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I’ve been on two trips so far this year, and I realized that I’ve really upped my snack game when it comes to traveling.
I think part of it is one way I’ve changed after the start of the pandemic, but another part of it is my diet and my need to ensure I feel comfortable.
In my home life, I eat a plant-based diet. When I travel (or even sometimes when I go out to eat), I’ll venture into vegetarian or pescatarian diets.
While more and more places have plant-based options, I’ve noticed that the airport isn’t always one of them. When it comes to grab-and-go options, there’s usually just a Caprese sandwich or random snack items.
This spurred me to get more serious about the things I pack, especially for the flight (they are still barely handing out snacks mid-flight, too).
Depending on the trip, I also like to pack things I can eat if I can’t find something that sounds good or if I just don’t have time.
During my New York trip in February, I miscalculated the time it would take me to get to a Broadway show. I had enough time for a cocktail, but not enough for a full dinner. So, the snack in my pocket held me over.
Whatever your circumstances, I thought I’d share the things I turn to when it’s time to travel (and often these items are regulars in my pantry):
Since I eat a plant-based diet, you won’t see any meat on this list, but I do try and get as much protein as I can, especially when traveling. I don’t usually bring all of these items, but I like to have a few of them on hand.
- Nut butter packets. I like Justin’s Classic Almond Butter or Spread the Love Naked Organic Peanut Butter. Both of these have no sugar and 6+ grams of protein per packet. If these are ever on sale at the store, I grab some, or you can order by the case on Amazon. I like to squeeze the nut butter on fig bars (listed below), pretzels, or in desperate times, just squeeze the packet straight into my mouth. Ha!
- Oatmeal. This is a newer one for me, but I follow a dietician on Instagram who suggested bringing single-serve oats while traveling because flight attendants can give you hot water. Genius! I brought the Purely Elizabeth Collagen Oats on my trip to Iceland — one container of the Blueberry Walnut for the way there, and one container of the Vanilla Pecan for the trip home. As someone who has searched HIGH AND LOW for a low-sugar, high-protein oats option, these are a total winner. They have mixed reviews, but I’m assuming the bad ones are from users who are used to sugary instant oats. I thought these were very good and filling, and I always got hot water from wherever I bought my latte.
- Protein bars. My favorite protein “bar” are Frooze Balls! I get them at Trader Joe’s (I love the peanut butter jelly ones) but Amazon has them, too. I always have a tough time finding vegan protein bars that aren’t full of sugar, but the Frooze Balls aren’t too bad in that area.
- Nuts. I usually bring raw, unsalted almonds or go full-force and bring the Everything But The Bagel Seasoned Cashews and Almond mix from Trader Joe’s. Depends on my mood, but nuts are an easy option for any kind of travel.
- Plant-based jerky. Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is my favorite option (I love the Salt & Pepper)! It’s delicious, has a little bit of protein, and the texture is meat-like, but not too realistic. If you prefer something very meat-like, try the Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky… or, actual jerky if you’re not plant-based 🙂
- Chickpea snacks. If I can snag a bag, I like getting any kind of chickpea snack (the Biena brand is my favorite). They are a good option when you want something salty and crunchy.
- Fig bars. I know these are not “healthy” but they make a great breakfast if you’re on the go, and they can serve as a vehicle for your peanut butter packets. I love Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars in any flavor!
- Applesauce. I like to get the squeeze packs of unsweetened applesauce. It’s actual fruit, not full of sugar, doesn’t require utensils, and you can reseal it if you need to. I have packed the individual cups, too (don’t forget a spoon) — hey, it’s another place you can mix your peanut butter packet! Are you noticing a trend?
- Cheese crackers. No matter what brand you like, these make a great snack, and often have a bit of protein in them. I love having some nuts and cheese crackers as a snack to hold me over when I need it.
- Chocolate. Pack yourself some good, dark chocolate for whenever you need it. You honestly never know when a craving will strike, and you better be prepared! I like the Unreal Peanut Butter Cups and Coconut Bars.
- Liquid IV. No matter where I’m traveling, I always pack a reusable water bottle (in my carry on so I can fill it up at the airport) and plenty of Liquid IV. This keeps me hydrated no matter what, and it’s totally portable. Going someplace cold? Mix your Liquid IV with hot water for a warm treat (the Caramel Apple flavor is so yummy served hot)!
- Smart Cups. If you’re more into energy drinks, Smart Cups are a TSA-friendly way to pack your own boost of energy. These are cups with vitamins printed inside the cup (yes!) and it dissolves when filled with water.
There’s my list of snack ideas for travel! Like I said, I usually don’t bring all of these with me, but it’s usually some combination of it. Sometimes, I don’t eat much of them, but other times, I eat everything I bring!
What kinds of snacks do you like to travel with?
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