When traveling, not eating enough and not eating well quickly increases your costs and zaps your energy. We all know that horrible, empty, nutrition-craving feeling that follows continuously eating overpriced and empty-calorie (yet convenient) snacks. And yet, snacking is an important part of travel.
We just have to choose wisely and be prepared. Whether you head to the market after you land or save some room in your luggage, try to have some healthy snacks available. Your body and your wallet will thank you. (One of us is a meat-and-potatoes carnivore while the other is an easy-on-the-dairy vegetarian so our snack choices can be all over the map.)
Here are our Ten Favorite Travel Snacks:
1. Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Mmmmm…..cinnamon. We like that they’re pretty high in fiber and protein. They’re also resilient and don’t crumble too much in transit like many other cereals.
2. Trader Joe’s fruit and veggie Fiberful strips.
3. Trader Joe’s freeze dried fruit. (Usually way less sugar than traditional dried fruit choices, which often contain extra sugar in addition to the natural stuff.)
4. Craisins. (Some added sugar so we eat sparingly.)
5. Bananas and oranges. Great because they come in natural containers but note that the fresh stuff is better for road trips or buying when you arrive, not so luggage-friendly. In fact you may not be allowed to transport fruit to where you are going. (We were once called out by a police beagle on this at the airport. We actually didn’t actually have any fruit on us, but were using a plastic bag that had contained a banana earlier in the trip. That dog was good at his job! …and got a treat.)
6. Baby carrots and veggie slices (Same deal better for road trips when you can bring a cooler/lunch box.)
7. Veggie Chips. We like Terra’s Exoitc Vegetable Chips or Trader Joe’s Vegetable Root Chips because they are actually veggies. Beware of the predominantly potato or corn brands out there that masquerade as “veggie chips.” We also like lentil chips, which can be expensive, but the Trader Joe’s brand is reasonable.
8. Healthy, low-fat, low-sodium meat jerky (for one of us) and Vegan jerky (for the other). Yay protein! (Which is often hard to find in portable snack food.) I prefer the gluten-free vegan jerky such as the gluten-free BBQ flavor.
9. Single serve peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. (More protein!) Look into the Sunbutter packets if you have nut allergies.
10. Calbee Snapea Crisps (haven’t yet tried the new flavors) or Trader Joe’s Inner Peas Yes, these actually taste good – once shared these with some hungry-enough-to-try-anything friends after we finished a vigorous kayaking trip, and they were amazed. (The first time Trader Joe’s tried this, the product had too much other non-pea stuff in there which appeared to compromise the nutritional value. Apparently those more vocal than us also didn’t like this because they tried again and did a great job.)
We typically pack a few zippered sandwich baggies to make dividing food into smaller portions a bit easier. That way, we can toss a few snacks in a purse or day bag when we’re out-and-about during a trip. Plus, sandwich bags take up virtually no weight or room.
In addition, a flexible lunch bag like this takes up little room in your luggage, can fit in a good size day bag, and takes up little room again once empty.
Also, remember our Binder Clip Tip #7, and bring a binder clip to keep food closed.
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