This is the year of road trips, after being cooped up in the house for so long. Sticking to what’s safe and closer to home. Driving to your chosen vacation spot with family, or maybe Covid safe friends. People are making a beeline for nature reserves, national parks, forests, mountains and beaches this year; anywhere open, unpolluted and sparsely populated. The bold and brave are also hopping on flights and trains out to remote destinations, where they can revel in almost forgotten freedom, and hats off to them.
Whatever you choose, knowing what to pack on your trip will go a long way in being relaxed and happy when you holiday and that includes travel snacks. Now we Indians love to snack, right? We’re forever munching something. So, it’s even more important then, to get the snack list right!
Snacking is healthy by the way; you won’t allow yourself to get too hungry and then gorge on the first thing you see en route. You could fall prey to indigestion, food poisoning and dehydration if you risk eating at dubious places. So, what should you carry? Much depends on how you plan to travel, and the season.
Here’s what you need to consider:
- If you’re travelling by car, and its summer, be mindful of the heat. Many foods can get spoilt on the way and trigger serious problems. Even if you are travelling for 7-8 hours, carrying an ice box is always a good idea.
- If you are flying or taking the train, you don’t want to carry snacks or home cooked food with strong smells, or snacks that crumble and litter your seating area. Any fruit with peels that spoil or liquids that can spill.
- Always carry a sealable bag for wrappers, disposable napkins, tissues etc.
- Snacks should be light, as far as possible dry and easy to eat in a moving vehicle.
- Always carry plenty of water or small packs of juice, so that you stay well hydrated.
- Food like sandwiches or cooked food should be packed in air tight containers or zip lock bags, that will keep your snacks fresh for a longer time.
Some travel snack ideas to keep you munching and motivated
- Protein bars, fruit bars or granola bars.
- Biscuits or cookies
- Popcorn, fox nuts
- Sandwiches or wraps, packed for freshness and in a firm container.
- Mixtures with rice flakes or wheat flakes
- Muffins, brownies
- Plain or flavoured yoghurt
- Cut vegetables: carrots, celery, zucchini, cherry tomatoes work well with a cream cheese or hummus dip.
- Dark chocolate
Desi snacks we love!
- On the top of my list are khakras and theplas, truly tried and tested!
- Matthis (I’d skip the achar) and papdis
- Chikkis – easy to pack, delicious to eat.
- Individually packed aam papad, or any fruit papad
- Packeted namkeens. I’d recommend taking smaller packs.
- Til Laddoos
- Namakpara, shakarparas, chacklis, banana chips
- Cocktail samosas and kachoris
Children can be given small portions or packs of most of the listed travel foods, but remember to give them a paper napkin and gather the crumbs once they’re done. Be mindful of toddlers, who need to eat under supervision. Its best to avoid any food with seeds or dried flakes as we don’t want them choking accidently. Fruit should be cut up into small bits, avoid giving them granola bars, fruit bars or protein bars and any spicy foods that can upset their tummy on the way.
What to Avoid
This is a no brainer – strong smelling or stinky foods. Remember your fellow travellers are at your mercy. And you don’t want to push your karma. Some foods to avoid include:
- Fish, especially tuna and sardines – in sandwiches or otherwise.
- Bacon in anything.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage
- Cheesy puffs or chips
- Chinese food
- Any foods with raw onion or garlic
- Fermented foods like kimchee
- Hard cheeses
Get the idea? Just plan a little in advance and stock up on your favourite snacks. Throw caution to the wind and indulge! There’s more than enough time to put on the brakes once you get home!
And don’t forget to have super fun folks!
Travel Update : Please note that there could be travel restrictions because of the ongoing pandemic. Before travelling, please always check the latest government advice about COVID-19 travel restrictions in your destination.
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A homeschooled chef even before she joined Catering College in Bombay, Christine’s gastronomic journey started with mother and grandmother. Polished with a degree and 10 years of experience in the Hospitality industry, Christine’s love of food, drink and everything gastronomic has been sharpened and honed with travel across the world. Today, she shares the wealth of her foodie experience and adventures across the world with Travel and Food Network, so look forward to much more from Chrsitine!