If you’re committed to staying on track with a diet, or following a specific meal plan, then packing your own healthy snacks for a long flight is a must. It’ll help you resist the temptation to reach for something unhealthy at the airport. Plus, if you’re stuck on the tarmac with limited water and no food, you’re covered.
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In this guide, we’ll go over the best healthy snacks to pack in your carry on, how to pack cold food and what smelly snacks to avoid. If you want to read about other great places to visit, see this list of best travel destinations to use the points and miles you’ve earned with your credit card rewards and loyalty programs.
For business travelers, see our post Complete Guide To Staying Fit While Traveling For Business.
Healthy Travel Snack Ideas
The snacks below travel well, and they’ll keep you energized and satiated while you’re getting from Point A to Point B.
- Protein bars
- Fruit/nut bars
- Granola bars
- Dried fruit
- Rice Cakes
- Protein powder
- Dry oatmeal cup
- Kale chips
- Nut butter
- Low-sugar cereal
- Trail mix
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Seaweed snacks
- String cheese
Packing Cold Travel Snacks
There are a few ways to keep your food cold when you travel. For starters, you can borrow your kid’s lunch box. Or, you can invest in a small, soft-sided cooler. There are even bags on the market that feature an insulated compartment for your cold snacks and a space for your laptop.
Avoid Smelly Travel Snacks
Out of consideration for your fellow passengers, avoid packing any travel snacks with strong odors. When you’re trapped in an air-sealed room like an airplane, the smell will linger for the duration of your flight. We suggest you don’t pack any of the following foods:
- Fish or shellfish
- Garlic or onions
- Strong-smelling cheese
- Anything fermented
- Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower)
Pack a Travel Credit Card
Okay a credit card isn’t a healthy snack but when traveling, it is crucial to carry the right credit card in your wallet. You don’t want to miss out on the perks and rewards you can earn. You will also sleep better knowing you have access to funds when needed. Here are a few we recommend you carry from our guide to The Best Travel Credit Cards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best luxury card with no foreign transaction fees. It offers a wealth of premium benefits that you need as a traveler including Uber credits, airline credits, access to airport lounges, travel protection and more. Plus you’ll get automatic Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status. Read more below.
THE PLATINUM CARD® FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has a special offer for 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in purchases within your first 6 months.
Membership Rewards® points are some of the most valuable in the market. Redeeming these points by booking travel through American Express or by redeeming for gift cards will give you a standard 1 cent per point value. The 100k bonus points are worth $1,000 going this route.
You can potentially get more value by transferring your points to Membership Rewards travel partners. Using this strategy can get you up to an average value of 2 cents per point. Get around $2,000 in value with 100,000 points this way. Read more on this here.
With this card, earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
The biggest drawback to this card is the $695 annual fee (see Rates & Fees, Terms Apply), which puts it in the premium class of credit cards. The card has a market because it offers premium travel benefits, such as 5X points for flights (up to $500,000 on these purchases) and eligible hotels, access to 40+ Centurion Loung and Studio locations worldwide, up to $200 airline fee credit annually, and an annual Walmart+ membership. These benefits are given as statement credits.
For frequent travelers, the added benefits make sense in terms of value and added luxury.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card® is everybody’s favorite travel card with a big welcome bonus. The card rewards you with Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most valuable rewards currencies in existence.
Anytime you have Ultimate Rewards points, consider transferring them to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners for maximum value. To find out more about this card, keep on reading.
CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED® CARD
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer for 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Redeeming the 60,000 bonus points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is praised by users, will get you $750 in value towards travel. The 60K bonus points are worth $750 because you get 25% more value whenever you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Even better, strategize with Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer partners to potentially get even more value. Each point can be worth up to 2 cents apiece (60k points = ~$1,200). Read more on this here.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a wonderful choice for anyone new to travel rewards for its simple earning structure and no transaction fee. For travelers, you’ll receive credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. Continue reading to see all of the outstanding benefits from this mid-tier card.
CAPITAL ONE® VENTURE® REWARDS CREDIT CARD
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card currently earns 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening. Or if are unable to meet the $20k spending requirement, you can still earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. These bonus miles are equal to $1000 or $500, respectively, in travel and are easy to redeem as a statement credit towards the cost of your travel purchases. Take advantage of Capital One’s travel partners and these up to 100k miles can be worth around $1400 in value.
This card will earn an ongoing 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards. If you don’t redeem towards travel purchases, your miles will have less value.
The annual fee is $95.
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Don’t give yourself the chance to make bad food choices when you travel, just for the convenience. Pack healthy snacks to fuel your body and satisfy your hunger. That way, you’ll feel great when you arrive at your destination.
Traveling for a special occasion? If you want to learn how to pack your formal wear in a carry on check out our complete guide here.
READ MORE: SEE THE BEST BANK BONUSES HERE AND THE BEST INVESTING BONUSES HERE.
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