On a flight from Atlanta to Phoenix last Friday I watched as desperately hungry people ponied up $8, $12, $24 and more for “Market Fresh” in-flight snacks for themselves and their families. That’s some good money for what typically amounts to some Chex Mix®, a granola bar and maybe a slice of cheese.
Slightly more prepared travelers pulled out their reeking bags of McDonalds and Subway sandwiches that they picked up at the terminal.
Now I’ve broken down and purchased one of these overpriced meals, but — to put it mildly — I found the experience less than satisfying. And I just can’t stand airport fast food.
I’ve made it part of my routine packing to throw in a granola bar, a bag of nuts or some (yum, yum) juice pulp energy bars in my carry on. After all, during the craziness of air travel it’s easy to forget that you might get hungry on a flight. And if you’re in a small airport early in the morning, or on a small airplane, you may not get any chance to eat at all.
So here are six ways you can help lower your stomach’s growl and show your fellow passengers what a savvy traveler you are, all the while keeping the airlines from taking more of your hard-earned cash than necessary.
- Make your own mix of dried fruit and nuts. Add some grapes, whole grain crackers and some cheese that holds up well for traveling, like Babybel®. Say “Mmm” with each bite to make your neighboring passenger jealous.
- Cut up raw vegetables like carrots, celery, radishes and broccoli. Chomp away loudly to annoy your neighbor.
- Ask for some hot water from your flight attendant and mix in a packet of instant oatmeal. Depending on how annoying your neighbor is, try not to spill the hot water on them.
- Bring a vacuum-packed pouch of tuna and spread on some bagel or pita chips. The smell of the tuna will compete with the smell of your neighbor’s Egg McMuffin.
- Pack some hard-boiled eggs and clementine oranges for a breakfast snack. Hold up each clementine to your neighbor and ask “Don’t you think these are cute?”
- Make sandwich bites out of larger sandwiches and store in a Tupperware-type container to keep them intact. Whole grain breads with peanut butter or Nutella and honey are healthy, don’t need refrigeration and can keep the kids happy. Offer to sell one of your sandwich bites to your neighbor.
Also, keep in mind TSA requirements when packing foods. Liquids and gels need to be three ounces or less and put in your quart baggie when going through security.