Making plant-based snacks when I travel has been one of my favorite habits I’ve started in the last few years. It took me some time to get into the groove; there’s always so much happening right before I leave for a trip! However, the more I did it, the more addicted I became. One thing that helped is having a list of travel snacks ideas handy. It’s diverse and I usually have the ingredients on hand or only have to pick up a few. So, not much planning involved.
There are so many benefits to this habit! I always feel proud when I realize I’m contributing to not only my health, but sustainable and environmentally friendly food practices. I hope the list of snacks I share below will help you when you go to prep. But first, I wanted to share just a few reasons why packing snacks makes me feel like I’m also making a difference in the world.
A Few Benefits of Packing Your Own Snacks
Enhances body health. When you make your snacks, you get to control the ingredients and nutrition. It can be hard to find healthy options at the airport in general. Add eating plant based or allergies to the mix and it gets even more difficult.
Reduces the consumption of unnecessary packaging. To-go food from vending machines, airport mini-markets and the like are always packaged in plastic, come with plastic forks and spoons, and more. Packing your food in reusables makes a big impact on the environment.
Saves money. Even if you’re buying healthy food, airport snacks are marked up. A couple of packages of nuts later and you’re already setting up for a more expensive trip.
Reduces food waste. Using up the food in your home before you leave for a trip is a great way to diminish your carbon footprint. We are learning more and more about food waste from documentaries like this one and chefs like this.
Packing your own snacks also lets companies know that consumers would like more healthy options and less packaging!
Snack Considerations When Packing
Read airline/ airport carry-on regulations. In the U.S., these TSA rules have several pages for each food item. Liquids and gels are restricted to 3.5 oz. I’ve had hummus taken away for being a gel, which means anything with this type of consistency will most likely get confiscated.
Pack Small Jars. You can still bring a few small jars at 3.5 oz., so take advantage of that for an easy sandwich spread. I’ve brought bread with a small jar of peanut butter or hummus with no problems.
Add the Sandwich Spread First. So you can’t bring foods like hummus or peanut butter in larger containers, but you can always spread it on a sandwich or between rice cakes beforehand.
Make the snack easy. I like my foods to be already pre-prepared and cut up. As much as I love avocados, I don’t want to be cutting one up on the plane with a plastic knife and dealing with the outer rind. In addition, foods like avocados that turn brown usually aren’t good by the time you’re on a plane so I like to avoid them.
- Energy Bites – these are quick to make, filling, and light to pack. More recipe ideas here or you can find plenty with a quick google.
- Bag/ Jar of Oats – you can usually get a cup of hot water on the plane. Add your oats and some dried fruit or a banana.
- Tabouleh Salad with Crackers – this will fulfill that crunchy craving. You can make any little salad for this.
- Veggie Sandwich with Hummus – easier to get the hummus on board if you spread it on a sandwich first.
- Veggie Stir-Fry – make a quick stir-fry with tofu, veggies, rice or noodles and a simple stir-fry sauce or soy sauce.
- Vegan Sushi Rolls – no need to worry about these spoiling since they are filled with veggies!
- PB and J with Banana – this will give you a little something sweet, let you get your PB fix in without having to bring a jar of it on the plane.
- Nuts – make a mix with almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds or just throw any kind you like in a bag and go!
- Trail Mix – add in some raisins or coconut to your nut mix for a simple trail mix.
- Cut Fruit – oranges, apples, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe.
- Cut Veggies – carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes.
- Popcorn – add some nutritional yeast or other spices on top for an added punch
- Dates – a great source of energy and fiber, these will fill you up and also curb that sweet tooth!
- Dipping Sauces – If you want a dipping sauce for your veggies, pack a small 3.5 oz. container of peanut butter, plant-based ranch dressing or hummus dipping sauces. Just make sure you have the room!