After spending over ten hours traveling by plane for my semester abroad, I learned a thing or two about eating on an airplane. Because my flight was so long, we were served a meal, which I did not touch. I don’t know about you, but the idea of prepackaged, reheated shepherd’s pie is not tempting.

For all those flying without being served food, and for the rest of us who are too scared to try the meals, here are 6 must-know do’s and don’ts about packing snacks for a long airplane trip.

DO: Pack fresh fruit. Bananas and clementines are perfect for a long trip. They travel well because they don’t need to be put in baggies or Tupperware, and provide some refreshing sweetness without being messy.


Photo by Julie Haupin

DON’T: Pack apples or pears. I’m self conscious that my neighbors can hear me chewing, and apples and pears are noisy fruits to eat. Not to mention, they can be messy, and no one wants to sit around with sticky fingers while you wait for the flight attendant.

DO: Bring no bake energy bites. These will keep you full during the flight so you don’t get “hangry” enough to buy the overpriced food at your next terminal. They’ll also help you stay alert so you don’t doze off the minute you step off the plane.


Photo by Keni Lin

DON’T: Pack them in baggies. Learn from my mistakes people. Going through security, waiting at your terminal and jostling your stuff around as you maneuver into your seat is not ideal for bringing food in baggies. Bring small pieces of tupperware and pack your items that way. Chances are, you’ll end up wanting that tupperware sometime during your trip anyway.

DO: Bring some kind of chocolate, preferably something that won’t turn into a heaping melted mess on the airplane. I always choose something like M&M’s for this kind of situation. Trust me, when your seat mate expands into your personal space, you’ll be grateful for something sweet.


Photo by Rozina Fonyo

DON’T: Overdue it on the sweets. A little chocolate, good. Too much, and you’ll be sick to your stomach. Nuts and peanut butter crackers are quick and easy to throw in, and If packing granola bars or some other kind of store bought snack, make sure you check the sugar content so you don’t end up with an upset stomach.

Go forth and conquer your airplane ride. Just make sure you pay attention to what you eat on the plane so you leave the airport feeling as good and excited about your trip as you did before you got on.

And check out these other tips on snacking while traveling: