We’ve all been there, standing in front of the pantry at 4 a.m. and trying to figure out what last-minute snacks we can grab that will make it through the TSA, provide us with nourishment, and, let’s face it, give us a little something to do, too.
An airplane is the perfect locale for a little boredom eating, and you know what? If you’re going to mindlessly down snacks while you zone out watching the new Downton Abbey movie or whatever, those snacks may as well be tasty. When we set out to put together a list of the best airplane snacks, we looked for things that are filling, easy to pack in your purse or carry-on (without getting smooshafied), aren’t super loud, don’t require refrigeration, and don’t smell weird. You’re welcome.
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- Flipz Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Tired of watching the 100 episodes of The Office you downloaded and can’t decide if you want sweet or salty? ¿Por qué no los dos? Flipz are the gold standard when it comes to chocolate-covered pretzels. As Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick wrote in their ranking of the best chocolate-covered pretzels, these succeed because their “ratio of chocolate to pretzel” gives them “a great balance of salt and sweet.” Just like Dwight. Or so I’m told…I haven’t watched The Office (don’t come for me; it’s on my list, and I promise I’ll get to it).
- Elevation Chocolate Peanut Butter High Protein Bars
When you’re in the seemingly interminable doldrums of a six-hour flight, a sweet and chewy protein bar is just the thing. It fills you up, plus (and please don’t look up the science on this) you’ll be super buff by the end of the flight, I bet. Not only that, but this particular protein bar actually tastes great, too. Since it doesn’t have that powdery protein bar taste and consistency, this basically reads as a candy bar. In his ranking of the best protein bars, Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo called it a ”gosh darn delight” due to its “toothsome meatiness and soft crunchiness.” He also added that the “peanut butter is creamy and the salt factor here is completely welcome.” Nice one, Aldi.
- Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Almond Granola Bars
I know what you’re thinking: “Jessica, this is a Nature Valley bar. It is going to explode into a million crumbly bits and get all over me, the seat, my neighbor, the flight attendant, and heck probably even find a way to crumble out the window and dust the land under the plane in a fine layer of granola bits.” And I hear you. If this were your average Nature Valley bar, I would totally agree. But this is a Nature Valley Sweet and Salty nut bar, and these bad boys are chewy and satisfying as all get out. Like strong, independent women, they crumble before no one. Also, they taste delicious. In their ranking of the best granola bars, Jordan called them “sweet and salty, while also packing a flavor punch of oat and almond.” These bars also have a delicious frosting-like almond dip on the bottom, making them the complete package, I tell ya.
Related: Best Granola Bars: These Are the 6 Best Granola Bars to Eat on the Go
- Derby City Bourbon Barrel Wood Smoked Turkey Jerky
When it’s one of those flights where you have to stay awake in order to acclimate to the new time zone, but you get tired of the “chug water until you have to pee, go pee, then chug more water” tactic, try turkey jerky! It won’t make you pee and you can gnaw on it for hours, plus, according to Danny, this particular one “tastes like homemade jerky that you’d get from a big plastic jar at a gas station or corner store on a road trip,” and he means this in the best possible way. He says this jerky has a “pleasantly tender and meaty texture with a sweet, slightly peppery, smoky taste,” and what more could you ask for on a flight?
- OH SNAP! Dilly Bites
Our taste buds are actually dampened when we’re flying in airplanes planes due to the cabin pressure and the dryness of the air. You know what that calls for? SOCK-YOURSELF-IN-THE-FACE FLAVOR, BAYBEE! That’s right, I am a full supporter of the “eat a pickle on a plane just to feel something” philosophy, and these Dilly Bites are the perfect thing to pack yourself just for this moment. These pickles are perfect for plane snacking because they come in a little bag and aren’t sloshing around in a bunch of brine. If you’ve ever faced the indignity of being forced by TSA agents to trash the entire jar of pickles you packed (surely, this has happened to someone), this is the snack for you.
- Nicos Green Tea Seaweed Snacks
Watching Aquaman on a 14-hour flight over the Pacific Ocean? Feel even more at one with the ocean by packing yourself some seaweed snacks. And not just any seaweed snacks; pack these Nicos ones. These crispy little sheets of salty seaweed “strike a great balance of meaty and lightly fragrant,” according to Danny, who adds that “the green tea taste is aromatic and lovely, and there is a pronounced, savory flavor too. It’s also salty and smoky.” I’m tellin’ ya, these seaweed snacks are so good you’re going to make Jason Momoa jealous.
- Jovy Fruit Roll
Ready for your in-flight entertainment? Look no further than a mature, super-adult fruit roll-up. Seriously though, this Jovy fruit roll ain’t nothing to scoff at. According to Jordan, the flavor of the mango variety “is so natural and fresh and sweet” it turned them into a “diehard mango stan,” even though they were sort of “meh” about mango prior to this transcendent fruit roll-up experience. Plus, you get to make everyone around you jealous because you have a fruit roll-up. You may think adults are over that, but we are not. Ohhh, hohoho, we most certainly are not.