Anyone who flies regularly will tell you, food on planes is limited at best, and packaged and processed at worst. Airport food has gotten better from a decade ago but, generally speaking, airports are full of temptations that are over-priced and bad for you.
These four tips will keep you satisfied and make you the envy of the person sitting next to you. This is especially critical if you are making a long-haul flight of four to six hours or more.
Grab Fruits from Your Local Grocery Store
Take some time the day before your trip to pick up fresh fruit at your local market. Firm apples, grapes, pears, bananas, oranges, and tangerines all travel well. Include napkins and an environmentally friendly, recycled plastic or wooden knife. If you bring 3 or 4 pieces of fruit, you’ll be most of the way there to the recommended 5 per day.
Cost Savings: A banana at the airport will set you back minimally $1.00 plus tax, and the cost at a typical grocery store is about $0.25. That’s a 75% savings for fruit that will be fresher and tastier than anything you could find at an airport.
Prepare A Sandwich With Frozen Bread and Condiments On The Side
Sandwiches are convenient Nomadic Food. The problem is that airport sandwiches are usually soggy and unappetizing, since they’re often a day or two old by the time you buy them. They’re also incredibly over-priced, and rarely contain healthy organic ingredients. Avoid these culinary disasters.
Instead of only thinking about your plane meal when you get to the airport, make a sandwich at home, prior to your trip. I enjoy going to my local artisanal bakery, and choosing a firm whole grain bread. For those of you on restricted gluten diets, you can choose gluten free bread. If you travel a lot, buy a whole loaf, and freeze the bread that you don’t use. Then, when it’s time to use the frozen bread for another trip, remove it from the freezer and make the sandwich with the frozen bread. This helps keep the sandwich cooler in transport. It will thaw by the time you are ready to eat it.
When choosing what type of sandwich to bring on your trip, I recommend a ham and cheese, made with great ingredients from a high-quality local deli. Fresh roasted chicken, turkey or roast beef also hold up well in transit. But options like chicken salad or tuna salad are too soggy for flights.
Also, avoid dressing your sandwich until it’s time to eat. You can carry your condiments using small bento sauce cups or Go Toobs, and add them on the plane.
Cost Savings: In most airports, a sandwich ranges from $10 to $15, plus tax. The healthier and far tastier option of making a sandwich at home will set you back about $1.50 to $4.00, depending on your ingredients. That’s at least a 60% savings for a $4 homemade sandwich instead of a $10 airport sandwich, and up to a 90% savings for a $1.50 homemade sandwich instead of a $15 airport option.
Bring Cut Veggies and Hummus
Let’s talk about what to avoid first. Those mini carrots you see packaged at the grocery store are often slimy and unappetizing. They might be preferable to chips, but with a little prep, you can do a lot better.
Buy a bag of fresh organic carrots, radishes and celery. Clean them all thoroughly, and cut each veggie into thin strips. The result will be an attractive, and easy to eat snack.
I recommend radishes in particular because they bring your acid level down, which makes your gut healthier and helps with digestion. The Japanese include radish in almost every meal for that reason. Plus, once you start eating them regularly, you start to miss them.
Carrots and celery are just healthy natural snacks. Combine them with hummus and you will be very satisfied on a long flight. In your bento box, include a little water or a couple of ice cubes in the box with the veggies to keep them fresh.
Cost Savings: While buying fresh veggies is simply not an option at most airports, it’s safe to say that you’ll save at least 75% by bringing your own.
Travel with A Lightweight Water Bottle
Plane travel dehydrates us. We should all be drinking several bottles of water on long haul flights, and avoiding too much caffeine or alcohol.
For any trip you make, bring a Vapur water bottle
to the airport empty and flat, and fill it after you go through security. Most major airports have purified water fountains that are free of charge. These Vapur bottles are attractive, rugged and light weight. These bottles are also reusable and last a very long time. I get hundreds of uses out of each Vapur bottle. That’s hundreds of bottles that don’t end up in the landfill.
Cost Savings: On one long haul round trip flight, it’s easy to spend $4 to $5 per bottle, which can add up quickly. If you have one bottle of water per flight, take two round trips per month, that adds up to minimally 48 bottles of water per year at a cost of at least $192. Beyond the economic benefits of bringing bottled water, just think about all the bottles that you’re eliminating from landfills.
Invest in Bento Boxes
If you are still using Tupperware or other types of plastic containers from the 20th century, that is better than nothing. But I have found a much better solution that is more stylish, compact and functional. Bento boxes are growing in popularity and the range now available is wonderful. A stylish bento box is a compact way to pack up your healthy plane food.