Healthy Snack Packing Tips for the Thrifty Traveler

healthy snack pack travelFor the healthy (and thrifty!) eater who doesn’t want to be stranded at the airport without options – this post is for you! For Labor Day weekend, I am going to visit my grandpa in Indiana. I’m planning my snacks for the red-eye flight to Indiana now.

Facts about me:

  • I am a health nut who also happens to be a model. Eating well is a job and a lifestyle.
  • I eat or snack every 1-2 hours.
  • I drink 1 gallon of water/day.
  • I don’t sleep on planes. For this reason, I typically eat two dinners on overnight flights!

So what on earth do I do when locked on a plane for 4.5 hours overnight? Plan ahead! Check out this handy post for ideas!



healthy travel

Sample Snack Pack

Perishable meal (+plastic silverware):
Save $10-20
I always bring at least one perishable meal to the airport, even if i already ate. I’ll swing by a carry-out restaurant near my house to grab a meal. This way, l feel like I’m still treating myself but without the airport price tag. My top meal choices that tend to travel well are below:

  • Poke bowl over rice/mixed greens
  • Chicken kabob with hummus and rice/mixed greens
  • Mix & Match from the salad bar at Whole Foods. Check out this article for getting the best bang for your buck at Whole Foods.

**For homemade meals, think about using collapsible Tupperware** 


Empty disposable water bottle:
Save $5
Yes – put a trashed empty water bottle from home into your carry-on. It’s worth it – so do it. You can’t bring water bottles through security…but you can bring EMPTY water bottles! I personally want something I can toss out if it becomes bothersome so I opt for disposable.


Dried fruit and nuts:
Save $5-20
I opt for Trader Joes Omega Trek Mix handfuls. I take about 5 of the baggies with me when traveling. Tip: they also come in handy after the flight for travel snacks!

healthy almond butter snack

Justin’s Almond Butter Squeeze Packs

Travel-sized peanut butter
I have an unhealthy obsession with nut butter. Any kind of nut butter. I love it all! My favorite nut butter brand for traveling is Justin’s. They recently started selling Justin’s squeeze packs at Costco! LIFESAVER! I take about 4 squeeze packs in my bag. My favorite flavor is Maple Almond.


I eat the nut butter directly from the jar or squeeze pack. But I’m guessing you prefer a cehicle of food to get the nutty spread to your mouth. I suggest packing a snack-sized Ziploc of Edward & Sons Brown Rice Snaps (sold at various grocers; guilt-free and taste great).


Fresh fruit:
Save $2/item
Be careful. Some international airports do not allow certain fruits/vegetables in carry-on luggage. Generally, within the U.S., you’re okay. My top choices:

  • Banana (**Bananas at the airport are typically $1.50-$2.00. They are $.69 at Trader Joe’s. Enough said!**)
  • Mandarin orange
  • Separate Ziploc bags of
    • Grapes
    • Apple slices
    • Celery sticks
    • Baby carrots


Boiled eggs:
Save $1.85/egg
One airport café at LAX sells hard boiled eggs for $2.00/each. For those of you who grocery shop, you know that ONE DOZEN (12) eggs doesn’t cost $2.00. So this is a 12x markup for one dinky white protein ball. Boil some eggs the week before your flight so they’re cold when you pack them. I usually pack 3. I’ve found that hard boiled eggs can last a full day without being refrigerated.

healthy snack option dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate Options at Whole Foods


Dark Chocolate
My mom used to take me to the grocery store to pick out my favorite candies for long vacations. It is for this reason I crave candy when I fly. Don’t get sucked into the candy aisle at the duty-free shop! Bring a dark chocolate bar (70% cocoa or higher) to quench that craving. Dark chocolate is rich with healthy fats, iron, magnesium and antioxidants.


Tea Bags:
Save $4
If you’re like me, you have a favorite tea. Mine comforts me and keeps me safe and warm (ha ha). Bring yours with you on your travels! Ask for a plastic coffee cup and some hot water at any restaurant or in-flight.  I can guarantee success. My personal favorite teas are from Yogi Teas. Try their “Stress Relief” or “Relaxed Mind” teas if you get the travel jitters!


Check out the basic spreadsheet below. It may motivate you to plan ahead. I compare airport prices with Trader Joe’s prices because I know that not everyone has a Costco card. But the prices are even BETTER at Costco, which makes airport pricing seem even more absurd.


If you planned ahead for just the food items above, you could save at least $25.00. And, let’s be honest, $18.00 is generous for an airport salad. I’ve paid up to $25 for airport greens!



healthy snack bag travel

The PACK for the SNACK

What do I put all of the glorious snacks in? Usually a leftover Lululemon bag. I know, I know… so lame and uncool of me. Lulu bags are water resistant and fit inside my purse, though – so I can’t complain! I’m working on investing in a better lunch bag to fit my snacks for the flight. I haven’t come across any brands that I love.

Do you have any suggestions?

I hope these tips and tricks help you with planning your next trip! Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to leave a comment (they make me happy)!

Until next time!


  1. September 5, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    I love this! Looking for the brown rice crackers ASAP. I also remember when we drove back from Vegas and you got crackers and the freshly ground peanut butter as your car snack, some things don’t change 🙂 Love you and so proud of you!

    • Carrie Tyler
      September 6, 2017 / 8:55 am

      You have SUCH a good memory! I completely forgot about that! God, this peanut butter obsession must have started earlier than I thought… Thank you so much, Olivia!! Listening to your podcast is on my list of to-dos this week. xo

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