How To Eat Well While Traveling

What do lambswool socks, raw cacao nibs, a package of probiotics, and a “Best Of” christmas classics playlist all have in common?

Well.. nothing that I can think of actually, except they’re all coming with me in my backpack while traveling this month!

Since the holiday season is travel time for a lot of you, I thought I’d share my tips for eating well on the road. This post is written specifically with air travel in mind but can also be applied to long-distance car or train rides.

Travel is one of my forever lifelong loves.

It energizes me, inspires me, nourishes my soul and makes me come alive. But I am really NOT fond of the exhaustion, jet lag, and digestive upsets that often come along with it.

Leaving your comfortable, familiar environment or time zone can throw off your body’s rhythm and make your digestive system slow down. Combine that with long sedentary periods of time in cramped spaces, snacking from crinkly packages of empty-calories and it’s no wonder travel can be so draining!

Over the past few years I’ve found some ways to minimize the fatigue and digestive travel woes and keep your energy levels up!

My Tips for Nourishing Travel:

First of all, water!
Good, clean (maybe even electrolyte-enhanced) bottled water and lots of it. Don’t let yourself become dehydrated on a long flight! A lot of fatigue, headaches, etc can be prevented just by drinking water.

Strive for high-energy foods and a mix of low moisture & high moisture foods.
While nuts, crackers and trail mix may be convenient, I know that if those are my only travel snacks, my digestion is going to be suffering for sure.

My Picks for Air Travel Snack Food:

apple slices

  • Apple Slices or Banana with Almond Butter & Cheddar Cheese Slices
    Sometimes I sprinkle raw cacao nibs on as well for added crunch (and because I’m addicted to them).
    *Note: if bringing a banana, I recommend SPOTTED ripe bananas only – the simple carbs will be a million times easier to digest.
  • Grass-fed Raw Cheese with Gluten-free Crackers or Veggies
    (Baby carrots, raw sugar snap peas, & cherry tomatoes are great!)
    I always go for raw cheese on flights since it contains enzymes that aide in digestion. Some aged raw cheeses can be kept at room temperature, making them truly excellent road snacks. Last summer I carried a block of raw cheese around for several days while traveling through Iceland and it held up fine. (Although admittedly Iceland has a cooler climate. You might not want to try this anywhere humid unless you relish the smell of stinky cheese!)
  • Beet or Sweet Potato Chips
    Even better if homemade with coconut oil
  • Sun Balls
    This is my homemade energy bar recipe, nut-free & gluten-free. It’s one of my favorite travel snacks.
    Recipe coming in a few days so stay tuned!!
  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Homemade Salad Loaded with Kimchi
    Greens and probiotics. Your stomach will be smiling
  • **Lara Bars or other fruit & nut bars
    Energetically I don’t feel good when eating too many of these packaged bars. It feels like the life force has been drained. Dehydrated food can also have a constipating effect especially in an already precarious digestive state. I bring a couple but save them as emergency snacks.

Know what your typical cravings are and prepare in advance.
For example, I know that I am a salt person. I always end up craving salty, crunchy snacks like chips or crackers on plane rides – it’s what settles my stomach. Some people have a sweet tooth and go for the chocolate or cookies. Know what you tend to crave so you can prepare in advance and have a healthier option (maybe even homemade version if possible) with you. Doing this has saved me numerous times from buying expensive airport junk food when the munchies strike.

Eat well & take extra care of yourself on the days leading up to your trip.
Lots of veggies, greens, and smoothies for good digestion. Get some solid nights of sleep. I always take a yoga class before I leave on a long flight if possible and always ALWAYS have a big green smoothie prior to getting on the plane. Coconut water is also great before flights.

How do you prepare for travel and what snacks do you bring? Share your tips below!

10 thoughts on “How To Eat Well While Traveling

  1. Hello! Stopping over from Party Wave Wed! Thanks for reminding me I need to pack food when traveling! I so often overlook doing this and end up dreading it! I like packing a not so ripe avocado and usually by the time I get to my destination it is ready to eat! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Lauren,
      I know what you mean! Since switching over to real foods I’ve had to really plan ahead with travel snacks. Once you get to the airport there unfortunately aren’t many good options. I like your avocado idea, going to try that one! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Some wonderful ideas and tips. How do you deal with fruits and veggies when going through security?
    I found KLM really met my dietary needs colourfully and tastily on a trans-Atlantic flight last year. My travel agent gave them a heads up prior to the trip so they were prepared.

    • You know, I haven’t had problems with bringing fruit or veggies through security. I’ve taken baby carrots, apples and bananas on flights before. Sometimes there are restrictions with bringing fresh food into other countries after you land but you can eat the food on the plane ride. That’s good to know about KLM being so accommodating!

  3. Good tips! I travel for a living and I bring all my own food with me since I know finding reliable airport/hotel food is difficult. There’s no rule about taking fruit or vegetables through security, but if you bring almond butter or similar, you’ll need to make sure it is in a container of no larger than 3.5 oz and fits in your ziploc bag of liquids since they consider it a “liquid”. Applesauce or some very soft cheeses like brie will be considered a liquid, too, but whole or sliced fruit or harder cheeses are fine.

    • Wow I didn’t know brie would be considered a liquid by the airlines, I never tried bringing that. Thanks for sharing!

      I like taking those little 1oz almond butter and coconut butter travel packets on flights since I know they will definitely make it through and they’re really convenient!

  4. I recently had to be subjected to a total body search because I was traveling with hummus and peanut butter. If you keep a sense of humor about it and calmly and kindly explain to the TSA that you’re unable to eat the foods offered on the plane or at the terminal, they are usually okay with it. My kids love when I bring liver paté made from our local butcher or GMO free popcorn popped in coconut oil and covered with nutritional yeast and sea salt.

    • Liver paté sounds amazing, I need to bring that!

      And I totally agree with you, a sense of humor and patience are so important. I think that if people in security feel honored, like you really see them as a person with a job (as opposed to a barrier standing in the way of you getting what you want), I do think it makes all the difference in how they respond to your food situation.

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  6. Organic corn chips are good for the gluten free and Wild Garden Hummus Dip packages are good. I found the best hummus plus avocado dip at the Healthfood store you could put in small containers. Of course veggies are always good; cucumber slices are good for the water; and I agree always hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Apple slices are probably the best fruit and peanut butter with crackers last but now they are saying don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter around others because so many people are allergic to them.

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