How to Pack the Ultimate Carry-On Bag of Airplane Snacks
Merrill's 10 commandments of eating while traveling.
Popular on Food52
Mary-Elizabeth T. March 4, 2023
I get a few ice cube trays with plastic lids - mine have 6 pretty big compartments - maybe 2x2 inches - and fill each with treat. Rosemary and hot pepper taralle, olives, cubed dried Italian pepperoni, savoury dried chickpeas and fava beans, dried apricots, and chocolate covered almonds or sour candies.
PH69 October 30, 2022
My favorite guy on the plane is always the person that brings tuna, anchovies, and onions.
Susanna August 21, 2022
You contradict yourself by first recommending a baguette, then saying in the next sentence to take crackers instead of bread for the crispness factor. Then you say to bring a shareable wedge of cheese—ah, no. How are you going to cut it? You can’t bring a knife on a plane. And please, please don’t bring any strong cheeses. Your seatmates will be rightly offended. Same goes for a flatbread with anchovies, crazy recommendation.
Gail D. August 11, 2022
Yikes! I HAD to fly recently, but wore an N95 from arriving at one airport to leaving the other, including layovers at OHare and Dulles. I snuck a couple sips of water under my mask, likewise I ate a Kind Bar one quick bite at a time. I did NOT get COVID--but my son and his bride did on their boat and train honeymoon. #CovidIsNotOver #MonkeyPoxIsAirborne
Marianna F. August 11, 2022
Smitten Kitchen has a delicious chickpea pan bagnat https://smittenkitchen.com/2021/05/chickpea-pan-bagnat/ for the conscientious
Vivian K. August 11, 2022
Seems as if this non-fishy version would be rather messy if the typical amount of oil is used.
Rose C. August 11, 2022
Those all seem very delicious, but quite a few have a very high “stink factor.” I think this is an important consideration when traveling by plane. It’s rude to other passengers to stink up the plane.
PH69 October 30, 2022
They really do stink! I was surprised by the amount of stinky suggestions for flying. I mean, there's not caring what other people think, and then there's being terrible on purpose.
Vivian K. August 11, 2022
Apple slices, strips of red pepper, cubes of hard cheese, cubes or sticks of hard salami, dried apricots, small open faced cheese/salami sandwiches, my favorite no-grain granola bars, mixed nuts. Everything is its own ziplock bag or reusable plastic container. No way would I take a tuna bagnat sandwich!
billy March 4, 2020
Eating half of this stuff on a plane would be super stinky and rude.... eggs, tuna, stinky meats, just no. All of these are "selfish snacks." Dry foods that are not stinky are best.
creamtea July 22, 2019
Lately, when I make chocolate chip cookie dough, I roll it into logs using baking parchment and put the logs into ziplock bags and on into the freezer. Recently before a flight, I took out a log (the night before), sliced it and baked a small batch of cookies in the toaster oven for my husband and myself. 8-10 minutes baking time and a brief cooling period, and we had fresh cookies for the flight! (I was rather proud of myself, as we're usually very no-nonsense pack-and-go-to-the-airport-early types).
Greenandleafy July 21, 2019
Great ideas! And could we please remember when in an airplane or train or other enclosed spaces, please go easy on the strong smelling food?
Melissa B. July 21, 2019
When driving long distances with kids, I give each kids a shoebox packed with snacks. They are allowed to eat anything in the box— no permission needed. Everything is divided up fairly beforehand. No bothering adults necessary, no fighting over the last cookie. My kid with allergies gets fun new packaged snacks to try. A cooler in the way back means that one kid gets to be in charge of something— a power to be wielded wisely. And I get to have actual conversations up front. :)
creamtea July 22, 2019
Brilliant! My kids are grown. Wish I'd thought of the shoebox idea when they were little!
Lindsay S. January 5, 2019
I once saw a french family at the airport eating hard boiled eggs. I do this now, ha. If you cook them properly they don't smell strongly. I made "Louisa's peach cake" and took frozen leftovers with us and we ate it once we got to the hotel, it was so perfect still! Also I have always loved the french ham and butter on a baguette as a travel meal, and also the Italian version with prosciutto plus a san pellagrino limonata! :) Can't get much yummier than that!
Helen October 6, 2018
I like to make my own trail mix of toasted or raw nuts, different kinds of raisins, roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds etc. It is easy to carry, eat and doesn’t smell. Peanut butter on triscuits are good too. I think avoiding strong smelling food is really important. Sometimes i pack a few dried apricots, apples, figs for something sweet that isn’t messy. I buy water in the airport past security and am good to go. I usually avoid meat and fish when traveling but a few slices of cheddar are good if you eat early enough. I prefer to eat vegetarian than risk food poisoning on a trip. Been there done that. Homemade trail mix, peanut butter crackers, dried fruit, hard dark chocolate and water are my go-to snacks.
Bonnie T. September 10, 2018
I like to make breakfast burritos or bean, cheese, veggie + avocado burritos. Wrap them in foil, they can handle being jostled, will stay warm (but aren’t bad at room temp) and satisfying. Homemade granola is good too, you can add milk on the plane or just eat it as a snack.
Cecilia September 9, 2018
My favorite on-board snack is oatmeal. I take regular rolled oats and chop them up a bit in my food processor to convert them into instant oats (or I just buy the individually wrapped packets of instant at the store, but I don't usually have these on hand). I then pack a serving of oats in a small container along with some salt and cinnamon, flax seeds, etc. On the plane, I'll ask a flight attendant to fill the oatmeal cup up with hot water (I wait until any service is finished, then go back and ask politely. I have never had anything but an enthusiastic and gracious response). It's a lovely warm, comforting snack for me, and can help me fall asleep if it's a long flight. It's also endlessly customizable, and I can pack a few packages of instant oats to last different legs of the trip. Bonus: the same method can be applied to packages of instant miso soup from Trader Joe's.
Michelle S. September 3, 2018
Stuffed pizza wrapped in foil, w wet naps or wet paper towels, Fruit ( pre peeled oranges or a large fruit cup) mints, m&ms, granola bars. skittles. We take long flights.
Deborah B. September 2, 2018
My standard in-flight snack bag contains a package of pre-sliced apple wedges, individually wrapped non-smelly cheeses like mini bonbels, granola bars, good chocolate.
See what other Food52 readers are saying.