Air travel can be pretty dismal. Overworked flight attendants, grouchy passengers, Disneyland-esque lines at security—the whole experience can make even the calmest personalities embrace their inner Jekyll. But while most of what happens at the airport or on the plane is out of your control, there are a few things you can do to make your trip a lot less stressful, my favorite of which is the BYO-Picnic.
While your seatmates are sitting eating bags of peanuts meant for munchkins, you could be feasting on a delicious spread that requires minimal preparation but will make a huge difference in your onboard experience. Plus, you’ll save yourself a ton of cash—it’s shocking how much they charge for food and drinks at airports!
Prepare yourself now for the jealous looks from your seatmates! (And perplexed looks if you decide to do an iPhone photo shoot, like me!)
For an early morning flight, I like to pack a small serving of homemade granola and then pick up some coffee or tea with a yogurt at the airport to eat on the plane. Other options that work well:
Lunch or Dinner
This is where it gets exciting. There are so many creative meals you can put together that will travel well, and make your flight just that much more fun. I know, I’m pushing it a little here, but when you’re stuck in a shoebox for five hours, you’ve got to appreciate the little things!
Sandwiches are usually my first choice because they travel so well. I made myself a brie, salami, and arugula sandwich on ciabatta bread for my last flight and it was delish. A burrata, prosciutto, and basil combo also works well, or try goat cheese with roasted veggies and cracked black pepper for a wonderful vegetarian option.
If you want to add a little more pizzazz to your airplane picnic, try out one of these options:
It’s always good to have a few snacks with you—I like to make a homemade trail mix with Marcona almonds, pistachios, dried cherries, and M&Ms, and then I throw in a few Kind bars and an apple or banana. Other options are:
Airplane Picnic Essentials
Need further inspiration? Check out one of my favorite articles by Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52—even though it was written over 10 years ago, it still makes me laugh and pushes me to try new and delicious combos for my flights.
Tell me, what airplane picnics do you like to pack when you fly?
Photos courtesy of Niki Lowry.