Mary-Linh Tran

Editorial Assistant at Kitchen Stories

Wave goodbye to all those times you’ve stood in line at the airport food court debating whether it’s okay to spend $7 on a slice of pizza (guilty), and start being the kind of person who packs their own travel snacks. Trust us, your wallet and your body will thank you. Whether you’re gearing up for a 7-hour road trip, flight, or hike, these portable homemade treats will reduce some of the travel stress, keep you full, remain intact in your backpack, and are TSA-approved. Plus, you can tailor them to your own tastes and preferences!

Candied nuts, toasted nuts, all the nuts

There’s a reason why nuts are always found in trail mix or, in German, Studentenfutter (student food): they’re packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and they’re nonperishable, so you never have to worry about them going bad. They also fill you up quickly, so a small handful goes a long way. I like to coat my nuts with honey and shredded coconut, but you can simply candy them in a pan with granulated sugar. For those who prefer savory snacks, shake the nuts in a bag with salt and pepper, or toast them in the oven with paprika, cumin, tamari, or cayenne pepper.

DIY candied almonds

DIY candied almonds

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Dried fruit

Where there are nuts, dried fruit isn’t far behind. Did you know that dried fruit contains more fiber and antioxidants than fresh fruit? They’re also super durable and can withstand the pressure at the bottom of your backpack or hot temperatures. So go ahead, pack a whole bag of these pruny jewels, or toss them into the mixing bowl for packable granola bars or muffins.

Cranberry oatmeal muffins

Cranberry oatmeal muffins

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Oatmeal bars

Oatmeal bars

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Breakfast bars

Breakfast bars

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Granola biscotti

Granola biscotti

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Sandwiches and wraps

Packing sandwiches for a trip is something like a science. You don’t want something that’ll end up soggy, disassembled, or, in the very worst case scenario, makes you sick. Everything you select, from the type of bread to the condiments, filling, and how you wrap it, can make or break your sandwich snack.

An important thing to remember when packing sandwiches or wraps is that not all foods can sit in warm temperatures for extended periods. If you’re going on a long road trip or hike, stay clear of eggs, tuna, fresh cheeses, and mayo. I generally avoid using condiments altogether for packed sammies, but if you can’t bear to have one without that special sauce, be sure to slather it between two sturdier ingredients like meat and lettuce to avoid squidgy slices of bread. Alternatively, you can opt for heartier breads like rolls or baguettes.

Pork belly banh mi

Pork belly banh mi

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Black bean and rice veggie burritos

Black bean and rice veggie burritos

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Greek inspired wrap

Greek inspired wrap

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Italian sandwich with prosciutto di Parma

Italian sandwich with prosciutto di Parma

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When I dip, you dip, we dip

Since I enjoy food that can be easily repurposed to add variety to my snack pack, dips, for me, are travel essentials. It’s so easy to roast a veg and toss it in a stand blender with garlic, tahini, olive oil, and citrus juice or vinegar for a DIY “hummus.” If you’re ambitious, you can also make your own pita or chips to go along with the dip, or, simply pack fresh veggies.

Carrot hummus with pita bread

Carrot hummus with pita bread

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White bean and fennel dip

White bean and fennel dip

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Chickpea-yogurt dip

Chickpea-yogurt dip

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Hummus, baba ghanoush and carrot salad trio

Hummus, baba ghanoush and carrot salad trio

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Mint Hummus

Mint Hummus

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Veggie chips

Making vegetable chips is easier than you might think and you can use up a ton of different veg to make them. From leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard to sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, veggie chips are a healthy and delicious way to satisfy any salty, carb-filled cravings you have while on the road. Not to mention, how you season them is entirely up to you! For extra thin crisps, use a mandolin.

Kale chips, 2 ways

Kale chips, 2 ways

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Beet chips with feta-yogurt dip

Beet chips with feta-yogurt dip

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Jalapeño cheese crisps

Jalapeño cheese crisps

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Energy bars for fuel

What I hate about traveling long distances is how quickly I feel bloated since I’m not moving my arms and legs. Luckily, energy bars are packed with virtuous carbs to relieve the spells of feeling bleh when traveling. Making energy bars is also a great way to use up dried fruit, nuts, seeds, dates, and oats. To boost the protein count, whisk in nut butter.

Muesli energy bites

Muesli energy bites

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Vegan granola bars

Vegan granola bars

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Bliss balls

Bliss balls

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Quick energy balls

Quick energy balls

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More delicious ideas for you