Every time I travel people ask me: Can you really take that on a plane?!
Well, I’ve never had anything taken away at security, so yes! The picture above was all post security check so if you choose the right items, you can turn down every (highly salted, white carbs, sugar added, not super healthy) plane meal, bring ALL your own food and feel so much better when you arrive. The same goes for car trips really but we do less of those. I bring my food and baby food for a full 14-24 hours of travel.
The thing that makes it work without a ton of plastic is stainless steel containers. We’ve tried a few brands but for durability, cost, and practicality these sets are my favourites. They’re all from the same company Eco Lunch Box. Another brand that’s great is Planet Box but I prefer them for school lunches rather than travel as the seals are less secure, and they’re a lot more pricy.
Three in One box from Eco Lunch Box.
If I had to own just one this (above) is my all round fave. It’s very economical, and has two big sections and one little dressing or ‘treat’ container. It’s great for a small-medium lunch for Jared or for a good portion of something more dense like curry and rice. For a longhair journey I need more than just this but I bring this and some others too. Get it HERE.
An extra single large tin
This one (above) is great for a smaller meal on the go, or adding to the one above for a bigger meal. These two would probably be perfect for on person traveling and taking a few meals worth. But yes we pack a ton more!
Trio with Silicon Lids
Eco wise I’d ideally have all stainless steel but these still WAY beat out plastic so they’re brill when you need lots of containers for packing different things for travel! And leak proof = win. I filled these with roasted veggies and hummus, and avocado. There was juiciness, and no leakage. Perfect. I loved that once I’d eaten the contents I could stack them inside for less bulk to carry!
I originally bought these Jared missed ziplock bags and I wanted to find an alternative. Now I’m in love with them too. They’re very practical and for something that seals 100% they beat out any of the tins. When we travel I use them for trail mix, roasted veggies, cheese, anything really! They’re also perfect for storing a small number of baby wipes so I don’t have to take a whole package in our carry on. Get them HERE.
Because coffee. We usually make a coffee to drink right as we drive away from town (we live 4 hours from the airport so every journey starts with a good drive!) and it goes in these Keep Cups. Then we just rinse them and use them for any coffee we buy/make along the way. If you want the version the insulates, Keep Cup also do a double walled one, or Jared loves a Swell. I drink coffee too quickly to need an insulating cup 😉
I also brought some of these. They’re perfect for little things like cookies, bits of chocolate, fruit etc. Or to package things individually for kids and make them look more fun without packaging and plastic!
Then I just bring a fabric tote bag and stack the whole lot in with my big mason jar to fill with water and off we go! Once stuff is empty I pack it down and put it in my main carry on case overhead, put the containers inside each other, or when it’s all gone, back it all away and stash the bag in my carry on to exit the plane. Win win win. I promise I always arrive feeling so much more alive when I do this!
GO TO TRAVEL FOOD
TRAIL MIX: I make my own very simply by mixing together my favourite nuts and seeds – cashews, almonds, pecans, coconut flakes, and then adding some dried fruit in too: raisins, figs, and dates. For a twist I’ll toss them in a little coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon and then lightly toast the nuts on 325F for 10 minutes then letting them cool. And for a low sugar option I’ll leave out the fruit. But sugar or no sugar always….
CHOCOLATE: I always crave sweet things or chocolate when I travel and then there are the air stewards with a shiny wrapped cookie.. it’s pointless to think I can make the sometimes stressful 20 hours sans anything treelike so I ALWAYS make sure I’m equipped. It might be a paleo cookie, or a 100% dark chocolate, or some raw chocolate or a raw ball type things. (I don’t bring homemade raw chocolate with me as I use coconut oil and it would melt and be a mess!)
KALE CHIPS: Great clean munchies. No sugar, a bit of protein, fat and fiber, and just yum. We like THESE ones from Alive and Radiant.
JERKY: It’s a great way to travel with protein if you’re way from a fridge for a long time. I also like it as an extra cos it’s something that won’t go bad if I don’t need it. So I eat the fresh stuff first and save the jerky etc for last! Our favourite ones are Chicken Siracha bars from EPIC, Mountain Medley trail mix and Jerky packs from Epic, and Bacon Cranberry and Sunflower Seed bars from BRICKS bars.
BANANAS: They’re the best fruit to travel with for me, they come in their own wrapper, they’re clean and not too juicy and messy so I always throw in a couple!
NUT BUTTER: I used a small tin to put in about 1/4C almond butter but you could equally use single packets like these from Barney Butter. The temptation to just endlessly snack out of boredom when traveling is huge. I combat this by timing real meals and eating enough protein and fat at eat one. A spoonful of almond butter at the end of a meal with help keep me full and content to the next one and stop me ‘boredom’ snacking.
HARD BOILED EGGS: Yes I take these, no I don’t crack them open on the plane. But we usually have a 4 hour car journey and a 3 hour airport wait before we even fly so there’s plenty of non plane time to eat them! ‘They’ say you shouldn’t eat a hardboiled egg out of the fridge after two hours but I’ll be honest, I let them go a bit further than that as long as they’re not in a warm place. (i.e. if it’s in ac vehicles/building etc.)
PANCAKES: Pretty much always on the travel menu. They’re an easy breakfast to whip up and take on the go and travel usually involved one breakfast. They store well, they’re clean to eat (for Clayton I layer them with nut butter like say sandwiches.) I use the Easy blender pancakes and make a double or a triple batch.
ROASTED VEGGIES AND HUMMUS: These are great travel food for the first part of a journey or a shorter trip. I put the hummus in with the veggies rather than in a separate container so it passes security more easily.
RAW VEGGIES: Probably the best for a long trip. Cut up and pack cauliflower, snap peas, carrots, cucumber, whole avocados… the hard veggies travel more easily but anything you want! I’ve even travelled with a 2lb bag of carrots in a pinch, yes really.
BEEF BURGERS: I made 2 1/3lb beef burgers and froze them the night before this trip. Then just added the container to my bag in the morning. 8 hours later they were chilled and perfect for tucking into for lunch on our flight.
PROTEIN POWDER: I often bring a serving or two of a high quality good tasting protein powder (I get one in bulk then just store it for travel in a Stasher Bag) – If I really need an extra meal or some protein I can either mix it into a smoothie/juice if there’s a smoothie bar in an airport or mash it into a banana and eat it with a spoon.
COFFEE: If you know me you know coffee is my love. But I try to only do organic coffee and that can be hard to find when you’re traveling. I usually check ahead any airport we’ll be in, and any layovers to see what food and drink options they have available so I can plan. Coffee is the one thing I’ll usually actually buy when we’re traveling, it makes the journey 1000 times happier. For the moments when there’s nothing, we either take beans and an aeropress (by we I mean Jared, I can’t be bothered with an aeropress) or much more easily, Sudden Coffee tubes. It’s instant coffee but it’s the best we’ve found, and we’re picky, trust me. It’s not certified organic but I’ve checked in with them and the coffee is grown organically so on all fronts it gets our thumbs up. You can just add hot water, even ON THE PLANE. Great coffee on the plane? Amen.
What are your travel food hacks?! How to you keep waste to a minimum when you travel?