range of flavours from aged white cheddar and sea salt to cookies and cream!

Organic jerky

Stuck for snack ideas? Try jerky!

It comes in all shapes, sizes and flavours. From chicken to buffalo, teriyaki to habañero there’s something for everyone, even non-meat eaters, with jerky made from soy curls and black beans!

Vegan snacks to take on a plane

With growing awareness of climate change, and the poor treatment of farmed animals, veganism is becoming more and more popular.

And, why shouldn’t it? These days there are so many fantastic vegan options to choose from, meaning you can eat well while doing your bit to save the planet!

Baked kale chips

These delectable little morsels are a delightful crispy alternative to potato chips. They come in a wide range of flavours, from tomato to vegan nacho cheese.

They’re also lower in fat than potato chips and are easy to make yourself! Just don’t crunch too loud!

Tofu Caesar wrap

A vegan Caesar wrap is just as good as it’s meaty counterpart and a great snack for healthy travel! Using vegan mayonnaise and a touch of Dijon mustard is the key to giving this tasty treat a kick.

Vegan dark chocolate brownies

You’re allowed to treat yourself from time to time, and vegan dark chocolate brownies are a fantastic treat to take on your travels.

Fudgey goodness with a gooey centre, they’ll make your flight just that little bit more luxurious.

Marinated lentils

Packed with protein, marinated lentils will keep you going on your long flight. Whether you throw in some coriander and fennel seeds, or garlic and chilli, you can be sure each mouthful will explode with flavour.

Vegan spiced chai bread

More of a cake than a bread, vegan spiced chai bread is the perfect accompaniment for your journey. Add a little almond butter, or peanut butter to take it to the next level.

Vegan tuna sandwich

While you probably shouldn’t bring your stinky tuna sandwich on board, a vegan tuna sandwich is just the ticket!

Replace the fish with tofu, add a little vegan mayo, your preferred seasoning and some pickles to make this top-notch long flight snack. Just have a mint afterwards.

Whole grain pita / veggies and hummus

As long as you make sure you comply with TSA guidelines, hummus (from the grocery store or homemade) with dippers is an excellent snack to have in your snack bag.

Make sure you eat this snack first though, as it’s only good for 2 hours at room temperature.

Plane snacks for babies and kids

Travelling on long flights accompanied by children is by no means anyone’s idea of heaven.

And kids, we get it. It’s boring, the airplane’s hot and stuffy, and you have way too much energy to sit in one seat for more than 30 minutes.

However, there are some great plane snacks that can make long flights, dare I say it... fun!

Check out other ways to make long flights fun for kids here !

Kids trail mix

Trail mix is easily transportable and filled with an array of nuts, fruit, pretzels and sweet treats. If you’re making it yourself, you can even include your kid’s favourites, perhaps marshmallows and cashews or maybe cheerios and sultanas!

Fresh fruit

This may not be your child’s favourite, but there are lots of ways you can make fruit fun and entertain them on the long journey.

You could make apple slices into fun shapes, or hide kiwi slices in little sandwich cakes topped with almond butter!

Granola bars

Granola bars are a good way of ensuring that your child won’t go hungry on a long flight.

Packed with yummy nutritional goodness like oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, these snacks will keep your child quiet...for a while.

Cereal or puffs

Cereal or puffs are great for babies and toddlers. Kid’s can pick them up easily and even have a little fun with them.

And remember, presentation is also important. Why not put the cereal in a bag and tie a colorful ribbon around it? Or, put colorful stickers on the packaging and personalize it by writing their name in bright colors!

Banana cookies

Kids love sweet things, however most of the time, the things they like will see them sent to the dentist with a filling! These banana cookies allow you to treat your child, while being in control of their sugar intake.

Use coconut oil, vanilla essence and a few chocolate chips for that sweet hit rather than packing them with sugar.

Organic animal crackers

Just as puffs and sliced fruit can be a surprisingly entertaining snack for kids, animal crackers can also bring a lot of fun to the flight.

Full of vitamins, and flavored with fruit juice, these little treats will keep a smile on their faces.

Honey and chai oatmeal balls

These snacks are a fantastic source of protein and fibre and taste just like cookie dough, without all the bad additives and artificial flavors.

Sweetened with honey, almond butter and dried fruit, they’re a great healthy alternative and will keep your kid’s tummy from rumbling.

Final words before the flight

Hopefully this blog has simmered your long-flight snack nerves! Plane snacks don’t have to be excruciatingly expensive and unsatisfying. They can be full of flavor, easy to prepare, and for the little ones, a source of entertainment.

Bringing snacks from home will ultimately save you time, money and disappointment!

And, if you’re one of the unlucky passengers whose flight is disrupted each year, those snacks will help you from pulling your hair out in frustration. They’ll also save you from spending a fortune while you wait for your plane to arrive.

Something to also bear in mind when preparing your snacks is how you will transport them. Opt for planet friendly packaging! This includes biodegradable ziploc bags, reusable lunch boxes , biopaper and beeswax wraps instead of cellophane or foil.

Head over to our guide and find out how to navigate flight delay compensation if you do find yourself stuck in the airport for hours!

Had a delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight? You're going to need those snacks, but more importantly, you could get up to 600€ in compensation.

28 Healthy Snacks to Pack For Your Next Long Flight

Because soggy airport pizza is no way to start a trip.

Headshot of Sam Gutierrez

Our editors handpick the products that we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.

Epic Provisions Snack Strips or Meat bars

Snack Strips or Meat bars

Lauren Cadillac , Manhattan-based Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, is a big fan of EPIC’s Snack Strips or Meat Bars which are high in protein to keep you full throughout your flight. The best part? You can find them at some airports, just in case you forgot to pack them. 

Wonderful Halos California-Grown Mandarins

California-Grown Mandarins

These particular mandarins “are seedless and easy to peel, making them another simple grab-and-go option when you're heading to the airport,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE and creator of . Not only that, but eating just two Halos will provide you with natural energy and half a day’s worth of vitamin C, she says. 

Gaea Packaged Olives

For a salty option, Keri Glassman, R.D., recommends packing olives. You can enjoy them on their own or include them in what she refers to as “mini meals” which can consist of olives and pairings like a small salad, a packet of tuna, “or a KIND bar that only has 4-5 grams of sugar per serving.” Just one thing olive-lovers, skip olive bar varieties which “are actually sitting in canola oil” and go for those stored in water and packaged in a glass jar or to-go container for a healthier option (like these Gaea olives she loves).  

Chopped Apples With Cinnamon and Almond Butter

Glassman takes her apples to the next level by chopping them up and topping them with cinnamon and almond butter. Not only is this a delicious way to fit some fruit into your trip, but it's also a simpler way to pack.

Pete & Gerry's Hard Boiled Eggs

“These are an easy addition because they are pre-peeled and ready to eat and much more nutritious than most other airport options,” says Zanini. Convenience aside, these eggs “are high in protein, organic, free-range, and certified humane” so you can travel with a full belly and a clear conscience.

Soozy's Grain-Free Muffins

If your idea of a great airport snack is less giant Toblerone and more muffins and croissants, Cadillac suggests Soozy’s Muffins. “Grain-free, gluten-free, certified paleo, these muffins are a much healthier choice than the muffins at the airport,” she says.

Frozen Grapes

Grapes not enticing for you on their own? Freeze them before your flight for a sweet and satisfying crunchy snack! Glassman recommends doing this and then popping them in a reusable on-the-go bag to keep them frozen for a few hours. “They will start to defrost, but will still be super cold for snacking,” she says.

Justin's Squeeze Pack

These packets of nut butter may not fill you up on their own but they're a great addition to crackers, fruits, and other snacks you may already have on hand. 

KIND Snack Bars

Last-minute packers, this one’s for you. The easiest thing you can do is reach for a granola bar. Glassman recommends KIND’s Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar. It’s her favorite “because they are made with real, wholesome ingredients like nuts, whole grains and fruit, plus the bar has only 5 grams of sugar,” she explains. 

Wholly Guacamole Classic Guacamole Minis

Avocado is a nutrient-dense food packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, says Glassman. She makes her own avocado mash at home using salt, pepper, lemon or lime, and garlic powder but if you’re not a fan of DIY, just toss some of Wholly Guacamole’s single-serve guacamole packs in your bag. “At 2 ounces each, they're totally TSA friendly. Plus, they pair so well with other nutritious snacks like crunchy veggies and whole grain crackers, so I feel encouraged to eat lots of healthy items while in-flight,” says Blechman.

Dang Unsweetened Toasted Coconut Chips

Even if you’re not jetting off to some tropical island, these coconut chips will make you feel like you’re in snack paradise. Not only are they super tasty but as Cadillac explains, “medium chain triglycerides from the coconut are great for brain function and sustained energy levels.” In other words, they’ll fill you up and help you ace that crossword puzzle you’re saving for the flight.  

Nature's Path Qi'a Superfood Organic Hot Oatmeal

We never thought to make oatmeal on a flight but it’s honestly a no-brainer. As Cadillac points out all you need to do is bring a packet with you, ask for a cup and hot water, and voila! A tasty, filling, and hot snack rich in fiber and “brain boosting omega threes” suddenly materializes.

Gimme GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Cadillac packs seaweed snack on her trips because they’re “a low calorie treat that satisfies that salty crunchy craving.” But not only are they low-cal, they also pack a ton of vitamins and minerals such as as calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine zinc, and vitamins C and A! Potato chips who?

Dates With Almond Butter

“While it still satisfies that sweet tooth in the same way a candy will, dates are a real food that will provide you with vitamins and minerals compared to empty calories that you’ll get from candy,” says Glassman. Additionally, “the protein and fat from the almond butter will help satiate you” so you don’t feel the need to snack during your entire trip.

Light & Fit Two Good Mixed Berry Greek Yogurt

For a light snack that's still filling enough to hold you over until the concessions cart comes around, Blechman suggests Greek yogurt. "Right now I'm loving Two Good. The little cup has 2g of total sugar, 3g of carbs, 12g of protein and 80 calories." So, you'll save plenty of room for a fun meal when you land.

Wonderful Pistachios Wonderful Roasted & Salted Pistachios

“Pistachios are a good source of plant-based protein and nearly 90% of the fats found in them are the better for you mono and polyunsaturated type,” says Zanini. 

Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks

“I am always looking for items that are individually wrapped because they’re so much easier to grab from the kitchen on my way out,” says Blechman. Her current go-to is Horizon organic string cheese for a good source of protein that easily fits in a personal bag or carry-on.

Sabra Classic Hummus Snack Dips

For a savory snack that’s indulgent without being unhealthy, Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, and health and nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY show, recommends hummus cups, because they’re the perfect thing to accompany some fresh veggies like baby carrots, celery sticks, or bell pepper slices, she says. Or, if you're a carb-lover (who isn't?) enjoy the pita chips that come with most cups.

Finn Crisp Thin Rye Crispbread Original

If you're looking for yet another option to dip into your hummus or guac (another healthy go-to), Blechman recommends whole-grain crackers to stay on the more nutritious side. Her favorites (with or without hummus) are Finn Crisps.

Nourish Snacks Chewy Granola Bites

To satisfy your cravings for those Delta biscotti, Bauer suggests her very own Nourish Granola Bites in flavors like chocolate peanut butter, blueberry apple, and chocolate banana. The yummy snacks come in 1o oz single serve pouches as well as resealable 4 oz bags and are made with good-for-you ingredients like whole grain oats and chia, so they're filling, Bauer says.

best backpacks for women

Luggage Perfect for International Travel

woman packing suitcase for travelling

14 Essential Travel Accessories to Pack Now

best travel dresses for women

These Travel Dresses Are as Comfy as Sweatpants

best sun hats for women 2024

25 Best Beach Hats for Sunny Days Ahead

best travel pants for women 2023

Comfy and Cool Travel Pants for Your Next Getaway

travel bag

20 of the Most Stylish Weekender Bags for Women

best compression socks for women

The Best-Tested Compression Socks for Women

Landmark, Tower, Sky, Spire, Architecture, Tourism, Tourist attraction, City, Building, Monument,

The Best Places to Travel Alone

makeup bags

20 Makeup Bags That’ll Keep You Organized

in the zen zone

34 Stimulating Things to Do Alone

best fanny packs for women 2023

The Best Fanny Packs for Hands-Free Travel

13 Best Snacks on Plane and Food to Pack for Long Flights

Wondering what are the best snacks on plane to bring with you? In this post, we listed down all the best food to pack for a long flight!

When you are about to embark on a long-haul flight, there are plenty of things you need to prepare. The long flight will be tedious and exhausting as it can challenge you physically and mentally. Preparing to ensure it won’t ruin your holiday is important.

Packing tasty and healthy snacks on the plane is essential to survive the flight . If you are unsure about the best food for long flights, you have come to the right place. In this guide, you will learn the essential snacks and food items you need to carry with you (along with ones to avoid).

You will also learn the importance of picking the right snacks, especially on a long flight. And if you are on a budget, packing your snacks will also save you a ton of money since airplane food is notorious for being quite expensive.

Table of Contents

Snacks on Plane: Food to Pack for Long Flights

How to pack food for the plane.

Long flights may give you enough time to catch up on your favorite TV shows, watch movies, play games on your phone or tablet, or read books . But eventually, you will need to eat and drink. If you’re planning a long-haul flight , make sure you include your meals and snacks. Here is a quick list of the best food for long flights:

Reusable water bottles

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Reusable water bottles

Moving and brisk walking through airports, security checks, and standing in line for buses, trains, and more are daunting tasks. These things can make you sweat and lose important electrolytes in your body. Dehydration is a common problem on long-haul flights.

Make sure you can always ask the flight attendant for a cup of water. Those tiny plastic cups won’t be enough throughout the flight. You can save yourself the hassle of dehydration and bring a collapsible water bottle .

You can fill the bottle after the security check or ask the flight crew to fill it. It is also just a small fracture of space in your carry-on bag. Some can be folded to a quarter of an inch and expand up to 20 oz. Or more. It saves you from the ridiculously expensive bottled water sold in airports.

Reusable containers and cutlery

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Reusable containers and cutlery

Plastic single-use containers and cutlery are everywhere. You will be surprised how much of this plastic comes from airlines. For the most, they’re super convenient and way more reliable than their single-use counterparts.

You can help save the earth by not using single-use travel containers and cutlery from drugstores. Thus, it is best to have reusable containers and cutlery with you when you travel.

Here are the snacks you can bring with you on a long-haul flight

Here’s a quick list of healthy travel snacks.

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Trail mix

The trail mix is a good choice if you want something to munch on while watching your favorite TV show on your phone or tablet. They’re light, nutritious, and even filling. Nuts are great sources of antioxidants, protein, and energy. It’s quite a popular all-around snack on the plane.

You can make your trail mix at home by mixing nuts like almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, dried fruits, seeds, popcorn, etc., in a zip-lock bag. Add some M&Ms or chocolate bits to make your mix more exciting.

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Olives

Natural pitted olives, to be specific, are one of the less popular snacks for international flights. However, they’re a super healthy and guilt-free snack. You are free to add this to your list of healthy travel snacks.

Although it is highly discouraged to drink alcohol on a long haul flight to avoid dehydration. Those who wish to sip a glass of wine for a good night’s sleep can have a pack of delicious pitted olives to pair with their wine.

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Beef jerky

You can find these in almost any supermarket and food store. They also come in different flavors and seasonings, such as buffalo, chicken, lamb, bacon, etc. Again, you must be considerate of your fellow passengers, so choose beef jerky that doesn’t come with strong seasoning.

Homemade sandwiches

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Homemade sandwiches

This premade sandwich is one of the more popular choices for airplane snacks. Homemade sandwiches and wraps are easy to make, carry, and eat on a plane. You need a secure container to prevent leaks. Also, remember to pack utensils, just in case.

Hummus and crackers

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Hummus and crackers

It is one of the most delicious foods to pack for long flights. Though hummus usually needs to be refrigerated, there are many different alternatives. There is hummus powder that comes in shelf-stable versions.

A single-serving shelf-stable hummus with some crackers can go a long way. Also, for powdered hummus, ask the flight attendant for hot water.

Granola bars

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Granola bars

You can bring both homemade and commercially packaged granola bars on the plane. It’s rich in fiber, protein, iron, and micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E. If you choose to make your granola bar, you are guaranteed its nutritious impact on your body.

Make sure you wrap it securely in a resealable bag or container with a secure lid. The nutrients depend on the ingredients in the granola bar. So if you want a healthy granola bar, ensure it includes oats, puffed rice, dried fruits, and seeds.

Protein bars

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Protein bars

This is another great packable airplane food that provides much-needed protein while on a long-haul flight. Protein bars can pack as much as 15g of protein per serving.

Again, be mindful of other passengers on the plane and avoid protein bars with nuts or peanut butter-flavored, in case someone has an allergy.

Firm cheeses and crackers

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Firm cheeses and crackers

When ordered in-flight, the classic combination of cheese and crackers can come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, you don’t have to shell money for a great-tasting treat. You can get great cheese from Trader Joe’s Spanish Cheese Tapas sampler.

This includes three different types of cheeses sliced thinly for an easy and convenient snack. You can pair that with a suitable cracker packed inside a zip-top bag.

Dried fruits

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Dried fruits

You can purchase several different dried fruits and mix them at home. Pack it in a resealable bag or a container with a lid, and you have a healthy and filling snack on the plane.

Instant cup noodles

Instant cup noodles

Though this is usually readily available as an in-flight snack, you can always bring your favorite instant cup noodles in your carry-on bag. They’re usually not particularly healthy, but they are super convenient.

Furthermore, it remains the best choice if you’re looking for a hot soup to sip. Simply ask the cabin crew for hot water when they roam around with their beverage cart.

If you enjoy ramen, you can check out this monthly Japanese ramen subscription package – Umai Crate from Japan Crate!

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Pretzels

These are common in-flight freebies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your favorite brand. Pretzels are had low-fat content and are high in iron, folate, potassium, and zinc. They’re crunchy and super convenient to carry.

The best thing about this snack is you don’t need to worry about your stomach when you have too much of it. Keep pretzels in a sealed container to avoid getting smashed inside your bag. You can have your pretzel as it is or try to pair them with fruits like apples and pears.

Packing this can add fiber to your snack. Hummus and low-fat cheese are also good options. Nothing cures a long and boring flight more than a pack of sweet treats. Cookie crisps and butter cookies are perfect with coffee or tea.

Fresh fruits

Snacks on Plane Food to Pack for Long Flights Fresh fruits

The classic combo of apple and peanut butter makes an ideal snack for anyone looking for a fresh and healthy bite. You can keep your apple slices in a zip-top bag or bring a whole apple. Banana is also a convenient plane snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why bring your snacks on plane.

Bringing your food to the airport or snacks on the plane may sound silly, but you will be surprised how common this practice is among corporate and frequent travelers. It’s a great way to avoid overpriced meals sold in airports and planes, stay on track with your diet, and eat healthy food.

What are the prohibited items to bring in the plane?

First off, you need to know what kind of snacks you can take on a plane. This means you need to know the TSA-approved snacks. The TSA allows passengers to bring almost any food items, as long as they’re not liquid and don’t go more than 3.4 oz. (100ml). Make sure your food doesn’t exceed that amount.

So if you’re bringing salad dressing, maple syrup, creamy dips, salsa, etc., secure them inside a sealed container. Baby food, bread, cereal, cookies, cooked meats, chocolates, dried fruits, granola bars, protein bars, grain salads, pizza, and sandwiches, are allowed for carry-ons. However, there are also considerable exceptions.

Baby formula and breast milk are examples of this, which require special instructions. They’re allowed in reasonable quantities. Also, be sure to be considerate of other passengers. Don’t pack food with a strong odor, such as durian, jackfruit, strong-smelling cheese, fermented foods such as kimchi, etc.

Are you on Pinterest? Pin this for later read!

snacks to bring in a long haul flight| snacks for long flights, best snacks for long flights, food to pack for long flight, best food to take on a plane, snacks for long haul flights, best snacks to take on a long flight,healthy snacks for a long flight #longhaulflight #europe #adventrure #traveldestinations #traveltips #travelguide #travelhacks #bucketlisttravel #amazingdestinations #travelideas #traveltheworld

  • Pinterest 133

About me

Evan Kristine a.k.a Pretty Wild World is a professional travel blogger with over 10 years of experience in content creation. Originally from the Philippines, she's been living in Finland for 15+ years working as a chef and entrepreneur in Tampere, Finland.

She's an expert in Finland travel and explores the country often sharing her insights and tips in this blog and social medias. She also splits her free time either going for weekend getaways in Europe or galavanting to different European destinations on her holidays. All her useful Europe travel guides are also in this blog!

Evan Kristine is also the food blogger behind at The Kitchen Abroad and on her free time, she enjoys decorating her 75m2 apartment and shares her experience over at Solía Avenue .

A true master of her own life and despite her busy schedule juggling life as a chef, blogger, and entrepreneur, she still finds time to read 50+ books a year and indulge in several hobbies like hiking, working out, yoga, and painting.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

The Bread & Butter Life

33 Easy Travel Snacks for your Airplane Carry-On Bag

Sharing is caring!

This post may contain affiliate links to products we recommend. You can read our disclosure for more information.

When I travel, the foodie in me always has to bring snacks for the trip. I always plan for easy travel snacks for a few reasons. For starters I’m not always sure what terminal I’ll be in at the airport so the food choices might get dicey once I get past security. Next, depending on the airline I’m flying there might not be great options once I board the plane (we’ve all been there). Lastly, I like to be prepared when I’m traveling even when I arrive at my final destination to have quick portable fuel sources on hand for when *hangry* hits in the form of easy travel snacks.

In this blog post I’ve compiled all of my favorite easy travel snacks into one ultimate packing list for your carry-on bag and I’ll walk you through my process for what to consider when selecting the best snacks to bring on a plane.

easy travel snacks

How to Pack Easy Travel Snacks for your Carry-On Bag

Depending on the length of my trip I usually bring a variety of snacks intended to carry-on a plane. I consider these easy to pack snacks, snacks that travel well, and also snacks that fall into the healthy(ish) convenience food category following these guidelines: 

  • Food I can’t find at my final travel destination

Drink Mixers

  • Airport Snacks (snacks to bring on a plane and at the airport terminal)
  • Emergency snacks (for when I’m super hungry)
  • Perishables
  • Non-Perishables
  • Sweet Treats/Comfort Items

These categories might look a little different for you but it helps to determine what you might need at least a week before your trip so that you have time to shop around. This will also help to keep your trip planning a little less stressful so that you can spend your time concentrating on the last minute things you need to do before you go out of town.

To verify what easy travel snacks you can and cannot carry on flights check out TSA’s security guidelines and the rules of each country for International flights. Keep in mind that TSA considers foods like yogurts and cooked oatmeal as “gels” and they will be confiscated at security (I learned this the hard way). For any other liquids review the guidelines but generally speaking most liquids and gels are allowed if they are less than 3.4oz/100 ml.

How to Transport your Easy Travel Snacks

My last consideration for packing easy travel snacks are the containers the food will travel in. For the most part I lean towards things that are easy to dispose of like foil, wax paper, plastic baggies, and repurposed takeout containers. However, in consideration of the environment I often try to lean to more sustainable options if I can, such as: silicon bags, collapsible cups, collapsible bowls, insulated containers, and beeswax paper. 

The con to these items is you will have to carry them in your luggage throughout your trip. But the pro of these items is being environmentally responsible, having a vessel you can reuse throughout your trip for something else, and some of these containers can keep your snacks from getting crushed, hot, or cold (triple bonus). 

I like Stasher Bags and Zip Top Bags for a reusable bag option. Both of these brands are super durable, always hold up really well for traveling, and are great to repurpose for other easy travel snacks on a trip. 

Silicone Bags

Stasher Reusable Silicone Storage Bag, Food Storage Container, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe, Leak-free, Bundle 4-Pack Small, Clear

Stasher Bags

These are great reusable bags for packing your travel snacks on the go.

Zip Top Reusable Food Storage Bags | Full Set of 8 [Teal] | Silicone Meal Prep Container | Microwave, Dishwasher and Freezer Safe | Made in the USA

Zip Top Bags

We love these bags for items that can’t lay flat! The structure of the bag makes it easy to carry your snacks and keep them from being crushed in your carry-on luggage.

Collapsible bowls have also been one of my favorites for eating things like oatmeal on the go and pre-made meals I might travel with (in an effort to clean out my fridge before I head out of town). I also like these collapsible cups from Stojo to make drinks portable and they don’t take up much room. If you have space for something bigger I like using the Snack Swell thermos containers for some travel foods on my trips since its a small insulated container to keep food hot or cold.

Bowls and Cups

STOJO Collapsible Bowl - Lilac, 36oz - Reusable Silicone Bowl for Hot and Cold Food - Perfect for Travel, Meal Prep, To-Go Lunch, Camping & Hiking - Microwave & Dishwasher Safe

Stojo Collapsible Bowl

We are loving the STOJO Collapsible Bowl. This holds 36oz and is a reusable silicone bowl for hot and cold food which makes it perfect for travel, meal prep, to-go Lunch, camping, and hiking. This is also microwave & dishwasher safe.

S'well S'nack Stainless Steel Food Container - 24 Oz - Azure Forest - Double-Layered Insulated Bowls Keep Food Cold for 8 Hours and Hot for 6 - BPA-Free

S’well S’nack Food Container

We love the S’well S’nack Stainless Steel Food Container. It’s 24 ounces and great for holding food you are traveling with that you want to keep hot or cold. This will keep your food for 8 Hours Hot for 6 Hours Cold.

S'well S'nack Stainless Steel Food Container - 10 Oz - Peppermint Tree - Double-Layered Insulated Bowls Keep Food Cold for 10 Hours and Hot for 4 - BPA-Free

This is a smaller version of the bigger S’nack by S’well Food Container. Its 10oz and has Double-Layered Insulated walls to keep food and drinks cold for 10 hours and hot for 4 hours!

STOJO Collapsible Travel Cup With Straw- Eucalyptus, 16oz / 470ml - Reusable To-Go Pocket Size Silicone Cup for Hot and Cold Drinks - Perfect for Camping and Hiking - Microwave & Dishwasher Safe

Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup

This collapsible travel cup comes with a straw and holds 16oz of liquid. Its reusable and pocket size for hot and cold drinks making it perfect for travel, camping, and hiking. Like the other Stojo products its microwave and dishwasher safe.

If you are traveling with any items that must stay at a colder temperature these PackIt Freezable pouches are a great option to transport your food. The PackIt Freezable pouch has groundbreaking cooling technology that includes freezable gel that is permanently built into the bag so that you don’t need to deal with separate ice packs.

To start collapse the bag flat and freeze in the freezer overnight until you are ready to use it. You can add any of the easy travel snacks that are perishable items in this post to store in this bag. You can also keep this item throughout your trip for other easy to pack snacks.

PackIt Freezable Snack Box, Rainbow Sky, Built with EcoFreeze Technology, Collapsible, Reusable, Zip Closure with Buckle Handle, Great for All Ages and Fresh Snacks on the go

PackIt Freezable Pouch

This is our favorite travel product for traveling with items that are perishable and need to remain cold like yogurt and cheese. Simply pop the pouch in the freezer the night before your trip and it will keep your perishable snacks at the correct temperature for a few hours. This collapsible and folds up and comes in many colors!

My last favorite sustainable travel item is reusable wax paper. I like using the Bee’s Wrap brand. It takes a bit to get used to if you normally use regular wax paper. If you have a few baked goods, sandwiches etc. to carry while traveling it comes in handy to reuse a few times and store it completely flat in your carry on bag.

Bee's Wrap Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps Made in the USA, Eco Friendly Beeswax Food Wrap, Sustainable Food Storage Containers, Organic Cotton Food Wraps, Assorted 3 Pack (S, M, L), Honeycomb Pattern

Bee’s Wrap

This Bee’s Wrap is an assorted 3 Pack great sustainable option. It’s plastic and silicone free reusable beeswax in 3 sizes great for traveling with sandwhiches.

PackIt Freezable Snack Box, Black, Built with EcoFreeze Technology, Collapsible, Reusable, Zip Closure with Buckle Handle, Perfect All Ages and Fresh Snacks on the go

Freezable Pouch

PackIt® Freezable Snack Bag, Polka Dots, Built with EcoFreeze® Technology, Foldable, Reusable, Zip Closure, Perfect for Babies, Kids, Adults of all Ages, and Fresh Snacks on the go

Freezable pouch

Small Cooler Bag Freezable Lunch Bag for Work School Travel,Leak-proof Small Lunch Bag,Small Insulated Bag For Kids/Adults,Freezer Lunch Bags,Freezable Snack Bag,Mini Lunch Bag Fit For Yogurt

Order of Operations For Your Easy Travel Snacks

If you are planning to take some snacks to the airport for future travel plans my suggested cheat sheet of how to go about eating your easy travel snacks includes a simple order of consumption:

  • Eat your perishable items first (for obvious reasons)
  • Pack napkins and/or wet wipes (these are not always available as you are on the go)
  • If you are bringing whole fruit wash these items before you get to the airport and use your napkin or paper towel as the vessel to carry the item (it also doubles as a napkin as you eat your fruit)
  • Pack some travel utensils (for any snacks that require some deep diving or for complete meals)

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes, Fresh Scent Wipes | Travel Wipes Case, Antibacterial Wipes | 20 ct. Travel Size Wipes (10 pack)

Travel utensil set

Reusable Travel Utensils with Case, 4 Sets Wheat Straw Portable Cutlery Set Chopsticks Knives Fork and Spoon for Lunch Box Accessories, Camping Flatware Sets for Daily Use or Outdoor

Portable utensil set

TO GO WARE Repeat Bamboo Utensil Set - Cayenne (Red), 1 EA

Bamboo utensil set

My favorite snacks to bring on a plane.

Below is an easy travel snack list I’ve compiled of my favorite airport (and TSA) friendly snacks. I’ve grouped the items into perishable vs. non-perishable categories since I often will travel with a few perishable items that I strategize to eat first and then work my way through the rest of my snack stash either on the trip or eat other items during a longer flight to tide me over until I reach my destination. 

Perishable Easy Travel Snacks

For perishable easy travel snacks I always tend to pack food that can last a while at room temperature. Regardless of the length of your flight you’ll want items that won’t go bad in case it takes a while to get through security or to the airport (we’ve all been there!). Or even worse if your flight is delayed (done that!). On my list I usually include:

Cured Meats and Deli Meats

This includes salami, pastrami, pepperoni, ham, and turkey. These are great options because they can travel well at room temperature for short periods of time.

I think everyone loves cheese (even us lactose intolerant folks) and it travels well for short periods of time at room temperature. Some of my favorite cheese options are the Babybel Gouda Semisoft Cheeses. I like these because they have their own carrying case with the wax they are packaged in which qualifies the product as easy travel snack in my book.

My next favorite is Trader Joe’s Tapas cheese (it’s amazing! Grab it if you have a TJs near you). This includes several slices of three types of cheese including: Iberico, Cabra Al Vino (a.k.a. “ Drunken Goat “), and Manchengo. I really enjoy how the flavors in this set are so different and it feels very fancy while you are enjoying them.

easy travel snack trader joe's tapas sampler

Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are one of the best snacks for traveling. I typically boil eggs once a week so I’ll grab 2-4 for a flight or whatever is left over in my fridge for the week (this is also a good way to clean out your fridge before you head out of town). You can also purchase eggs that are already boiled from almost any local grocery store for an easy travel snack on an airplane.

Another fun option for hard boiled eggs is from a brand called Perfectly Peckish which sells hard boiled eggs in packs with a fun crunchy dip. Their selection includes:

  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & EVERYTHING Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & FRIED RICE Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & RANCHEROS Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & SALT & PEPITAS Dip
  • PECKISH Snackable Eggs & RANCH Dip

Check out their store locator to find a store that sells these near you .

long haul travel snacks

Crackers and/or Bread

I personally can’t have cheese and cured/deli meat without crackers or bread! These are easy to transport and can be stored at various temperatures which make them a great addition to your carry-on bag for an easy snack pairing (and crunch)!

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers, Fine Ground Sea Salt Snack Packs - Gluten Free, Vegan, Healthy Snacks, 4.9 Ounce (Pack of 3)

I love fruit for an easy snack that travels well. The fruit that travels the best are apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, and grapes. I like these fruits because they have their own “skin” which can serve as its own carrying case so that they don’t get squashed (thanks mother nature!).

For oranges you can even pre-slice these and add them to a travel container or baggie to eat right out of the peel (or peel them later). And for kiwi I like slicing these in half and using a spoon to scoop out the insides for easy eating. If you have never tried Golden Kiwi its a real treat (they taste like a cross between a mango and a strawberry)!

Putting It Together

Combining these items also creates a nice balance for traveling to ensure you have enough protein, fat, and carbohydrates for fuel while on the go. You can also pair the meats, cheese, and crackers or bread and make a makeshift sandwich in a pinch (great easy travel snack idea!). You can also grab some pre-made snack boxes for a perishable option to take through security.

Non-Perishable Travel Snacks

My favorite non-perishable easy travel snack list is a bit longer. I group these by foods I might eat on the plane or at my final destination as I get hungry or peckish.

I eat oatmeal almost daily when I’m home for breakfast so it’s an item I always travel with especially internationally since it’s not something that all countries will provide for breakfast. It’s also a really nice snack on a plane since you just need water to make it. You can use one of the collapsible bowls or cups I mentioned above as the vessel to make these in or any disposable cup at the airport. I typically use the McCann Irish Oatmeal brand because it’s very hearty as a travel snack or the Unsweetened Individual Oatmeal packets from Trader Joe’s .

McCann’s Regular Instant Irish Oatmeal, 11.85 ounce, 12 Packets

Bringing nuts on a flight can be controversial so be sure to read your airline’s individual rules regarding what is allowed. I like going for the individually portioned nuts that are completely sealed in case I can’t eat them on a particular flight due to restrictions or nut allergies. If that’s the case I can always have them as a snack at my final destination.

My favorite nut options for an easy travel snack include: 

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Trail Mix (for something different)

Emerald Nuts, 100 Calorie Variety Pack, 18 Count

Crunchy Snacks

Personally I’m a big fan of crunchy snacks in general but definitely when I travel. I think it’s nice to have a variety of items on hand. For this category I pack:

I usually air pop popcorn and bring it in my reusable silicon bag for trips. Did you know that you can air pop popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave? I also like these individually wrapped White Cheddar Popcorn bags from Smartfood .

Smartfood Popcorn, White Cheddar, 0.625 Ounce (Pack of 40)

Peanut Butter Crackers

I also like bringing Peanut Butter Crackers as easy travel snacks for my final destination. These have saved me many times while traveling to have something to tide me over until my next meal.

Lance Sandwich Crackers, Toasty and Toastchee Peanut Butter, 40 Ct (Pack of 2)

There’s something nostalgic about Chex Mix that just makes it a travel staple! I use to have these all the time as a kid on trips. I usually will grab the individual baggies for my carry-on bag.

Chex Mix Classics Snack Mix, 1.75 Ounce (Pack of 30)

I also always grab Cheez-Its for a fun crunchy cheesy snack.

Cheez-It Cheese Crackers, Baked Snack Crackers, Office and Kids Snacks, Variety Pack, 17.72oz Box (20 Pouches)

Moon Cheese

These are a newer to me product. I saw them once at Starbucks and then purchased them last year from Target and I’m a fan! These are little cheese balls that come in different flavors. If you like cheese and something with a crunch you’ll like these little cheese balls as a snack.

Moon Cheese Variety Pack of 5, 1 of each (Cheddar Believe It, Oh My Gouda, Garlickin Parmesan, Get Pepper Jacked, White Chedda Black Peppa) GF, High Protein, Low Carb, Keto Friendly, 100% Real Cheese

Anytime I think of pretzels I think of that Seinfeld episode “these pretzels are making me thirsty” but they still make for a great easy travel snack!

Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels, 100 Calorie Individual Packs, 36 Ct

Veggie Straws

Veggie straws are the perfect easy travel snack to take on the go! They are both crunchy and salty which you is always needed on the road.

Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, cheddar cheese,cheese, Snack Size, 24 Count

Marinated Vegetables

This might be an odder pick but eating vegetables on the go is hard so I love this option. POSHI Vegetable Snacks offers a marinated steamed portable snack option. If you like pickled vegetables you will like these! Plus you can add a little fiber to you day while in transit.

POSHI Marinated Vegetables Variety Pack | Asparagus, French Beans, Cauliflower, Artichoke | Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Gourmet, Healthy, Fully Cooked (12 Pack)

Snack Olives

If you’ve never had olives while on an airplane you are missing out! Something about eating olives at 42,000 feet cruising in the air is a totally different experience. I like buying these Olives to Go from the grocery store and Trader Joe’s also sells individually packed Olive packs which are so yummy. I was inspired to add Olives to my easy travel snack list after having the Mediterranean Travel Snack box on a United Flight which has a great mix of olives, bruschetta, hummus, and chocolate almonds as a great snack mix.

Mario Camacho Foods Pitted Snack Olives, Variety Pack, 1.05 oz Pouches (Pack of 12)

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a really fun easy travel snack! My favorite picks are dried apples and mangoes. They make such a sweet treat and they are also crunchy (or chewy).

Bare Baked Crunchy, Apples Fuji & Reds, 0.53 Ounce (Pack of 16)

When traveling with dips always choose brands that are shelf stable so that they can fall into the perishable category. If you go this route you should plan to consume the entire package in your trip since they will need to be refrigerated once opened.

Mezete Tahini Rich Hummus Assortment, 100% All-Natural Dips and Spreads, Ready to Go Vegan Dip, Shelf-Stable with No Preservatives and Requires No Refrigeration, 7.5 Ounce (Pack of 6)

Something Sweet

Honey stinger organic waffles.

Honey Stinger Organic Waffles are sweet yummy waffles that double as a healthy(ish) treat. These pack really easily in your carry-on or a day pack on your trip and make them one the best snacks for traveling.

Honey Stinger Organic Waffles - Variety Pack – 16 Count – 4 of Each Flavor – Energy Source for Any Activity – Honey, Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Cinnamon – in Original Bee The Bear Box

Brownies & Cookies

Brownies and Cookies fall into a comfort item category for me. It’s nice to always have a sweet treat on hand but also something you are familiar with. I like the Nature’s Bakery brand Brownies and old faithful Nabisco Cookies like Oreos.

OREO Original, OREO Golden, CHIPS AHOY! & Nutter Butter Cookie Snacks Variety Pack, 56 Snack Packs (2 Cookies Per Pack)

Fruit Snacks

Pink panda/snack owl.

I recently discovered a new brand called Pink Panda which offers high fiber fruit snacks. Why high fiber fruit snacks? Because fiber is such a hard micro nutrient to consume when you are traveling and I like that these snacks trade the sugar for fiber when it comes to carbohydrates in the snack. These come in two varieties: Astro Blasters and Treasure Chews. I’ve had both and think they taste yummy (you’d really never know there is no sugar in these)! And it’s only 90 calories for the entire bag.

If you are interested in trying out this new brand use our code “BREADANDBUTTERPANDA10” for 10% off if you order directly on their website . Pink Panda fruit snacks are also available on Amazon below.

Snack Owl Vegan Sour Gummy Candy – Gluten Free, Low Calorie Candy - Guilt Free & Delicious Healthy Gummy Snacks - (Sour Nova)

Smart Sweets

I’ve been eating SmartSweets for years! They are similar to the Pink Panda brand but I’m not really sure which I like more. These are also high fiber fruit snacks and I really enjoy them for traveling. My favorites to date have been the Sour Blast Buddies and the Peach Rings.

SmartSweets Low Sugar Variety Candy Pack, 1.8oz (8 Pack) - For Kids & Adults

Other Fruit Snacks

As you can tell I really love fruit snacks! My other favorites for travel and just as a general comfort item are Gushers and Fruit by the Foot. I also really like fruit leather and the “That’s It” brand is a great option for something healthy(ish) when it comes to fruit snacking.

Fruit Bars Snack Gift Box (20 Pack) - 100% Natural, Gluten-Free, Vegan Fruit Snacks Variety Pack

Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Energy Chews is an organic candy that’s great to chew and eat before, during, or after activity (especially when flying if your ears ring at high altitudes). It has multiple carbohydrate sources including glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose.

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chew Variety Pack | 3 Pack each of Fruit Smoothie, Pomegranate Passionfruit and Cherry Blossom | Gluten Free & Caffeine Free | 9 Count (Pack of 1)

I discovered this candy while on vacation in Hawaii. I think the best way to describe these are somewhere between candy and a gummy since they are chewy. I like Mango as my favorite flavor. Amazon offers a variety box if you want to check these out.

Hi-Chew Assorted Combo with Two 3.5-oz Packs including Tropical and Original

Protein Snacks

Protein is always hard for me to get in even when I’m not traveling so I always like to bring some protein snacks with me just in case. These are really great to cure hangry when you need some  stabilizing energy.

Pepperoni Sticks

These are new to me but I started eating Pepperoni sticks last year as a quick snack when I was out doing errands. That makes them perfect for an easy travel snack! The two brands I’ve liked so far are Vermont and Applegate Naturals. To me the flavors of these taste the most neutral for dried meat and come in a casing so it’s easy to eat and move on to the next thing.

Snack Sticks by Vermont Smoke & Cure – Uncured Pepperoni – Turkey – Healthy Meat Protein – 1oz Jerky Sticks – 24 count carton

Protein Bars

Protein Bars can sometimes leave an aftertaste in my opinion so there are not too many tasty ones that have a balanced calorie to protein ratio. My favorite pick so far as been Barebells Protein Bars which come in a variety of flavors and have 20 grams of protein per bar. I’ve been able to find these on Amazon and at Trader Joe’s so far. If you don’t typically like protein bars give these a try for something a bit different.

Barebells Protein Bar - Salty Peanut

Protein Powders

I like to travel with protein powders that are individually wrapped since protein is often difficult to fit in when on the go. Most protein powder servings will have at least 18 grams of protein which is a great boost to hold you over until your next meal.

You can mix your protein powder in with some bottled water at the airport. As a great hack you can also find a bistro, Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts in the airport and request a milk of your choice in a bigger cup to add your protein powder for an easy travel snack.

Clean Simple Eats Chocolate Brownie Batter Whey Protein Powder, Natural Sweetened and Cold-Processed 20 Grams of Protein (30 Servings)

Collagen Peptides

I’m also a big fan of collagen peptides! Collagen is not a complete protein but it works well in a pinch to supplement other sources of protein for the day. It’s not completely tasteless but the flavor isn’t too strong. I prefer to dissolve these packets in water or hot coffee while traveling. They come in individual sticks which make them easy to transport. Collagen is also really great for nail and hair growth and has really helped my joints.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder Supplement Travel Packs, Hydrolyzed Collagen for Skin Hair Nail Joint - Dairy & Gluten Free - 10g per Serving - Zero Sugar - Unflavored (20ct per Box)

Granola and Fruit Bars

Something about granola bars are so nostalgic to me and I love to bring them as an easy travel snack. They travel really well on planes and are also great for in your day bag at your final destination.

I like the Nature Valley, Made Good, and Nature Bakery brands.

Nature's Bakery Gluten Free Fig Bars, Raspberry, Real Fruit, Vegan, Non-GMO, Snack bar, 1 box with 6 twin packs (6 twin packs)

Peanut Butter

Again, a controversial pick for travel since usually peanuts are not allowed on all flights but I must have peanut butter with me as a basic comfort food while traveling! If I can’t have these on the plane I just eat them at my final destination. I like the JIF To Go Natural Peanut Butter cups that come individually packaged and will eat them as is, or with something I buy at the airport for some extra fat and protein. My second pick is the Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter brand which comes in a packet making it one of the best snacks for traveling.

JUSTIN'S Classic Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Spread Squeeze Packs, 1.15 Ounce (10 Pack)

Dehydration is real when you travel! I have two easy solutions to stay hydrated when you are on the go. These are not exactly an easy travel snack but they will come in handy while on the go.

I recently started using GoHydrate this spring as a way to stop my leg muscles from cramping and get my water levels up. GoHydrate is a water enhancer which makes it a great option if you are not particularly a fan of drinking water. I started thinking that this would also be excellent for travel due to the individual packets which make them great for on-the-go. GoHydrate provides almost instant hydration by delivering 5 electrolytes immediately to your body. Those electrolytes are: calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.

This water enhancer also provides 40%+ of the recommended daily Vitamin D dose that most of of are deficient in due to sitting inside so often. To use GoHydrate just pour the pre-packaged stick into 20-24oz of water and drink. If you’d like to order GoHydrate I suggest ordering their mixed 10 stick sample box or their 30 stick sample box to see which flavor you like before stocking up on their 30 box sets of one flavor. My favorite flavors so far have been Lemon Citrus , Kiwi Strawberry , and Fruit Punch if you need a flavor recommendation.

GoHydrate Electrolyte Drink Mix - A Naturally Flavored, Sugar Free, Hydration Powder (Mixed, 30 Count (Pack of 1))

True Honey Tea

We found this brand True Honey Tea at a farmers market last year and its been our favorite tea! Based in Virginia these are tea bags that have honey granules already in the tea. We really like the Earl Gray (add some half and half to make a London Fog) and also the Peppermint tea for a really great non perishable travel snack.

True Honey Rooibos Tea Bags - Honey Crystals Blended in Every Sachet - Decaf Red Rooibos Tea - All Natural Organic Herbal Caffeine Free Tea Bag 24 Count

My next favorite drink mixer to travel with is from Cusa Tea . This brand was recommended to me by a friend who uses them while hiking. The best part is you don’t have to walk around with a wet tea bag once you prepare your tea. The flavors Cusa Teas has are unreal. I started with their Iced or Hot Variety Pack and the flavors are so delicious, truly premium tea with no sugar or artificial ingredients. I’ve tried this both in iced and hot tea and they work great. You can use these just by ordering hot water while on at the airport, on the plane, or at your final travel destination. 

If iced tea is more your style I’ve used them in even room temperature water (though cold water is better) and they dissolve no problem with no grainy stuff at the bottom. They are not sweetened so if you like sweet tea I suggest adding a sugar packet or something like Truvia to lightly sweeten the drink. My favorite flavors so far have been Blueberry Chrysanthemum and Hibiscus Rose . I recommend starting with the variety pack so that you can figure out which flavor you like before committing to an entire pack.

Cusa Tea & Coffee | Herbal Tea Variety Pack | Premium Caffeine Free Instant Tea | Hot & Iced Tea with No Added Sugar (10 Single Servings)

I typically buy a large water bottle once I get through security to keep with me in the airport and on the plane. If you don’t like buying water I suggest traveling with a stainless steel water bottle that you can fill up at the airport and throughout your trip. Our favorite travel options include Swell , Iron Flask, Yeti, and Stanley water bottles as great options that close.

Travel Water Bottles

S'well Stainless Steel Traveler - 20 Fl Oz - Azurite - Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug Keeps Coffee, Tea and Drinks Cold for 36 Hours and Hot for 15- BPA-Free Water Bottle

S’well Stainless Steel Traveler

This S’well Stainless Steel Traveler is 20 Fl Oz and is Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulated to keep Coffee, Tea and Drinks Cold for 36 Hours and Hot for 15 Hours.

Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw - Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle for Home, Office or Car Reusable Cup Leakproof Flip Cold 12 Hours Iced 2 Days (Alpine) , 30oz

Stanley IceFlow Tumbler

Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw is a Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle for Travel, the Office or a road trip. Its a reusable cup with a straw Leakproof Flip. The Stanley IceFlow will keep your drink cold for 12 Hours or Iced for 2 Days. This comes in various colors!

YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with Chug Cap, Seafoam

YETI Rambler Bottle

The YETI Rambler Water Bottle holds 26 oz of liquid and is vacuum insulated with a Chug Cap.

Which Easy Travel Snacks Are Your Favorites?

What easy travel snacks do you like to bring on your trips ? Did I miss any easy to pack snacks that you would recommend? Keep these travel snacks in mind for your next trip to beat hangry.

' src=

Related Posts

The Best Food Tour in Porto: Taste Porto

The Best Food Tour in Porto: Taste Porto

6 Warm Winter Travel Destinations in the USA to Catch That Winter Sun

6 Warm Winter Travel Destinations in the USA to Catch That Winter Sun

Why Food is a Key Component of Any Travel Adventure

Why Food is a Key Component of Any Travel Adventure

How to Pack for Any Trip: The Complete Travel Gear Guide for Female Travelers

How to Pack for Any Trip: The Complete Travel Gear Guide for Female Travelers

Santa Barbara, California is the Perfect Escape: A Travel Guide

Santa Barbara, California is the Perfect Escape: A Travel Guide

This post is perfect timing! We’re taking the family to Disney World in two weeks and I have “travel snacks” on my to-do list! I love the high fiber gummy options, my little one struggles while we travel, so these will be perfect! Oh, and I have both the Emerald Nut Packs and the Nature’s Bakery bars as my car snacks, they are perfect, so I never have to hit the drive-thru!

Disney World sounds so fun! Yes, any sort of extra fiber on a trip makes things so much easier for all of us. And in candy form even better. I hope you get to try them 🙂 -Monica

I often bring a small container (2-3 TBSP to 3.3 oz) of reconstituted PBfit (or other powdered peanut butter) with sugar snap peas or carrot sticks for a tasty healthy snack. Also bring small containers of the powdered peanut butter to mix with water later. Frozen grapes and frozen bean/veggie or egg and spinach wraps can be used to keep food cold and are healthy snacks when thawed.

Those are great ideas!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Travel Fashion Girl

These are the Best Airplane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

Packing , Packing Tips


Support TFG by using the links in our articles to shop. We receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) so we can continue to create helpful free content. We earn from qualifying purchases made to the featured retailers. Thank you, we appreciate your support!

Airplane food (or no food at all) can take a flight from bad to worse. Whether you’re a picky eater, follow a strict diet, or hate the idea of going hungry, follow our readers’ recommendations for good airplane snacks so you know exactly what to pack!

Note: please read product labels for all airplane snacks in advance to ensure you are not allergic to the ingredients.

Airplane Food Ideas

Table of contents.

Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:

I’m in search of packable foods that don’t require refrigeration and that I can take from the U.S. into Canada in a carry-on. I won’t have a fridge or microwave in my room and I’m not sure if I’ll have hot water. A tight schedule of events for the conference I’m attending prevents me from having much time to seek out food from grocery stores in-country and a tight budget has motivated me to get creative with meals and snacks.

Many readers ask us, “can you bring snacks on an airplane?” The answer is yes, but not all food makes for the best travel snacks. Our readers share their recommendations for what snacks to bring on a plane.


Veggicopia Dips Variety Pack

Hummus and Crackers

Hummus and crackers is one of the best food to pack for long flights. While hummus is usually refrigerated, there are alternatives, including shelf-stable versions and hummus powder.

One reader says, “I bring single serving-size shelf-stable hummus and pack that with crackers.” Another adds, “I pack hummus powder and dried bean dip. Just add hot water from your hotel coffee maker or ask a flight attendant!”


GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals Tasty Favorites Variety Pack

GoPicnic Boxes

A number of readers rave about  GoPicnic boxes  . These small, individual-sized snack boxes are delicious, nutritionally balanced, all-natural ready-to-eat meals that come in handy picnic boxes. No refrigeration, preparation, or heating required! If you’re looking for healthy snacks for long flights, these fit the bill.

One reader says, “My favorite travel snack is GoPicnic boxes,” while a second says, “I second GoPicnic boxes! They’re fantastic.” A third says, “I love these for the plane! They come in many different varieties and each are unique and delicious. They are packaged in such a way that the crackers or chips will not be crushed, and the meats do not need to be refrigerated. The box opens in so that you can lay it right on the tray and see everything inside. I take these on every trip.”

You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly !


Nut Harvest Nut & Fruit Mix

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Like peanut butter and jelly, fruit and nuts go hand in hand. Several readers recommended mixed nuts, trail mix, and dried fruit strips. All of them are available in individual sized packets, making them easy to stuff into your carry-on.

You can also make your own trail mix for DIY airplane snacks. Combine nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate nibs or something sweet for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.


Nuts and Spices Variety Pack

Granola Bars

Like dried fruits and nuts, granola bars are a great snack for giving you a boost of energy. One reader says, “I usually just throw in some Kind bars in my bag,” while another reader recommended Nature Valley cereal bars.

Keep a few different granola bars in your bag so you can grab and enjoy them at any time. Look for those that have several grams of protein to keep you feeling full longer. Along with Nature Valley and Kind, we also love Luna and Clif bars.


World Gourmet Quinoa Ready To Eat Meal

World Gourmet Quinoa Meal Pots

Like the GoPicnic packs, these meals from World Gourmet are ready to eat anywhere and at anytime. While you can heat them up, you can also eat them as-is.

One reader says, “These are so great for travel! Yummy, healthy, and you don’t have to heat them up. Every flavor I have tried is delicious. It’s nice to have a real meal instead of a snack.”


Maple Almond Butter Squeeze Packs

Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Packets

While a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be tricky to pack and keep fresh, packets of peanut or almond butter are easy to take on long flights. One reader says, “I like to bring crackers and small peanut butter or almond butter packs.”

Justin’s is an organic brand that offers individual-sized packets of peanut butter and several types of almond butter, including a delicious maple almond butter.


Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

Instant Oatmeal Bowls

Several readers recommend instant oatmeal as they’re easy to pack and make for a great meal when you want to eat more than a granola bar or snack. One reader says, “I like to bring instant oatmeal for a quick breakfast and as healthy snacks for airplane travels.”

While you do need hot water, you can ask a flight attendant for hot water if you’re on a plane, or use the coffee maker in a hotel room.


Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container

How to Pack Airplane Snacks

Our readers also shared their tips for packing snacks for flights, recommending  Tupperware and Ziploc bags. Freezer-size Ziploc bags are great for combining all of your snacks. Add your Tupperware or Ziploc bags to a packing cube in your personal item so that you can have easy access to your snacks when you get hungry.

With Tupperware, you can take it with you in your day pack for days out if you want to save money and avoid eating out. They’re also great for separating airplane snacks for toddlers.

A spork can also come in handy, or you can always carry around a disposable plastic spoon I you opt against these travel products. This is a must have essential in my pack but it may not be in yours!

What are your  favorite airplane snacks ? Share in the comments below!

For more airplane essentials, please read:

  • What to Wear On A Plane
  • What To Do on a Long Flight
  • How to Alleviate Back Pain During Flights
  • How to Survive Long Flights Over 20+ Hours



Hope you liked these ideas for snacks for long flights. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


If you take a Justin’s packet on any flight TSA will bomb swipe search each packet do to it having a foil lining which will set off the alarms. Take it from me who has had each packet of my Justin’s Peanut Butter searched


Hi Pilar, thank you for sharing this with us! ?

Sunjar Kumar

My favorite snack I pack in Tupperware is Keema Matta and paratha . I also like a good sardine in easy open cans.

Hi Sunjar, thank you for sharing! Happy travels!


Instead of premixed peanut butter, I pack peanut butter powder.


Can you take these on a plane in your carry on?

Hi Kay, thank you for your comment! Yes you should be able to take these on a flight with you but it is always best to check with your airline directly first! 🙂


I have to say, I love tuna, but if someone opened up a can or pouch of tuna on the plane…ugh! The whole plane would smell like tuna! Maybe best to make and eat your tuna salad in the terminal 🙂

Hi Carrie, thank you for sharing!! 🙂

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

everyday with madi rae

All , Travel , Wellness , Wellness Tips · February 25, 2020

14 Healthy Travel Snacks For Long Flights

14 healthy snacks for long flights, all gluten free, vegan, & TSA approved to keep you full throughout your travel day!

Sharing 14 healthy snacks for long flights, all gluten free, vegan, & TSA approved to keep you full throughout your travel day!

Let’s talk healthy snacks for long flights!! So my trip over to Indonesia last month, took about a total of 22.5 hours of being in the actual air. Which is a lot haha! And any time the flight attendants came around with carts of pre-made air plane food, I politely declined. I swear they thought I was crazy, LOL! They were probably like, how is this girl not eating on this long flight?! They were so sweet though, & kept trying to offer me different options while I continued to assure them that I was indeed, okay!

It was a “no” to all of the above! LOL

The lack of food options while on my flight did not at all come as a surprise to me. As someone who has had Celiac for years & now being vegan , there really aren’t a lot of options in regards to travel food, & especially the food served on airplanes. It is what it is & I knew that!

So I came prepared!

I read some blog posts about healthy travel snacks to help me think of anything I wasn’t initially thinking of & really stocked up to make sure I had a handful of options to satisfy my hunger throughout my 24 hour travel day.

And that’s really all it comes down to. Preparation . If you eat a certain way, have food allergies, IBS, or any digestive issues, you know how important it is to plan ahead to make sure you aren’t going to be hungry & that you do have safe options available! Because when you’re traveling & you’re not prepared, it can definitely be tricky to navigate options, especially when you’re traveling in a foreign country, & there is an apparent language barrier.

For me personally, I’d rather not risk anything, so I’m more than happy to take care of my travel snacks on my own! That way it’s fully customizable & you have plenty of options that you know will satisfy your hunger & will also nourish your body! Bringing your own snacks also saves money too because airport food/snacks definitely tend to be a bit pricey!

So with that said, here’s the list of healthy travel snacks I packed for my journey over to Indonesia!

Healthy Snacks for Long Flights

1. An empty re-useable water bottle

It’s crucial that you stay hydrated anytime when flying, but especially on long flights! I think it’s always smart to pack an empty re-useable water bottle in your carry-on to make sure you’re consuming enough water throughout your travel day & you don’t have to rely on the water the flight attendants give you or spend unnecessary amounts of money on water bottles in the airport! And like I said, you’ll want to make sure it’s empty so that it makes it through TSA! Once you’re through security, then you can fill it up! Most airports have a water fountain that also has a little area to fill up your water bottle which is really convenient & perfect for staying hydrated!

2. Lots of tea

Red Rooibos & Peppermint specifically…both very soothing & calming for the digestion system. I flew on Japan Airlines & they also offered the option of hot green tea, which I actually did take advantage of as well, for some extra antioxidants! As a tea-drinker, I love bringing along tea anytime I travel. Just kindly ask your flight attendant for a cup of hot water & I’m sure they’d be more than happy to accommodate you – I’ve never had an issue!

3. GoMacro Plant Based Protein Bars

GoMacro bars are always my go-to. I’m beyond obsessed with them…they’re vegan, gluten free, have great ingredients, are so filling, & never upset my stomach! Overall a really good brand too, I like supporting them & the bars are seriously awesome. I brought a TON on this trip. A few in my carry on & the rest in my checked luggage! Feel free to use code madi_rowan for 25% off your goMacro purchase!

Self-explanatory…I ate this before I boarded my first flight.

5. Chopped Carrots & Hummus

This was kinda a last minute decision but I’m SO happy I brought these two. I got a pack of mini Cedar’s hummus from Whole Foods, that I was planning to dip pretzels in, but when I was cleaning out my fridge the night before I left, I decided to peel & chop up the remaining carrots I had. Like I said, so glad I did that! The carrots & hummus were delicious & kept me full for a few hours! The Cedar’s hummus pack came with three little hummus containers & I went through them all. They were such a great snack & since they were mini, they met the 3 oz. TSA security requirement!

6. From The Ground Up Cauliflower Original Pretzels

Who doesn’t love a good crunchy bag of pretzels ?! And these are made from cauliflower & cassava flour?! Yum! I first found this brand at my local health food store, but I know Whole Foods carries them too! They were really delicious dipped in the hummus I brought.

7. Trader Joe’s Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn

Idk if you’ve ever had this popcorn from Trader Joe’s but wow is it tasty & contains just a few simple ingredients! This kettle corn comes in a larger pack with 6 small snack bags. I just brought one, because sometimes if I eat a lot of corn-based products it messes with my stomach & I didn’t want to risk it!

8. Purely Elizabeth Oats

I thought this would be a great idea because it’s so simple, but so nourishing & filling. Aside from everything else mentioned on this list, instant oats can act as a full “meal”, you can add in nuts or seeds, a nut butter, & these specific ones from Purely Elizabeth already had some freeze-dried fruit in it which was nice. I’ve really come to love Purely Elizabeth. Everything I’ve tried has been amazing & you cannot beat how clean the ingredients are! Two thumbs up! I’m really happy I brought along these! Super easy to make too – just add a little hot water, stir, & let sit for a few minutes!

9. Dried Mango

I like to get my dried mango at Trader Joe’s because there isn’t any sugar or nasty preservatives added to it, it’s just plain old mango. I ended up not eating it while on the flight, but did enjoy it as a little breakfast the morning after I landed! Any dried fruit is a great snack for flying though!

10. Medjool Dates

Like the carrots, I didn’t have the heart to throw away all of my Medjool Dates that I had left over in my fridge, so I brought them! I love a good date! They are delicious with almond or peanut butter too..seriously tastes like candy!

11. Almond & Peanut Butter Single Packets

Speaking of almond & peanut butter , I brought 5 individual packets of the two. I didn’t go through them all on the flight, but the single packets are really convenient if you want to spread it on a date, like I mentioned, if you want to pack celery, you can eat it that way, or you can add it to your instant oats, which was my reasoning for bringing it along. Another good source of protein, healthy fat, & will help keep you fuller for longer – I bought the little single packets from the brand Justin’s, they’re like $1.00 at Whole Foods!

12. Alter Eco Chocolate

Every traveler (near or far) needs some chocolate IMO! This is a brand that I’ve found within the past six months & I’ve really enjoyed their dairy-free dark chocolate…my favorite is the Quinoa Crunch , so that’s the one I brought! Find them at Whole Foods!

13. Smart Sweets

I’ve been hearing a ton about Smart Sweets lately, so I really wanted to give them a try on my trip! In case you’re not familiar, they’re a “healthy” gluten free, vegan, low sugar, non-GMO candy brand that has put their own healthy spin on classic candies such as peach rings, Swedish fish, & gummy bears. Peach rings, were a favorite of mine growing up, so that’s what I brought along!

14. Ginger Chews

Love a good ginger chew !! I usually find mine at either Trader Joe’s or Marshall’s actually & if I’m being honest, I prefer the ones from Marshall’s! They’re both the same brand, same type of idea, but just a little different. Ginger chews are great to freshen up your breath, settle an upset stomach, kick a sugar craving, & are the best little things to have on hand, especially when traveling! Also great if you’re looking for something to chew on while the plane is taking off, landing, etc.!

I know this all may seem like a lot to bring along with you through the airport, but trust me…it’s SO worth it! I was able to fit all of the above, plus a ton of other things rather comfortably in my carry on. And obviously, as you eat snacks throughout the duration of your travel day, it frees up space in your bag, so it really doesn’t end up being bad at all! In my opinion, I’d rather be prepared than left with nothing to eat or snack on – trust me, being “hangry” when traveling is never fun!!

Do you pack your own snacks for long flights?

long haul travel snacks

join the club

You’ll also love.

Candida Friendly Coconut Flour Pancakes

February 25, 2020 at 1:27 pm

This post is amazing! Definitely a one-stop shop for airplane snack ideas! Definitely pinning this to save for future reference! Thanks, Madi!

' src=

February 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Aw happy to share! Thanks for stopping by! xo

' src=

February 26, 2020 at 6:27 am

Whenever I travel, I always have dietary issues. Vegan & gluten-free is an option I often go for.

February 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Yes, traveling in general can be very disruptive for the gut – hope you found these ideas helpful!

' src=

February 27, 2020 at 5:25 pm

The ground up snacks are SO GOOD! I also need to check out the GoMacro bars. Do liquids stipulations still apply for foods like the yoghurt?

February 27, 2020 at 10:28 pm

You need too – they are my favorite!! And yes, all liquids, yoghurt included, must be under 3.4 ounces!

' src=

March 3, 2020 at 11:23 pm

We travel by plane quite a bit and, in fact, have a flight coming up in 5 days! One of my kids is vegan, so these ideas are certainly practical for me

March 4, 2020 at 12:31 am

Oh that’s awesome to hear! Happy to help!

' src=

March 4, 2020 at 1:02 am

Medjool dates and savory cashews have always been my favourite travel snack….These are kid friendly too and I am loving that….thank you for listing out these wonderful and easy to carry snack ideas…i am loving the idea of tea, popcorn and corn.

March 4, 2020 at 10:30 am

Ohh love the dates & cashew combo! Thanks for reading! xo

' src=

March 4, 2020 at 2:14 am

So many healthy treats for long flights! I’d love a good ginger chew to snack on too.

March 4, 2020 at 10:29 am

They’re the best!

' src=

March 4, 2020 at 9:41 am

This is a great list of healthy snack ideas for flights! I imagine choices would be limited on a plane for those diets.

It really can be difficult, especially on long flights!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

long haul travel snacks

My International In-Flight Skincare Routine & Beauty Essentials 

Trending now.

safe tea brands

Follow Along

  • LikeToKnowIt
  • Clean Beauty
  • Private Policy
  • Terms & Conditions

Copyright © 2024 everyday with madi rae · Theme by 17th Avenue

Let's Roam Explorer

Delicious and Nutritious Snacks for Long Flights

When you have to fly, it’s always best to pack nutritious food. This list of healthy snacks for long flights includes a few bonus travel tips!

long haul travel snacks

When it comes to traveling, long-haul flights can be exhausting. From getting to the airport hours before your flight to sitting cramped in a tiny airplane seat to then trying to wait patiently in line for immigration, a simple transatlantic flight can end up taking the best part of a day. 

One of the best ways to look and feel your best when you get off the flight is to eat a selection of nutritious snacks along the way. Since airports seem to want to charge you the equivalent of a month’s rent for a small package of not-so-fresh fruit or a salad, it’s a good idea to pack your own snacks before you leave home. This way, you’ll be guaranteed a great selection of healthy foods to choose from. 

This list of healthy, delicious snacks for long flights includes a few helpful travel tips that we’ve picked up along the way. If you overpack, don’t worry—you can take some of the snacks with you. Just remember that most countries won’t allow you to bring fresh fruits or vegetables through customs so make sure that you eat those up first.

Fuel up to explore your destination!

Before you take off, download our app and search our scavenger hunts ! Each one is designed to help explorers get to know cities around the world and there are hundreds of tours, pub crawls , art walks, and ghost hunts just waiting for you. After hours on a plane, it’s the perfect way to get your body moving again!

Why eat healthy snacks on long flights?

Ok, let’s just get this out of the way quickly. We know that you’re on vacation and that this is the time to splurge. We get it. However, it’s better to wait until you get to your destination for one very good reason—your health.

When you are thousands of feet in the air, gas begins to expand, including the gas inside your stomach. This can make you feel bloated, and lead to major stomach cramps and, later on, constipation. Airplane food is not well-known for being easy on your belly so it’s a good idea to mix this with healthier foods that will keep your digestive system working at top form.

Food that you consume before and during your flight should be relatively light on protein, have good fats, and be easy to digest with lots of slow-burning carbohydrates. Bringing your own snacks can help ensure that you’re getting the things that your body needs, and that you don’t end up overloading it with things that are hard to process and full of empty calories.

Pro tip: Try to avoid consuming too much alcohol or caffeine or too much salt as both of these can dehydrate you. It’s also a very good idea to avoid junk foods that are high in salt and sugar content like potato chips, cookies, and prepackaged cakes. We know that it’s very tempting, but it could leave you with an aching stomach. 

Remember that this isn’t just for air travel! You should follow the same healthy eating principles during road trips. Sitting for extended periods can have a negative impact on your body. If you load up on unhealthy foods, you’re simply adding fuel to the fire. While it may not cause too many problems the first few hours, you may soon begin to feel like you ate a rock.

The Importance of Hydrating

While this should be kind of a given, water is one of the most important things that you can bring on a flight with you. Rushing through the airport while gulping down coffee can already put you on the road to dehydration. Flying can then worsen this due to the lower oxygen levels and the dryer air that you find at high altitudes. Before you know it, you may find yourself feeling a bit like a pickle.

According to the Aerospace Medical Association, you should drink .2 to .4 liters of water per hour on a plane (or roughly half of a small bottle of water). You must drink plenty of water to battle the effects of dehydration, which can include headaches, tiredness, nausea, and dizziness. This is a very unpleasant way to start a trip, but drinking water can help immensely.

Drinking a lot of water can also help to relieve sinus pressure, and it can help keep your ears from popping during take-off and landing. If that isn’t enough, it can also be instrumental in easing the effects of jet lag. If you want to learn more tricks, check out our tips to conquer jet lag . 

Luckily, there is no need to pay the ridiculously high prices for water in the airport. Instead, you can bring a reusable water bottle with you and refill it after you pass through security, This will not only help you save money, but it’s also better for your health and the environment. If you’re worried about space in your carry-on bag, you can even look at getting a collapsible water bottle that can fold down to a fraction of its normal size when it’s empty. 

There is a wide array of reusable water bottles on Amazon that you can buy before your flight, or you can wait until you get to your vacation spot and buy one there. It’s a great way to make sure that you stay hydrated, and it doubles as a useful souvenir. 

10 Great Snacks for Long Flights

Below, you’ll find a list of some of our favorite snack ideas for long-haul flights. Keep in mind that these aren’t meant to replace full meals, but rather to help fill the gaps between mealtimes. If your airline is still offering free food onboard, make sure that you take advantage of it. If you have dietary issues (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc), don’t forget to order your meal at least a few days in advance. 

Pro tips: When you’re packing snacks for your flight, don’t forget that TSA guidelines place limits on the liquids you can bring in your carry-on. This includes salad dressings, sauces, purees, salsa, and so on so make sure that everything you bring on the plane with you is less than 3.4 oz (or 100 ml.)

Keep in mind that you are surrounded by fellow travelers who are unlikely to want to be able to smell everything that you’re eating. Try and avoid any foods that have a strong scent, like olives or beef jerky, as they may bother other passengers. 

1. Trail Mix

Made up of nuts like cashews, peanuts, almonds, dried fruit, granola, and, sometimes, chocolate, trail mix provides a delicious mixture between sweet and savory that hits the spot when you are sitting for hours on a plane. It’s also full of antioxidants, protein, and sugar that can give you a much-needed boost of energy if you feel yourself starting to fade.

There are plenty of different varieties of trail mix that you can buy pre-mixed at the grocery store, but if you want to be super healthy, you can even make your own at home. You simply need to get your favorite selection of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, popcorn, coconut chips, pretzels—pretty much anything that you want to throw inside! 

2. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is another great sugary mid-flight snack that can give you a bit of an energy boost. Some of the most common dried fruit you find are pineapples, raisins, dates, prunes, and figs, but you can also find apples, and peaches as well. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, dried fruit can also pack in a lot of nutritional goodness in just a few bites!

Keep in mind that dried fruit is really high in sugar and you have to be a little careful which ones you eat. Apricots and prunes tend to clear out your system really quickly if you eat too many. Rushing back and forth to the bathroom is certainly not a fun way to spend a long-haul flight so you may want to eat just a few at any given time.

3. Homemade Sandwiches

Staring at the sandwich options in the airport can be a depressing exercise, especially if you’re a vegetarian. If you are on a budget, your options may be limited to just a basic sandwich in a triangular-shaped cardboard box, or if you can splurge, you may be able to get something made with decent bread and a few pieces of cheese piled on.

Rather than spending a fortune for something that doesn’t seem edible, it could be a much better, and cheaper, option to make your own. You just need to buy a loaf of freshly-baked bread or some baguettes, load them up with your favorite toppings, and wrap them up in plastic wrap. Once you get airborne, you can unwrap your delicious concoction and indulge!

Hummus has been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet for centuries, and it has also gained popularity as a vegetarian super-food. This delicious chickpea spread is usually made with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and sea salt, and it can be put on everything from crackers to carrots. They can also be used as a spread in sandwiches or wraps. 

You can find prepackaged, individual portions in the grocery store, or if you want something that tastes a bit fresher, and is healthier for you, you can make your own. Hummus is incredibly easy to make. You simply need to throw all of the ingredients in a food processor, or you can use a hand-held blender (the kind that you used to puree soups) to whip everything together.

Keep in mind that hummus will be considered a “liquid” by the TSA so make sure that your containers are less than 3.4 ounces each. Homemade hummus also has a very short shelf-life so make sure to eat this within a day or two of making it and wash out the containers immediately afterward.

5. Granola Bars

Although they aren’t the healthiest things on this list, granola bars are probably one of the easiest snacks to grab while you’re on your way to the airport. They may also be one of your best options if you forget to pack something from home.

Like a lot of the other snacks on this list, there are tons of different varieties of granola bars. If you want to try and eat as healthfully as possible, check out the nutritional information on the back. Try to avoid anything with excess sugar or fat, and if it seems like it isn’t much better than a Snickers bar, you may want to find another brand. (Or just eat the Snickers bar, we won’t tell!)

The other option is that you can make DIY granola bars at home! They are very easy to make using granola, honey, and peanut butter, plus any additional things that you want to throw in like dark chocolate pieces or M&Ms. Mix everything up in a bowl and then press it into a pan before popping it into the fridge for a few hours. Voila, homemade granola bars!

You can make your own protein balls or protein bars the same way by adding a few scoops of protein powder to the mix. 

6. Cheese and Crackers

For many of us, cheese and crackers have been a staple since childhood. Since Ritz crackers and slices of room temperature, brightly-colored processed cheese may no longer fulfill your cravings, why not dress it up a bit? You can grab some whole-grain crackers along with a selection of cheeses and throw them into some Ziploc bags. You can then munch on them throughout the flight. 

Pro tip: Be a bit careful with cheese as some countries also won’t let you bring cheese across borders. I lost two big blocks of cheese flying from the United States into Mexico. 

7. Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Full of vitamins and minerals, fresh fruit, and veggies are by far some of the healthiest airplane snacks that you can bring on a long flight with you. Apple slices, pears, cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes are usually great options, and it’s always a good idea to make your snack selection as colorful as possible! If you want to make things a bit more exciting, throw in a small tub of peanut butter, almond butter, or ranch dressing for dipping. 

When you’re deciding what fruits to bring, try to choose ones that are a bit more stodgy than juicy (i.e. bananas vs. oranges). If you cut them up beforehand, they are also one of the easiest things to eat on the plane. This should save your fingers from becoming sticky, eliminating the need to rush to the bathroom to wash your hands as soon as you are done nibbling. 

8. Fresh Salad

Another wonderful option to ensure that you’re eating healthy while in the air is to simply bring your own salad onboard. While it’s easy to simply stop and grab one as you are rushing through the airport, if you have the time, it’s much, much better to bring your own.

When you’re preparing it, don’t forget to overload it with goodies such as good fats, protein, and tons of different veggies. If you want to sweeten it up a bit, you can even throw in some fruit. As it’s likely that won’t eat it until several hours after you’ve made it, it’s a wise idea to store your dressing separately so you don’t end up with a leaky mess. 

9. Hard-boiled eggs

With a whopping six grams of protein per egg, hard-boiled eggs are an efficient way to feel full quickly and they do a great job providing your body with the nutrients it needs. Even more, they can calm any cravings that you have until you are able to eat a proper meal. 

Hard-boiled eggs are quick to make, easy to store, and can be quickly eaten without making too much of a mess. If you want, you can just add a pinch of salt and you have a ready-made snack. Otherwise, add it to a salad, or eat it along with your cheese and crackers, and some dried fruit for a well-rounded meal.

10. Instant Meals

While having a piping hot bowl of instant soup, or a filling bowl of oatmeal may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about healthy snacks, they could be just the thing that you need in the middle of a long flight. 

Throughout the past 15 years or so, more and more healthy instant meal options have hit supermarket shelves. This has made it much easier to get your hands on a nourishing meal no matter where you are just by adding hot water. It’s also a great alternative if you forgot to order a specialty meal.

Depending on the airline (and how nice the flight attendants are feeling), you should be able to ask for some hot water. Disclaimer: This may not be possible if you’re flying on a carrier that charges for drinks as they won’t be as likely to offer free water. I also wouldn’t bother if they sell instant noodles as part of their in-flight service. 

Ready to roam?

We hope that you’ve found this list helpful and that you’re ready to pack up your carry-on bag full of healthy travel snacks and head to the airport! If you need a bit more inspiration for what to eat while you’re traveling, head over to your closest Trader Joe’s. They have an incredible range of healthy, high-quality foods that are perfect for traveling and don’t come with an absurdly high price tag!

If you’re struggling to figure out how you’ll carry a snack bag, carry-on bag, and your luggage through the airport, take a look at our “ Space-Saving Travel Packing Tips For Your Next Adventure .” Full of useful tips and travel hacks, this guide is sure to help you minimize your luggage a bit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the best snacks for long flights include trail mix, fresh fruits and vegetables, salad, and homemade sandwiches. These are sure to leave you full of energy and ready to hit the ground running!

Flying for hours can be tiring, packing your own snacks for long flights can help make it easier. Great options include trail mix, fresh and dried fruits, salad, cheese and crackers, and hummus.

To survive a long day in the air, pack healthy plane snacks and try doing light exercises or taking quick walks while in the air. After you land, hit the ground running with a fun-filled scavenger hunt !

Featured Products & Activities

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar

This Wanderlust Heart

Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Delicious Airplane Snacks for Long Flights

long haul travel snacks

6 Best Airplane Snacks for Long Flights…Healthy Ones!

Flights can be long and can feel even longer. With timezone changes, layovers, crying babies, and crappy airline food the worst thing that can happen is that you end up cranky and hungry. How can you avoid this? Make sure you pack great healthy snacks!

As you probably know, the snacks offered on an airplane or in airports might not always be the best. Between overly salty snack mixes, cookies, and sugar-filled sodas, your options are limited if you are wanting something healthy. That’s why I decided to share some of my favorite healthy airplane snacks to help survive a long haul flight. Not all airplane snacks are created equal so here are some good airplane snacks that will not only keep you satisfied between meals, but will be easy to pack in your carry-on bag .

The new Skyscanner app tracks flight prices for you and notifies you whenever the price drops. It’s super helpful for when you’re trying to get the best flight deal

1. Fresh Fruit

Whether it’s as simple as an apple, or as glamorous as a tropical fruit salad, fruit is a great way to get some fiber to feel full when your stomach starts to grumble. Fruit also has a high water content, which can help you stay hydrated, which is super important when taking long flights. Go for firm fruits with a better shelf life, so they don’t get smashed. Bananas are a great option (not too ripe though) with a lot of potassium and a good flavor, plus they are very filling. Other than that, apples, oranges, grapes, berries, cut melon etc., are other great options for healthy plane snacks.

fruit airplane snacks

2. Protein or Snack Bars

Bars like granola bars and protein bars are convenient, easy to pack, and don’t require much effort, making them great airplane snacks. However, be careful to check the added sugars and calories in the snack bars. Sometimes a “healthy” granola bar can be full of added sugars and extra calories.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by KIND Snacks (@kindsnacks) on Jun 25, 2018 at 12:24pm PDT

Popcorn can provide that salty snack you crave, while still being a healthier alternative to some of the traditional airplane snacks. You can either pop and pack your own, or buy pre-popped popcorn like Skinny Pop . I buy Skinny Pop all the time and am amazed at how at only 43 calories per cup how good it is. They are great because they come pre-portioned and ready to grab and go.

Popcorn airplane snack

5. Homemade Trail Mix

Trail mix is great, especially if you make your own. It’s versatile, healthy, and downright delicious! It is also so easy to make. Just mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and, if you’d like, add something sweet like dark chocolate chips  Trail mix is high-protein and has the fiber you need to leave you feeling satisfied.

6. Hummus and Crackers

Hummus and crackers is my healthy favorite airplane snack. You’ll never get bored with the many flavors of hummus on the market, and you’ll also benefit from all the nutrients in it. Made from chickpeas, hummus is so rich in protein that it can curb your hunger and balance blood sugar levels . What’s more is that it’s high in iron, which boosts your energy and prevents you from feeling restless in your seat. While hummus is usually refrigerated there are definitely alternatives.

So there you have it, 6 of the best airplane snacks to make sure that you don’t go hungry on your long flight. If you’re interested in reading more long haul flight tips make sure you read  10 Tips to Survive a Long-Haul Flight .

Do you have any other good airplane snack ideas? Let me know down in the comments!

Disclaimer:  Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting This Wanderlust Heart!

If you loved this post, pin it for later!

airplane snacks long flights Pinterest

Reader Interactions

' src=

lemon rice and boiled egg. My go to food item

' src=

Love these suggestions. Will keep in mind for my new trip.

' src=

How do you get hummus past security?? I’ve had it taken away as a “spreadable.”

' src=

i’ve been able to carry 3oz hummus on board – last time was in 2018 – but i had it packed in my 311 liquids bag for screening. if in doubt, spread it on your flatbread and roll it up and put into sandwich baggie. that might work. the only issue i’ve had with TSA & my snacks was when i packed a fist-sized apple inside my carry on — on the xray it looked like a solid object so i was pulled aside for hand screening. now i tuck my apple into the outer pocket of backpack or pack a gallon ziplock with all my snacks and put it on top of carry on for screening. happy travels!

' src=

Really great ideas! I would love to be the kind of person who has her life together enough to bring healthy snacks from home for a flight… but I’m not. I always buy overpriced Starbucks protein boxes in the airport and then kick myself for not bringing the same thing from home!

' src=

Please remember that some airlines are becoming more conscious of those traveling with nut allergies and this might impact your snack. As nut allergies are increasing by leaps and bounds, it’s important to remember that bringing nuts on the plane can cause a life threatening anaphylactic reaction to a fellow passenger.

' src=

I love all your suggestions! We also take a good whole wheat toast (with seeds) and peanut butter. It’s delicious with green apple.

' src=

This is a good idea. I usually bring sweet cupcakes before taking the plane. Because I need extra sugar and it makes me sleep well.

' src=

I love these suggestions. I usually bring granola bars and packaged nuts because most of the long haul flights I have done are international which won’t allow fresh food, produce or un-packaged items past security.

' src=

These options are great!! Definitely using some on my next flight!

' src=

Great ideas! I’m a fresh fruit kinda gal. We also usually take Trader Joe’s Salt and Pepper Pistachios with us on long trips. Their peanut butter pretzels are amazing too!

' src=

Love these suggestions! And they’re much more normal than the chicken or hard-boiled eggs I usually bring which always gets me funny looks.

' src=

Haha so glad you have a few more options to consider now!

' src=

Love these suggestions. I like to bring my own snacks when traveling. Hadn’t thought of hummus and crackers. I love mini pretzels and fruit snacks too. 🙂

Hummus and crackers are so delicious and sooo convenient!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Privacy overview.

Dave's Travel Pages

Greek Island Hopping | Greece Travel Ideas | Bicycle Touring

Best snacks to bring on a plane

These airplane food ideas will help keep away the munchies on your next flight. From healthy snacks to sweet treats, there's something for everyone.

Best snacks to pack when traveling by airplane

We all need airplane snacks!

Whether you're taking a long haul flight, or just a quick jaunt to your next destination, having some good snacks on hand can make all the difference. After all, airline food can be pretty lackluster to say the least!

In addition to airline food not being the greatest, many airlines no longer include complimentary meals in economy class (unless you're flying internationally). Which means you have to pay extra for the not so nice looking food they have on board. It's like being insulted twice!

A look at the Scoot inflight meal selection. We didn't think it was too badly priced overall.

(Actually, in all fairness, this Scoot menu when flying from Athens to Singapore looked pretty good! We had our own snacks anyway though).

So, in order to make your next flight a little more enjoyable, it's more important than ever to be prepared with your own food.

I've done this many times, including when I flew from Athens to Singapore on a budget airline!

I've rounded up some of the best snacks to bring on a plane, that includes healthy travel snacks as well as some of those little indulgences that make flying a bit more bearable. You might also want to check out my road trip snacks article for more ideas!

The Best In-Flight Snacks

There are a few things you should keep in mind when packing snacks for your flight. First, they should be easy to eat without making a mess. No one wants to be that person who's managed to cover themselves and their seat in food.

Second, they should be relatively compact so they don't take up too much space in your carry-on. You don't want to have to lug around a big bag just for your snacks!

And lastly, they should ideally not require refrigeration, particularly when taking long flights. Obviously this isn't a hard and fast rule, but it does make things a lot easier.

Related: Long Haul Flight Essentials

With those guidelines in mind, here are some of the best airplane snacks to bring along:

1. Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit

Nuts and seeds are the perfect in flight snack to bring on a plane because they're packed with protein and healthy fats. They'll help keep you feeling full and satisfied during your flight, without being too heavy or greasy.

And since they're small and lightweight, they won't take up too much space in your carry-on. You can buy ready made bags of mixed nuts and dried fruit, or make your own trail mix to take with you.

2. Granola Bars and Protein Bars

These types of bars are prefect snacks for long flights. They are well wrapped, don't need to be kept at any specific temperature, and will give you some much-needed energy.

It's always good to have a couple of bars tucked away in your carry-on. Even if you don't eat your granola bar during the flight, they make great snacks for afterwards when you're feeling a bit jet lagged and need something to tide you over until mealtime.

Related: How to prevent jet lag

Since living in Greece this last 7 years, I love taking olives as a healthy snack when bringing my own food on a plane. I have to say, they are one of the best snacks for long flights!

Olives are a great source of healthy fats, which are beneficial for your heart health. They're also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. And lastly, olives are very filling, so they can help keep you satisfied during your flight. Oh, and they taste lovely too!

4. Pre-peeled carrots and cucumbers

These are another ‘go-to' when I want to being snacks. Best packed in a small Tupperware, they're filling, satisfying and easy to eat without making a mess. Carrot sticks and cucmbers go well with the olives mentioned above!

5. Chocolate Bars

While it's always better to eat healthy food whenever possible, why not treat yourself to a delicious chocolate bar while you're flying?

It's understandable if you want to indulge your sweet tooth while on your flight. And since chocolate bars are small and easy to pack, they make the perfect snack to bring on a plane. Just be sure to choose one with a high cocoa content for the health benefits.

6. Sandwiches

If you're bringing your own food, then sandwiches are a great option. They're filling, satisfying and relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess.

Just be sure to wrap them tightly so they don't get squished in your carry-on. And if you're taking a long flight, it's best to choose a meat or cheese that doesn't need to be refrigerated.

7. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is another great option for a protein-packed mess free snack. It's high in protein and low in fat, so it's perfect if you're watching your weight. Plus, it doesn't need to be refrigerated, so it's ideal for long flights.

Just be aware that beef jerky can be quite salty, so it's best to eat it in moderation. And if you have high blood pressure, you might want to avoid it altogether.

Fruit is always a good option, whether you're flying or not. It's packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and it's relatively easy to eat without making a mess. You'll not want to being fresh fruits that might get squished though such as bananas. Fruits like apples travel well, and hold up better in your bag for short periods of time.

Note: Some countries may have restrictions on what fruits you can bring in from other countries, so be sure to check before packing your plane snacks for international flights.

Related: Why do flights get cancelled

9. Hard Boiled Eggs

This might not be for everyone, but hard boiled eggs make a great snack. They're relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess, but be sure to pack them in a container so they don't get squashed and you end up with egg covered carry-on!

What your fellow passengers may think to you bringing on board boiled eggs is another issue, but as long as you're prepared for some funny looks, go for it!

10. Cooked Meats

Cooked meats are another great option for a protein-packed snack for when you want to bring food on a plane. And like hard boiled eggs, they're relatively easy to eat without making too much of a mess. When bringing food like this on a plane, just be sure to pack it in an insulated container to keep it fresh if it's not got a sealed packet.

What food not to take on a plane

When you're thinking to bring snacks on a plane, it's also important to know what to avoid if possible. Here are some foods that are best left at home:

  • Instant Oatmeal or Instant Miso Soup – While some people have mentioned they asked a flight attendant for hot water, it's not always possible to get hot water on a plane.
  • Bananas – These never end well on a plane, as they only need the slightest knock and they bruise and split.

Related: Can I take a powerbank on a plane?

Tips on taking food items on to planes

Liquid drinks – Don't bring these from home, as you won't be able to get them through security. Once you have gone through airport security though, you can pick some up before boarding if there are small grocery stores in the departure area.

Pack food – Plan ahead and pack snacks and food you want to travel with into containers or small bags, that way they are easy to grab when you're feeling peckish on the plane.

Choose wisely – Be mindful of what foods you're choosing to take on the plane in a snack bag. If it's a long flight of more than a few hours, you might want to avoid anything that needs refrigeration or will go bad quickly.

Flying Scoot Athens to Singapore direct

Related: Pros and Cons of traveling by plane

FAQ – Taking Snacks On A Plane

If you're planning to bring along your own snacks when you next fly to save money or to eat more healthily, these commonly asked questions will come in handy:

What are some healthy snacks I can travel with in carry on?

Some healthy snacks that you can travel with in carry on include: Nuts and raisins, clif bars, dried fruits and veggies.

Can you take your own food on board a plane?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food on board a plane. However, there are some restrictions on what types of food you can bring depending on the country you're travelling to. It's best to check with the customs agency of the country you're travelling to before packing your snacks.

Can I pack baby food in my carry on?

Yes, you are allowed to bring baby food in your hand baggage. You may need to take them out to be scanned separately when going through airport security.

What is a filling snack for a flight?

Some good options for a filling snack for a flight include: beef jerky, fruit, hard boiled eggs, cooked meats, and nuts and raisins.

Can you take peanut butter on a plane?

Airline and security rules normally allow 100 ml of liquid or gel-like foods which include peanut and other nut butter.

Bringing your own snacks with you on the plane can make the journey more comfortable and less stressful. It's always better to go with a few healthy options when possible, but there are plenty of tasty snacks to choose from as well. Just be sure to check the rules and regulations before packing your snacks, so you don't end up with any surprises at the airport. 

Do you have any suggestions of airplane snacks for adults and kids? Leave a comment below!

  • Best travel packing checklist
  • Taking spices on a plane

Dave Briggs visiting an island in Greece

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

long haul travel snacks

Travel health and wellbeing experts transforming travel

long haul travel snacks

Best snacks for long haul flights

Ultra-long-haul business travel often involves disruption to sleeping and eating routines, especially when multiple time zones are crossed.  Planes now travel vast distances without the need to refuel, 12 to 15 hours flights are becoming common.  Planning ahead with a supply of healthy snacks can help make the time pass more comfortably on these very long journeys.


Which snacks should we bring to the airport and which should we purchase after security?

Will we want to eat all the meals served and if not, do we need something to fill the gap?

Which time of day are the snacks covering?   Do we want a breakfast type snack, snacks to have with a drink or feeling bored and need a little stimulation snacks?

What to bring to the airport

I bring from home nuts, fruit and small tasty treats.

Pistachios are delicious, high in protein but slow to consume and for me, perfect with a beverage.

Fruit: apples, seedless grapes and little mandarins.  A plastic bag for rubbish and wet wipes for sticky hands are useful too.

Tasty treats: a small bag of yoghurt or dark chocolate coated raisins. Extra strong mints for sensory stimulation.


Water is the priority acquisition after security.  It can be purchased or if we know our airport has water good provisions, we can bring an empty bottle, to fill from the dispensers in the terminals.  Unless travelling business class there is never enough water available for my needs and if we have a sleep, we can miss out on the service.  During a very long flight, I very carefully top up my water bottle by requesting a second cup of water during the drinks service.

Departure lounges have a plentiful supply of sweets and treats, but small packs of ‘trail mix’ and dried fruits are usually available, occasionally fruit and sandwiches.

Onboard meals can be salty, avoiding snacks high in salt will help us avoid getting dehydrated.

Snacks Served On Board

On very long flights, most airlines offer a snack service between meals.  It can be a ‘help yourself’ selection of crisps, small chocolate bars, biscuits and if we are lucky apples, or something a little more substantial.  A small sandwich or hot snack might be served, but the desirability of these varies enormously.  Bringing our own snacks can give us healthier options and if there isn’t a snack service, or we’ve slept through it, we won’t go hungry.  I have a much happier journey if I can turn away a congealed mini pizza or a box of something that looks like dog biscuits and get out my salad sandwich and fruit.

Tea and coffee aren’t always served as part of the snack, but most flight crew will provide a hot drink if requested.

Remember to Leave Prohibited Food Items On-board

Many countries don’t allow fresh food to be brought through customs.  Fruit, meat and cheese are often best left on the aeroplane, or put in a quarantine bin at Arrivals.

Ultra-long-haul travel can be gruelling.   Arriving in good shape and ready to work, rather than dehydrated and grumpy is essential to get the best out of the opportunities to do business.

© Extravitality 2016

Share the post "Best snacks for long haul flights"

' src=

1 thought on “ Best snacks for long haul flights ”

It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

We aim to provide trustworthy, independent advice and information assiduously sourced by our well qualified health and wellbeing professionals.

Extravitality does not accept payment or complimentary offers for flights, transport, hotels, accommodation or food for writing reviews or blogs on this website. All our reviews and blogs are completely independent in their content.

We believe in experiencing first hand what we write about, taking into account the differing needs of business executives to encourage a healthy productive work life balance.

Recent Posts

  • Healthy eating to help cope with stress
  • How to stay fit, strong and healthy when you’re working at home
  • Top six tips for successful exercising on a business trip
  • Top tips to keep our immune system fighting fit
  • Business travel with quarantine

Latest Tweets

long haul travel snacks

Key Contacts

For all enquiries contact us using this form

User Agreement

Privacy policy, affiliate login.

Copyright © 2024

Design by

  • in All in Recipes in News in Lifestyle in How To in Places

10 Snacks to Bring on Your Next Long-Haul Flight

Skip the overpriced plane food for the good stuff., get spoon university delivered to you.

You tryna be tricky? That email doesn't look right.

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

Most of us have travelled  across the globe for college, vacation, and even service programs. While a 13-hour flight provides for ample time to catch up on movies, it also means starving yourself for 13 hours or eating crappy plane food.

Passing up food may sound like a joke, but when your chicken tastes like cardboard, your pasta feels like rubber bands, and your fruit feels fake, you might have to rethink your food priorities

To reduce your consumption of seemingly inedible plane food, here are a few snacks that will satisfy your screaming stomach and you can definitely bring on board without having TSA all over your ass .

1. Trail Mix

If you’re trying to be healthy and want something to munch on while you’re watching your favorite episode of New Girl , trail mix is the way to go. The fact that it’s relatively light (and dry—bye TSA!) and easy to find makes it convenient. Make, or buy your own trail mix , pack it in a Ziplock bag, and trash it when you’re done to avoid having an empty box in your bag.

#SpoonTip: Add in some M&Ms or chocolate bits to make your healthy snack a little more exciting. 

I’m the kind of person who will convince myself that eating chocolate granola is healthy because of its high oat and grain content. Bring a couple bars of Nature Valley, or if you’re feeling adventurous and productive, try making your own . They're easy to carry on and eat so they make for the perfect in-flight snack.

3. Chocolate

Aside from mac and cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich, chocolate is almost always my go-to snack. If you need comfort food when you’re bawling your eyes out watching The Notebook on the plane, always know that chocolate has your back .  

4. Cheese and Crackers

Who said you can only eat fancy if you’re paying extra to sit in big comfy seats? Bring your own water crackers (hit up your local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) and some sliced cheese . If you want an easier alternative, Trader Joe’s has a Spanish Cheese Tapas Sampler pack to avoid the hassle.

Pair it with a glass of wine (or a drink of your choice), lift up your pinky, and clink glasses to your self-made fine dining! 

5. A Sandwich

If you’ve got the time to spare between last-minute packing and making sure you have all your documents ready, make yourself a sandwich . I’d recommend Nutella or peanut butter, but if you’re looking for something more filling, then a grilled cheese or ham and cheese would be more practical. If you're pressed for time, stop by one of the news stands at the airport and pick up a sandwich box.

There is nothing more satisfying than crunching on something while watching TV. You might annoy those around you with your munching, but maybe if you crunch slowly you can pretend not to see them roll their eyes.

Trader Joe’s kettle corn, rice crisps, and even a bag of kale chips will seal the deal! Just don’t crush them in your bag or you’ll be scooping up crumbs instead of chips.

7. A (Small) Proper Meal 

Kudos to you if you have your life in check and have extra time to make yourself a meal. Nothing beats having a homemade meal in a sea of heated frozen foods. If you're up for the challenge, try this cold soba salad . You could also buy a pre-made one, but it’s probably not going to be as satisfying.

#SpoonTip: Instant noodles are great to bring on board.

I’m the type of person who will run five miles to get good sushi. So if you’re telling me that I can bring sushi on a plane, then that’s what I’m probably going to do. Whip out those rice-rolling skills and make your own or just get takeout from your local Asian restaurant. Try not to keep it in your fridge for long because chances are the avocado will turn brown and mushy. 

I respect you for taking the healthy route out of town. Put together some colorful veggies in your kitchen, but I'd recommend staying away from cut tomatoes or cucumbers lest your salad get soggy. You can also just drop by a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods and get a salad box. 

Also, if you like drinking your salad dressing, I would say to tone it down a notch because nothing is worse than having to throw your salad away or having salad dressing all over your carry-on. 

10. Fresh Whole Fruit

Pick your poison, pack it up, and rock that plane ride with better food than everyone else.

We all know it's the real reason we study abroad.

Adventurous, numbered, but too hard to put in order, i still don't know what the deal on airline food is..

17 Healthy Airplane Snacks You Can Bring Through TSA

Published September 23, 2019

Written by:

long haul travel snacks

Jessie Beck

Jessie is a writer, editor, and content marketer who covers travel gear and adventure travel. She’s called many places home...

Fred Perrotta

Fred Perrotta

Co-founder, tortuga.

Fred Perrotta is the co-founder and CEO of Tortuga. His first backpacking trip to Europe inspired him to start the...

Woman looking at pastries

The Tortuga Promise

At Tortuga, our mission is to make travel easier. Our advice and recommendations are based on years of travel experience. We only recommend products that we use on our own travels.

Table of Contents

Can you bring your own snacks on an airplane? Yes, absolutely!

To avoid spending money on expensive airport food and make sure you have lots of healthy options while flying, bring your own DIY snacks and food packed in your carry on or personal item .

For health-conscious and budget-savvy travelers, there’s even more motivation to pack your own airplane snacks. Bringing food from home helps you avoid unhealthy choices at the airport, saves money, and gives you something to look forward to on your flight. 

You don’t have to be a master chef to level up your in-flight food game, either. Many of our favorite in-flight snacks are quick to make and easy to pack. If you’re not sure where to start, these packable, healthy, airplane food ideas will keep you and your travel crew satiated.

Can You Bring Snacks on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks from home as long as they’re TSA compliant. Spreadables, like peanut butter, and liquids, like yogurt, must follow the standard 3-1-1 liquid rule . 

Read the Travel Toiletries Packing List for more details on carry on liquid rules.

Foods you purchase after the security checkpoints at the airport do not need to follow the 3-1-1 rule. As long as you’re buying it at the airport, you can enjoy all the in-flight hummus and coconut water you want.

TSA Food Rules: What Snacks Can You Bring on a Plane?

When we talk about food that’s not allowed on an airplane, we’re actually talking about food that’s not allowed through TSA. As mentioned above, you can bring solid foods like chips, crackers, sandwiches, and pasta through TSA in your carry on , but anything liquid or spreadable will have to follow the 3-1-1 rule. So, a 1.15 ounce squeeze pack of Justin’s nut butter is fine, but a four ounce tub of yogurt will be thrown out.

Once you’re past security, this rule no longer applies, and you can bring liquids and spreadables of any size purchased in the airport. So, yes, you could technically bring a sixteen ounce bowl of soup on your flight from the Panera Bread at the airport.

The TSA’s snacks page states:

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage.

Common foods you can’t bring through airport security include:

  • Any liquid (e.g., yogurt, juice, coconut water) over 3.4 ounces
  • Any paste (e.g., peanut butter, hummus) over 3.4 ounces

If you have questions about a specific food item, check TSA’s foods page .

What Snacks Can You Bring on an International Flight?

For international flights, there are no restrictions on what you can or cannot bring on the flight. However, at some borders, there are restrictions on what you can or cannot bring into the country. For example, Australia has strict regulations on what travelers can bring past customs and will confiscate any fresh produce or homemade meals you have in your luggage.

If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to eat your food in-flight so you don’t get it tossed at the border. If you want to pack something just in case you’re hungry, but aren’t sure if you’ll eat it, go for a packaged snack like crackers or a protein bar.

Snacks Not to Bring on a Plane

While technically allowed, you should also avoid smelly foods and allergens as a courtesy to your fellow passengers. For your own sake, skip messy foods you could easily spill.

Foods to avoid bringing on an airplane include:

  • Smelly foods like tuna
  • Allergens like peanut butter or any peanut-based snack
  • Liquids that are likely to spill and harder to get through security due to size limits

Also, a word about yogurt. We all know it’s a good last-ditch breakfast option when your airport has few healthy options, but it has a tendency to explode when you open it at high altitudes. If you choose to bring yogurt on your flight, open it veerrrry slowly to escape an in-flight disaster. The same goes for anything else that feels pressurized at altitude.

long haul travel snacks

The best airplane snacks are un-messy, un-stinky food you can enjoy at room temperature, like dried fruit or a sandwich. If you’re bringing anything from home, make sure it’s TSA compliant, and won’t stink up the cabin.

If you’re not sure what to bring, use this list of healthy, packable airplane snack and meal ideas. Even the most amateur chef can pull off these recipes.

Healthy, Packable Meals (with Recipes)

If you have the time and motivation, make one of these healthy, easy-to-pack airplane meals before you hit the road.

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

For a quick, in-flight breakfast that won’t get smashed, explode, or cause a mess, reach for one of these nutrient-rich and antioxidant-filled blueberry oat breakfast cookies.

Banana Bread (Vegetarian)

Banana bread is another packable airplane breakfast option. For health-conscious travelers, choose a whole-wheat recipe that uses coconut oil instead of butter. Whatever you don’t pack, you can freeze until you’re back from your trip.

Chickpea Salad (Vegan, Dairy-Free)

This easy lunch recipe also works as a make-in-advance airplane meal. The salad is healthy, TSA-approved, and doesn’t need to be reheated. Plus, the recipe is flexible: toss in some feta cheese or cucumbers to make this meal your own.

Chicken and Vegetable Wrap (Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Options)

Wraps are one of the best sandwiches for flights. For a healthy option, make this chicken and vegetable-filled version from the New York Times. If you’ll be on a long flight, skip the lettuce to avoid a wilted mess at mealtime.

Fruit, Vegetable, and Cheese Bento Box (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Dairy-Free Options)

Fancy-looking but simple to make, a DIY snack pack is a versatile and easy-to-pack homemade airplane snack. Simply cut up a variety of fruits, cheeses, veggies, and meats. Throw in a few crackers or a piece of bread if you’d like.

Grapes and blueberries are good options for fruits. For cheeses, stick to something low-odor and hard, like parmesan. For meat, go for a dried salami, which is preserved and doesn’t need refrigeration. 

Kale Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free Option)

Salads, the world’s go-to for a healthy meal that’s still tasty at room temperature, are another good airplane food option. To make sure your salad isn’t a mushy mess by the time you board, keep your dressing in a separate (smaller than 3.4 ounce) container. Also, opt for a heartier green like kale, shaved brussels sprouts, or cabbage, which won’t wilt like lettuce or arugula.

Cold Asian Noodles (Gluten-Free and Vegan Options)

You’re an intrepid eater, so why not give your airplane food an international twist with an Asian-inspired cold noodle dish? Sesame soba noodles are a simple classic, but if you want more ideas, check out Brit+Co’s line-up of cold noodle dishes.

Vegan Pasta Salad (Vegan)

For vegans and omnivores alike, recipes like this creamy vegan pasta salad from Love and Lemons are a great food option for air travel . Not only is it delicious, but meat and dairy-free dishes don’t require refrigeration. Even if you don’t end up eating it until halfway through a long flight, it’ll keep.

Chickpea Pan Bagnat (Vegetarian)

A French picnic classic, the pan bagnat is an easy and delicious make-in-advance sandwich option that actually gets better (not sad and soggy) the longer it sits. However, the original recipe has tuna, a major airplane no-no. Instead, try this vegetarian twist with chickpeas to make one of the best sandwiches for long flights.

long haul travel snacks

Airplane Snacks

For short flights or just-in-case-I’m-hungry moments, toss one of these healthy airplane snacks in your bag.

  • Dried fruit: Unlike real fruit, you can’t crush these babies. If you’re crossing time zones, go for dried berries. Target (Good & Gather) and Trader Joe’s both have good options without added sugar. I’m partial to Target’s dried mango and pineapple.
  • Popcorn: The perfect accoutrement to your in-flight movie binge.
  • Almonds: A protein-filled snack to keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Crackers: Go for a healthier whole-wheat option that’s great for kids and adults.
  • Fruit and veggie slices: Pack a bag of snap peas, apple slices, or any other fruit or veggie you love. 

There are also a few snacks you can make with hot water from the drink service.

  • Miso soup : For a warming, in-flight snack, bring a packet of instant miso soup. Just be sure to keep your cup ¾ full, or use a thermos with a lid to avoid any turbulence-induced soup burns.
  • Instant oatmeal : Grab a packet of oats or throw some quick oats in a thermos with your favorite toppings.
  • Instant noodles : Choose a low-sodium instant noodle, since salty foods exacerbate the dehydration caused by air travel. Again, keep your bowl or food jar only ¾ full.

How to Pack Snacks for an Airplane

With most homemade airplane meals, your food is only as portable as its container. When packing your carefully crafted sandwich, salad, or noodles, make sure to choose a leak-proof container that will keep your food intact. 

long haul travel snacks

Vremi Collapsible Food Container ($20)

Vremi’s line of collapsible containers is leak-proof and will keep your food safe in transit. After you’ve finished your snacks, the container collapses flat so you can stash it in your bag without it taking up as much room as traditional Tupperware.

long haul travel snacks

Zojirushi Food Jar ($28+)

Japanese brand, Zojirushi, makes an affordable but high-quality line of thermoses and food jars designed to keep your warm food warm and cold food cold. If you prefer sturdier Tupperware or want to keep your food hot or cold in transit, use Zojirushi’s food jar to transport your pasta, salads, or snacks.

long haul travel snacks

Stasher Bags ($8+)

Use a reusable, silicone bag from Stasher to transport your sandwich, pretzels, dried fruit, or any other snack you’d normally toss into a Ziploc bag. These bags pack even smaller than collapsible Tupperware and can be reused during your travels or on your return flight home. Like Bee’s wrap, they’ll also help you create less trash while you travel.

long haul travel snacks

Bee’s Wrap ($15+ for 3)

Unlike foil or plastic wrap, you can wash and reuse these natural, beeswax-covered wraps — a plus for eco-friendly travelers who want to reduce the amount of trash they create on the road. Use them to transport sturdier foods, like sandwiches or carrot slices, and pack them on the outside or top of your bag.

long haul travel snacks

Humangear Spork ($4)

If you’re bringing a dish like noodles or salad, you’ll need a utensil. Toss one of these petite, BPA-free sporks by Humangear  in your bag, instead of disposable forks and spoons from airport stores. Go for the titanium spork ($14) for an upgrade.

long haul travel snacks

Snow Peak Chopsticks ($38)

Prefer chopsticks with your noodles? Grab a pair of portable chopsticks from Snow Peak . Made from high-quality stainless steel and bamboo, these chopsticks break in half when not in use and, when put together, form a full-sized chopstick. They’re expensive compared to the $4 spork but incredibly well-made and designed to last. My partner, Jon, has been using his for over ten years.

Snacks on a Plane

You can eat healthier while saving time and money by packing your own foods and snacks in your personal item . Just make sure your food:

  • Follows TSA’s 3-1-1 rule : Spreadables, liquids, and liquid-ish foods like hummus, yogurt, and nut butter must be in 3.4 ounce containers or smaller.
  • Tastes good at room temperature : Consider sandwiches, cold noodles, and salads.
  • Isn’t smelly or messy to eat : Just say no to in-flight tuna.

When packing airplane snacks, consider using eco-friendly collapsible Tupperware, beeswax wraps, silicone sandwich and snack bags, and camping sporks you can reuse throughout your travels.

Carry-On-Sized Travel Backpacks

Pack for trips of one week or more without checking a bag.

  • Thick comfortable straps
  • Easy to organize
  • Durable, waterproof fabric
  • Backed by our Worldwide Warranty

Related Articles

long haul travel snacks

Your Personal Item Size Cheat Sheet

long haul travel snacks

Your Guide to Carry On Weight Limits (and How Not to Exceed Them)

Tortuga travel backpack pro $350.

Max Carry On Size

Jessie is a writer, editor, and content marketer who covers travel gear and adventure travel. She’s called many places home and traveled to 45+ countries.

She now lives in San Francisco with her husband where she splits her time between traveling, adventuring outdoors, and cooking (okay, eating).

Read more from Jessie

Find the perfect pack for your next trip

Take Our Bag Finder Quiz To Find
The Perfect Bag For Your Next Trip

Bring everything you need without checking a bag.

Pack Hacker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

26 Long Flight Tips to Make A Long Haul Flight Feel Short

We’ve gathered our best long flight tips to help you get comfy and cozy before you reach your destination.

Let’s face it: flying isn’t the most relaxing part of any journey that involves it. From the long lines at check-in to getting your bag out of the overhead bin, the experience for most people is just something to get over with so they can finally enjoy their vacation. In between are the worst-case scenarios: cramped seating, crying infants, questionable airline meals, and the prospect of not being able to sleep through all of it. Even worse than those? Your phone runs out of juice, so you sit there reading the emergency procedure handout very slowly, rationing the words out like it’s the last book on Earth. Been there, done that.

That said, it’s not like you’re completely helpless in the face of these flying-related woes. As usual, the key to minimizing the hassle of flying is preparation, which is why we’ve compiled a list of long flight tips we’ve gathered over the years. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this list of what to do on a long flight!


Before you board

  • Grab that upgrade: Flying in economy class? Cramped seating is one of the main reasons why long flights are so tough. Fortunately, there’s a travel hack for that. Try snagging a flight that you know will be underbooked. It may mean adjusting your travel dates, though, you’re more likely to be given a free upgrade to a higher class. That said, you’ll have to ask the agent (and remember to ask them nicely ).
  • Take note of your sleep schedule: Keep timing in mind when booking your flight. We recommend overnight flights so that you can use the time to get some shut-eye. After all, you don’t want to spend your waking hours on the plane, only then to sleep as soon as you hit the hotel.
  • Choose your seat wisely: It’s the age-old question: aisle or window seat? Unfortunately, there’s no right answer, just a cop-out: it depends. For long flights, we recommend taking the window seat if you don’t want to be disturbed while you’re sleeping or watching in-flight entertainment. If you find yourself needing to use the restroom often, then take an aisle seat for easier access.

Geometrical Pocket Tripod Pro | Using the tripod in Detroit

Bring Entertainment

  • Charge up devices: Dead electronics are just expensive paperweights, so remember to top them off before you leave home. This includes your power bank, which will let you charge your devices again in case they run out of juice during the flight. In terms of capacity, a 10,000 mAh power bank is the sweet spot for a long flight. It’s big enough to charge a Max-sized iPhone twice but small enough that the TSA agent won’t raise their eyebrows.
  • Download your favorite podcasts and shows: In-flight Wi-Fi and movies are hit or miss depending on which airline you’re flying with. We recommend downloading your music, shows, and podcasts beforehand so you have your own personalized entertainment. We particularly like podcasts because they don’t take up too much storage space for the amount of entertainment we get out of them.
  • Pack noise-cancelling earphones: Of course, to get the most out of podcasts, you’ll need a good pair of headphones or earphones. We go a step further and use ones with active noise cancellation so that we can block off cabin noise and focus on what we’re listening to. Bonus points: wearing a pair of these is a subtle cue for people not to disturb you.
  • Play some games: Download some game apps on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop before you take off. However, keep in mind that process-heavy apps can suck a lot of power from your battery. So instead of graphic-intensive games, go for 2D puzzles and simple side-scrollers. They won’t drain your devices as quickly, and they can be just as entertaining if you find the right one.
  • Catch up on some reading: Video games not your jam? That’s okay; use this time to binge-read something on your TBR. And no, it doesn’t have to be a super-long novel. Reading up on your destination’s customs, landmarks, and upcoming events is a good way to learn what to do and what not to do once you arrive. After all, you don’t always get the luxury of fully fleshing out your plans (especially if you’re traveling for work).
  • Go analog: If your devices run out of juice for one reason or another, it’s always good to have an analog backup—like a good ‘ol deck of cards. If you’re traveling alone, maybe ask your neighbor to play with you. If you’re alone, though, we wouldn’t recommend building a house of cards (for obvious reasons).
  • Channel your inner Hemingway and journal: Sometimes simply writing what’s on your mind can result in hours of relaxation. A bit of reflection or expressing what you want to experience on your trip can be an entertaining exercise all on its own. Maybe you can even doodle yourself surfing or sightseeing if you’re feeling a bit artsy on your long flight—it’ll be just as precious as the photos you take.

Osprey Fairview Small Zipped Pocket

Keep Gear Close

  • Mind your foot space: The kind of personal bag you take with you matters. If you plan on taking something small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, be sure it doesn’t take up the entire space. You’ll want a bit of wiggle room so you can move your feet around, especially if you’re on the tall side.
  • Personal item vs. carry-on: It’s quite tempting to pack most of your gear in your carry-on since, as its name suggests, you’ll carry it with you in the cabin. However, you’ll either have to put it in the overhead bin or under your seat—tight spaces that are hard to reach. Decide early on what items you’ll want easy access to and keep them nearby.
  • Consider a sling: At the time of this post, you’re allowed to wear a sling during takeoff and landing, which means you can keep your items even closer. Once you’re at cruising altitude, leave it on or hang it from the tray table in front of you.

BIRKENSTOCK Arizona Essentials EVA Review

Dress Comfortably

  • Wear casual, comfortable clothing: Can’t decide what to wear on a long flight? Dress casually and save the fancy clothing for later. Casual shirts and comfortable jeans or joggers will let you settle in your seat easier than bulky clothing. You can also pack your PJs in your personal bag and change into them later once you’re in the sky—it just depends on your opinion of pajamas in public.
  • Avoid bulky footwear: Leg room is precious real estate when flying, so you don’t want to waste it on excess rubber and leather. Sneakers are generally less bulky than trainers, so that’s what we prefer. You can also pack some flip-flops and slip into them before you go through airport security. You won’t be asked to take them off, and they’re much more comfortable than their closed travel shoes .
  • Use your toiletries: Long flights mean plenty of time for odor and dirt to build up, so pack a few toiletries in your personal bag. Wet wipes are particularly handy for keeping yourself clean without having to get up from your seat. Then again, there’s nothing quite like a splash of water to keep yourself freshened up, so don’t be shy if you want to use the restroom. There you can rinse your mouth, wash your hands, do your ones and twos, and get a good look at yourself in the mirror.


  • Be polite to flight attendants: This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: be polite to the staff. It’s going to be a long flight, so you’ll want to establish a good, albeit temporary, relationship with the flight attendants who will be assisting you throughout the flight (and that includes emergencies). A simple raise of the hand here, a smile there, and a once-in-a-while “thank you” will go a long way to making their job easier and, thus, the journey smoother.
  • Be considerate to your neighbors: This politeness and courteousness should also extend to your neighbors next to you and in the nearby rows. Put your phone on silent (apps and alarms might still ping you even if you’re in airplane mode) and ensure that your earphones aren’t bleeding too much noise. Watch your elbow too. As a rule, we like to keep elbows within the armrests to make sure they’re not disturbing anyone else.

Best Sleep Mask for Travel | 9 Eye Masks To Help You Sleep Anywhere

Find Your Quiet Place

  • Set your clocks: Hold up! We don’t mean setting up your alarm; that’s a terrible idea unless you want all eyes on you. Instead, set your clock to your destination’s time zone. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of when you should take naps during the flight to minimize jet lag. Better yet, see if your smartphone has a dual clock option (most do) so you can also keep track of time at home. The more in tune you are with your time zone, the easier it’ll be to anticipate your tiredness.
  • Use a pillow: Catching Z’s during a long flight is tricky for a multitude of reasons, but one specific side effect we all want to avoid is muscle pain. The solution? Travel pillows . These come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from your usual toilet seat-shaped cushions all the way to inflatable ones. The latter takes up less space than the former, so that’s our usual go-to whenever we travel. Alternatively, you can bunch up a long scarf or use a packable jacket to rest your head.
  • Keep warm: You never know how cold the plane’s cabin is going to get, so it’s a good idea to pack a blanket. A lot of long haul flights will include one, though there’s no guarantee, and you likely won’t know until you actually board. There are travel blankets that are designed to be thin but good at insulating, so we suggest checking one out. However, we find bringing a few extra clothing layers just in case does the trick.
  • Sleep with earplugs: While noise-canceling earphones do an awesome job at blocking noises, they’re not necessarily designed to stay in your ears while you sleep and are at risk of falling out mid-nap That’s where earplugs come in. There are tons of different kinds out there, so find a comfortable pair and get some shut-eye.
  • Block out bright lights: Unlike the lightbulb in your room, the lights in an airplane cabin sit pretty close to your eyes and can be hard to ignore. Sure, you can turn off those at your seat, but probably not the nearby rows. Fortunately, an eye mask will block off any incoming light that’s going to stop you from falling asleep, regardless of where it’s coming from. However, make sure to use one that doesn’t fit too tightly. Otherwise, you’ll wake up with the back of your ears irritated. Pro tip: We find that a neck gaiter works just as well and is more functional once you reach your destination.
  • Don’t forget to stretch: After you take a nap or come out of REM sleep, it’s always a good idea to stretch out your muscles. As counterintuitive as it sounds, sitting around all day can be just as tiring as standing. Stretching will help keep the blood in your muscles flowing and relieve pressure or swelling in sensitive areas of the body.

HydroFlask Food Container

Stay Powered Up

  • Have snacks at the ready: Airline food is relatively expensive, especially the snacks like chips and chocolates. Skip those entirely (as tempting as they are) and instead pack your own snacks like granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and trail mix. They’re our go-to travel snacks because they’re quick sources of energy and aren’t too messy to eat. The only thing you have to worry about them is the crumbs they leave, so you better get every bite in your tummy. Also, keep in mind that your seatmate may have allergies, so be courteous if they ask you to put your food away.
  • Drink plenty of water: The other thing to keep in mind about certain snacks is how thirst-inducing they are. However, like snacks, beverages can be expensive and come in disposable PET bottles. Instead, bring your own insulated bottle that you can infinitely reuse during the trip, and just top up on water at the airport drinking fountain.

So, did you get all of that? Awesome! Now you’re a bit more prepared for your next long flight. Hey, maybe these long flight tips even made you look forward to flying. It doesn’t have to be a taxing experience from start to finish. With a bit of preparation and good spirits, you’re bound to make hours just fly by!

May 16, 2023


Author: Jude Miguel De Leon

Miguel loves road trips and actively takes the scenic route to make things interesting. When he's not behind the wheel with a trunk full of gear, you'll find him tinkering with a computer; a hobby he picked up while watching tech reviews starting at age 12. You'll never see him consider a product without being armed with plenty of product research & testing first.

Pack Hacker Logo Small

Inside the Travel Lab

27 Long Haul Flight Essentials and a Flight Checklist for You

October 6, 2021

Long Haul Flight Essentials Packing List for Carry On

Get comfy with these long haul flight essentials. Know exactly what to pack in your carry on and download your long haul flight checklist to keep track.

Note, this post contains affiliate links. If you book or buy through any of the links on this page, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Cheers!

Table of Contents

Long Haul Flight Essentials + A Flight Checklist

As a professional travel writer, I’ve been on hundreds of flights. I’ve made every mistake going and then I’ve made a few more. While you can simply turn up to a long haul flight with nothing but a boarding pass and your innate charisma, the whole experience will be a lot more comfortable if you remember to bring more than that. And that charisma may last longer, too.

Here’s my tried and tested list of long haul flight essentials for business travel, baby travel, solo travel and beyond. Plus, a long haul flight checklist you can download for free.

Long Haul Flight Essentials at a Glance

In a rush before your trip? I hear you!

Choose the right carry on

  • A small stylish backpack if you have luggage in the hold
  • An indestructible rolling suitcase like this
  • A Trunki for children
  • A rolling backpack, like this one from Osprey, for the adventurers.

Buy these ahead of time

  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Essential travel toiletries DIY kit
  • Worldwide travel adapter
  • Ready made  sleep kit
  • Kindle Paperwhite eReader

How to Decide What to Pack in Your Carry On

Although this article is thousands of words long, it all boils down to the following three points.

1) What you NEED during the flight and at the airport

This includes things like medication, water and snacks.

2) What the airline MAKES you pack in your carry on vs checked

Hello camera gear, laptops and other electronics.

3) What would spoil your trip if the airline lost your checked luggage

No-one wants sunburn on their first day of a trip.

This collection of carry on essentials for long haul flights will see you sorted.

Just because. Handy if you ever get stuck and they’ve run out of paper. Useful to mop up any spills as someone passes a drink across you to another passenger. Handy to have something that smells nice, as above!

Chewing Gum

Freshens the breath, helps with a dry mouth, can stop your ears from going pop on take off and landing. Just don’t be obnoxious with it, on behalf of your fellow passengers. As if you would.

A Fold-Flat Bag

Tote bags are are useful for so many reasons. They’re handy to carry about town, once you’re on the aircraft you can use them to separate the things you actually want on the flight from all the other equipment you needed in your carry on. And if you lose your luggage and have to shop for more things, at least you already have a bag to put these things in to.

Folding bags take up next to no space but leaves you with plenty of options.

In case the airline loses your luggage. You can still go for a swim!

OK, so you won’t end up ill without these essentials in your carry on. But they do help make everything much, much easier.

Blister Protection

Blisters abound in different climates when you’re often walking more often than usual and wearing different shoes. Compeed changed my life (alright, it’s a slight exaggeration but it’s not too far from the truth!)

These second skin stickers cover the blister and cushion the surrounding skin from further damage. Best of all, you can easily fit three into your passport holder or travel wallet so that you always have them ready on the road.

This is even more important if you’ve lost your luggage and have to tackle new or poorly-fitting shoes in a new climate. Sorted.

A Scarf or Pashmina

A scarf not only keeps you warm on a breezy plane, but it covers hair on streets, shoulders in temples, and can double as a skirt for the day if your luggage disappears en route to somewhere bright and breezy.

You may need this more than you think: even in Rome, you need to cover up in order to enter the Vatican and Swiss Guards are on standby to check you have the right attire.

  • Check out the gorgeous Speakeasy Travel Scarves made by friend and colleagues. They have a secret compartment for your cash or passport and so they’re quite simply brilliant!

British Airways Business Class Travel Writer Abigail King Sleeping Mid flight

Some people find sleeping on a plane easy. Then, there’s the rest of us. These long haul flight essentials will increase your chance of a decent zizz.

Sleep Mask : For some reason, I fought against eye masks for years. Why?! They’re brilliant! Lightweight, useful, only mess up your hair a little bit ;-)

Ear Plugs : Foam ones work fine. So do using headphones and a background sleep app. Anything you can to help combat jet lag.

Warm Clothes : Planes can get cold and if you’re sitting still, so will you. Some airlines provide blankets but not all do. So, either enlist your scarf from earlier or make sure you have a jumper with you.

Inflatable Pillow : Yes, you feel a little ridiculous but who really cares? Alternatively, you can buy pre-filled travel pillows that can clip onto your luggage but they’re quite bulky. Only use if you have the luggage space.

Foot Rest : Use a toiletries bag and fill it with a blanket or jumper once you’re on the plane. Use it as a foot rest to help take the weight off your back and wedge yourself into position for sleep.

Warm Socks : It gets cold up in the sky. Add an extra pair of socks to your list of long haul flight essentials. Extra points if they’re warm and snuggly.

Read more about how to sleep on a plane here.

Carry-On Toiletries

Remember that travel size bottles aren’t just about keeping weight down. Most airlines have a limit as to the volume of fluids (liquids, gels and pastes) you can take through security at the airport. Less is more when it comes to this.

Lip Salve : Planes get dry and lips get sore. Either pack a dedicated lip balm, otherwise plain vaseline tubs can also treat blisters, sore noses, sunburn and all sorts.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste : For long international flights, it’s nice to be able to brush your teeth after all those hours. Just remember to keep toiletry sizes SMALL because of the airport security checks.

Other Lotions and Potions : Some people need a raft of toiletries to keep their skin in good condition. If that’s you, you’re probably better off buying a DIY travel toiletry set like this which allows you to decant your own toiletries into travel-sized bottles. If you’re on a really long haul flight, then consider deodorant, baby wipes and a change of underwear and socks as well.

Tech Essentials

These days, who doesn’t travel with tech? Whether it’s iPads for the little ones, full video gear for the vloggers or “just” a smartphone for maps and the grandkids, we all have batteries with us. Which means…

Chargers and Adapters : Security rules change all the time but one of the latest updates is that you have to be able to turn any device ON when asked. So, remember your charger!

I have two tips for this: a worldwide multi-adapter if you travel frequently and a multi-plug piece of kit or plug to multi-USB kit. This helps charge many devices at once while travelling.   Portable chargers and power banks also become essential for long flights with connections.

  • Buy your worldwide multi-adapter here.

Headphones : Firstly, if you plan to watch something on your phone or tablet, make sure you have headphones that fit it.

Second, many swear by noise cancelling headphones on a flight. This is something that has never really bothered me but Mr Travel Lab loves them. You can also get headphones for children that come with a noise limit (for the programme, not the child, alas ;-) )

A Protective Laptop Case : DO NOT put your laptop in the hold. Have it with you in your carry on, with an easy to access case as you’ll have to remove the case at airport security.

Laptops, Tablets and Kindles : As a travel writer and old time travel blogger, a lot of my work takes place on a plane. And you don’t need to be in travel for that to be the case. MacBook Air has built a name for itself as being the lightest computer on the market. I’ve now upgraded to the MacBook Pro to keep weight down but it’s still pretty light.

As for reading, I’ve found that nothing beats a Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite is lightweight and the screen is easy on the eye. Although you can read books on your phone, the eye strain is too much for me. Grab a waterproof Kindle and you can even try your luck at the pool once you land.

Health & Wellness

When it comes down to it, essentials do not really include a toothbrush and a clean pair of pants. These are easy to replace, should the worst happen.

Essentials are anything specific to you that would make you feel ill or supremely uncomfortable without it and which are difficult to replace.

Some examples:

  • Prescription medication including antimalarials, travel sickness tablets and anti-histamines.
  • Contact lenses & glasses
  • Snacks if you have dietary restrictions
  • Prescriptions or letters that explain why you have to have these things with you!
  • Tampons and other sanitary products. A 20 hour flight can feel very long without them.
  • Compression socks to protect against DVTs (blood clots) on long haul flights.
  • Hand sanitizer and mask to follow Covid regulations.
  • Travel insurance details. Sure, you won’t need those in flight but they are handy to have if the airline loses your luggage.

How to Prep to Avoid Blood Clots (aka DVTS)

Let’s be grown up and deal with facts, ignoring the fears for now.

Long haul flights increase the risk of blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis.) On their own, they’re uncomfortable but the real risk is that they fly off and lodge somewhere more important. Like in your lungs. Having trained and worked as a doctor, I am keen to spread the word about this because there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the (overall fairly small) risk. While ideally, we’d all be flying first class, you can still take action to protect yourself if you fly in economy.

Low Dose Aspirin: Aspirin affects how easy it is for platelets in your blood to stick together by altering the function of cyclooxygenase and the production of prostaglandins. Another way of describing it is to say that they make your blood less “sticky.” With the caveat that you should always check with your own doctor first rather than with someone on the internet – if you have a long haul flight, it is wise to take a low dose aspirin in the hour or so before it. Do not do this if you have suffered from an allergy to aspirin or have a history of intestinal bleeding. As I say, check with your own doctor first.

Compression Stockings: You can buy compression stockings from most chemists or online here.  They are not the sexiest of garments but they aren’t too bad once you get used to them. And, hey, if they save your life, they’re worth it!   They’re  particularly important for babymoons as pregnancy increases the risk of blood clots. I wore them every time I travelled while pregnant and they’re really not as bad as they look!

Read also:  23 Essential Travel Tips for Travelling While Pregnant

A Reusable Water Bottle

You can just about get away without a water bottle but life is easier if you have one. Many airports and airport lounges offer refills and it’s easy to ask the cabin crew to refill your own bottle than to keep asking for separate glasses of water. Even more convenient involves bringing your own collapsible water bottle , like this one.

Food & Drink & Dietary Restrictions

Airlines should be able to cater for you and so should your hotel. But let’s face it. Things go wrong and I’ve lost count of the number of times when I haven’t had the special meal required. So, my advice? Always pack some handy snacks.

Handy carry on snacks don’t make a mess nor grow fungus mid flight. Useful snacks are things like flapjacks, energy bars, apples, and rice cakes. Messy and unsuitable snacks include things like chocolate, bananas and mousse.

Pack even more snacks if you are travelling with children. You can thank me later ;-)

Inside tip: pack some packets of dehydrated couscous meals that just require boiling water. A real carry on essential for those with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance, vegetarian or vegan diets. Try rice cakes for a gluten-free option.

Carry On Essentials For Children

Travelling with children requires a bit more preparation but it’s perfectly doable and not as awful as you might imagine! I’ve written some specific articles here:

  • The Best Toddler Travel Toys 
  • The Only Tips You Need for Flying with a Baby

Abigail King in sunglasses on the beach in a swimsuit

Extreme Weather Conditions

What if the airline loses your luggage?

If you’re heading to somewhere similar to where you came from, you can muddle on through in the same clothes you’re wearing for a day or two while you sort yourself out. You may feel icky beyond the threshold of ick but you can do it.

However, if you’re heading somewhere much hotter or colder then life can quickly become miserable, with blistering sunburn and excruciating frostbite. So here’s how to avoid that.

Hot Weather Essentials

So, for hot weather, in your carry-on make sure you have:

  • A mini tube of sunscreen
  • A hat. Either fashionable and wicker or crushable and practical, depending on what you need to do when you reach your final destination. You can buy the f olding travel hat with strap shown in the video here.
  • Flip flops or other lightweight shoes that can help you cool down. I love these Fit Flops for women because they can work as day or night wear and they are VERY comfortable.
  • Bug spray if there’s any hint of insect-borne disease. Buy an insect repellent with DEET if mosquito-borne illnesses are a concern. Here is a travel size DEET laden bottle.

Cold Weather Essentials

For cold weather:

  • Carry your ski jacket onto the plane, with the pockets filled with the following
  • Gloves, hat, scarf/snood, thermals
  • Wear your heavy snow shoes
  • Squeeze any salopettes into your cabin luggage
  • Still remember the sunscreen and sunglasses

What Items Are Not Allowed on a Plane in Hand Luggage?

You are not allowed to bring anything into the cabin that could easily and feasibly be used as a weapon. That includes knives and guns, obviously, but knitting needles, antlers and Viking hats could also be confiscated.

For the same reason, liquids are limited at the security point (although you can usually buy fluids once airside.) Some bright spark tried to make an explosive out of various liquids during the flight and so now we are all restricted to 100mls or less of any soup, baby food, water or anything else that could qualify as a gel, paste or cream.

Travel Tips for Long Haul Flights

It’s not just what you pack into your carry on which affects how comfortable your long haul flight is. You have other things to consider as well. Whether it’s your first long haul flight or you’ve notched up more hours in the giant metallic cigar than you have in a real bed, everyone loves some good long haul flight tips.

Over a decade of professional travel, I’ve accumulated plenty and yet I’m always keen to hear more.

Why? Because a good flight is the key to happiness. Plato and the other ancient Greek philosophers were just too early to know.

But in all seriousness, a good flight makes sense. You can hit the ground running in your new location and transition back to home life as well. Whether travelling for business or pleasure (and there should always be room for both) there’s simply nothing to be gained from being uncomfortable and miserable.

The idea is to be well rested, replenished and revived with a zest for life, right? Or at the very least, less haggard than when you began.

Yet all too often, the result is frazzled, frumpy and thoroughly, er, fed up with mankind.

So. Let’s sit down and share some secrets…Our best long haul flight tips.

I’ll go first.

Book the Seat You Want

These days, more and more airlines allow you to book your seat in advance – at a price. When you book your ticket, pay attention to this, especially if you have long legs, a dodgy hip, have to have an aisle seat, are travelling together and so on.

Sometimes, theses seats are only available at a certain time. Check early and checkc often.

Insider Long Haul Flight Tip

If you are hoping for a bit of extra space (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) and you don’t want a window seat then here’s a little trick that’s just between you and me.

  • Go for the aisle seat on the middle section of the plane, not the one near the window. The middle of the middle is the worst seat in the plane (other than the one at the back that doesn’t recline.)  That means, if the plane is not full, you have the chance to dump all your stuff there or curl your knees up or stretch out. Striking gold! Just don’t tell everyone else, OK?
  • Oh, and on that note. Try to avoid the seats with the toilets just behind them. Seats often don’t recline and once the game of sky recline domino begins further ahead, you will be left very cramped indeed.
  • If you need to make a hasty getaway once you land, then book closer to the front, on the left. The left hand side of the aeroplane is closest to the door and so the queue moves faster.
  • Finally, run your choice through the  seat guru checker. This site lets you look at the layout of the plane in advance and highlights key issues that aren’t always obvious (such as lack of space under the seat in front of you or location of baby bassinets.)

Check-In Strategically

If you can’t book your seat, there are a few things you can do to maximise your chances of getting what you want.

Firstly, check in as soon as you can. Secondly, ask at check in. You never know. Sometimes airlines reserve seats and only release them closer to the flight time.

Tips For Boarding the Plane

Aeroplane aisles are narrow and everyone acts as though they’re in a desperate rush. The pressure is on to have it together and sit down quickly (although the world won’t end if you need to take your time.)

It’s a good idea to move to your seat quickly, and put your hand luggage in the overhead bin as soon as possible. You can ferret and fumble around with your things after take off.

A handy hint is to have a smaller bag that contains the things you KNOW you will need mid-flight and just whip that out before you board.

During the Flight

  • Get up and stretch : Set a timer if you have to. It helps to fend off blood clots and general aches and pains.
  • Drink lots of water to feel better : Bring your own bottle and top it up regularly.
  • Follow their schedule : There’s no point in fighting it. Eat when they serve food. Try to sleep when they turn off the lights. Chatter and watch TV (or work) when it’s all go, go, go. I fought this for years, trying to work to my own schedule but it never worked.
  • Be strategic about the restroom before food is served : When cabin crew are serving food, it can be difficult to make your way along the aisle. Just after the dinner service is busy and you need Houdini like skills to get out from underneath your table with an empty food tray on it and then squeeze past other passengers in the same situation. Try to time a quick stop just before food starts and laze back laughing afterwards…
  • Also, be strategic just before landing : As soon as you hear the pilot say “cabin crew, prepare for landing,” leap out of your seat. Use the restroom if needed and pack up your carry on luggage in the overhead locker. Nothing but queues await after this point – either on the plane or in the immigration area when you land. Carpe diem!

What to Wear On a Long Haul Flight

Even in the flashiest plane seat in the world, you’re going to have to stay in the same place on a long haul flight for a long time (hey! The clue is in the name!)

Belts, seams and constricting clothing will annoy you.

First and business class often offer pyjamas so you don’t need to bring your own but even then it’s useful to wear something loose and breathable.

What Should I Wear On a Long Haul Flight in Economy?

  • Think comfort first and foremost.
  • DO wear loose clothes in breathable fabrics.
  • DON’T wear jeans, tight leggings, short skirts or shorts or restrictive bodices.
  • A huge slouchy cardigan or sweater helps to balance the temperature changes mid flight. A scarf is helpful too.

Inside Tip : I have a pair of loose trousers that are great for flying in and simply require a black T shirt to go with them. I pack a second one for the return flight and that’s two days of “outfit planning” done in one as well.

On a long haul flight, you’re also at risk of skin irritation from the fabric of the seat. Long sleeves and trousers avoid this. If you’re heading somewhere hot, loose clothes are breathable. If you’re heading somewhere cold, your skin is covered and you can throw on a jumper and coat.

How to Pack For A Long Haul Flight

In addition to all those long haul travel essentials, here are some tips to add to your packing list.

Check Your Luggage Allowance

Some tickets give you enough luggage to move house like Marie Antoinette.

Most don’t.

Check at the time of booking, packing and certainly before you head to the airport. This is an occasion where it’s really important to read the small print. Airlines are becoming increasingly awkward about this and it is expensive, annoying and time consuming to have to solve the issue at the airport.

Organise Your Stuff

Whether you’re travelling hand luggage only or have checked in a bag, it’s still annoying to have to forage around for things during the flight.

The lighting may be low, the space is reduced and, if you’re a decent person, you’re often trying not to bump into or annoy anyone else.

  • Use  packing cubes like this  or brightly coloured toiletry bags to segment things.
  • Fill one packing cube with things you are unlikely to need but have to pack in your carry on. This includes things like prescription medication, spare contact lenses, battery packs and so on.
  • Fill another with your gadgets. Include a spare battery and charging wire.
  • Make sure you can easily remove laptops, liquids, gels and pastes at airport security without needing to unpack everything out.

A Note About Liquids, Gels and Pastes

In case you missed the memo, there are strict regulations on how many liquids, pastes and gels you can take onto a flight (at least for now…)

The most annoying part of this is that you won’t be able to take drinking water through airport security and so will have to buy some once you get through (so much for avoiding plastic.) Update – many airports now have water fountains, so if you bring your own collapsible water bottle , you can refill it after security.

Think strategically about what you will actually need during a long haul flight. And make sure that you have travel size bottles and that they all easily fit into the plastic bag required at security.

If you’ve left it too late to sort out miniatures, don’t stress. Airports sell most things in travel sizes.

Things to Do at the Airport to Improve Your Long Haul Flight

Breeze through security.

Put your most valuable item through last. If you get pulled over or the trays start to crash into each other after they’ve gone through the machine, your valuable items are more protected.

If travelling with kids, this is a whole new ball game as pushchairs, baby food and all the rest need to be dealt with separately. I’ve written whole posts on  travelling with a baby  and travelling with a toddler to address that.

Top Up Your Power Supply

Many flights now have at-seat charging points, even in economy. Many more still don’t. You need to be able to turn your device on if questioned at security and if you are relying on your phone for boarding passes and transfer information, it goes without saying that it’s kind of helpful to be able to turn it on.

Look For Lounge Access

Lounge access doesn’t only apply to business class travellers. Many airports now have pay-as-you-go lounges and many others accept membership cards like  Priority Pass.

Is it worth it? It depends. If the airport is decent and quiet, probably not. If it’s heaving, you have a long layover, you need a meal or a shower or are travelling on your own, it can be.

Particularly as a solo traveller, it’s great to be able to move around with ease, leaving your gadgets plugged in and getting a meal quickly without needing to queue for food.

As you Come in to Land

By the end of a long haul flight, everyone is fed up and ready to get off. This is the prime time for losing stuff. I once left my passport in the back of a seat and had to beg, borrow and steal my way back onto the aircraft to get it. Don’t let this happen to you.

  • As soon as you hear the announcement, start packing your bags.
  • Make sure you have your passport, customs and immigration paperwork handy. Check your pick up instructions or directions to your first hotel so you can appear calm and confident when you leave the airport and face any hawkers.
  • Depending on your phone provider, turn off your mobile data to avoid hideous roaming charges.

And, that’s it! Hope you enjoyed these long haul flight tips and that they help you have a smoother journey.

Carry-On Essentials For Short Flights

When it comes to short haul flights, perhaps you’re thinking you don’t need anything at all? Think again!

Sure, you could get lucky but remember this handy guide:

Three main thoughts should guide your packing:

1) What you NEED during the flight and at the airport.

2) What the airline MAKES you pack in your carry on vs checked.

3) What would spoil your trip if the airline lost your checked luggage.

So, while what you need on the flight may vary (wave goodbye to the DIY sleep kit) you are still going to need to pack items to cover situations two and three.

So, download the long haul flight essentials checklist anyway and perhaps dial down on the snacks and toiletries on your packing list.

Long Haul Flight Essentials Packing List for Carry On

More Travel Resources

Enjoy our packing lists and other travel essentials below:

  • Don’t miss an insomniac’s guide to sleeping on a plane
  • And make sure you have the right carry on luggage to begin with.
  • Find our best packing tips with this free travel checklist.
  • Creative travel journal ideas for your next trip.
  • Can laptops go in checked luggage? What you need to know.

2 thoughts on “27 Long Haul Flight Essentials and a Flight Checklist for You”

Compeed changed my life too hahah! And a sleep mask is essential for me even on a two hour flight – completely zone out when I have one on!

Three cheers for compeed! I wonder if they know how many lives they’ve changed :-) Where is your next trip?

Comments are closed.

Home » Explorer Momma » Travel Tips » 30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

Posted on Last updated: August 21, 2017

This post contains affiliate links. 30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

My family, including our 4-year-old and 8-year-old, is preparing for some intense travel this summer. I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m a planner so even though it’s a few weeks away I’m in full panic list-making mode. My current focus is food and snacks, yes snacks. When you have three long flights, including two lengthy layovers one-way, and a child with a serious allergy, snacks are a major issue. Therefore, I’ve been collecting ideas and possibilities and came up with this list of 30 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight.

Where are you going that requires over 24 hours of travel time each way?

We’ll be traveling to the beautiful country of Georgia and landing in the capital of Tbilisi. My husband is from a town just a couple hours west of Tbilisi so we’ll be visiting family and acting the tourist as we head to Batumi, a rather fabulous city on the Black Sea. If you’re ready for some amazing food, wine, beaches, culture, and welcoming people, this is the place for you.

Comments from the children about Batumi:

“Mommy, what is a dolphinarium? They have one. I want to go there.”

“So Mommy. Do I have to get in the water? I don’t want to swim in the sea, but I can make a sand castle, right?”

“Do you think we’ll see some jellyfish?”

Yes, traveling with kids is always an adventure and an education. I love being there when they experience new things for the first time and see their eyes widen in excitement before they start bouncing up and down. However, for Mom, safety is always one of my major worries on any trip.   You know, right up there on the top of the list is food safety when traveling abroad, especially when a child has a major food allergy.

Why should I be concerned if my snacks have peanuts in them on the airplane?

First of all, my child does not have a peanut allergy, but she does have another allergy that can be equally as deadly. Personally, I do not understand how anyone can justify bringing peanuts or any nuts on an enclosed airplane. One would hope the airlines and anyone who feels their need for a bag of peanuts on an airplane is no problem has never had close contact with someone with a life-threatening allergy.

It’s sort of like me saying, “Here is some iocane powder I’ve instantly dissolved into our drinking water. It is odorless, tasteless, and one of the more deadly poisons known to man. I’m not affected by it because I’ve ingested it in small amounts and have built up an immunity to it. I like the idea of it. Therefore, it is my right to put it in our water supply. Anyone who is poisoned by it will just have to deal with it or go live in another town.”

Be aware of allergies on an airplane

Does this make sense in any way, shape, or form? No, of course not, but for some reason, the idea of eating a bunch of nuts on an airplane and breathing them on your neighbor and the rest of the occupants of the plane as the air moves around the cabin does not even cross most minds. It is not as if you can turn a life-threatening allergy on or off with the flip of a switch. Moreover, the insensitivity, ignorance, or insistence of those not affected is simply a dangerous form of discrimination. I could go on and on with this topic, but we’d better stop there and look at some nut-free snack choices.

Read through my homeowner’s travel prep checklist to make sure you’ve covered it all!

This is a good list including many of the options we like to use for snacks. These are nut-free options great for aiplanes, school snacks, or any child with a nut allergy. However, please, please, PLEASE double-check labels before eating if there is an allergy present. Sometimes company do change procedures and they can then produce items on the same equipment or in the same facility as nuts. I hope you try some new ones out. The pink titles and pictures of the items link to Amazon in case you want more information. Enjoy!

long haul travel snacks

What can I do with 30 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight?

Pick out a few of these nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight and pop them in a Ziploc bag with each family member’s name for their carry-on. This will divide the load, and you can decide exactly how much you’ll need. My examples in the pictures may look excessive, but when your travel time is over 24 hours without any certainty of nut-free options, a mom likes to play it safe.

Happy Travels!

I hope your travels lead you to exotic, educational, and enjoyable locales! Take some time away and come back to daily life refreshed and a better person. But above all please don’t forget to be kind! Think about the lives of those around you on the airplane, at the beach, and serving you at the restaurant. Be thoughtful and respectful of the locals of the places you visit and the other people around you, and make no mistake, your kids will take note. They will copy what you do, and the world will be a better place because of it.

Where are you vacationing this summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Give me some good places to start imagining future travels!

*Iocane powder is not a real poison. It is a reference from the film ‘The Princess Bride.’

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Sunday 17th of March 2019

#27, the Cascadian Farms Granola Bars, have almond and peanut flour listed as ingredients. Probably they changed since you made this list two years ago. Not trying to be nitpicky, I just dont want anyone to have an allergy attack in the air!

Elizabeth, I agree, it is so important to double-check ANY label before you eat something because companies do change ingredients. The Cascadian Farms Chocolate Chip Granola Bars box, packaging, and website do not list those ingredients, and they are not on the company allergen warning, yet the Amazon write-up lists them. That's an odd discrepancy and worth looking into. In situations like this, I think it's always good to contact the company directly.

Wednesday 7th of November 2018

It’s ok but I’m hypoglycaemic so what do I do if I have an episode of blood sugars falling. Nuts and seeds work the best and raise the levels slowly. If I eat something with a high GI it will bring my sugars up fast and then they will fall fast again. I was on a flight and all the passengers were told not to eat nuts and none would be served. What to do...

Thursday 8th of November 2018

Thank you for your comment, Karen! It's so hard sometimes because everyone struggles with something, and we all need to be aware of that and be kind. I would speak to your doctor to see what the best options are in that situation and be prepared with snacks before, during, and after the flight, which I'm sure you're used to doing! I can't ever find much I can eat at airports or on planes so always bring my own.

Alexis @FITnancials

Wednesday 17th of May 2017

I love Annie's snacks! They're yummy and healthier compared to other candy and snacks.

Great post! I'll be taking a 9 hour and 40 min flight soon so I will definitely add some of these to my snack list. :)


Tuesday 16th of May 2017

What a great list of snacks! Perfect for kids and adults!

Before you go, check this out!

We have lots more on the site to show you. You've only seen one page. Check out this post which is one of the most popular of all time.

12 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight – You Must Know

Traveling can be tiring – both mentally and physically. And one of the biggest challenges for long-haul travelers is food restrictions. From traveling without dairy to avoiding gluten-containing foods, there are a lot of food restrictions that you need to be aware of if you’re flying.

But fret not! This blog will share 12 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight without breaking the bank. These snacks will keep you energized and satisfied throughout your journey, from fruit bars to vegan granola bars.

12 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

Table of Contents

Why Are Nuts A No-No On A Long-Haul Flight?

Nuts are a popular item to pack in your luggage for a long-haul flight, but one big reason flights should never include them is: They can cause severe health problems

In particular, nuts and other items containing high omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and infertility. These fats travel easily through the air and into people’s lungs, where they can cause inflammation and breathing problems. In extreme cases, nuts can even lead to death.

So what should you do if you feel forced to bring them on your trip? Pack them in a sealed container or stick them in your carry-on bag, so they don’t come into contact with other passengers. And if you have to include them in your suitcase, make sure you store them away from food products that could contaminate them (like dairy products).

What Ingredients Can You Use In Place Of Nuts?

Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, but they can be expensive and difficult to find in some situations. Instead of nuts, many people turn to alternative ingredients that have similar benefits. Some of the most common replacements for nuts include seeds (especially poppy seeds), shredded vegetables, hummus, avocado, and almond butter.

Each option has unique benefits, so it’s important to experiment with combinations until you find what works best for you. Try using nut-free recipes as a starting point so that you know which substitution will work well in specific dishes. And don’t be afraid to try new flavors – Nut-free baking can be fun and addicting.

12 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

12 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

If you’re traveling for a long-haul flight, pack nut-free snacks. Some great options include apple slices, grapes, and trail mix. Be sure to pack plenty of water so you can drink as needed. Ensure your snacks stay fresh in the air – put them in an airtight container or baggie. And lastly, avoid foods with excessive sugar or salt since these may not be healthy during a long journey. We hope these tips help.

1.Portable Granola

Portable Granola

Portable granola is a great snack for long flights as it is healthy and filling. You can make your own or buy pre-packaged gluten-free and nut-free versions. It is also a good way to keep your energy levels up during the flight without any stomach issues. Make sure to take plenty of water with you, too – dehydration can be an issue on long flights.

2.Air-Popped Popcorn

Air-Popped Popcorn

Popcorn is a great option if you are traveling with a nut-free or gluten-free diet, as it doesn’t contain any of these allergens. Furthermore, it is also perfect for people who have sensitivities to dairy, soy, or grains since all the ingredients are natural. Just pop the kernels in the air, and they will start to pop – making it easy to eat. You can also try trail mix or fig bars if you don’t have any popcorn available.

3.Fruits In Syrup

Fruits In Syrup

If you’re looking for a healthy and portable snack, try fruits in syrup. Mix some fruit juice or nectar with honey to make the syrups. These are perfect if you want something sweet but want something containing something other than refined sugar, like candy bars or cake. You can also buy pre-mixed packets of these syrups, which makes them even easier to take on your trip.

Many people forget about pretzels when traveling, but they are a great snack option if you have a nut-free or gluten-free diet.

4.Veggies Wrapped In Bacon And Cured Meat

Veggies Wrapped In Bacon And Cured Meat

If you’re looking for a healthy and flavourful snack, try wrapped vegetables. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, lay out the veggies of your choice (broccoli, carrots, etc.) and top them with bacon or cured meat ( ham, sausage, etc.). Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until everything is crispy and delicious.

5.Nut-Free Trail Mix

Nut-Free Trail Mix

Trail mix is a great way to keep yourself energized on long-haul flights. It’s nutritious, filling, and soy-free, meaning everyone can enjoy it! Some ingredients include seeds, nuts, and dried fruits, which are perfect for keeping you sustained throughout your journey.

To ensure they stay fresh and healthy for hours, store them in an airtight container.

6.Un-Baked Cookies

Un-Baked Cookies

If you’re looking for a snack that is easy to carry on your trip but also healthy, consider cookies. You can store unbaked cookies in an airtight container for up to two days or in the freezer for one month. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper before putting it in the batter. Then, bake them for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.

7.Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Looking for a nutritious and delicious snack, you can take wherever you go? Roasted pumpkin seeds are perfect! They provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they’re also gluten-free and vegan. Plus, they’re portable – making them the perfect option if you have to rush somewhere or want something quick and easy.

If savory snacks aren’t your thing, then roasted pumpkin seeds might be just what the doctor ordered.

8.Cashew Cheese Balls

Cashew Cheese Balls

Cashew cheese balls are a perfect snack for long-haul flights as they are both nutritious and tasty. Not only that, but you can make them with cashew cheese. Cashews are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They can be easily made in advance and stored in the fridge for later consumption – making them ideal traveling companions! If you’re looking for a nut-free snack that is also yummy, these balls may be the answer you’ve been searching for.

9.Raw Apple Slices With Cinnamon And Ginger

Raw Apple Slices With Cinnamon And Ginger

Raw apple slices are a delicious and healthy snack that You can enjoy at any time of the day. They contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them ideal for long-haul flights. Plus, they’re easy to carry on your plane as they don’t require any preparation – place them in a plastic bag, and you’re good to go.

If you love apples but don’t want to fuss with preparing them yourself, consider grabbing some raw apple slices from the store instead.

10.Mixed Berry Squares

Mixed Berry Squares

Mixed berry squares are the perfect snacks for long flights. They are gluten- and dairy-free and contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to keep you energized throughout your journey. Storage is simple – just put them in a sealed container and store them in the fridge before departure.

11.Coconut Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Coconut Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Coconut milk yogurt popsicles are a healthy and delicious snack that you can enjoy at any time of the day. Not only do they taste great, but they’re also packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help re-fuel your body during long flights. Store them in the fridge for an easy snack that will satisfy you.

12.Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is a great food to have on hand if you’re traveling for an extended period. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also provides essential fatty acids and protein, which can help keep you energized throughout your journey. If you are traveling with a food allergy or sensitivity, carry plenty of smoked salmon snacks with you, so you don’t miss out.

Travelling can be stressful enough without worrying about food allergies or intolerances. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 12 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight. From fruit bars to trail mix bars, we’ve got you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing your nut-free snacks today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i eat any nuts on the plane.

Yes, you can eat nuts on a plane as long as they are in their original packaging and you’re not eating them raw. Some of the best nut-free snacks include trail mixes, apple sauce, fruit bars, and dark chocolate. Sticking to healthy snacks that will keep you sustained during your long flight is important.

What Are Some Of The Best Nut-Free Snacks To Bring When I Fly?

When flying, monitoring your food intake and avoiding any potential allergies is important. Some of the best nut-free snacks for a long flight include hard-boiled eggs, hummus, and vegetables with dip, nuts in a sealed container, and deli meats wrapped in parchment paper.

Are There Other Types Of Food I Can Safely Pack In My Carry-On Bag Without Bringing My Entire Kitchen With Me?

Yes, you can safely pack in other types of food without worrying about bringing any nuts. Some examples include trail mix, granola bars, fruit snacks, and cereal. Just read the nutrition labels carefully before packing anything, as some may contain nuts or nut ingredients.

How Do I Store And Reheat My Nut-Free Snacks, So They’re Still Delicious After A Long Flight?

There are a few ways that you can store and reheat your nut-free snacks on your long flight.

The most common way is to pack them in your carry-on bag. Ensure they are properly stored and refrigerated, as airline food can dehydrate.

Alternatively, you can pack nut-free snacks like carrot sticks, hummus, sliced fruit, etc. packets in your carry-on bag in case hunger strikes mid-flight.

Do Any Of These Snacks Have Nuts?

None of the snacks listed have nuts, but they are all vegan and gluten-free, so they are perfect for anyone with food allergies or sensitivities. In addition, some of the snacks include chickpeas, avocado, kale chips, and roasted Brussels sprouts, which are all high in healthy fats and will give you energy while on your long-haul flight.

Michael C. Herrera

I’m a travel blogger with a focus on safety. I’ve been to all seven continents, and I love sharing my tips for staying safe while traveling. I also have a lot of experience with travel hacking and finding the best deals on airfare and hotels. My blog features reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment.

Recent Posts

Flixbus Luggage - What You Need To Know

When travelling by bus, you must consider the amount and type of luggage you'll bring. That's where FlixBus luggage comes in. FlixBus is a popular bus company that operates in Europe and the United...

Lucas Luggage Replacement Wheels: A Simple Guide

Lucas luggage replacement wheels are an essential component for any frequent traveler. These wheels are designed to replace worn-out or damaged ones on your existing Lucas luggage. Providing an...

Packing Light Travel

A detailed description of long flight carry-on essentials

by Anne Betts | Nov 20, 2023 | Luggage and Packing | 0 comments


What are your long flight carry-on essentials ? With your checked bag in the cargo hold or your ‘standard’ carry-on bag in the overhead locker, what do you pack in your personal item, the one that fits under the seat in front of you. Or perhaps you wear some of your essentials, so they don’t count against your baggage allowance.

Table of Contents

Long flights: love ‘em or hate ‘em

1. it begins with a great personal item, 2. how will you keep financial and identity documents secure, 3. how will you carry travel documents and booking confirmations, 4. make your personal item double as your day bag, 5. set up your personal item/day bag, 6. packing organizers are an asset, 7. do you need a packing list for your personal bag, 8. choose what you wear with care, 9. pack to stay healthy and comfortable, 10. ensure access to devices, 11. always pack your own entertainment, 12. pack some snacks, 13. packing to feel human, 14. some miscellaneous suggestions.

Do you see a long-haul flight as a vile test of endurance? If so, what’s on your list of things to do to fight boredom and save you from going stir-crazy?

Or does it represent a welcome respite from the countless demands experienced at ground level? What do you pack to make the most of this gift of free time?

Whatever your view, what you wear and pack in your personal carry-on will influence your in-flight comfort and enjoyment.

Long flight carry-on essentials

The perfect personal item is a bag that works for you and the trip you’re undertaking. It might be a large purse, small backpack, sling bag, or messenger or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front during takeoff and landing. Depending on its size, it could rest in front of your seat between takeoff and landing without restricting legroom space. Some people use it as a footrest.

Yes, the aircraft floor is filthy. Besides, passengers have reported finding barf bags, dirty diapers, and chewing gum hidden from view. One strategy is to carry a water-resistant, washable, reusable shopping bag to offer a measure of protection for your personal item. My Kingmas has snaps to partially close the bag and it folds into its attached pocket until the next flight or wash.   

If you have an aversion to checking luggage, it should fit inside your main bag for airlines with a one-bag carry-on allowance. You’ll have to deal with both bags during transit and again when you reach your destination. I prefer the ‘nested’ approach, where my personal item, empty or packed, fits inside my main bag.

See How to travel with just one carry-on bag using the nested approach .

A personal item typically contains what you need for a healthy and comfortable flight. It will also include items of value and those that can’t be easily replaced. If you’ve checked a bag, there will be extra items in case your checked bag is delayed or lost. These might include directions to your accommodation or onward travel information, a change of clothes, medication, car and house keys, and weather-appropriate clothing for your destination.

How will you carry identity documents, financial cards, and currency? If you prefer to avoid placing these items under the seat in front, consider a small crossbody purse, wearable document holder, or a travel vest or jacket with zippered internal pockets.

  • A slim RFID-blocking travel wallet will protect your financial cards and government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, resident card, or trusted traveller card. My favourite is from FurArt , with five secure pockets for cards, two small pockets for cash or an additional card, and a D-ring for tethering the wallet to an attachment point in a purse or pocket.
  • For international destinations, an RFID-blocking sleeve or pocket in a purse will protect your passport. Skip the expensive, bulky passport holders. Choose a lightweight, minimalist cover that protects a passport from dust and moisture yet allows quick access.
  • If you’re renting a vehicle on arrival, and the country requires it, carry your International Driving Permit.
  • A phone case with a pocket (my favourite is the Smartish Wallet Case ) can carry a few items such as a credit card, emergency contact card, and emergency cash. In-flight purchases will require a credit card. A phone case allows you to slip a phone tether tab in the case for tethering the phone to a lanyard or an attachment point in a purse or pocket. 

See  Features of an ideal wallet phone case for travel .


  • If necessary, carry some cash in currencies from departure and arrival countries for airport snacks and getting from the airport to your accommodation. Banknotes and coins of different currencies need to be separated. It’s a major inconvenience when they’re not. I create currency sleeves from page protectors for banknotes and carry a couple of zip-top craft bags for coins.
  • Keep an emergency cash stash in places not easily discoverable by someone rummaging through your stuff. This might include a hidden pocket in your bag or a ‘diversion safe,’ a repurposed empty container such as lip balm or travel-sized deodorant.
  • Make a laminated emergency contact card for telephone numbers of your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact person, financial institutions, emergency medical insurance administrator, and consular services. Slip one in your wallet, another in your passport sleeve, and one in each bag. Many insurance providers include a wallet card listing the policy holder’s name, policy number, and contact numbers. It’s easy to laminate using a pack of self-laminating cards .
  • Carry laminated copies of your passport information page. For dual passport holders, make back-to-back copies. Place one in each bag in readily accessible locations. The actual passport will need to be presented at border services, but there are many occasions when a laminated copy is invaluable.

For more information, see How to make a traveller’s emergency contact card in 5 easy steps and 9 Simple reasons to carry laminated copies of your passport .

Electronic or paper? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Keeping a phone charged and ready to present on demand can be more onerous than packing the phone away and relying on a paper boarding pass. If your checked bag doesn’t arrive at your destination and you’ve lost the boarding pass with the airline’s checked baggage receipts attached, it may be challenging to convince the airline that your bag exists when the airline says it doesn’t (true story). So, what is the best way to carry your travel documents?

For me, it’s a hands-free document holder or crossbody purse with an adjustable strap. Anything with zippered compartments for a passport, boarding passes, printed itinerary, and trusted traveller card does the trick. For a lightweight option, the online marketplace Etsy has many listings for small, zippered neck pouches. My lightweight travel organizer from KapomCrafts at Etsy weighs only 43 g / 1.5 oz. For an anti-theft choice with built-in RFID technology, the Pacsafe Daysafe Anti-Theft Tech Crossbody Bag (127 g / 4.5 oz) accommodates a passport, phone, minimalist wallet, face mask, and boarding passes. For something a little larger, the Osprey Ultralight Shoulder Satchel weighs just 104 g / 3.6 oz. All of these can be hidden under outerwear and except for security screening, worn throughout the journey.


Travel with as little paper as possible. Lots of paper adds weight.  Exceptions might be a printed itinerary and printed boarding passes. Carry them in a document holder or an outside pocket of a packable purse. An itinerary can be used to jot down information such as aircraft seating configuration and in-flight amenities obtained from online sources such as AeroLOPA . List airport lounges and their locations. Include directions on arrival (e.g., where to catch the airport shuttle, the name or number of the metro line, walking directions from transit to accommodation, and the address of where you’ll be staying).

Another option is to store travel bookings in an itinerary management app. My app of choice is the free Kayak app with its ‘Trips’ feature.

For more information, see My favourite itinerary management app .

Can your personal item serve as your day bag? If so, it means one less bag and elevates your chances of not having to check your luggage.

  • It needs to meet an airline’s size and weight restrictions. As a general guide, aim for measurements of 9 x 10 x 17 inches / 22 x 25 x 43 centimetres. Depending on the airline, weight limits vary between 7 kg and 10 kg (or no limit) for a personal item. I keep a list in the Notes app on my phone and check if there have been any changes to the requirements of the airlines I’ll be using on the next trip.
  • It’s comfortable enough to wear or carry for many hours, packed with what you need to enjoy the day at your destination. This might include a phone, water bottle, clothing layers, first-aid supplies, comfort pack of essentials, camera, and a travel umbrella or rain jacket.
  • My choice of combined day bag and in-flight personal item varies and will usually be influenced by the destination, season, and type of activities. If it’s the wet season at my destination with daily torrential showers, my packable Osprey Ultralight Dry Stuff Pack will make the cut. If a crossbody bag is a better fit for daily activities, I’ll likely choose my Travelon Anti-Theft Active Tour Bag .


  • Some bags offer anti-theft features as part of the design. However, there are adaptations you can introduce to protect your stuff and make you less vulnerable to theft.

For ideas, see Stop pickpockets with this comprehensive assortment of anti-pickpocket gear .

Undoubtedly, there will be items deserving a permanent place in your personal item/day bag. While not an in-flight essential, I like to attach a safety whistle ( JetScream Floating Whistle ) and personal alarm ( Sabre ) to a crossbody purse. I’ll find a place for a slim pen ( Zebra Mini Ballpoint ), travel pack of bamboo tissues, soap leaves , a pocket shopping bag, a mini rechargeable flashlight ( Olight I1R 2 Pro ), an AirTag in a holder. and a small roll of TUMS.

  • Does the internal security of your bag need a helping hand? If so, one option is to add a few attachment points such as plastic O-rings or D-rings sewn into the seams. Many bags come with clips to attach keys or other items. These can be handy for attaching items needing an extra layer of security. For example, a retractable coil with lobster claw clasps at both ends can be hooked to a tether tab in a phone case and an attachment point in a phone or pocket. The retractable coil lengthens, allowing you to use your phone while still tethered to your person.


  • Find a place for a pocket shopping bag. A pocket shopping bag is so functional it deserves a permanent place in a combined day bag/personal item. It will be handy if you’re likely to shop on airport layovers or make duty-free purchases.
  • For external security, consider attaching a TSA-approved lock or a couple of lightweight cables to zipper pulls.
  • If your bag has dangling straps, pick up some Web Dominators and they’ll dangle no more.

For more information on these handy travel aids, see Tame dangling straps with Web Dominator .

  • In case you’re separated from your personal item, ensure it has an external luggage tag with your name, email address, and telephone number. I like small metal tags with a sturdy keychain cable. A Bluetooth tracker such as a Tile Mate or AirTag adds an extra layer of security. Slip the tracker in a case with a key chain for clipping to an attachment point inside your bag.

See Avoid losing your luggage: tips on tags, trackers, and other tools .

Packing organizers, such as zippered cloth or reusable zip-lock pouches, help bring order to a bag. This can lead to a faster trip through secondary screening. They also protect their contents and make it easier to find things by touch. If the pouch has an attachment point, it can be tethered to internal bag hardware to improve security for more valuable items.

  • For example, place noise-cancelling in-ear headphones and its charging cord in their own pouch. If they’re wired, you may need a lightning-to-jack adapter to connect to your Apple device. If they operate by Bluetooth, an adapter such as AirFly allows a connection to the aircraft’s entertainment system if a 3.5 mm audio jack is required. Whatever your setup, you’ll appreciate having what you need to access various media. Place all related items in a single pouch.
  • A repurposed Altoids tin or zippered pouch can house a small travel first-aid kit.
  • A ‘comfort pack’ could contain deodorant, tissues, tablet towels, soap leaves, hydrating mist, lubricant eye drops, nasal decongestant, pressure-reducing ear plugs, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, lip balm, and a spare panty liner. When choosing tissues, a travel pack of bamboo tissues is an eco-friendly choice. Compared with their wood-pulp counterparts, they’re free of chemicals and break down faster. The three- and four-ply travel packs are handy for washrooms without toilet paper. 
  • A small pillbox is ideal for medication, probiotics, and vitamins. These, and others, make it easy to find stuff by touch, offer a measure of protection, and prevent items from roaming free in your bag.

For ideas, see

  • How to pack small things in your travel bags
  • Create a travel comfort pack for easy access to self-care essentials
  • Travel with tablet towels: a multipurpose essential every traveller should pack
  • No soap? No problem travelling with soap leaves

If necessary, create a packing list for your personal item. What will you pack in that bag, and which liquids and gels will you need during the flight? Getting stuff out of a standard carry-on bag in the overhead locker is a major inconvenience for you and other passengers. Items such as hand lotion, hand sanitizer, and lip balm can be moved to a personal item after passing through security. However, on recent trips in 2023, I found that removing a 3-1-1- bag is no longer required, and small containers (less than 100 ml) of liquids in a purse passed the scrutiny of screening systems.

  • When choosing shoes and clothing, consider safety, comfort, and convenience. Compression socks are a must for long-haul flights. They help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They’re as essential for young, healthy, and fit individuals as they are for older travellers or those with circulatory issues.Also, socks are better than bare feet if you need to remove your shoes during security screening.
  • Accidents are rare, but it doesn’t hurt to mitigate the risks. Most aviation accidents happen during takeoff or landing. Choose comfortable shoes that can be worn for the entire flight or slipped on and off easily to visit the washroom or go for a walk. I like AllBirds Wool Runners because they’re breathable, and the soft fabric expands to accommodate minor swelling. With the laces loosely tied, they’re easy to slip on and off during the flight.
  • If you choose to wear (rather than pack), hiking boots, you’ll likely need something more comfortable to wear during the flight.
  • Most people like to liberate their feet from shoes while recognizing that airline floors are filthy. Occasionally, I’ll pack a pair of lightweight, non-slip grip socks to wear over my compression socks. However, they’re not a wise choice for visiting the bathroom.
  • For comfort, wear loose clothes and pack additional lightweight layers. Anything in merino is a good choice. Avoid clothing or accessories with metal studs or buckles that will trigger security systems.
  • Take advantage of pockets in clothing. Choosing between ‘wear comfortable clothing’ or ‘wear your heaviest items’ is easier if you can do both. In this respect, pockets are your friends. Travel pants with one or two cargo pockets or leggings with pockets are great for carrying miscellaneous items. Look for cargo pants with internal pockets and a discreet zipper that is hardly visible – not the bulky external pockets that give the impression you’re going on safari.
  • A travel vest from SCOTTeVEST or a jacket from Clothing Arts can carry a lot of stuff! This type of clothing has the added benefit of zippered internal pockets, perfect for airport screening. Stow your stuff, ensure pockets are zipped, place it in a bin on the conveyor belt, and pick it up at the other end. I’ve carried as much as 1.4 kg / 3.1 lb of stuff in my Clothing Arts Cubed Travel Jacket or SCOTTeVEST Lightweight Travel Vest.
  • A pashmina adds a touch of flair to a travel outfit. It can be indispensable as a shawl to deal with fluctuations in temperature. My pashmina saved me from a torturous bus ride from Marrakech to Tangier when the air-conditioning was cranked up so high that it was unbearably cold. For such a lightweight item, it’s remarkable how it offered warmth. Another advantage is that it can hide a crossbody purse while sleeping.

For more information, see Always pack a pashmina: one of the best multipurpose items in a travel bag .

  • I always pack a full-zip mid-weight merino sweater in case of cooler temperatures. One with a hood allows me to cozy up and avoid contact with the headrest.
  • Storing a hoody or other clothing layers in a packing organizer or pillowcase offers protection and serves as a makeshift pillow. I’m yet to find an inflatable or memory-foam travel pillow that’s worth the space (and weight) it consumes when I’m not flying. My lightweight, travel-inspired pillowcase cover from the online marketplace Etsy can also be stuffed with an airline pillow for back or neck support. If you prefer a C-shaped or U-shaped neck pillow , or a bendable, twistable pillow , there are several lightweight covers that can be stuffed with items of clothing. Like inflatable travel pillows that can hold as much or as little air as you like, the inside of a stuffable cover can be lightly or tightly packed. Where the stuffable pillow has the edge is that items can be moved to different parts of the cover depending on where support is most needed. Some airlines don’t count travel pillows as part of a passenger’s carry-on allowance so it’s an opportunity to carry extra stuff.


  • Pack an eye mask if light from a window, overhead lights, or nearby reading lamps prevents you from sleeping. A contoured sleep mask with memory foam allows eyes to move freely under the soft fabric. Wide coverage and an adjustable strap conspire to block out light. completely. Mine is from Tepech and works beautifully. A beanie/toque or Buff pulled over the eyes could serve a similar purpose for some people.
  • If music, guided meditation, a podcast, or audiobook storytelling aren’t good sleeping companions, pack some noise-reducing earplugs.
  • In various Facebook travel groups, several people have described a foot hammock as a game changer. Some airlines have banned hanging footrests as tray tables are not built to accommodate them and they’re a health hazard for passengers entering or exiting the tight space in a row of seats. 
  • Always carry a face mask. There will be times, such as sitting near a passenger coughing and sneezing and not wearing a mask.
  • Planes are unsanitary places. The tray tables, seat belts, headrests, window ledges, shades, and armrests aren’t clean. The pandemic may have improved sanitizing procedures, but a few disinfecting wipes give your space for the next 15 hours an extra clean.
  • Use hand sanitizer often and avoid touching your face. Have you flipped through the in-flight magazine? If so, sanitize. Did you check the safety card in the seatback pocket? If so, sanitize. If you’ve touched the latch on the overhead locker, sanitize. Sanitize often, especially before touching your face or food. When visiting the washroom, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a paper towel to open the door and then sanitize your hands upon returning to your seat. Multiple studies have revealed that areas touched in the bathroom (e.g., door latch, sink taps, toilet flush) are among the ‘germiest’ spots on a plane. 
  • The air is dry at 30,000 feet. It doesn’t take long for nasal passages, eyes, lips, and skin to feel the effects. Carry a stick of lip balm. For a hydrating facial mist , I love Mario Badescu with aloe, herbs, and rosewater. Decant your favourite liquid moisturizer into a small container for in-flight use. I also carry the versatile Cococare 100% Cocoa Butter Stick . It’s a natural moisturizer with a delectable fragrance that can be applied to any dry area, including the face, neck, lips, and hands. An added advantage is that it doesn’t leak. Lubricant eye drops are essential if you spend many hours watching a movie, working on your device, or reading printed materials.
  • Many people experience ‘airplane ear’ during takeoff and landing and seek relief by yawning and swallowing. These can be complemented with EarPlanes , pressure-filtering earplugs. With a noise-reducing rating of 20dB, they could be used as earplugs throughout the flight. Airplane ear risk is increased with a common cold, hay fever, or sinus infection. If so, use a nasal decongestant spray 30 minutes to an hour before takeoff and landing. A friend swears by Afrin .
  • It’s possible you may have to deal with odours from stinky food, smelly shoes or feet, a dirty diaper, cigarette smoke on clothing, the toilet, or perspiration or foot odour from another passenger. It may not be possible to change seats so pack something to mask the smell. I’ve found rubbing a small amount of Tiger Balm or Mentholatum (anything with camphor and menthol) under my nose works. Or pack a small roller of essential oils such as lavender and eucalyptus and apply to your body, face mask, or travel pillow.   
  • For immune support, I pack a few sachets of Ener-C Effervescent Powdered Drink Mix (cranberry is a favourite), Sambucol Black Elderberry Pastilles (with zinc, Vitamin C, and honey), and oregano capsules . There’s no scientific evidence that these are effective. Still, my experience is that they help ward off a common cold or lessen its effects. I take them before, during, and after the flight.
  • For a hydration booster, I like the portability of a tube of Nuun Sport hydration tablets. Liquid IV is a very popular choice in a powder.   
  • To maintain gut health, my daily probiotic while travelling is Saccharomyces boulardii . I’ve tried products from AOR and NOW and both have worked well. Does a probiotic work? For someone prone to Travellers Diarrhea, it works for me. Choosing the right probiotic takes trial and error. For example, a friend swears by Health Balance Complete Probiotic with 8 probiotic strains and 30 billion active cells. She suffered sudden irritable bowel attacks that stopped once she switched to this product. It’s also available from Costco.
  • Staying hydrated is critical. Fill your refillable water bottle after clearing security. One with a wide mouth is easier and more hygienic to fill. I particularly like the self-cleaning LARQ that sterilizes water from trusted and natural sources. However, with its active loop and sleeve, it’s heavy for a water bottle (325 g / 11.4 oz). For those occasions when I want something lighter, my foldable Vapur Eclipse (23 oz / 0.7 l) gets the job done. It weighs 38 g / 1.3 oz.
  • A collapsible cup makes it easier to refuse in-flight plastic cups and bottles. It’s also preferable to using a refillable water bottle for mixing tablets or powders for immune support or a hydration boost. My Stojo Pocket Cup (12 oz / 355 ml) weighs 143 g / 5.1 oz.


  • A small travel first-aid kit has a permanent place in my personal bag and day bag. A paper cut, motion sickness, diarrhea, heartburn, or headache can strike at any time, and it helps to have remedies close at hand. It needs to be customized with your specific needs in mind.
  • Educate yourself on sleep-aid medication, or better still, consult a healthcare professional. Some people advocate taking melatonin , which works differently for different people.  Sleeping pills might help you sleep on a flight, but will it compromise your ability to cope with an arrival routine and safely find your way to your accommodation?

Back in the day, my regular trips from Canada to Australia to visit family were more than forty hours from Halifax to Brisbane. The aircraft’s entertainment system invariably involved a small overhead screen that may or may not have been easily seen depending on where I was seated. Everyone watched the same movie. The two paperback novels I always packed helped me get through those flights. Today, our devices offer more pleasurable alternatives.

  • Most long-haul aircraft have power outlets, but this is never a guarantee. It could be the same with layovers; connection times might not be long enough to charge a device or outlets might not be available or working. That was the case on my last trip – not a single outlet worked at a new terminal at Charles De Gaulle in Paris, and I was only half-way home! Plan to board with fully charged devices and a fully charged external charger/power bank. A 10,000mAh unit represents the sweet spot between getting the job done and not being too heavy. My TG90 with built-in charging cords means several devices can be charged at the same time. It clocks in at 208 g / 7.3 oz.


  • For layovers between flights, pack the necessary adapter. I like a multi-port USB charger with interlocking international adapters and USB-A and USB-C ports. My Lencent 45W Multiple USB Wall Charger means leaving the various charging bricks at home and just packing charging cables.
  • With so many different connectors on devices and cables (USB Type A, USB Type C, Lightning, and Micro USB), a 6-in-1 charger small enough to attach to a keychain can undoubtedly earn its keep. That was the case on my last trip with the Rolling Square inCharge X .
  • When I travel with a laptop, it now goes into dry bag. What could have been a very expensive lesson happened on a short flight from Halifax to Montreal. When I landed, I grabbed my under-seat personal item that was soaked. A passenger in front had dropped a water bottle and failed to retrieve it. I’ve also read about the destruction wreaked by leaking toiletries. With so many liquids on flights, a dry bag offers an extra level of protection for valuable electronics.

To learn more about these versatile items, see 10 Reasons to travel with dry bags .

  • Increasingly, airports, hotels, and other public places, have USB charging ports. A USB data blocker offers protection when using public USB ports.

For more information, see  Do you need a USB data blocker? You do if you use public USB charging stations .

  • A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a necessity for using public Wi-Fi safely. It encrypts your data, so it’s secure when accessing email or financial information or paying for online bookings. It enables you to connect to a server in another country. It also means access to geo-blocked streaming services or banned sites in certain countries. I use NordVPN.

See Why you need a VPN when you travel .

A variety of entertainment is critical to surviving a 15-hour flight. A phone and tablet can carry music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, games, and various travel aids such as language basics and a journal. Or bring a print book and magazine. Having a variety allows you to switch from screens to print, and giving your eyes a rest with an audiobook, podcast, or music. Relying on the airline for in-flight entertainment is never a good idea. Some flights don’t have any, or seats where it’s not working. Some airlines charge for movies or require downloading an app to access their in-flight system.

  • Pack a headphone splitter if you’re sharing your device with a travelling companion. The Belkin Speaker and Headphone Splitter connects two sets of wired headphones.
  • If you enjoy games, Too Many Adapters has some suggestions. 
  • Squeeze extra value out of your Netflix and Spotify Premium subscriptions. Download movies and synch your playlists for offline access.
  • Hours of screen time can be hard on the eyes, so a printed book or magazine is an alternative. It doesn’t need a battery or charging cable!! The Kindle Paperwhite has a glare-free screen with the added advantage of working in bright sunlight at your destination. Some travellers find calm and pleasure in a travel-themed colouring project.
  • A portable reading light avoids the need to turn on an overhead light for writing projects or reading printed materials. I like the Grifin 9 LED Rechargeable Book Light because it’s lightweight, packable, has a flexible neck and several levels of brightness, and its sturdy clip attaches to a book or table. 
  • A multi-angle holder for an e-reader, phone, and tablet is a hands-free in-flight option. Use it during transit, while dining, videoconferencing, or performing other tasks. The Labilus is one of the lightest portable stands on the market at 64 g / 2.2 oz. It’s foldable for packing and adjustable for viewing in portrait or landscape mode. Anti-slip silicone pads stabilize and protect the device.
  • It can be an ideal time to get some work done. You’ll be unavailable by phone and perhaps disconnected from the internet. The MS Word app provides access to files stored in Dropbox. Tag those you want to edit, and the app will upload them to Dropbox when you’re back on Wi-Fi.
  • Or use an app to brush up on language basics.
  • Destination-based novels and guides can help with last-minute orientation and travel planning.
  • Downtime on a flight can be a perfect opportunity to cull, edit, and categorize photos. A small camera connector is a permanent fixture in my purse to quickly transfer photos from my pocket camera, a Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 , to my iPad mini without needing Wi-Fi. Snapseed is my go-to photo-editing app. It works brilliantly! Culling and editing throughout a trip make the task more manageable.
  • If you like to journal, keep notes, or record captions of photos for a post-trip project, you might want to carry a travel journal . If the digital variety is for you, a travel diary app might meet your needs. My preference is the kind of distraction-free space found in MS Word or Google Docs. For inspiration, I have a separate document with a variety of travel journal prompts collected from across the internet.
  • Headphones are essential for enjoying audio and video entertainment or playing meditation music to help sleep come easier. They serve another purpose as earplugs, drowning out the sounds of crying babies, loud talkers, snoring passengers, and folks who have an inadequate seal on their earphones and jack up the volume on their entertainment system. They also signal to neighbours that you’re not interested in conversation. I prefer the in-ear noise-cancelling variety. They’re lightweight, comfortable for sleeping, and take up much less space than the over-head variey. I use the wired Bose QC 20 ; I find the earbuds offer a better seal than my AirPods Pro, and I don’t need a connector such as AirFly . Besides, if a wired earbud pops out of an ear, it remains physically connected to the unit.
  • A packed snack is an insurance against unappetizing and costly in-flight snacks. Avoid anything salty, refined, or processed, and it’s a good idea to skip nuts in case someone nearby has severe allergies. Seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate are my go-to staples. LÄRABAR or Clif bars are a great choice.
  • The right candies can serve other needs. Sucking on a candy stimulates swallowing that helps open the eustachian tubes to better deal with the changes in air pressure during ascent and descent. Mints can be useful as a breath freshener. For motion sickness, indigestion, or an upset stomach, ginger chews have proven to be effective.
  • A toothbrush, toothpaste or a few toothpaste tablets, and floss will keep your breath fresh and help brush away the grunge of long-distance travel. If brushing your teeth in an airplane washroom holds no appeal, carry a travel pack of mints, breath strips , or chewable mouthwash tablets .
  • One or two reusable panty liners and a spare pair of lightweight panties can help you feel fresh at the end of your journey. Panty liners are easier to change in an airplane washroom or airport toilet. Mine are from the online marketplace, Etsy but there are several choices of bamboo charcoal reusable panty liners at Amazon.


  • You’ll feel fresher by changing into a clean shirt, but merino holds up exceptionally well and is an excellent choice for long-haul travel. Pack a spare pair of socks if you’re keen to liberate your legs from compression socks after you land. Again, merino is fantastic for its wicking and odour-control abilities. Travellers with checked luggage tend to pack an entire change of clothes in case of delayed and missing luggage.
  • Brush or comb? There are folding varieties that take up less space. Many have a built-in mirror.
  • Consider packing dry shampoo if a long-haul flight is likely to result in a bad-hair day. Dry shampoo absorbs oil and contains styling ingredients that add volume, thickness, and texture. There are aerosol sprays, but a powdered shampoo can be just as effective (and more travel-friendly). My favourite is Bumble and Bumble Prêt-a-Powder , available in a travel-sized container (0.5 ov / 14 g).
  • If you rely heavily on reading glasses, a pair of ThinOPTICS is insurance against lost or broken glasses. They’re paper thin and take up no space to speak of. Mine weigh only 4 g / 0.2 oz. With the protective case, they weigh 8 g / 0.6 oz. Also, pack a protective case for glasses to store them safely when not in use.
  • A lens wipe or microfibre cloth can be handy for cleaning glasses or a camera lens. I use a microfibre pouch obtained from my optician. It doubles as a protective pouch for my pocket camera.
  • It takes a skinny pen, as light as they come, to complete customs and immigration forms (in blue or black ink). A Zebra Mini Ballpoint Pen ( 8 g / 0.3 oz) deserves a permanent place in a travel purse. You may be asked for the address of where you’re staying, so load this on your phone beforehand. Also, write it on your printed itinerary. You may need help finding it at your destination, and handing your phone to a stranger is never a good idea.
  • Consider carrying some business cards. You’ll meet some interesting folks, and you may want to stay in touch. A business card is a quick and efficient way to exchange contact information.
  • A mini flashlight has a permanent home in my travel purse. It helps illuminate difficult-to-see items or search for something that may have fallen on the floor or is deep inside a bag. Sure, there’s a flashlight app on your phone, but sometimes a flashlight is the better option. I like the compact size of the Olight I1R2 Pro , 180 lumens. It’s rechargeable and can be easily attached to a keychain.
  • Aisle or window seat? Each one has its advantages. I like a window seat for resting against the wall, but I prefer the convenience of an aisle seat to go for regular walks. Paying for seat selection is an option or checking in online as soon as it opens.
  • Get into the habit of returning an item such as a boarding pass, eyeglasses, wallet, or headphones to the same compartment or packing organizer each time. Take something out and put it back after use. It’s a formula for losing things less often. Skip the seatback pocket. Reports of dirty diapers and other unpleasant stuff are true. The inside of your bag is a healthier environment for your possessions. Besides, you may be jet lagged at the end of the flight and more likely to leave something behind if it’s not in your bag.
  • Many credit cards offer free lounge membership and complimentary passes. If your existing credit cards don’t have this benefit, research those that do. You may find one or more attractive credit card promotions with the annual fee waived in the first year. My last trip involved most segments in business class using frequent flyer points but there were two occasions when I appreciated having access to the Priority Pass/Visa Airport Companion Lounges in Cape Town and Kasane, Botswana. Complimentary food and drinks and comfortable seating help make airport layovers enjoyable.
  • Make a pre-trip to-do list that includes tasks associated with in-flight and in-transit enjoyment. These include things such as signing up for a free Audible subscription, compiling Spotify playlists, updating a lounge membership app with complimentary passes, downloading the respective airline apps, and fully charging all devices.  

If you found this post useful, please share it on your favourite social media channel by clicking on the respective button(s). In addition, it would be wonderful to have your thoughts in the comments. What have I missed? What else do you include as carry-on essentials on long flights? What are your tried-and-true products you always pack?

Care to pin for later?


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and buy something, you don’t pay more but this site earns a small commission that helps with the costs of maintaining Packing Light Travel. Thank you for your support.


  • Carry On Essentials for Long Flights - Almost a Nomad - […] for headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time and have good sound quality. This article…

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

CommentLuv badge

Search this site

Welcome to Packing Light Travel. I'm Anne, a dedicated carry-on traveller. For information on the site, please see the About page.

Book: The Ernie Diaries


Packing Light


Join the mailing list for updates, and access to the Resource Library.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Connect on instagram, if you find this information useful, subscribe to the newsletter and free access to packing lists, checklists, and other tools in packing light travel's resource library..

Your email address will never be shared. Guaranteed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Forever Lost In Travel

15 Healthy Plane Snacks That Beat In-Flight Meals

Disclosure: Advertising and affiliate services, including Amazon Associates, help the cost of running my blog. Clicking ads or making purchases through affiliate links may, at no additional cost to you, earn me a small commission. I appreciate your support .

salad snack bowls

Ever get really excited for your in-flight meal? Do you anticipate with childlike wonder what gourmet cuisine you’ll find beneath the foil wrapped tray? Yeah, me neither. I’m past the point of hoping that the meal will be edible enough to sustain me on a long flight . Instead, I now pack my own healthy plane snacks – a much more delicious and nutritious alternative. And cheaper than buying airport food – at least in Vancouver.

Why bring your own healthy plane snacks?

Unless you’re on a superior airline, or seated in First Class or Business Class, it’s a safe assumption that your in-flight meal will be less than desirable. That’s if you even get a meal – many airlines don’t offer an in-flight meal if you’re in Economy . So how can you make sure you don’t go hungry your next big travel adventure ?

While you can pay for a snack if you want them, it’s better to bring your own. Firstly, it’s much cheaper than buying something in the terminal, or worse, on the plane itself. Secondly, bringing your own healthy plane snacks is way better for you – and a heck of a lot tastier.

In-flight meals are loaded with salt which dehydrates you while simultaneously making you more bloated when you can’t easily move around. We’ve all been through that uncomfortable feeling on a plane, or gotten a headache you can’t get rid of (that’ll be the dehydration). Healthy plan snacks are a way to combat both of these issues.

Important things to note about bringing food on a plane

airport terminal

There are a few considerations to think about when bringing your own food from home for a flight. Some are practical, some around restrictions and some are around your fellow passengers.

Can you get it through security? No liquids over 100ml means you can wave goodbye to your soup, smoothie, pudding and basically anything “spreadable”. It’ll be fine on a sandwich but you can’t bring a jar of Nutella or jam with you.

Is it allowed in the country you’re visiting? In case you have leftovers it’s worth noting restrictions around meat, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables and even honey products at your destination. You may have to be willing to throw something away should it not be allowed.

Will it affect someone with allergies? Just because you can bring it, doesn’t mean you should. It’s probably best to forego peanut-based snacks to avoid causing unnecessary discomfort to a fellow passenger.

Will it stink up the entire plane? For the sake of everyone on the plane, don’t pack overly smelly foods. Maybe leave the tuna sandwiches at home, as well as anything else that could be an assault to the senses of those around you.

Do you need cutlery to eat it? Since you can’t bring a knife on a plane think about how you will eat your food. I never travel without my plane approved travel cutlery (also great for camping), but anything you can eat with your hands or a spoon/fork is best.

How will you pack your food? Reusable seal bags or compressible containers are easier to store once you’ve finished your food – and great for keeping snacks in on your trip. They don’t take up much room in your hand luggage so are great to use.

How will I keep my food chilled? Since you can’t bring an ice pack you might have to rely on an insulated lunch bag to help. Remember to store food in the fridge until you leave. Top Tip: Some cold gel packs fall under the 100ml liquid limit. So if they’re small enough you can take them through security.

Bringing your own food on a plane is not like sneaking snacks into the movies – yes, we’ve all done it. If you’ve done your checks around legal restrictions you’ll be able to take something to eat with you.

Healthy plane snacks for your next trip

The dos and don’ts have been covered, now for the fun part – talking about food. You can have some really good healthy plane snacks with just a little bit of effort and creativity. Here are some I recommend.

Veggies and dip

veggies and dip

Choose vegetables with a high water content like celery, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Mix with some nutrient-rich vegetables like broccoli, carrots and green peas. Pair with some hummus or tzatziki dip (just keep it under 100ml).

Make your own charcuterie plate

Bring your favorite cured meats and individually portioned cheeses. Pair with some bread or crackers, maybe a few grapes and you’ve got yourself a party.

Pre-slice your cheese to make things easier and pack a trial-size jar of fig jam or grainy mustard to add to the flavors.

Homemade granola bars

healthy plane snacks - home made granola bars

Use up any dried fruit, nuts and other items in your pantry to make quick and easy healthy plane snacks like these granola bars .

I adapted the recipe a bit to suit what I had in the cupboard. Adding in some dried currants, shredded coconut and even added a little maple syrup in place of some of the honey gave some extra flavor. They’re easily packable and will last for a few days.

Dried fruits

Get some of your five-a-day without worrying about your fruit getting bruised (or confiscated). Dried apricots or dates will even go great with your charcuterie plate.

Little boxes of raisins are super packable, or why not get some dried apple slices, mango or pineapple to really turn things up a notch.

sandwiches - the ultimate travel snack

A cheaper and better alternative than a Subway sandwich from the terminal, make your own at home. You can opt for healthy toppings, and fresh ingredients.

Choose low sodium condiments that won’t do you any favors – and maybe keep away from the mayo or items that will soak into bread. No-one wants a soggy sandwich three hours into a flight – if you did, you’d take the airline’s offering.

Mix some of your favorite nuts (maybe leaving out the peanuts for those around you who might have allergies), with dried fruits and chocolate chips to make an easy on-the-go snack. You can add a few M&Ms or some popcorn for something a little different.

Not a nut fan? I love a good Chex mix. This is my go-to recipe right now – maybe just lower the salt content for your in-flight snack.

Top Snack Travel Tip: I like to leave out the nuts and add in some Honey Nut Chex instead. The sweet/savory mix is so good!

Coconut chips

Ditch the salty potato chips and instead choose much more healthy plane snacks like coconut chips. These lower carb chips will make you less bloated and dehydrated than regular potato chips.

They’re really tasty and sometimes even come in various flavors. I take them hiking with me, but they’re also great on a plane.

bring popcorn instead of chips on your next flight

Lower in calories than potato chips, and more filling too. Make some popcorn at home before you leave, adding your favorite flavors or just eat it plain.

Remember to keep salt content low to avoid dehydration and jetlag. Make a fancy popcorn flavor using some truffle oil, parmesan or dust in a little cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Fresh fruit

Make sure to pack your healthy plane snacks for your next trip

Bring your own fruit salad for a delicious healthy plane snack. High water content fruits like watermelon, apple slices and grapes will keep you hydrated. Blueberries are a great superfood filled with antioxidants plus a delicious treat. And for a great source of magnesium, pack a banana – use a plastic banana holder so it doesn’t get squashed.

Kiwi fruit and sour cherries are really good at combatting jetlag – their high levels of melatonin (and serotonin that converts to melatonin) help induce and regulate your sleep quicker.

Fresh veggies are way better than over-processed foods you usually eat on an airplane. Instead of a salad of greens (which may wilt), go with couscous, quinoa or some other grain.

Mix with some chickpeas, crunchy vegetables, maybe a little feta cheese, then pre-dress the salad to avoid any additional liquids.

Home-made pasta or rice bowl

salad bowls for your next flight

Pre-make some fresh pasta or rice at home before you travel and bring it with you. Add your favorite vegetables and a light dressing/sauce that still works with the liquid guidelines.

My go to? Add broccoli, peppers and onions to pasta and dress in a lemon pesto mix which isn’t at all liquid-y. It’s just as delicious cold, but if you prefer it hot, bring an insulated travel container to keep it warm.

Dehydrated soup

I discovered dehydrated soup when looking for camping meals. Bulk Barn or your nearest whole food store will likely have some good ones (I like a hearty corn chowder).

When you get on the flight just ask for some hot water and voila – delicious healthy plane meal. Bring some crusty bread or saltine crackers to make it a meal.

Top Travel Tip: Some water filling stations or food kiosks in the airport may also have hot water if you don’t want to bug your flight attendant.

Muffin/banana bread

home made banana bread

Traveling with the family? Make your healthy plane snacks in bulk using some of your fresh fruit at home if you won’t eat it before you leave.

Some overly ripe bananas will make a great banana bread – add a few dark chocolate chips for something even more yummy. Or how about a batch of blueberry muffins?

Making your own is much cheaper than paying $4-6 per item at Starbucks in the airport. Plus any leftovers make great day trip snacks for your first couple days of vacation.

Green smoothie shots

Get all your daily veggies in one quick shot. They’re easily packable and can be made to be under 100ml so they’re allowed through security.

Wellness shots can often be found in your local supermarket, as well as through online retailers. Veggies, ginger or turmeric make a good base for these shots – make some at home before you leave.

Veggie sushi

salad rolls - healthy plane snacks idea

Eliminate concern about well traveled meats, and stick to some crisp, fresh vegetables wrapped in seaweed or rice paper. You can add any vegetable – or fruit – you like, and can even bring a small amount of dip or a packet of soy sauce to dip them into.

Quick to make, no cooking time, healthy plane snacks that are easy to pack in a little Tupperware box.

Bonus Travel Tip: Drink plenty of water

Stay away from the carbonated drinks while flying. Drinking soda will just fill you up and make you all gassy. The high altitude only makes this worse because of the cabin pressure. It’s much better to stick to water.

With most airports now equipped with water filling stations you don’t have an excuse anymore. Bring your reusable water bottle to fill up – it’s free and you’ll feel better in the long run. Read more tips for staying healthy while traveling here .

Opt for healthy plane snacks instead

There’s nothing like getting to your destination feeling full, bloated and just not great after munching through bags of chips and other carb/sugar loaded snacks on a plane. As someone who now lives in Canada but regularly travels to the UK to visit my family, I’m used to the long haul flights.

On your next travel adventure, pack some of these healthy plane snacks and see if it makes a difference for you .

I know for me it has, and being comfortable both on and after a flight is more important than being able to grab a quick and convenient snack just before boarding. Not to mention how cheaper it is, and we all love some good travel saving tips .

If the airline isn’t going to look out for your health, make sure you do. And trust me when I say these snacks are way more tasty than anything you can get in a foil-wrapped plastic tray .

If you’ve enjoyed this post leave a comment or share using the social media buttons below.

15 healthy plane snacks for your next flight

Share this:

  • Share on Tumblr

long haul travel snacks

17 thoughts on “15 Healthy Plane Snacks That Beat In-Flight Meals”

These are all great ideas, we have been lucky with food mostly, but I do love the idea of fresh vegetables and snacks. Thanks for the inspiration

Great ideas! It’s been a hassle at times looking for food at the airport at night, especially as many shorter flights are not catering due to the pandemic…

Um I dont think I ever would have thought about muffins/bread! That’s great! I hate the feeling of bloat when on a cramped plane – lot of these would deal with that – thank you!

I love this post! So smart and great thinking points and ideas for snacks. Very helpful nowadays.

Homemade trail mix (with just the good stuff) is definitely my go-to!

Why I never think to bring proper plane snacks I will never know. I am never in the mood to eat the onboard food yet get soo hungry and a museli bar just does not cut it!! Plus I want something fresh and/or healthy and not cookies or crackers. I am saving this so I can have some inspiration next time!!

I usually take with me dried and fresh fruit and popcorns will try to get granola the next time! Great article

What genius ideas!! I never thought to pack popcorn or banana bread and I love it! Also I’m here for the veggie sushi. This is a great list! I’m going to share it with my friend who I think will love it too. Thank you!

Great post! For me the humble sandwich does it every time… I pack a lot of peppers or crunchy lettuce leaves in, and it keeps usually in an air-conditioned airport or airplane. Love the idea of the noodle or rice bowl, but emptying the fridge before travelling makes it a bit harder to get all the ingredients together

I’ve never taken food on board a plane with me, as most of the airlines seem to discourage it. In fact recently one long-haul airline refused to allow me to take a resealable , small cup of coffee on board that I had bought at the airport coffee shop next to the gate and I had to leave it behind. As I travel hand luggage only even on long-haul flights I find I have little room inside for the food. I have taken snacks eg granola bars or sweets (candy) on board to stave off any hunger pains. Some good ideas here for what I can sneak through next time. I hadn’t thought of sushi (I love sushi) and that will be small enough to carry onboard in my hand.

So strange, I don’t think I’ve ever had any issues taking food onboard a plane. I often take my own things, especially on a long flight as I tend to eat out of boredom so find it better to be eating something I brought rather than chips and chocolate bars

These are all very healthy and delicious looking snacks! Have to try brining a few of them the next time I fly.

So many great ideas to replace airplane meals! I agree unless your on a high end airline the food served isn’t great. I love the idea of making your own charcuterie plate! Ok I seriously need a plastic banana holder as mine always get smushed. I had no idea these existed!

Agree with you, airplane food in economy is rather disgusting. I’ve only flown long-haul a handful of times in my life with the latest to Australia. Qantas food was actually ok, but Singapore Airlines was the worst I’ve ever had. I had to send it back and they would also not provide any bottled water. Horrible airline. Anyway, your ideas are all excellent and inspiration to make sure you’re not starving to death on a long-haul flight. I would be a bit careful with rice as it contaminates really quickly and you don’t want to start your trip with food poisoning.

I love ‘If the airline isn’t going to look out for your health, make sure you do.’ You’ve inspired me to start making healthier food for trips (I usually chuck a sandwich together with crisps, oops)! And it saves money.

I’ve never taken food on the plane before. I try and resist the temptation to eat or drink while flying. But if I was, I would pack a protein bar. Something that is filling and takes up no room in my carry on. But these are some great suggestions. I see mostly families packing a lot of treats for their kids, to keep them occupied.

Great post! I truly need to bring healthy snacks with me on planes, feel like we always end up buying the most expensive and unhealthy stuff around lol

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Flannels or FlipFlops

Flannels or FlipFlops

11 Travel Hacks You Need To Know To Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Posted: March 22, 2024 | Last updated: March 22, 2024

<p>It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning cracked in the distance as I zipped up my travel pillow like a shield against the impending 18 hours of recycled air and crying babies.</p> <p>Dramatics aside, long-haul flights can be a bit of a saga, can’t they? Whether heading to the opposite coast or across the International Date Line, you must be prepared for a long flight. </p> <p>These are things that <a href="">experienced flyers</a> use to shield against jet lag, keep their blood circulating, and even make airline food palatable (okay, that last one’s stretching it). </p>

It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning cracked in the distance as I zipped up my travel pillow like a shield against the impending 18 hours of recycled air and crying babies.

Dramatics aside, long-haul flights can be a bit of a saga, can’t they? Whether heading to the opposite coast or across the International Date Line, you must be prepared for a long flight. 

These are things that experienced flyers use to shield against jet lag, keep their blood circulating, and even make airline food palatable (okay, that last one’s stretching it). 

<p>Don’t be fooled by the balmy <a href="">departure lounge</a>. Those airplanes can get chilly, and there’s nothing worse than watching the clouds roll by while you shiver yourself to sleep. A lightweight, long-sleeve base layer can be your silent hero, keeping you snug and warm without adding much bulk. </p>

It’s All About That Base Layer

Don’t be fooled by the balmy departure lounge . Those airplanes can get chilly, and there’s nothing worse than watching the clouds roll by while you shiver yourself to sleep. A lightweight, long-sleeve base layer can be your silent hero, keeping you snug and warm without adding much bulk. 

<p>Sitting still for hours is nobody’s idea of a good time. Invest in compression socks to stave off stiffness and reduce the risk of blood clots. Your heart (and, more importantly, your leg circulation) will thank you, especially on longer flights.</p>

Legs for Days… and Comfort

Sitting still for hours is nobody’s idea of a good time. Invest in compression socks to stave off stiffness and reduce the risk of blood clots. Your heart (and, more importantly, your leg circulation) will thank you, especially on longer flights.

<p>The onboard beverage cart might be all good, but your best bet is to bring a large, empty water bottle with you through security. Once on the <strong><a href="" rel="noopener">plane</a></strong>, ask the flight attendants to fill it up for more frequent sips. Staying hydrated helps with the dry air and encourages you to get up and stretch your legs—a win-win for in-flight wellness.</p>

The Right Dose of Hydration

The onboard beverage cart might be all good, but your best bet is to bring a large, empty water bottle with you through security. Once on the plane , ask the flight attendants to fill it up for more frequent sips. Staying hydrated helps with the dry air and encourages you to get up and stretch your legs—a win-win for in-flight wellness.

<p>Every traveler has a must-have item. Mine? A tiny, ready-packed “Cubicle Survival Kit” for my seat back. It’s like Superman’s phone booth but for personal comfort. Earplugs, eye mask, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and a spare pen… you’ll be grateful for every item in that phone booth by the end of the <a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>flight</strong></a>.</p>

Seat-Back Pocket Survival Kit

Every traveler has a must-have item. Mine? A tiny, ready-packed “Cubicle Survival Kit” for my seat back. It’s like Superman’s phone booth but for personal comfort. Earplugs, eye mask, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and a spare pen… you’ll be grateful for every item in that phone booth by the end of the flight .

<p>You might think <a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>airline food</strong></a> is an acquired taste. In truth, it’s more of an acquired survival strategy. Arm yourself with non-perishable, non-messy snacks for that inevitable mid-flight hunger pang. Nuts, granola bars, and dried fruit are delicious and beneficial for keeping your energy levels up and less reliant on the in-flight cuisine.</p>

Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

You might think airline food is an acquired taste. In truth, it’s more of an acquired survival strategy. Arm yourself with non-perishable, non-messy snacks for that inevitable mid-flight hunger pang. Nuts, granola bars, and dried fruit are delicious and beneficial for keeping your energy levels up and less reliant on the in-flight cuisine.

<p>“Excuse me, I believe this is my armrest.” Ah, the eternal struggle for elbow room. Say a simple line like “Feel free to use my armrest” on the screen, and maybe you’ll make a temporary friend—more likely than not, you’ll just get to use the armrest for the duration of your <a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>movie</strong></a>.</p>

Screenplay for Two

“Excuse me, I believe this is my armrest.” Ah, the eternal struggle for elbow room. Say a simple line like “Feel free to use my armrest” on the screen, and maybe you’ll make a temporary friend—more likely than not, you’ll just get to use the armrest for the duration of your movie .

<p>If possible, pick your ideal seat before check-in. Window seats offer a splendid view and a wall to lean against; aisle seats provide easier access to in-flight essentials (the lavatories). Avoid the middle seat at all costs unless you’re a fan of human Tetris.</p>

Get the Right Seat. No, the Other Right Seat.

If possible, pick your ideal seat before check-in. Window seats offer a splendid view and a wall to lean against; aisle seats provide easier access to in-flight essentials (the lavatories). Avoid the middle seat at all costs unless you’re a fan of human Tetris.

<p>Timezones are weird concepts, aren’t they? Buckle in and synchronize every timepiece you own with the local time at your arrival destination—smartphone, watch, Fitbit, talking parrot (if that’s your thing). It helps your body’s internal clock ease into the new schedule.</p>

No Time Like the Present for Timepieces

Timezones are weird concepts, aren’t they? Buckle in and synchronize every timepiece you own with the local time at your arrival destination—smartphone, watch, Fitbit, talking parrot (if that’s your thing). It helps your body’s internal clock ease into the new schedule.

<p>Gone are the days when “eau de airplane” was the hottest fragrance. A quick on-board facial can help refresh and revitalize your complexion. Use an atomizer with a hydrating mist, a skin-soothing sheet mask, and a rich moisturizer for a fancy, flight-attendant-quality facial that’ll scare the nearest child but delight your skin.</p>

Master the Art of the In-Flight Facial

Gone are the days when “eau de airplane” was the hottest fragrance. A quick on-board facial can help refresh and revitalize your complexion. Use an atomizer with a hydrating mist, a skin-soothing sheet mask, and a rich moisturizer for a fancy, flight-attendant-quality facial that’ll scare the nearest child but delight your skin.

<p>There’s an <a href="">app for everything</a>, and long-haul flights are no exception. Use technology to your advantage with apps for mindfulness, in-flight exercises, or even a selection of deeply relaxing music. If all else fails, the trusty Candycrush will always see you through those final moments till touchdown.</p>

The Right App-titude

There’s an app for everything , and long-haul flights are no exception. Use technology to your advantage with apps for mindfulness, in-flight exercises, or even a selection of deeply relaxing music. If all else fails, the trusty Candycrush will always see you through those final moments till touchdown.

<p>While some opt to escape into their world, braving the social seas can lead to fascinating conversations with fellow travelers. You might pick up tips about your destination or even make a friend to share an adventure with upon arrival.</p>

The Gift of Gab

While some opt to escape into their world, braving the social seas can lead to fascinating conversations with fellow travelers. You might pick up tips about your destination or even make a friend to share an adventure with upon arrival.

<p>On flights, especially in economy class, space is limited. Hogging the armrests can make the journey uncomfortable for your seatmates. The unspoken rule is that the person occupying the middle seat should get the armrests. </p>

10 Shocking Reasons You’re the Most Annoying Passenger on the Plane!

Let’s discuss something we all face, but we rarely talk about plane etiquette. You know, those little do’s and dont’s that can make or break our flying experience. From the battle over armrests to the great seat recline debate, I will give you the lowdown on 10 simple yet crucial tips for keeping the peace at 30,000 feet. So, grab your passport, and let’s dive into the art of flying like a pro!

<p>If you are a frequent traveler, you may have encountered the term “travel document number” when applying for visas, booking flights, or filling out immigration forms. But what exactly is a travel document number, and why is it important? This guide will explain everything you need about travel document numbers, including what they are, where to find them, and how to use them.</p><p><a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>What is a Travel Document Number: A Comprehensive Guide for Globetrotters</strong></a></p>

What is a Travel Document Number: A Comprehensive Guide for Globetrotters

If you are a frequent traveler, you may have encountered the term “travel document number” when applying for visas, booking flights, or filling out immigration forms. But what exactly is a travel document number, and why is it important? This guide will explain everything you need about travel document numbers, including what they are, where to find them, and how to use them.

<p>When embarking on a journey, it’s crucial to curate airport travel outfits that exude both comfort and style. Navigating bustling terminals and enduring long hours on a plane requires finding the perfect ensemble that strikes a balance between practicality, fashion, and adaptability.</p><p><a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>Airport Travel Outfit Ideas: Stylish and Comfortable Options for Your Journey</strong></a></p>

Airport Travel Outfit Ideas: Stylish and Comfortable Options for Your Journey

When embarking on a journey, it’s crucial to curate airport travel outfits that exude both comfort and style. Navigating bustling terminals and enduring long hours on a plane requires finding the perfect ensemble that strikes a balance between practicality, fashion, and adaptability.

<p>Traveling can often lead to unforgettable experiences and cherished memories. However, not every destination lives up to its postcard-perfect image. Some places may leave travelers disappointed, frustrated, or vowing never to return.</p><p><a href="" rel="noopener"><strong>12 Places So Terrible That Travelers Vowed Never to Return to Again</strong></a></p>

12 Places So Terrible That Travelers Vowed Never to Return to Again

Traveling can often lead to unforgettable experiences and cherished memories. However, not every destination lives up to its postcard-perfect image. Some places may leave travelers disappointed, frustrated, or vowing never to return.

<p>A lot of people think that getting to Europe is too expensive and that they’ll never have the funds to visit this incredible continent. That is why I’ve compiled the 7 cheapest European airports to fly into from the US.</p> <p>There are 50 countries in Europe and each one has something unique and worth visiting. One of the best ways to see Europe is by booking the cheapest flight from the US to anywhere in Europe and then taking public transportation to the places you want to see.</p> <p>The cheapest cities to fly from in the US are Miami, Boston, and New York on the East Coast,  and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle on the West Coast. A good plan for cheap flights to Europe is to use your credit card points to get to one of these cheap cities in the US to fly out of and then pay for the rest of the flight to Europe.</p> <p>All the prices on this list are round-trip flights from the cheapest airport in the US, so keep that in mind as you are looking at them. So with that, let’s get into which airports are the cheapest in Europe.</p>

Busiest Airports in Europe

Choosing the busiest airports may seem like a bad idea, but more flights in and out often lead to cheaper ticket prices too!

These are the Busiest Airports in Europe.

More for You

solar eclipse path of totality

Solar Eclipse: Experts Had The Map Of Totality Wrong, See Updates

19 American foods that have been banned in other countries

19 American Foods that Are Not Allowed in Other Countries

Magic Cake 1 Molly Allen For Toh Social Pdedit

I Made 4-Ingredient “Magic Cake” and It’s the Perfect Light and Fluffy Dessert


Southwest Airlines makes a major onboard safety change

Meet the world's richest self-made woman — a shipping magnate worth $33 billion

Meet the world's richest self-made woman — a shipping magnate worth $33 billion

buffalo nickel sits in front coin stack_iStock-160143412

Buffalo Nickels Could Be Worth Thousands — How To Spot One

Romeo and Juliet

West End theatre company blasts racial abuse directed at Black actor starring in Romeo and Juliet

Pimento cheese sandwiches on board

Here's Why Pimento Cheese Is Such A Big Deal At The Masters

Laurie Buckhout is a retired Army Colonel and the GOP nominee looking to defeat Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C., in the race to represent North Carolina's 1st Congressional District in the House.

Former Army colonel seeking to flip North Carolina House seat says Dem opponent is 'beholden' to Biden

How to Reheat Fried Chicken So It's Crispy and Delicious

How to Reheat Fried Chicken So It's Crispy and Delicious

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

18 Old-School Dinners That We Want to Bring Back

Trump Targets Judge's Daughter in Court Filing That Sidesteps Gag Order

Trump’s Using Court Filings to Get Around His Gag Order

Former pro basketball player Jimmer Fredette calls Caitlin Clark a

Former pro basketball player Jimmer Fredette calls Caitlin Clark a 'threat'

Border collie dog on a track with a trophy

18 Smartest Dog Breeds, Ranked for Intelligence

There are major changes coming for your washers and dryers

There are major changes coming for your washers and dryers

24 Old Vinyl Records That Can Be Worth a Lot Today

24 Old Vinyl Records That Can Be Worth a Lot Today

Saucy Ranch Pork and Potatoes

54 Recipes to Make in a 5-Quart Slow Cooker

Food served at Cheesecake Factory

Restaurants We Didn't Realize Were Owned By The Cheesecake Factory

long haul travel snacks

"It angers us to see someone of his caliber act that way" - Byron Scott didn't respect Michael Jordan taunting the Lakers bench during Finals

See Christian Bale, Jessie Buckley transform into Frankenstein's monsters in new “The Bride” photos

See Christian Bale, Jessie Buckley transform into Frankenstein's monsters in new “The Bride” photos

This airline updated its premium economy service: How that impacts your next long-haul trip

long haul travel snacks

Singapore Airlines unveiled an overhauled cabin service for its premium economy passengers earlier this month, and it’s part of a broader trend. 

Long-haul premium economy is becoming increasingly important to airlines. That’s partly because leisure travelers have been willing to splurge more on vacations in recent years and business travel still hasn’t fully recovered to its pre-pandemic demand levels. 

Demand for premium economy is increasing as travelers become more familiar with what to expect, which makes competition for those midmarket dollars more intense. Carriers around the globe are aware of the growing interest and are increasingly investing in the cabin class.

What is premium economy?

In this case, premium economy refers to the long-haul airline product that sits between standard economy and business class. Confusingly, many airlines also call economy seats that have extra legroom “premium economy” on domestic flights, but here, the term refers to a separate cabin with larger seats and often elevated service. 

“Premium economy is the 21st-century version of business class. Business class emerged in the 1980s as an interim cabin between standard economy and first class, and now premium economy is an interim cabin between standard economy and business class,” Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, a travel industry analytics firm, told USA TODAY. “It’s available to travelers at a much lower cost than business class may be.”

What travelers should expect when flying premium economy

Joe Lai, a physician in Charlotte, North Carolina, and American Airlines frequent flyer, told USA TODAY that he finds premium economy is often a better overall experience than flying in coach.

“Generally better seats, that’s kind of the biggest plus of that, just being able to relax, throw my feet up – with shoes on preferably,” he said. “Sometimes upgraded food options, alcohol, things like that.” 

Premium economy on long-haul flights usually has larger seats than economy as Lai mentioned, with more legroom, possibly more padding, and often a more elaborate cabin service compared to the standard economy offering.

Singapore Airlines, for example, serves its premium economy meals in porcelain dishware with metal cutlery. 

But as Harteveldt said, premium economy is meant to be a bridge between standard economy and business class, not a competing product for the fancier cabins.

“It is definitely better, tangibly better than standard coach,” he said, but “passengers should not expect a luxury experience in premium economy. It does not offer the same level of comfort, privacy, or attention that you find in business class.” 

For airlines, it can be tricky to find the right balance between expanding comfort and service without pirating their own more premium demand.

“How do they create a product that is good enough to tempt people to trade up from economy but not so good that people trade down from business class?” Harteveldt said. “When airlines introduced lie-flat seats in business class, they made first class almost irrelevant.” 

He added that different airlines think of their premium economy cabins differently, even as the seats most carriers use are becoming more or less standardized across the industry.

“It’s interesting to see where airlines place the emphasis: is it on the economy side or the premium side?” Harteveldt said. “Some airlines are going to offer above-average legroom in their premium economy seating, they could have fewer seats across the cabin than they otherwise might. Some airlines are going to say, ‘look this is certainly better than economy, but we’re not going to have a dedicated restroom for you, we’re not going to have flight attendants that are dedicated to your cabin.’ ”

For those perks, Harteveldt said, travelers can typically expect to pay about 50% more than the regular economy fare on the same flight. 

Lai said he often seeks opportunities to upgrade to premium economy, especially on longer flights.

On a recent trip to New Zealand, he paid just $250 to upgrade to premium economy from extra-legroom economy seats. He said the cost was “absolutely worth it,” especially because the extra legroom and bigger seats allowed him to sleep more easily. 

Why premium economy matters to airlines

Premium economy has become increasingly important to airlines’ bottom lines coming out of the pandemic.

“A lot of people have been booking the premium cabins pretty quickly as well, so we’ve seen a lot of demand for the premium cabins coming out of COVID,” Siva Govindasamy, Singapore Airlines’ divisional vice president of public affairs said at a press event unveiling the carrier’s new premium economy service concept in Singapore earlier this month. “Premium economy, specifically, has been quite popular with our customers since we launched it in 2015.” 

For Singapore and other airlines, that popularity means spending more on attracting customers to buy premium economy seats.

“There is an increase in the premium economy investment, the budget that we have, as a result of this. We think that’s a good investment to make because that will ultimately ensure that the premium economy remains competitive and provides excellent value for our customers,” Govindasamy said. “You’ve got added amenities, more comfort, more space; now you’ve got even better meals, even better drinks and champagne. When we look at our customers’ feedback it’s about the value premium economy brings.”

Harteveldt said long-haul airlines that don’t offer competitive premium economy products risk falling behind their peer companies.

“When a critical mass of airlines start to do something the airlines that don’t offer it stand out and often in a negative way,” he said. “The fact that some airlines are expanding premium economy, adding more seats to the cabin, shows that it has been financially successful for airlines.”

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]


  1. 25 delicious travel snacks for road trips and long flights

    Justin's peanut butter is naturally delicious, and each squeeze pack is gluten-free with 7 grams of protein. Each pack weighs 1.15 ounces, which means they're also a solid option for taking ...

  2. 11 Best Airplane Snacks for Long Flights

    Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil & Maple Granola. According to our resident Genius, Kristen Miglore, "This is going to be the best granola you've had in your whole dang life." So yeah, you're probably going to want to pack more than a few bags of this for your next flight. 3. Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich.

  3. The 21 Best Plane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

    Best Airplane Snacks. The best food to pack for long flights is tasty, healthy and easy to transport. You should also make sure that you bring travel snacks that will keep fresh when left at room temperature. Healthy plane snacks. Healthy snacks don't have to be boring, and there are a ton out there that are both yummy and easy to prepare ...

  4. 28 Healthy Travel Snacks for a Long Flight

    Soozy's Grain-Free Muffins. If your idea of a great airport snack is less giant Toblerone and more muffins and croissants, Cadillac suggests Soozy's Muffins. "Grain-free, gluten-free, certified paleo, these muffins are a much healthier choice than the muffins at the airport," she says.

  5. Ultimate List of Plane Snacks for Long Flights

    Best Non-Perishable Snacks for The Plane. Raw Nuts. Seeds (Pumpkin or Sunflower) Unsweetened Dry Fruit. Raw Trail Mix. Healthy Protein Bars. Fresh Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges) Berries (strawberries, blueberries) Celery Sticks.

  6. Snacks on Plane: Best 13 Food to Pack for Long Flights

    Reusable water bottles. Reusable containers and cutlery. Here are the snacks you can bring with you on a long-haul flight. Here's a quick list of healthy travel snacks. Trail mix. Olives. Beef jerky. Homemade sandwiches. Hummus and crackers.

  7. 33 Easy Travel Snacks for your Airplane Carry-On Bag

    Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw is a Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle for Travel, the Office or a road trip. Its a reusable cup with a straw Leakproof Flip. The Stanley IceFlow will keep your drink cold for 12 Hours or Iced for 2 Days. This comes in various colors! Check the price on amazon.

  8. These are the Best Airplane Snacks to Pack for Long Flights

    Hummus and crackers is one of the best food to pack for long flights. While hummus is usually refrigerated, there are alternatives, including shelf-stable versions and hummus powder. One reader says, "I bring single serving-size shelf-stable hummus and pack that with crackers.". Another adds, "I pack hummus powder and dried bean dip.

  9. 14 Healthy Travel Snacks For Long Flights

    2. Lots of tea. Red Rooibos & Peppermint specifically…both very soothing & calming for the digestion system. I flew on Japan Airlines & they also offered the option of hot green tea, which I actually did take advantage of as well, for some extra antioxidants! As a tea-drinker, I love bringing along tea anytime I travel.

  10. Delicious and Nutritious Snacks for Long Flights

    10 Great Snacks for Long Flights. Below, you'll find a list of some of our favorite snack ideas for long-haul flights. Keep in mind that these aren't meant to replace full meals, but rather to help fill the gaps between mealtimes. If your airline is still offering free food onboard, make sure that you take advantage of it.

  11. Delicious Airplane Snacks for Long Flights

    It is also so easy to make. Just mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and, if you'd like, add something sweet like dark chocolate chips Trail mix is high-protein and has the fiber you need to leave you feeling satisfied. 6. Hummus and Crackers. Hummus and crackers is my healthy favorite airplane snack.

  12. Snacks on a plane: The best food to bring on a flight

    If caffeine is your thing and you want to perk yourself up without standing in Starbucks or Dunkin' lines, there are both iced tea and coffee powders. Civilized and Cusa make instant cold-brew ...

  13. Best snacks to bring on a plane

    Related: Long Haul Flight Essentials. With those guidelines in mind, here are some of the best airplane snacks to bring along: 1. Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit. Nuts and seeds are the perfect in flight snack to bring on a plane because they're packed with protein and healthy fats.

  14. Best snacks for long haul flights

    Ultra-long-haul business travel often involves disruption to sleeping and eating routines, especially when multiple time zones are crossed. ... 1 thought on " Best snacks for long haul flights " Dessert Recipes says: March 13, 2017 at 1:05 pm. It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I'm glad that you just

  15. 10 Snacks to Bring on Your Next Long-Haul Flight

    3. Chocolate. Nicole Witte. Aside from mac and cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich, chocolate is almost always my go-to snack. If you need comfort food when you're bawling your eyes out watching The Notebook on the plane, always know that chocolate has your back. 4.

  16. 17 Healthy Airplane Snacks You Can Bring Through TSA

    The TSA's snacks page states: Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage. Common foods you can't bring through airport security include: Any liquid (e.g., yogurt, juice, coconut water) over 3.4 ounces. Any paste (e.g., peanut butter, hummus) over 3.4 ounces.

  17. 26 Long Flight Tips to Make A Long Haul Flight Feel Short

    Long Flight Tips to Make A Long Haul Flight Feel Short | An eye mask will help you fall asleep faster, even in a lit and crowded cabin. ... They're our go-to travel snacks because they're quick sources of energy and aren't too messy to eat. The only thing you have to worry about them is the crumbs they leave, so you better get every bite ...

  18. 27 Long Haul Flight Essentials and a Flight Checklist for You

    1) What you NEED during the flight and at the airport. This includes things like medication, water and snacks. 2) What the airline MAKES you pack in your carry on vs checked. Hello camera gear, laptops and other electronics. 3) What would spoil your trip if the airline lost your checked luggage.

  19. The 17 Best Travel Snacks for Your Next Flight

    Annie's Cheddar Bunnies. These cheddar bunnies are delicious no matter what your age. Baked with real cheese, and totally organic, these will quickly become family favorites. Pack a few snack-size bags for a little in-flight distraction. Small crackers are best for travel, as the bite size pieces leave fewer messes.

  20. 30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

    Don't Go Nuts Nut-Free Organic Snack Bars, Whitewater Chomp. Try the Blueberry Blast and Boogie Board Bash flavors as well! Enjoy Life Baked Chewy 1 Ounce Bars, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free & Soy Free. Again, try out the different flavors to find your favorites. Newtons Fruit Chewy Cookies, Fig.

  21. 12 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

    10.Mixed Berry Squares. Mixed berry squares are the perfect snacks for long flights. They are gluten- and dairy-free and contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to keep you energized throughout your journey. Storage is simple - just put them in a sealed container and store them in the fridge before departure.

  22. A detailed description of long flight carry-on essentials

    Long flight carry-on essentials. 1. It begins with a great personal item. The perfect personal item is a bag that works for you and the trip you're undertaking. It might be a large purse, small backpack, sling bag, or messenger or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front during takeoff and landing.

  23. 15 Healthy Plane Snacks That Beat In-Flight Meals

    Veggies and dip. Choose vegetables with a high water content like celery, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Mix with some nutrient-rich vegetables like broccoli, carrots and green peas. Pair with some hummus or tzatziki dip (just keep it under 100ml).

  24. 10 Best Travel Essentials for Long Haul Flights and Long Layovers

    A travel charger is one of the essentials for long haul flights that I ALWAYS pack. If you are using your devices during an airport layover, you may not always have easy access to charging outlets ...

  25. 5 Hacks For Your Next Long-Haul Flight

    Long-haul travel can be brutal for passengers, but there are a few things that can make the experience a lot more bearable. ... Bring snacks to satisfy cravings and fill the gap between meals, but ...

  26. TRAVEL SNACKS! ️ I made these for a long haul flight last ...

    TRAVEL SNACKS! ️ I made these for a long haul flight last week. Comment " TRAVEL" and I'll DM you all the info on the MLFC app, where you can find both of these recipes and some great articles on...

  27. 11 Travel Hacks You Need To Know To Survive a Long-Haul Flight

    It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning cracked in the distance as I zipped up my travel pillow like a shield against the impending 18 hours of recycled air and crying babies. Dramatics aside ...

  28. Why premium economy is more important to airlines, travelers than ever

    Premium economy on long-haul flights usually has larger seats than economy as Lai mentioned, with more legroom, possibly more padding, and often a more elaborate cabin service compared to the ...