December 10th, 2018
traveling with food

Traveling With Food: TSA, Prep and Tips To Stay On Track

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Have an upcoming business trip or family vacation planned? Worried that you may be left with unhealthy options at your destination? Plan ahead and pack for success!

Whether you’re on the road for a weekend trip or flying cross-country for an important business meeting, knowing what foods travel best and how to prepare for time away from your kitchen will help you stay focused on your fitness goals while still enjoying your getaway.

Throwing the entire refrigerator in your trunk probably isn’t an option, but there are a few great ways to pack food, choose the best snacks, and find travel-friendly foods that can be tossed in a purse or backpack to travel as frequently as you do!

TSA: What to Pack? What to Leave?

Meal Prep Proteins
Flying and traveling with food can be a challenge if you aren’t sure what can get through TSA, and what to keep in your checked bag or at home.

TSA does not permit any liquids over 3 ounces through security, and this applies to some food that you may not think of as “liquid,” so here’s a heads up!

  • Yogurt, peanut butter, applesauce, and other gelatinous or semi-liquid foods CANNOT pass through security over 3 ounces.
  • Travel tip: purchase single serving peanut butter packets to toss in your carry-on, rather than having the entire jar confiscated.
  • TSA will allow you to bring most other food items, including (but not limited to): protein powder, cooked meals, nuts, chips, all solid foods.
  • Travel tip: Bring an empty reusable water bottle through security and fill it afterwards to keep dehydration at bay and save money on water bottles!

Traveling With Food? Keep It Cool

The best way to travel with foods that may require refrigeration is to invest in a cooler bag.

Meal prep cooler bags come equipped with Tupperware that fits neatly inside, or head to Wal-Mart to pick up a simple mini cooler to store your prepared meals.

Cook foods like rice, potatoes, vegetables, or meats in advance, and pack them in your cooler bag to carry on the flight with you to avoid airplane mystery meals!

Travel tip: If your cooler bag comes equipped with freezer bags, make sure the bags are completely frozen when you arrive at TSA, otherwise they will be taken!

Travel food prep and portion control

Being mindful of a balanced diet is always key to nutritional success, and traveling doesn’t have to be an exception.

Stock up on the major macro foods (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and portion them at home to keep you on track and full of all the most important nutrients.

Travel tip: Ziploc baggies of different sizes are a great way to store clear portions and keep grab-n-go options for your long travel days.

Carbohydrates such as oatmeal, cereals, and rice cakes travel well and require little to no preparation at your destination.

100-calorie packs of almonds or single serve peanut butter packets can provide you with healthy fats in small, manageable portions while you travel.

Lastly, protein powder and protein bars are great to toss in your bag before heading out on a long hike or road trip!


Whether you’re going away for two days or two weeks, being prepared with snacks and fitness friendly options can help you achieve your goals without canceling your travel plans.

If you are taking a flight, bring dry goods or prepared meals in a carry-on cooler bag to keep you full and satisfied at the airport.

Portion your snacks at home so that you can leave your food scale behind to lighten your luggage.

And finally, choose snacks and food options that provide you with a variety of macronutrients in order to keep a balanced intake while you travel! Happy trails!

Heather Roberts

Heather is a 24 year-old personal trainer and fitness nutritionist living in Boston, MA. Heather has competed in bodybuilding and is now learning powerlifting. She loves learning new training techniques and diversifying herself as an athlete. Heather works with nutrition clients to help teach them flexible dieting and how to create a maintainable healthy lifestyle. Her belief is that consistency is key and everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Heather has used her social media platforms to connect with other open-minded, fitness-loving individuals who share a passion for food and healthy living! Connect with her on Instagram @heatherrfit.

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