Air travel is becoming a less glamourous, less reliable form of transportation. Rather than be at the mercy of flight delays, holding patterns, airport cafeterias, in-flight food, and bumped flights (or honestly, disappointing food when you get where you're going), we bring snacks. Not a jumbo-bag of Type-A crazy food, but a discreet supply of foodstuff that help us meet a bump in our schedule with a shrug or wake up in a faraway place with the taste of something familiar. If you want to look at the subject of snacks through a cinematic angle, consider the Neil Simon film "The Out of Towners" Jack Lemmon's poor character spent a flight, and an entire night, in unfulfilled anticipation of an amazing New York City meal. In "Gone With The Wind," it was customary for decent ladies to eat their meals before public events (note: Hattie McDaniel rocks, always). While I'm less concerned with being caught dining by the men-folk, I do prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than show up anywhere, slavering. My snack have gotten us through cancelled flights, closed kitchens, poor hospitality, and a freak snowstorm that turned a relatively short car trip into 13 hour made-for-tv-movie-fodder. My favorites are nutritious, I prefer then to be fairly low in fat and higher in fiber. Here are some favorites:
Bumble Bars: These vegan, gluten-free bars are delicious, wholesome, and filling. The presence of flax and sesame seeds makes them taste different than other trail-mixy bars. I've enjoyed Chocolate Crisp and Cherry Chocolate (a dark choc/nut/sour cherry taste) but they also feature a handful of other flavors like Lushus Lemon, Chai with Almonds, and Tasty Tropical. The nutritional breakdown of the Chocolate Crisp is: 200 Calories Fat: 11g, 4g Fibre. I often eat half a bar at a time for a mini snack. A box costs about $27.00 and can also be found on Drugstore.com
Larabar: These are nut-based gluten free, vegan, kosher soy free bars that never contain more than eight ingredients. They have around the same amount of calories, fat, and fiber as the Bumbles : a Coconut Mole Larabar is 190 calories, with 9 grams of Fat and 5 grams of Fiber, and I also find that a half is often sufficient to tide me over. They can be found at a wide variety of supermarkets, and definitely at Whole Foods locations.
ProBar: Higher in Fat and Calories (for Apple Cinnamon Crunch: c:370, Fat:19, Fiber:7), these are an "Organic Whole Food Meal" bars that I just tried and found completely delicious (Koka Moka bar: I love you.) I haven't tried all of their flavors but definitely look forward to it. Good enough for breakfast, but tastes like dessert. To find shops, store, or online retailers click here.
Clif Nectar Bars: Lower in calories (around 150) and fat (about 5 grams) but still high in fiber, these also have a fresh, not couch-stuffing taste that I look for in energy and snack bars. Lemon Vanilla Cashew and Dark Chocolate Walnut are nice treats
I left more traditional fiber bars off the list, because I think they taste stodgy, and the more popular Luna Bars and the like feature processed soy, which I don't have a good reaction to. Mr. Gomet always like Special K Cereal bars- though they're lower in calories and fat, they don't have much fiber, but also lack the nut heavy recipes that some people dislike. They're a better choice than a lot of other options.
Gin Gins- from The Ginger People : We never travel without these ginger-iffic boiled sweets, which can be popped in your mouth to soothe (or just feel like your soothing) travel sickness or used to sweeten a cup of tea (or boiled water) The Ginger People's site is down, but you can find a bag of these at Whole Foods and Amazon.com
PS: Also check out out post on our Carry On Crisis Control Kit: little things to bring everywhere that help divert a mess anywhere.