Whether you’re all piling into the SUV for a road trip this summer or embarking on your first flight since COVID for a long-overdue vacation, you’ll want to make sure you pack lots of snacks. After all, you never know when flight delays or road construction are going to keep you from getting to your destination on time, and the last thing you want is a hangry group weighing you down more than your overstuffed luggage. So just what makes the perfect snack? These options are healthy, don’t require refrigeration, travel easily, and pass TSA requirements.
Seasoned dried meat made with beef or pork is packed with protein, can be held at room temperature, stays fresh long after opening the package, and fills you up. Jerky can even be a meal replacement in a pinch and comes in savory flavors like teriyaki, sweet lime and chili, and barbecue. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, there are options made from mushrooms, tofu, and more.
Try: KRAVE Sea Salt Original Beef Jerky, Sweet Earth Kung Pao Plant-Based Jerky
Don’t let that banana or bag of grapes get smashed in your bag or that apple turn bruised and mealy—pack dried versions of your favorite fruit instead. Raisins are fine, albeit boring; dried blueberries are filled with antioxidants, while dried cherries are an unexpected alternative to cranberries. You can also make like an astronaut with freeze-dried versions of strawberries or raspberries; just keep in mind that these are more easily crushed. If you have an air fryer or dehydrator, you can make all of these at home.
Try: Good & Gather Dried Blueberries, Trader Joe’s Freeze-Dried Strawberries
If you’re a salty snack fiend, choose an option made with popcorn, which touts tons of fiber; lighter options also have way less fat and salt than potato chips. Popcorn also has antioxidants that have been linked to improve blood circulation and digestive health, and it fills you up quickly, staving off the munchies until your next meal.
Try: Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn, Wegmans Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Today’s granola bars are miles beyond the sugar-filled and chocolate-covered treats from years ago. These days they’re made from ancient grains, natural sweeteners, nut butters, fruit, and seeds, and are minimally processed. One bar can give you upwards of 10 grams of protein and other nutrients; add in some juice or coffee and they also make a quick breakfast on the go.
Try: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Kind Bar, Nature Valley Packed Sustained Energy Bar
When garbanzo beans are roasted or air-fried and tossed with salt, they don’t just become addictively delicious; they are also a great plant-based source for fiber and protein. Several brands are available commercially, but this is also a snack that you can easily whip up in your air fryer or oven. Toss them with a little olive oil and sea salt, or your choice of seasonings like cumin or chili powder.
Try: The Good Bean Crunchy Chickpeas, Nutbox Salted Roasted Chickpeas
Pro Tip: To prevent single-use plastic water bottle waste, pack an insulated, reusable water bottle for everyone, which can be filled at the airport after you go through security. And to make your beverage more fun, buy a bottle of flavored drops to add after a refill, which are usually sweetened with a natural ingredient like Stevia.
Try: Mio Water Enhancer, SweetLeaf Water Drops
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