My first trip overseas was in 2005 to Cologne, Germany, as part of World Youth Day (a Catholic pilgrimage to see the Pope with over 1 million other people from across the world). When my mother helped me pack, I realized that half of my luggage was filled with snacks (Nutri-Grain bars, Club Crackers, pre-Gluten Free). I told her that I would not need this food and, furthermore, the airlines wouldn’t allow it.
Little did I know that my mother is a genius and I became the only person in our travel group to consistently have things to eat and, yes, the airlines allowed it just fine.
I recently went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with my significant other’s family. Since my work schedule is unconventional, I decided to fly to Myrtle Beach a few days after they did. My luggage was chock full of gluten free snacks: Rasins, Crasins, gluten free chips, etc. My boyfriend’s sister asked me how I could get all of this food onto the airplane, and I simply told her that I did without question. She had never realized that someone could bring their own food onto a plane!
The subject of this article, of course, is bringing your own food while you fly. The benefits of BYOGFF (did you get that one?) vastly outweigh not doing so. You can control your portions as well as how the food is prepared. you can minimize your food costs while traveling. If you are in a family situation when you do not know the next time the group is eating, you can pack yourself a snack so as to avoid buying something, thus wasting money and calories. Even more so, different airports have different options for buying food, and some are not as desirable as others (My favorite, food-wise: Atlanta. My least favorite, food-wise: The international terminal at JFK Airport). Come to think of it, most airports have crummy food, that’s just the way it is. Especially for gluten free eaters.
What can you bring, both in your checked bags and your carry-ons, that will curb your hunger and keep you healthy? Here are some of my favorite things to bring:
- Almonds! A handful of these help regulate your blood sugar and pack you with protein and fiber.
- Larabars. They are gluten free, packed with fruit and nuts, and taste delicious. My favorite is the coconut bar.
- Luna Bars. I prefer the taste of Larabars but these are also a great snack to pack.
- Raisins. Little boxes of these dried grapes offer a portion size perfect for a traveler on-the-go in between meals.
- Craisins: Similar to raisins, but deliciously different.
- Gluten Free Pretzels. You never know when you need a crispy snack!
- A banana. This is permissible by the TSA in the US ! Obviously a banana would only keep for a little bit but, again, would be fine for a small flight.
- Small bags of Lay’s Potato Chips. You just may need that salty, greasy snack, and again, you are saving the money from buying one for $2 at the airport. They are absolutely allowed in your luggage!
I have traveled within and outside of the United States with these items and have never had an issue with them. Active.com recently published an article on this discussion, and while some of their food options are not gluten free, the article still gives you more ideas to spark your creativity.
I can assure you that I will be packing these gluten free treats when I cross the pond in 3 months to Scotland! 🙂 The countdown (and the travel plans) begin….
Happy Monday, GFAs!