There are things in life that you never want to put in your mouth: your foot, dirt, electrical cords, and airline food, for example. The latter, airline food, is something that some people don’t have to worry about anymore: many flights no longer serve full meals and instead hand out a bag of crackers and a soda the size of a shot glass. Still, this lack of food might be better than handing out an entire airline meal: unless you’re sitting in first class, an airline meal is sure to sit in your stomach like a rock.
With the lack of food, or at least edible food, airplanes are often things that allow hunger to take flight. This leaves people helpless: getting up and going to a diner or a cafeteria isn’t exactly feasible. For this reason, it’s important to take snacks on your flight, snacks that will leave you satisfied without contributing to jet lag or air sickness.
Candy: Yes, candy may go against everything you’ve ever read in the brochures at your doctors and dentist office, but candy is a great airline food. Not only is it easy to transport, but it helps to hold you over as you go from point A to point B. The chewing motion most candy requires can also help to keep your ears from becoming uncomfortably clogged as altitude increases.
Trail Mix or Dried Fruit: It’s healthy, it’s easy to carry, and it’s satisfying. Taking a bag of trail mix or dried fruit on a plane is a great way to snack without feeling guilty. It’s also a great thing to bring along if you have kids; it will keep them busy while forcing them to eat well. However, because salt can contribute to jet lag, it’s a good idea to purchase a trail mix that is unsalted or low in sodium.
Crackers: Sure, the stewards and stewardesses will probably give you a bag of crackers during flight, but those bags contain about three crackers and a whole lot of air. Instead of relying on them to feed you, simply feed yourself and bring a box of crackers in your carry-on. These can hold you over until you eat a decent meal, and they can also help you to ward of things like airsickness.
Bottle of Water: No one wants to be that person who has to keep getting up to use the bathroom, but drinking enough water on a flight will help keep you from feeling lethargic when the flight ends. Instead of relying on the airline staff to give you a bottle of water – as their bottles are generally as small as possible – bring your own bottle and drink liberally during the flight. If you are that worried about the bathroom thing, simply request an aisle seat.
Bagels: Skipping breakfast and getting on a morning flight is a great way to find yourself starving at 30,000 feet. Instead of not eating, or eating something loaded with fat and preservatives, board the plane with a bagel. Many airports are loaded with bakeries so if you don’t bring one from home, it should be relatively easy to find one before your flight takes off.
There are a million and eight things that make flying uncomfortable…but being hungry will compound the discomfort dramatically. Plan ahead and pack food that is easy to carry and easy to eat (boarding a plane with a plate of crab legs is probably not the best idea). Staying full during flight is the first step in making your ride as least turbulent as possible.