Has your hummus been considered a threat to national security by TSA? Has your in-flight meal consisted of steamed fish and durian fruit? There is a whole lot that can go wrong on an airplane because of poor food choices, so fasten your seat belt low and tight across your waist and follow this guide to airport food safety.
1. Avoid snacks and drinks that are pressurized.
If you’re in a plane cabin that isn’t perfectly pressurized, you risk your soda erupting all over you or your bag of chips making a ruckus when you try to open them.
2. Hydration is key.
Traveling is harder than you think and you often lose a lot of water. Make sure you bring an empty water bottle with you to fill up at your gate—or get ready to pound it before going through security. You can always buy water at the gate, but it’s nice to save money and reduce plastic waste.
3. Remember what foods are and are not allowed by TSA.
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve wasted more time than I’d like to admit at security for having yogurt, apples, morel mushrooms (I don’t know what I was thinking there) and any other foreign produce or partially liquid food. If you think you may be stopped, it’s best not to bring it.
3. Skip the greasy fast food options.
It might seem like a guilty pleasure to down a few hash browns or Chinese takeout during a layover, but when you’re sitting on a red-eye with grease everywhere and a stomach full of regret, your flight becomes a heck of a lot longer.
5. Do NOT bring foods that will offend other travelers.
While tuna salad sandwiches and vegetable curries are delicious, they’re not the greatest things to be smelling in a crammed airplane cabin. Respect your fellow passengers and bring foods that don’t displease the senses. Hearing someone slurp their soup is not the kind of in-flight entertainment people are looking for.
6. Bring foods that are snack-friendly and will keep you full.
Travel will usually keep you hungry at every step, so appease your stomach with some portable munchies that will tide you over. Granola and nuts are great snacks that have fiber and protein to keep you full all day long. Plus, if you bring them from home they’re cheaper and better quality than the stuff they have at airports.
7. Keep a few sweets on you.
Travel can be frustrating, but a little sweetness can be the perfect pick-me-up in a pinch. If you have a few extras to give to the stewards, you will definitely make their day and have a better flight experience with star treatment and maybe—just maybe—a free drink or two.
8. Bring something chewy to help pop your ears during takeoff and landing.
If you are prone to poor ear pressure equilibrium, bring along some gum, gummy bears, popcorn or anything you can chew to stop the blockage.
9. It’s always better to bring something from home.
Airports have increasingly better food and restaurants that are great options if you have the time. However, if you have a tight connection and can’t make it to a food court, you’re going to wish you’d brought something. Airfare is expensive, so save money where you can. Sandwiches, salads or pasta are all great meals that are easy to make and bring with you.
10. But don’t be afraid to buy some duty free items.
Unless you live in a state without sales tax, this is a great way to save some bucks on great food and drink. You can also usually find international snacks that are hard to find stateside, so get them while you can.
11. Take advantage of local food.
Once you reach your destination and find yourself in need of sustenance, definitely go for the regional restaurants. If you have a flight to Canada and your gate has a Tim Hortons and a Dunkin’ Donuts, take advantage of the fact that you can’t get a good maple doughnut in the U.S.
Check out these article to learn more about the art of airport eating: