How to Stay Healthy on a Plane

How to Stay Healthy on a Plane--Wandering Hello

Does this sound familiar? You’re all set for your vacation. Found a great travel deal, packed your bag, but then you have no idea how to find healthy eating options at the airport or on the plane? How do you stay healthy on a plane?

You’re not alone. Many people forget that airplane food and airport food isn’t the healthiest. I have some health issues with my thyroid. So being able to eat properly while on a plane is essential to the function of my thyroid and keeping my body and mind alert.

Eating well and staying hydrated on the plane can be troublesome but over the years I’ve come up with ideas to stay healthy on a plane.

Pack healthy snacks

When traveling people generally eat an unbalanced meal. They tend to eat more carbs because they are cheaper, easier to pack, and, on international flights, the meals are mostly composed of carbs. This is depriving the body of essential vitamins.

To combat this, I always pack my own snacks. I bring baby carrots, cucumber, an apple and/or bell peppers. Oatmeal and protein bars also travel well. If you’re on the plane, you can always ask for hot water for your oatmeal!

Remember when you pack fresh fruits and veggies to check the rules of the country you’re traveling to or eat them all before you land. Once I was searched in the United States because I had a cucumber from the Netherlands… Apparently, I’m not allowed to bring cucumber, but the carrots were fine!

Most international airlines offer special meals, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, halal, kosher, etc. Super convenient if you’re trying to stick to a diet or you have an allergy.

Personally, I never order the special meals. I find that the gluten-free options contain a lot of other alternatives, like margarine and soy milk. Two things that I don’t care for, however for others, it may be a helpful option.

And remember, you don’t have to eat everything.

You know when you were a kid and your mom said something to the extent, “you must finish all the food on your plate”? Sometimes I feel like because the flight attendant put all this food in front of me, I must eat it all. 

But that’s not true.

Keeping yourself healthy on a plane is more important.

Foods that travel well

  • Carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, apple, banana
  • Pre-cooked chicken or beef strips
  • Salad with dressing (small packets of dressing can go through security)
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein Bars
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Trailmix
  • Jerky
  • Hard cheese

Don’t bring stinky foods on a plane! Hardboiled eggs and sardines will stink up the place. I bought an egg once. It was awkward and my neighbors didn’t appreciate it.

Avoid sticky foods like oranges. The juices of an orange get everywhere. I try avoiding them on planes even though I love them.


For me, vitamins are an everyday thing anyway. Because I have thyroid issues I must keep my body functioning well so I take vitamin C, B, and D every day to boost my immune system, keep up my energy, and keep my bones and muscles strong.

Traveling shouldn’t be any different. In fact, because you’re traveling you want your immune system strong and working it’s best!

When I travel, I do not bring the pill bottles with me

Stay Hydrated!

I carry an empty water bottle with me now because I hate spending 3 euros for a tiny water bottle just because it’s at an airport. 

Recently, I’ve noticed longer flights have water bottle filling stations on the plane!

If there isn’t a filling station, every chance I get, I ask for water or juice.

Also, remember that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body. When traveling I limit coffee to one cup in the morning hours and I tend to skip the wine.


When I’m traveling long distances, I get cramps in my back and legs. My body is not used to staying seated for so long since I cycle and do yoga almost every day. To stay healthy on a plane, I make sure to get out of my seat every hour or so and walk around. I know I might sound (and appear crazy if you happened to sit beside me), but I don’t care. I travel so often now and I don’t want to risk scary things like deep-vein thrombosis. While I’m up, I stretch my legs, my back, and arms. I’ve also found some great resources for stretches while seated. You can find them here and here.

How do you stay healthy while on a plane? Have you ever done yoga on a plane?


xo, Erin Kay

How to Stay Healthy on a Plane--Wandering Hello

Comments (3)

  1. Reply

    I always bring a small container with a sliced apple, nuts and dried fruit. Of course a reusable water bottle is a must! Sometimes I will even bring slices of homemade banana bread or another treat with me.

  2. Reply

    I always wonder whether or not we can take food on the plane, so I usually opt out and buy junk at the duty free. Now that I know that is not necessarily the case, I can make better choices. Thank you!

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