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Healthy Travel Snacks

Discover the ultimate guide to healthy travel snacks. Learn how to choose nutritious options for your journey, navigate security restrictions, and enjoy delicious bites on the go.


When I set out on my adventures, I plan for the hours of sitting ahead of me during the actual travel part of travelling. It doesn't matter if I'm taking a plane, train, bus, or road-tripping, those hours can wreak havoc on my eating schedule. The overpriced, unappetizing, and unhealthy options at airports, stations, and fast-food joints are often unappealing. Even the fancier meals served in Business or First Class often leave something to be desired. If I don't pre-plan, I end up buying junk food with very little nutrition so I plan my travel snacks as carefully as I pack my carry-on.

cut carrots in a plastic container, green grapes in a plastic bag, an apple, and a package of crackers and hummus
A small selection of security-acceptable snacks for the plane

Planning Healthy Travel Snacks: Things to Consider

I've learned that when planning healthy snacks for travel there are several things to consider. The most important is ensuring that your choices will be allowed through any security checkpoints. Remember that no liquids or gels are allowed in your carry-on, so think dry and solid. When crossing borders, there may be food restrictions preventing certain items from entering the country. Make sure to check official websites for the most up-to-date information.


It's also important that your snacks are easy to eat with minimal crumbs and food residue (save those Doritos for another time!). Pack pre-cut snacks into reusable containers and don't forget to bring along some hand wipes.

an assortment of snacks: scones, granola bars, grapes, yogurt covered raisins, sausage rolls, apple, nuts, yogurt. Also shown is a package of hand-wipes and a gel ice-block
A peek at what's inside my road trip snack box

Consider any food restrictions or allergies, not just for yourself but for your travel companions as well. Please choose low-odour snacks. After all, you don't want to be the one with a smelly snack that fills the cabin or car with unpleasant odours.


The air pressure in planes can dull your taste buds, so it's a good idea to choose foods with a bit more zing to compensate. Plus, excess salt can increase dehydration, so go easy on the salty snacks.

3 plastic sanndwich containers with sandwiches and cherry tomatoes
Reusable containers keep everything neat and easy to access

Non-perishable and non-melty snacks are your best friends during travel. Keep in mind that some items might need chilling, which is more practical for road trips than airline travel. If you do need to keep something cool when flying, ensure it's frozen solid at the security checkpoint. And always check the specific guidelines of your carrier and the country you're visiting on government and corporate websites. When road-tripping, a cooler in the passenger seat will keep your snacks cool and close at hand.


To minimize waste, consider using reusable containers and avoid excessive packaging. It's a small effort that can go a long way in reducing your environmental footprint. After cleaning, the containers can be used for packing souvenirs or other small objects.

Suggestions for Healthy Travel Snacks

When it comes to selecting the ideal travel snacks, you'll find a wide array of options that strike a perfect balance between convenience and health. Here are some of my favourite travel snacks:

For the Veggie Lover: With a refreshing crunch and packed with vitamins, veggies are a top-notch option (dips won't make it through airport security). Bell peppers, broccoli bites, carrots, and cucumber slices are tasty and hydrating. Dip won't make it through airport security and would be a driving distraction, so choose veggies you'll enjoy plain.


Naturally Sweet: Dried fruit is a portable and sweet treat. Whether it's chewy apricots, tangy cranberries, or sweet raisins, dried fruits are packed with energy and essential nutrients. They're a healthier alternative to candy and satisfy your sweet tooth without any added sugars.


Nuts for Nuts: Opt for nuts when you're road-tripping in your vehicle and enjoy the satisfaction of their crunch and flavour. If you're travelling by plane, train, or bus, be cautious about nuts due to allergies and the risk of affecting fellow passengers.

a pile of raisins and nuts including cashews, peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Nuts are a good healthy snack but don't take on shared journeys.

Trail Mix Adventure: Trail mix is a versatile companion for your travels. You can customize it with your favourite nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and a hint of chocolate or yogurt-covered treats.


Fresh and Fruity: Fresh fruit is an easy, healthy, and hydrating option that is easy to transport and eat on the go. Apples and citrus fruits handle the bumps well, while grapes and berries are perfect bite-sized treats.


Sandwich Savvy: Sandwiches are a classic and customizable travel snack. However, watch out for the dreaded "soggy bottom." To keep your sandwich fresh and delicious, layer ingredients wisely, and consider using condiments in portion control containers. From turkey and avocado to caprese, the possibilities are endless.

clip art style sandwich half

image: Clkr Free Vector - Pixabay


Salads to Go: Portable salads can be surprisingly satisfying. Pre-pack a hearty salad with greens, protein like grilled chicken or chickpeas, and a flavorful dressing. Salads aren't for eating while driving but are a quick and tasty treat while taking a stretch break. Don't forget to pack a fork!

A salad in a bowl with a plastic fork laid on top.

Pasta Pleasures: Pasta salads are a filling and diverse snack choice. Opt for whole wheat pasta for added fibre and pair it with your favourite veggies, a drizzle of olive oil, and some grated Parmesan for a satisfying, Mediterranean-inspired treat.


Soup on the Fly: Instant soups come in a variety of flavours and can be a warm and comforting choice during travel. Simply add hot water from a coffee machine or ask a flight attendant for assistance. It's like a cozy hug in a cup.


Bread, Muffins, and Rice Cakes: Breads, muffins and rice cakes, especially whole grain options, are great for a quick bite. Pair them with some cheese or a spread of your choice for added satisfaction.


Meat Snacks: For a protein-packed snack that doesn't require chilling, hand pies, sausage rolls, pepperoni sticks, and beef jerky can be eaten easily while on the go.

a container including bite-sized cheese and pepperoni sticks, and a sandwich bag filled with sausage rolls and single-serving cheese packages.

Cheese Please: Pasteurized cheese is a delicious source of protein and calcium. Bring along single-serving cheese portions for a savoury, creamy delight.


Crunchy Crackers: With so many different styles and flavours, crackers can be paired with cheeses, spreads, or eaten plain for a crunchy snack.


Popcorn Pleasure: Popcorn is a whole-grain snack that's both tasty and fiber-rich. Opt for lightly seasoned or plain popcorn to keep it healthy and mess-free.

close up of popped popcorn kernels.

Yogurt on the Go: Yogurt is a creamy and protein-rich choice. If you have access to a cooler, consider bringing along a container of yogurt with a screw-top lid to keep it fresh and cool during your travels.


Final Thoughts

With these diverse options in your snacking repertoire, you can create a personalized travel snack selection that suits your taste and dietary preferences. Whether you're soaring through the skies, riding the rails, or hitting the open road, you'll have the perfect snacks to keep you fueled and satisfied throughout your journey.


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