This is part 4 of KINETICOACH's Nutrition blog series.  To get up to speed, please reference Parts 1, 2, and 3 . Today, we'll start giving specific examples of food choices you can make during travel.

Long travel days and tight flight schedules can leave you hungry and with limited food options.   The key to healthy eating during long travel days is planning and preparation with a bit of pre-trip experimentation.  Let's look at ways to prepare and pack for travel-day so you can arrive fueled and focused.  We'll use a hypothetical travel day as our template.

Assumptions:  9 hour travel day (door-to-door) with 2 flights. Early AM departure (0530).  Upon arrival, you have no immediate commitments.

Gameplan:  Pack 1 or 2 airline-friendly meals and 2-3 "snack" options

Step 1:  Acquire Materials

  1. Insulated lunch container, ideally collapsible (checkout this & this) and small re-useable icepack (<3.0 fl Oz)

  2. Plastic utensils

  3. Leakproof containers that fit in your lunch bag

  4. Small cloth or kitchen hand-towel

  5. Small empty plastic bag for trash

Step 2:  Acquire Food

  1. Primary Meal - In this case, we're going to cook a meat & veggies mix for our primary meal - this will get us breakfast and lunch

    • 1 pound 90/10 ground meat

    • 1 pound chicken breast

    • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash

    • Leafy greens (such as spring mix, kale, or chard)

    • 1 medium sweet potato or white potato

    • Spices (garlic salt, pepper, etc.)

  2. For Snacks

    • Jerky (beef, turkey, chicken, salmon) or something like Epic Bars & Epic Bites (one of our favorites for travel)

    • Travel-friendly fruit & veggies such as apples, carrots, or sliced bell peppers. Dried fruits in small pre-measured quantities are OK, but they can lead to over eating.

    • Small, pre-sized nut packs (almonds, cashews, macadamia), or measure your own and store in ziplocks. Salted, roasted nuts are hyperpalitable and can lead to overeating, so take the time to pre-measure serving sizes.

    • Consider nut/fruit-based bars (Lara Bars, RX Bar, Kind Bar), but only pack one, as these are easy to over eat.

Step 3:  Meal Preparation & Snack Layout (prepare the night before you travel)

  1. Mix all ingredients (cut squash and potato into small squares or slices) in to one stir-fry pan.

  2. Cook on medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding spices as you stir.

  3. Let cool for 30 minutes prior to packing.

  4. Pack into leak-proof storage containers and place in refrigerator overnight. Two medium-sized containers of food will cover most adults for a 9 hour travel day.

  5. Place snacks (jerky, Epic bars, fruit, nuts, etc), the hand towel, and plastic bag for trash into your carry-on bag

  6. Place ice pack in the freezer

Step 4: Pack (Morning of travel)

  1. Place leak-proof containers filled with your primary meals into your leak-proof lunch bag -(consider adding small strips of duct tape to either end of the containers to help hold the lids shut).

  2. Add pre-planned snack fruit or veggies (i.e. apple, carrots) into the bag and place the ice pack on top.

  3. Add plastic utensils to the bag.

  4. Place bag in carry-on if there's room, or consider it your "one additional item" for carry-on.

Step 5:  Enjoy the fruits...and meats, and veggies, of your labors by arriving satisfied and ready to take care of business.

Stay tuned for Part 5 of this blog series where we tackle food choices in hotels, restaurants, and business conferences.


KINETICOACH is the best fitness App for business travel, vacation, and home.  It was developed by business travelers and fitness professionals with more than 30 years of personal coaching experience and decades using hotel gyms.