I have always been the kind of traveler that loves trying quirky new food but keeps some familiar home made food in reserve cause, you never know. But some of my family and friends on the other hand, pack like they're going on a one way mission to Mars. A barren place with no food joints or anything edible in their vicinity.

 We all have friends and family like this and if you are of Indian heritage, you must be particularly familiar with it. Though it sometimes gets annoying, lugging that much food with us while trekking in the Parisian streets where every corner sells the best cake, I for one, can vouch for multiple times I have thanked my mum and grandmother for packing food for me despite my refusal. 

Besides vacation and adventure travelers, other people that specifically packs oodles of home food are students studying abroad or away from home. I have several seniors studying away from their home country (in this case India) who reserve at least one suitcase for snacks they will take with them for their semester outside (true story). 

Here is a list of food items Indians pack while traveling abroad and maybe you could too! 

1. Khakra and Theplas

soup, cheese, bread
Ayushi Gupta

These classic Gujarati snacks are favorites amongst Indians when it comes to packing for any sort of trips. Khakras (cracker-like consistency) and Theplas to put it simply (my Gujarati friends will kill me for this) are spiced discs made of flour and oil. They are both dry and hence, do not harm the luggage (if prepared well) and do not occupy a lot of space! More importantly they remain fresh for a long time (years almost) and make for a perfect dorm snack too!


pastry, bread, chicken
Devika -

Mathri makes for the perfect snack for travel and staying away from home because it's dry and ready to eat all the time. It lasts long and doesn't go bad if prepared right. Pair it with pickles and you are set. For those who don't know what Mathri is, its a flaky biscuit made of flour, oil and cumin usually. 

3. Aachar or Pickles

sweet, pickle, herb
Ayushi Gupta

Pickles in tight sealed jars are an essential for every Indian traveler. They are risky because Indian aachar is very oily and that is how it is preserved. But once you figure the storing out, you got spice for life. Have it with everything from Mathri to Khakra, or chapati to even bread and it will perk up your meal!


vegetable, sauce, meat, poutine, chicken
Bhavya Sahay

I would describe Namkeen as Indian savoury trail mix. It's bits and pieces of spicy, fried or even roasted nuts and chips that taste simply amazing. Not to mention, it is perfect for munching anywhere.

5.Dry Sweets

egg, sweet
Devika -

I personally feel no meal is complete without something sweet at the end. A number of Indian sweets like Ladoos, Barfi, and Katli are perfect for travel since they are dry and packed full with flavor. A lot of my hostel friends carry their favorite sweets from home to have after dinner each night.


Hajmola is essentially an Indian thing. Not only is the brand of digestives (sweet, spicy and sour) born in India but lately, due to videos like Buzzfeed its been associated with the country of its origin.

Many Indians carry Hajmola in their medicine kit because it is good for digestion (laxative effect). Many also eat it as a post meal snack because of its quirky taste. 

7. Maggi  

corn, cake, cake mix, sweet, candy
Bhavya Bansal

I know Nestle is a global brand but I swear on my favorite pasta ( Spinach Raviolis-Hi!) that tons of my seniors who are going to study abroad consider Maggi an essential part of their luggage.

I mean we all know why we love Maggi, it's whatever you want it to be whenever you want it and all you need is a little hot water. Indians have a fetish for the Maggi being sold by their closest grocery store. I know I do.  

The Indian cuisine offers a huge range of food items one can pack. If you are already packing for your term or vacation awesome, and if the article gave you ideas on what you could pack for your next trip, even better. Happy traveling (and eating).