What You Need to Know about Airline Carry-on Food

November 29, 2012 by

Airline Snack

With many flights serving expensive meals, or little packets of pretzels or peanuts instead of meals, more people travel with food in their carry-on luggage.

For those longer flights, you can even find accessories designed to keep food hot or cold. Before you do that, though, it’s important to understand what is allowed per the TSA guidelines.

Do’s and Don’ts for Airline Carry-On Food

Packing your own food while traveling not only can save you money, but it offers more control over the calories you’re eating, plus the quality of the food. You can stuff your carry-on with trail mix, fruit, or cookies, and chips.

When it comes to the TSA regulations, the ones that impact the food you carry on to a plane are the no liquid rules.

Some foods you wouldn’t think of as liquids are not allowed. This includes yogurts, puddings, applesauce, soups, jelly, Jello, fruit cups in syrup, and often homemade goodies you’ve canned yourself.

Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote

Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote

Ideas for Toting Airline Carry-on Food

Snacks are easy enough to add to your carry-on luggage, but meals are a little trickier, if you expect to keep things hot or cold.

In reality, nuts and fruit are ideal. They come in their own natural “containers” and the protein and oils in the nuts will help you stay satisfied until you reach your destination.

However, not everyone thinks of nuts or fruit as a meal. If you really want to try your hand at bringing your own meals, here are a couple of accessories that can help:

Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote: This picnic tote is small enough to be a carry on, and has insulated sections that makes it easy to separate hot and cold items.

The nylon exterior is tough enough to handle travel wear and tear, and it is designed with an adjustable shoulder strap that makes it easier for different people to carry it comfortably. It also features a section for carrying flatware, should you need it.

Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack

Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack

Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack: The Picnic Time Zuma Cooler Backpack works much the same way but allows for the convenience of carrying it on your back with a backpack design. The ThermoGuard insulation works to keep food warm or cool for hours.

Photo credits:  library_chic,,

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1 comment

  1. Ruby T. says:

    I often travel with trail mix but kind of wondered why I never get stopped with it! I thought the dried fruits and nuts and seeds would be part of the “no agriculture” rule, but apparently not. Thankfully!

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