Staying healthy while traveling can be a challenge to say the least. Especially during long distance flights where you’re left relying on flight food. Unless, of course, you’re organised and intentional and ready to embrace some of the BYO flight snacks I’m about to introduce you to.
Since relocating from Australia to the US, followed by a move to the UK over the span of 5 years, we have taken the long journey back to Sydney every year to visit family and friends. A trip involving close to 30 long hours of travel, which has given me plenty of practice when it comes finding my mojo with healthy travel foods.
In just a few days we will once again embark on the journey from London to Sydney. This time with two young kids, lots of extra snacks, a super charged iPad and a positive resolve to have many lighthearted laughs in moments of chaos (…let’s be real, those moments are gonna happen).
Nyoutritious Travel Foods
Having healthy options while traveling is key to feeling your best and beating many common travel complaints. Bringing your own snacks during long flights not only saves you eating flight food (which is usually void of any nutritional value whatsoever), but also allows you to eat healthier and eat when you’re actually hungry, both of which will help you adjust better to the new time zone. Other than eating well, the best thing to remember to drink plenty of water. Even when you don’t feel thirsty (…thirst is not the first sign of dehydration). Drinking plenty during the flight and in the first 12 hours after landing is important and helpful for your digestive system, your skin and for easing the jetlag. Because the air inside the flight is so incredibly dry it will dehydrate you much faster than usual, and often without you noticing. For this same reason, it is equally as important to avoid dehydrating foods and drinks, such as caffeine, alcohol and salty foods.
Here are some of my favourite healthy travel foods…
Chia Seed Crackers (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
These make an amazing snack full stop and are perfect for traveling! Packed with nutrients, nourishing omega 3 fats and healthy fibre, they are not only filling but also super tasty and easy to bring along.
Mango Hazelnut Granola Clusters (dairy free, gluten free option)
These healthy granola clusters make a great snack for you and your littles. They are very low in sugar compared to commercial granola varieties and cluster together beautifully, making them perfect for a finger snack. They are full of healthy fats and fibre and you can add whatever dried fruits you want, or leave them out altogether. For a gluten free version, try my Nutty Paleo Granola instead, which is equally as delicious.
Chia Seed Sandwich Thins (gluten free, grain free, dairy free, vegan)
These sandwich thins are nutritious and super high in fibre and healthy fats. They are incredibly filling and excellent for promoting healthy digestion, and can be used as you would any other sandwich bread or eaten plain or dipped in some hummus.
Raw Energy Power Balls (dairy free, gluten free, grain free, vegan, raw)
Made with dates and heart healthy nuts, these power balls are a great treat to help satisfy your sweet tooth during long hours of travel. I prefer these over chocolate any day and my son loves them too! For a less messy affair, skip the last step of rolling them in coconut, sesame and cacao as the coconut will go everywhere.
Healthy Breakfast Cookies (dairy free, gluten free option, vegan)
These are great if you’re traveling with young children. I was appalled when I saw that the main meal for my 2 year old old toddler was a pouch of sweet custard, a banana and a small tub of apple sauce. So bringing kids snacks is a must for us and these cookies are not only filling, but also nutritious while completely refined sugar free. And they’re so easy your toddler can probably make them (ok maybe not, but they can help).
Homemade Trail Mix
Making your own trail mix is not only easy but also healthier than most commercial types, which are often loaded with extra and completely unnecessary sugars and syrups. This post by Teresa Cutter has a great recipe as well as some good details about the nutritional benefits of the different types of nuts, seeds + dried fruits. My son recently took a liking to macadamia nuts and almonds, so I will definitely be making my own for this trip.
Hummus (gluten free, grain free, vegan, dairy free)
I know its a boring classic. But I am a big fan of veggie sticks with hummus and love bringing a small tub (under 100 ml) of my homemade creamy hummus, which is so delicious. For a grain free hummus try my vegetable hummus or my immune boosting zucchini walnut hummus, which are quite similar in taste but completely bean free. To go with the hummus I pack sticks of carrot, bell pepper, cucumber and celery in little zip lock bags, all of which are super rehydrating and rich in immune boosting nutrients.
Bring your own herbal tea bags. Licorice tea is a current favourite of mine, especially this liquorice peppermint tea from Pukka Teas. Not only is this tea delicious and sweet but it is also great for promoting healthy digestion, which is a bonus during long flights. I always opt for caffeine free herbals teas as caffeine is dehydrating and can worsen jetlag + dehydrate the skin (more on that later).
Large water bottle
I drink a lot of water, especially when traveling. Keeping hydrated is the best way to beat travel hangovers and minimise jetlag. It also prevents you from getting dehydrated, which will make you feel extra sluggish, compromise your digestive system and have you craving sweet and junky foods. Bring an empty large bottle in your carry on and have the staff fill it up during the flight (note that during short distance flights the airline staff may not be allowed to fill bottles with water unless you’re pregnant or nursing).
Nyoutritious Skin Food
Long flights can also be incredibly taxing on your skin. Other than eating well and drinking plenty of water, nourishing your skin with the right skincare products is essential if you want keep your skin looking its best while traveling.
Below are my top 3 skincare products I always bring with me during long distance flights…
Nourishing shea butter moisturizer
I love using my nourishing body butter when flying. Made from a combination of raw unrefined shea butter and other oils, this moisturiser is rich and full of nourishing fatty acids that penetrate and absorb deeply into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and healthy. I use it on my body, my hands and in my face when flying to prevent my skin from becoming too dry. It is absolutely amazing!
Rose water facial mist
This rose water mist is a perfect way to freshen up your face while flying and doubles as a skin tonic as well. Best of all, it smells great and is perfect for taking to the beach too if you’re headed somewhere warm.
Mini sized castile soap
Castile soaps are made from saponified oils and are gentle, all natural and non-drying on the skin. I love using this as a facial cleanser during flights. Off flights I use this soap as a body wash for myself and the kids and it is in fact so natural that it can be used as a toothpaste as well… I have tried this with the peppermint flavoured soap and found it a tad too weird. But hey, it is possible, and good to know if you’re really stuck and don’t have any toothpaste. Ha!
While we’re off to Australia, I wish you all a great weekend! I’ll be looking forward to posting another great Healthy Holiday christmas recipe again next week, from the other side of the world.