Snacks are an essential part of travel. They keep hunger — and impulsive, hanger-driven decisions — at bay, sustaining long days on the road (or on your feet). They also offer a tiny piece of home, whether it's the familiarity of a pack of peanut M&Ms when you're in a foreign country or the knowledge that you've got your go-to granola handy for breakfast.
With snacks and travel on our mind this month, we reached out to five road warriors, people who are away from home as often as not. They've got snacking down to a science — and they're sharing their tried-and-true tips.
At the intersection of food and travel sits writer, recipe developer, and world-class adventurer Gaby Dalkin. On her popular blog, What's Gaby Cooking, Gaby guides her readers everywhere from Copenhagen to Lima to the cities and valleys of her native California, one meal at a time. Back home in Los Angeles, she takes her international inspiration straight into the kitchen.
How does a food-obsessed traveler stay sated when she's constantly on the road? We chatted with Gaby to get her tips for snacking en route. Turns out, all you need is an open mind and a little advance planning.
Gaby's Snacking Tips
1. Skip the in-flight meal.
"I never eat the in-flight meal," Gaby says emphatically. "If it's a domestic flight on Virgin or Alaska, I'll order the cheese plate and I'll definitely eat that, but I don't really love in-flight service."
Instead, the blogger packs a lunch box with a combination of dry foods that don't spoil easily. Try her favorites yourself:
- Dried fruit
- Vegetable chips
- Seasonal fruit
Gaby also favors simple meals like hummus wraps and burritos: "Things that you can wrap up and eat without making a total mess — I tend to gravitate towards those."
2. Keep an open mind (and stomach).
If you're hitting the road, dare to keep your options open. "I explore the world through food," Gaby says, explaining that she likes to be on the lookout for great places to stop en route to her destination. "I just got back from a road trip from California to Texas, so we actually didn't pack a ton of snacks because we'd stop in New Mexico and try their chili or get tacos in Arizona. We'd try and stop in key places throughout the drive and try different cuisines."
3. Get tips from the locals.
Gaby suggests putting your feelers out for the best places to eat before you head out of town. "I'll post about it on social media and ask people where the best places to eat are in whatever city I'm traveling to," she says. "Then I put them all on a Google map and keep it on my phone, so if I'm ever wandering a city and I'm hungry, I can easily just access the Google map and see what's around me."
Even if you don't know anyone at your destination, a little research in advance will go a long way. "I plotted all the gelato places in Italy," Gaby says of her birthday trip last month. "Whenever my husband and I needed a little treat, I would just open up the map and see what was the closest one in walking distance."
Is gelato your favorite midday snack when you're traveling?