Food Babe Travel Essentials

My favorite thing to do in the whole world is Travel. Traveling has only one down side in my mind – You can’t always have access to good organic & nutritious foods. Or can you?

I really don’t mind the airport waits, the long flights, or packing and unpacking. What I really don’t like is when I haven’t prepared and I get caught with my food babe pants down and have to eat something really dead. Not animal dead, but nutritionally dead. We are very fortunate to have access to so many wonderful living plant foods 24/7 here in Charlotte – but NOT like when you are in the St. Thomas Airport and they won’t let you leave after clearing customs you end up eating at their nutritionally void cafeteria – unless you take precautions!

Here’s my top travel must dos – This is a several part series, because I travel a lot and have lots of tricks up my sleeve!

PART 1 – The TOP 10 ideas on what to pack before you leave for the airport….

10. Pack small bags of organic quick cooking rolled oats, cinnamon, and raisins – they have hot water all most anywhere – instant and satisfying meal anytime of day, not just for breakfast. You can even leave out the raisins and add walnuts and cut up an apple to mix in or anything you like.

9. Buy little packs of dried organic green powder – my choice is Spriulina – it’s got a ton of chlorophyll and algae to keep you alkaline throughout your travels – mix with a carton of coconut water for a quick hydrating treat. This is nice when you don’t have access to a lot of green vegetables.

8. Chia seeds contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids, help keep your body stay hydrated and contain a bunch of fiber – Take an unopened bag with you on a trip and store in hotel minibar – add seeds to yogurt, salads, or drinks (When they mix with water they expand like gel and make your drink thicker) Make little baggies of them and take them with you and put in your pocket or purse before you go out for the day.

7. Pack a few apples, lemons and cayenne pepper – these can go a long way after a long flight. Use the lemon and pepper to detox your liver first thing in the morning by mixing it with hot water. The apples have a quick boost of fiber and keep hunger at bay until you can find your first meal upon arrival.

6. “Justin’s Organic Almond Butter” in single serve packages is amazing – just open and squeeze into your mouth or on a whole wheat cracker.

5. Buy a travel blender (Cuisinart makes a good one) and pack protein powder – Ask the hotel for fresh veggies and fruit each morning or whenever for a quick healthy meal to make in your hotel room.

4. I like to take organic cereal like “Optimum Natures Path” and make little pre made baggies portioned out for something to snack on – If you are like me, you probably get a little case of the munchies while traveling.

3. Pack Homemade trail mix – Carob Chips, Almonds and Raisins can last forever in your suitcase and can be a real pick me up.  Carry some organic dates, prunes, unsalted walnuts and unsalted cashews – the same kind of ingredients in a “Lara Bar” but more natural and less packaging…

Amazing & Giant Dates in Spain – La Boqueria on Las Ramblas in Barcelona. We ate at least one every day were were there!

2. *Always bring your first meal with you in the air – this is super easy, it’s like packing your lunch for work, but you are just doing it for the plane ride. Some of my favorite options are hummus sandwiches on sprouted wheat tortillas packed with organic greens, yogurt for breakfast (if you mix it with fruit in a small cup before hand, TSA won’t catch you with the liquid!), Use one of your oatmeal packages and ask for hot water at Starbucks (it’s free!). an assortment of raw veggies (think carrots, celery, peppers, brocoli), organic string cheese, or an avocado (yes, just eat it plain! It’s got a ton of fiber and fat to keep you full and avoid the snack cart)

*Food Babe Tip – When packing your food for the plane ride…. don’t use foil, it will set off the alarms in the xray machine and you’ll be late for your flight!

1. PACK A COOLER! Yes – check in a cooler. The possibilities are endless with a cooler, homemade frozen soups can play double duty as ice and meals, bring your own organic veggies, homemade hummus, goodies from health food stores you can’t easily get at a local supermarket, etc…. When I had to travel every week for work, I’d spend a little time on Sunday preparing my cooler – it didn’t take that much time and it was super rewarding to eat home cooked food for lunch or dinner on the road. As soon as I would get to the office I would unpack my cooler in the breakroom and I’d have homemade snacks and food for the next 3 days! While everyone was eating Subway or Salsaritas (loaded with preservatives, fat, sodium, etc), I was having hot tomato white bean soup and marinaded kale salad. (Don’t worry, I will share the recipes for those soon)

My Blue Cooler full of delicious goodness for a sailboat trip last Summer in St. Barts!
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47 Responses to “Food Babe Travel Essentials”

  1. MiniMe!

    Foodbabe…Where can I find Spriulina, Chia seeds and Carob Chips? What makes these particular items so nutritious/special? Can you also expand on why you recommend organic foods over conventional foods-what are the health benefits?

    Thanks so much!!!!

    • FoodBabe (to MiniMe!)

      Hey there Mini me – See my responses below – you can get these wonderful superfoods at any health food store near you. Even Vitamin Shoppe or GNC may have them. I will write soon about Organic vs. Conventional! Stay tuned!


      Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.
      Feel fuller faster: They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
      Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the “chia gel” can hydrate the body.
      Reduce your blood pressure: There’s evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.
      Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
      Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
      They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don’t need to be ground up.

    • FoodBabe (to MiniMe!)

      Check out this link on spirulina –

  2. MiniMe!

    Oh and that cooler is DABOMB.COM!…Also thanks for the tip about the foil! That will definitely save me some hassle during my future travels :)

  3. Helen

    Great ideas. I have taken a hot-plate and a small pan on trips and cooked collards (in Montana) where they didn’t even know what collards were. I love your ease with the process. It’s just a choice we make. Can’t wait for more.

  4. Rachel

    These travel tips will save me in turks and caicos! Can’t wait for more food babe tips.

  5. FoodBabe

    Here’s some facts on Carob Chips:

    Carob has it’s own natural sugars similar to what you find in honey and fruits. Unlike chocolate, you don’t have to add a lot of sweetener to make it taste good.

    It’s an alkaline food

    Contains 3 times as much calcium as chocolate.

    High in fiber and protein

    Full of antioxidants and polyphenols

    Low in fat (contains about 1% fat compared to 24% fat in cocoa)

    High in vitamins and minerals (contains iron, vitamin B, phosphorus, and magnesium)

    Doesn’t contain any harmful stimulants such as caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline

  6. Faith

    The cooler sounds like a great idea. I was wondering how you keep everything from spilling or melting/spoiling during travel? Do you put ice packs in the cooler? Any tips on how you pack the cooler would be appreciated!

    • Food Babe (to Faith)

      Yes! I definitely include some flat gel ice packs to put between perishables. I got mine from Target. Also – I try to pack other items that double as food and insulation, like homemade frozen soups or smoothies. My cooler has “bungee” type cords that wrap around it to keep it from spilling. I’ve checked this in at the airport a lot and I have had no issues. One time TSA even searched it!

      • Kasey (to Food Babe)

        What do freeze your soups in? I use glass mason jars. Can I take those on? Thanks!

    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Faith)

      Hi Kasey – Food Babe doesn’t usually use plastic for storage at home. But for traveling she does because it is so much lighter and no chance of having broken glass in your cooler.

  7. Lily

    The on-board luggage is not allowed to carry fresh vegetables and fruits such as raw veggies (think carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli). How did you do it?



  8. Tina

    Thank you for all the tips! Do you request a hand inspection for your food? Feeling a bit uneasy about getting my healthy organic food radiated. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Char (to Tina)

      my carrots in my carry on bag were put thru the x-ray machine THREE TIMES. turns out that they show up as the same color as “something you really don’t want to have on a plane.” they could have just pulled them out of my bag and found out they were carrots, but no, our wonderful TSA had to nuke them 3x . so much for taking healthy, raw foods with me on the plane. on a subsequent trip, the carrots went thru fine the first time. go figure.

  9. Bowl Hiker


    What plastic containers do you recommend?


  10. the juice fast

    Excellent way of explaining, and nice article to get facts on the topic of
    my presentation subject matter, which i am going to present in

  11. Jill Bergman

    What kind of ketchup do you use? I’m making Barbecue Beef tonight for s
    upper. The recipe calls for 1 cup of ketchup. Went to the store earlier even Heinz had corn syrup and Hunts had natural flavoring. Should I go to the health food store? Until next time, Jill

  12. poetfriend

    Here’s an interesting article on plastic containers free of bisphenol A (BPA). Looks like there is more work to do to make truly safe containers widely available, and the authors of the study suggest this wouldn’t be difficult.

  13. Lisa

    I am an international flight attendant. I am vegan and carry my food with me on my trips. I am always looking for healthy and easy foods to bring on my trips.

  14. Jake Braekes

    Good suggestions.

    Darn good think you are packing booze, Twinkies, Quarter Pounders and candy bars in the cooler, as the TSA would be sure to open and devour.

    Your worst nightmare would be a TSA turned healthy food fanatics. You would lose it all, including the cooler.

    • Jake Braekes (to Jake Braekes)

      Sad how leaving out one word “NOT” can kill a funny. Oh, well.

      • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Jake Braekes)

        still funny…

  15. Meenal

    Since you are an Indian by origin , I would like to share a comment . Indian cuisine has hundreds of homemade items which can stay good for several days during travel , which do not require any cooler or microwave and are also nutritionally balanced . Coupled with fruits, they form an excellent combo meal.
    We Indians while touring through US carry such items to satisfy our palette and hunger .

    • Katrina (to Meenal)

      Would love to hear more! What travel friendly foods would you recommend?

  16. Audra

    Hi Foodbabe,

    I have a question about the greens supplements.

    Do you recommend taking both the Vitamineral Green and the Green Vibrance daily? Don’t they overlap in ingredients?

    Also, I was wondering what you think about supplementing Vitamin B12/methylcobalamin in lozenge form for better absorbtion?

    Thanks for any feedback!


  17. Ericka

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read all
    at single place.

  18. Robyn

    Hey Foodbabe my husband and I travel overseas a lot. Before my last trip I decided to get a green powder to make up for not being able to juice, Vibrant Health Green Vibrance. We drank it everyday and felt great. We are packing for my next trip and my husband who doesn’t trust anything commercially made did some research on the product I had purchased. We are horrified to find out it has high levels of arsenic!!!! Any thoughts on this? Maybe you could do some digging on the subject? Here is the article we read regarding it.

  19. Emma

    Hi there,
    I was trying to find where I can buy individual packs of spirulina but can’t seem to find an online source. Could you share a link?
    Many thanks!

  20. Nina Johnson

    Hi Vani,
    glad I found your site, it is wonderful. We have been vegan for years and are starting to get it under control. Now we are going on a cruise. I have put in for vegetarian meals but have ordered them before and they give you nice veggies but they are in sauces that are not vegan. guess I will just order steamed veggies. They will fix things for you if you give them what you want. If you don’t know what they have how do you know what to ask for. Last one I went on I just didn’t eat well. This time I want to do it right. I will take all the suggestions you have.. I recommended to the nutritionist for the cruise ship that they think about health food cruises and that I thought they would be popular but who knows? Thank you in advance. Nina

    • Luci (to Nina Johnson)

      There aIs a health food cruise out of FL……check out Vegan cruises……

  21. anushka

    Great post and very good content. contains full essential details for the travelling. thanks!

  22. Francesca

    I can’t express enough how happy I am to have found this blog. I saw you being interview in San Diego California, about the changes that you made happen with the food company Kraft. I plan on sending all of my friends and family members your blog as well as my employees, and associates. If I can help in any way in you mission to educate and inform people I would be more than happy to assist in any way. God bless and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Francesca

  23. shefali

    do you ever have problems with tsa with the cooler (i’m not checking it in, it will be hand luggage)? my little one has so many allergies that i plan on making frozen meals and taking them with us, but i don’t want to risk losing the food, since he absolutely needs it. any tips?

  24. Nirav Shah

    A mini travelling guide.good post & a gr8 article.thanks

  25. Erika

    First of all, let me start off by saying I love this site so much! Food Babe is an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge! Thanks!

    And now for my question: Where can I find the other “Parts” of your Travel Series? Or haven’t you made any yet? My husband and I are planning our one year anniversary/honeymoon and would like more tips on healthy travel!

    Thanks! :)

    • Erika (to Erika)

      Ha haa! Nevermind. I realize now that the other “Parts” mentioned are probably all the articles found in the “Travel” section of your site. Jay kay! :P

  26. Julie

    Hi FoodBabe!

    First off thank you so much for your site and all your work! I had two questions, first, do you bring the cooler on the plane with you as your carry on? Or do you send it with your luggage? And second, what cooler do you use? Could you post a link to it if possible? Thanks!

  27. Shanmugam

    very interesting resource
    interesting and useful information and photos
    Thank you

  28. Sherry

    Thanks for a terrific article (which I just discovered). I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for long-term travel to vegetable-challenged areas. I’m heading to Zimbabwe in a few weeks for four months and basically the only “vegetables” they have at this wildlife conservation project are canned (which I learned when I was there last year). I’ve been exploring powdered greens and JuicePlus but can’t seem to find a consensus on what’s best. Thanks for any help you can offer!

  29. Mary Jo Martin

    Hi Food Babe and assistant :)
    This does not pertain to travel but I have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis and was wondering if you have ever researched the best way to put calcium back into one’s bones. Doc has recommended taking Fosamax but I am not going to take it because my research indicates that it “hardens” bones but doesn’t actually rebuild them causing them to be brittle. I try to eat as organic as I can afford and include lots of green leafy veggies like kale to help provide calcium in addition to taking D3, magnesium, and K2. anything you could enlighten me to as far as the best calcium supplement would be awesome. Thanks bunches

  30. Megan

    Do you have a cooler you recommend for travel?

  31. Judy

    Thanks for your many tips! But my main problem is that even checked luggage (let alone carry-on) is X-rayed. I don’t want my organic raw vegan food X-rayed. Is there any way to avoid this? Or do I need to mail the non-perishable food to my travel destination ahead of time? I’m going to an out-of-state wedding for a weekend, and the hotel I’ll be staying at has nothing organic at all, and very few vegan items, if any. And the company catering the wedding (at a different location) said they can’t make me a raw vegan meal. I would be happy to bring my own delicious dishes, but it seems daunting to bring them on a plane, especially because of the X-ray problem.


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