Essential Tips That Make Traveling With Food So Much Easier


Traveling with food is a struggle. It’s such an inconvenience to pack and lug around, and it can become quite costly. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Follow these tips and you’ll be able to travel with ease, save time, and enjoy your trip. Here are some simple ways you can reduce the stress of packing food for a trip, as well as some common mistakes people make when traveling with food.

The Biggest Mistakes Travelers Make When Traveling With Food

First of all, it’s important to refrain from buying foods that will spoil. Buying food that is perishable can lead to your purchase going bad before you even leave the airport. Make sure you buy food that won’t spoil on the flight, such as prepackaged snacks and drinks.

Next, don’t forget about your checked baggage! Keep liquids in a clear plastic bag or storage bin so they show through the x-ray machine. If you need to take an ice pack for your cooler, make sure you have a blanket or towel to wrap around it so it doesn’t melt and leak into your luggage.

Third, keep track of all your foods! You should bring a notebook with you on your trip and write down what was in each container. This will help when packing later on and prevent any mix-ups.

Fourth, always make sure you pack light! Traveling with too much weight can be difficult and may also cause damage to your luggage. So before leaving home, take out as many items as possible that are not necessary for the trip (i.e., clothes).

Fifth, don’t forget about washing dishes! Sometimes people forget this step because they’re so focused on packing their food properly; however it’s important to remember that dishes need to be washed after eating if they’ll be used again before heading home (even if just using cold water).

How to Pack Your Food?

First, you should travel with food that is already pre-packaged. This will save a ton of time, as well as space in your bag. You can also purchase smaller portions of pre-packaged foods and freeze them in smaller bags. If you are going on a long trip, you should also invest in a cooler; they’re much more effective than packing food in ice packs or bags of ice.

What to Keep in Your Carry-On?

  • Pack your food in smaller portions.
  • Pack food that can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
  • Keep your food in bags or containers with lids to avoid spilling and having to wash dishes.
  • Wrap sandwiches, bread, and other small foods in paper towels or napkins for easy transport without dirtying your hands.
  • Seal liquids tightly in one-gallon ziplock bags and place them in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t pack anything with a lot of liquid unless you can seal it tightly enough so it doesn’t leak during travel time or when you get to where you’re going.
  • Pack snacks and drinks separately from the rest of your food; if they spill, they won’t go everywhere!
  • Use reusable grocery bags instead of plastic bags for packing (you’ll also avoid a lot of trash).
  • Bring a water bottle that fits inside your carry-on bag.

What to Keep in Your Checked Luggage?

If you are packing your food, make sure to pack it in a checked bag. This way if your luggage goes missing, you won’t be without food for long.
Don’t forget that the weight you bring onto the plane counts against your checked luggage limit, so pack light and choose air-friendly foods! Pack things like fresh fruit and vegetables in resealable bags to avoid them drying out or turning brown.

To Eat or Not to Eat? That is the Question!

When it comes to traveling with food, there are many options. You could choose to eat at the hotel or restaurant that you’re staying at, order room service, pack a meal in your bag, or buy groceries when you get there. If you pack a meal in your bag, it’s important to be mindful of the flyover states in the U.S., which can be quite warm during the summer months (and cold in the winter months).

Packing for Airplanes

One of the most common mistakes people make when traveling with food is packing for airplanes. Airplanes are notoriously restrictive with space, and there’s even a height limit on carry-on luggage. Pack your food in leak-resistant bags or containers to avoid any messes. Additionally, pack your food in a cooler bag to keep it fresh while you travel.

Refrigeration Tips

  • Pack foods that don’t need refrigeration in a cooler or ice pack.
  • When you have to refrigerate something, be sure to use an insulated bag with a leak proof gasket.
  • In a pinch, you can make your own makeshift cooler with a ziplock bag and ice.
  • Keep food in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it. When traveling, it’s easy to throw food away because of available space. But keep your food fresh and let it rest for at least two hours before eating so that bacteria will die off and spoilage will decrease.
  • If you’re going on an adventure trip, be sure to pack some dry goods like rice and beans, as well as spices and condiments that won’t require refrigeration.
  • Consider using alcohol gel packs if needed; they’re lightweight and give your food an extra dose of flavor without adding additional weight to your bag


Traveling with food can be tricky, but with these 12 tips it will be a cinch. Whether you’re going on a short trip or a long one, these tips will ensure your food is safe and ready to go when you need it.

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