Tips and tricks for eating well, and on a budget, on the road

Tips and tricks for eating well, and on a budget, on the road

 By: Ali Halpin 

Between having a job that travels a lot, traveling for races, and growing up the daughter of a flight attendant I have learned many tips and tricks over the years to avoid overpriced airport food and eat nutritious food on the road. With travel back in the swing again here are some tips and tricks for staying fueled on the road for your next race or bike vacation!

I always try to avoid spending money on food at the airport. It’s mostly overpriced and often I can’t find what I am looking for. Here are some go-to’s for packing airport food that will travel well and make it through security. And a few suggestions if you get caught hangry at the airport.

  •  Oatmeal cups! This is a go-to for when I have morning flights. I particularly love the collapsible cups Picky Bars makes as they pack flat! These are also really handy for packing extras for breakfast once you arrive at your destination. Hot water is easy to find. My go-to’s are the travel stores, like Hudson News, or Starbucks. If you want to eat it on the plane just ask for a cup of hot water during the drink service and voile you have breakfast on the plane! 

  • Yogurt cups. These are great and a good source of protein if you are going to eat them within a few hours of leaving your house. The trick here is to find a cup that is under 4oz. I particularly like the small Noosa cups, lots of flavor options and under the 4oz mark.
  • Dried fruit and nuts. I like to pack these in a reusable baggie, big fan of Stasher bags, so that I can purchase more at a store when I arrive at my destination and refill for the flight home. Dried fruit is nice to travel with as you don’t have to worry about fishing out squashed or bruised fruit from your bag. If I do pack fresh fruit I grab an apple as it can handle the abuse of travel.

  • Cheese sandwich. My favorite on the go lunch! I like to add cheese, greens, avocado, mustard, pickled red onions (or pickles!). This travels really well and you don’t have to worry about any of the ingredients spoiling on you. PB and J’s are also a good alternative.
  • Instant Coffee! There are a ton of great craft coffee options out there now with instant coffee options. I am a coffee snob and trust me there are options that are delish! Just ask for hot water at drink service on the plane and add your instant coffee for a solid cuppa joe on, no more crappy airline coffee! 

  • If you find yourself looking for a good option at the airport here are some of my go-to quick grabs at the airport store:
    • Hard-boiled eggs.
    • Nuts or trail mix.
    • String cheese.
    • Yogurt.
    • Crackers.


Pro Tip: Put all your food in one of the plastic Eliel bags that your new shorts or jersey came in. This makes it easy to pull out at security. I have been pulled at security numerous times for that random energy bar at the bottom of my bag. Plus you will up your airport ninja game! Happy travels.

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