15 Food Gifts That Travel Well (and Recipes to Make Them!)

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(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

For many of us, the only way to see family this time of year is to take a long drive in the car or a flight across the country. So when it comes to food gifts, it’s important to consider not only how scrumptious that treat is (hello, fudge), but also how well it can withstand a few hours or days on the road. After all, no one wants to find a smushed cake under the Christmas tree!

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 15 food gifts up to the task — and recipes from our archives to help you make them this week!

What Makes a Food Travel Well?

To qualify as a transportable food, all of our chosen food gifts had to meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • A shelf life of a few days or weeks
  • Able to be easily and neatly packed in a hard container
  • Won’t fall apart, smush, melt, spoil, or become otherwise ruined when jostled
  • TSA-friendly, or at least checked luggage-friendly if wrapped and packed carefully

Think that’s a tall order? Not so! There are many treats that are up to the challenge, and all of them are perfect for gifting. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, here are our 15 top picks:

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

1. Soft Caramels

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(Image credit: Kristen of The Kitchen Sink)

2. Brittle and Toffee

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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

3. Fudge

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(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

4. Granola

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. Candied and Spiced Nuts

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. Shortbread Cookies

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(Image credit: Coco Morante)

7. Bark

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(Image credit: Naomi Robinson)

8. Marshmallows

Get a Recipe → Eggnog Marshmallows

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. Caramel Corn, Popcorn, and Other Snack Mixes

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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

10. Truffles

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(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

11. Cocoa and Tea Mixes

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(Image credit: Emily Han)

12. Extracts and bitters

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

13. Loaf Cakes and Quick Breads

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

14. Infusions

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(Image credit: Emily Han)

15. Flavored Salts and Sugars

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