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Healthy Travel Snacks for Your Holiday

It might sound like an extra thing to worry about when you’re getting organised for a holiday, but packing your own food when you’re travelling can have multiple benefits:

•    You can save money
•    You can pack healthy foods which you might not find in shops
•    You have access to the food whenever you need it
•    You can eat things you actually enjoy, rather than just what’s on offer
•    If you stick to a specific diet (ie veggie, vegan, low fodmap, gluten free) then you will have foods on tap that work for you
•    You’ll resist the temptation to load up on sugary foods at the airport

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to pack your own snacks for holiday. Think of all the money you could save if you didn’t buy snacks at the airport. Money, which could go towards a delicious meal out, or even a day trip with the family. That’s not to say that some of the below ideas you couldn’t buy at the airport or in a local shop if you needed to. The idea is always be equipped with options! Read on for the best gluten free snacks for travel, high protein snacks for travel, as well as do-it-yourself meals that you can travel with.

Know the Rules of Your Travel Destination

First thing to say is that even though you can’t travel with liquids over 100ml, you can travel with food! There are some long haul destinations, such as the US/Australia/New Zealand that have strict rules on bringing in meats/fish/grains/vegetables so it’s always best to check before you travel, but in these cases, you can still take the food onto the plane to be eaten during the journey. If you are travelling within Europe the rules are a little more relaxed – although of course it’s still best to check.

If you are travelling within the UK or a domestic flight within a country, then you are generally free to travel with whatever food you wish. One thing though to always be mindful of, is foods that might spoil and those with a strong smell. These should be avoided and we’ve highlighted below in ‘foods to avoid travelling with’.

Healthy Holiday Snack Ideas

Best Healthy Snacks for Plane Travel:

Pack these in your hand luggage for quick and easy snacks, which you can enjoy in seconds!

•    Nuts (salted/roasted/plain)
•    Rice cakes
•    Corn cakes
•    Pretzels
•    Popcorn
•    Dried fruit (cranberries/raisins/sultanas/apricots)
•    Fresh fruit (apples/bananas/pears)
•    Nut bars
•    Breakfast bars
•    Juice+ Complete Chocolate or Mixed Berry Bar
•    Seeds (pumpkin)
•    Granola
•    Kale crisps
•    Dried banana
•    Nut butter in individual pouches
•    Vegetable crisps
•    Energy balls – homemade or pre-packet
•    Hummus with veggie sticks (if kept in sealed container and separate tub for hummus)

If you want to read more about why we need protein, check out our full protein profile here

Best High Protein Snacks for Travel:

•    Protein bar
•    Protein powder mixed with milk from the plane
•    Energy ball
•    Pork or beef jerky
•    Hummus with veggie sticks (if kept in sealed container and separate tub for hummus)
•    Rice cakes with peanut butter
•    Nut butter in individual pouches
•    Unsalted nuts with raisins
•    Travel packed cheese with oat crackers
•    Oat crackers
•    Nut bar
•    Kale or vegetable crisps
•    Dried wasabi peas
•    Protein drink (with limited sugar/additives)
•    Turkey or ham slices if in contained packet

If you’re driving to your location, you don’t need to worry as much when it comes to food spoiling or spilling as you can easily store the below into a cool bag in your car. However these snacks need to be less messy and be enjoyed in fewer mouthfuls, especially if you are the one doing the driving!

Healthy Snacks for Driving: :

•    Turkey or ham wholegrain wrap with salad
•    Nut bar
•    Energy ball
•    Popcorn
•    Smoothie

If you are following a gluten free diet or have coeliac disease, then packing your snacks is essential to making sure you have things to enjoy, where there might not be any gluten free options available.

Best Gluten Free Snacks for Travel:

•    Dried fruit
•    Nuts
•    Nut bars (gluten free)
•    Kale crisps
•    Gluten free crackers and hummus
•    Popcorn
•    Veggie crisps
•    Nut butter in pouches
•    Rice or corn cakes

Foods to Avoid When Travelling

There are a few foods it is generally wise to avoid travelling with. These are foods that spoil quickly and also have a strong odour.  Your fellow passengers won’t thank you if you crack open these in a contained space!

•    Eggs
•    Shellfish
•    Tinned fish like mackerel, tuna or anchovies
•    Garlic
•    Onions
•    Strong cheese
•    Anything fermented
•    Cabbage
•    Broccoli
•    Tofu
•    Milk
•    Anything with a strong spice smell (eg garam masala)
•    Reheated food of any kind

Tips for Packing Food for Travel

Having healthy food available in your bag can really be a lifesaver, especially with potential flight delays or the prospect of getting stuck in traffic. So what’s the best way to transport all this food?

•    Purchase a cool bag – either a small one to fit in your hand luggage or a larger one for the car
•    Buy a few lunchboxes if you are taking more substantial snacks – this will prevent them getting squashed
•    Whilst you’re getting the lunchboxes, buy a few smaller Tupperware to carry other snacks
•    Use Ziploc bags for nuts or crisps
•    Take your own cutlery (much better for the environment too!)
•    If you’re getting nut bars, buy in bulk and put the rest in your checked luggage. Then you’re sorted for the way home too!