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.
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.