Snacks on a Plane: Tips for Eating Like a Civilized Traveler

Earlier this week blog friend Alan Brouilette discussed how to get through airport security with grace and ease. That got me thinking about food, because, well, everything gets me thinking about food. But really, my own biggest concern with airports and plane travel is getting hungry.

It’s a good idea to bring a meal, or at the very least, a snack, on every flight. Because, even for short flights, you might end up spending more time stuck far away from food than you anticipated.

Here are some tips to be a neat, considerate, and well-fed traveler.

  1. Don’t bring smelly things from the food court, because everyone will hate you. People on planes are already time bombs waiting to go off. Don’t push any buttons by stinking up the place with your spicy Szechuan chicken.
  2. Speaking of spicy, maybe consider avoiding those foods that could lead to…  certain bathroom needs. Consuming spicy foods and/or greasy foods at high altitudes can lead to digestive tumult. And as someone who tries avoiding airplane bathrooms in the best of circumstances, I highly recommend avoiding any prolonged dirty business.
  3. Avoid crumbly, sloppy, and overly saucy foods. It’s hard to eat while strapped into an uncomfortable seat, leaning over a tray table. Probably you will drip, dribble, or drop something on your lap. And won’t you be sad if you have to sit in your own food filth for the next several hours?
  4. Ideally, you’ll pack a compact meal, such as a sandwich or a wrap (leave off the tomato), into a plastic take-out container that you can hold close to your body to catch crumbs and then ditch in the flight attendant’s trash bag. Don’t forget a napkin.
  5. Here are some other specific snack ideas from Budget Travel. I’m a fan of Clif Bars, personally, because they are pretty delicious as well as filling.
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