Travel survival

airportfoodMy husband recently travelled to the United States, a trip that usually takes about 30 hours. Unfortunately, flight delays meant that his journey took about 44 hours instead. That’s nearly two days of airport and airplane food. Ugh!

It got me thinking about the ways we manage to eat well on those long-haul trips. Here are a few tips from our own experience and others:

  1. Whether you are vegetarian or not, consider choosing the vegetarian option when booking your flight—it’s often a more flavourful meal, and because it is brought to you individually, it’s always hot. (or you can choose another of the special options if you prefer)
  2. Resist the ease of junk food snacks. A package of cookies or a candy bar might be easy and quick, but in the end it will just make you feel bad. If you have the time, find the shop selling fresh fruit and salads, or bring healthy snacks with you (but make sure you declare any leftover food or dispose of it as required when you arrive, if you’re headed overseas).
  3. If you’re stuck in the airport for a meal, don’t be tempted to buy cheap, premade sandwiches which are invariably old and nasty. It’s worth the time and expense to sit down for a meal at an airport restaurant. Not only is the freshly prepared food better, the more civilized atmosphere of the restaurant helps dispel airport fatigue.
  4. Judiciously employ alcohol. You certainly don’t want to drink a lot when you travel, but when you’re stuck waiting for a delayed flight, or your layover seems interminable, a beer or glass of wine can make the wait more pleasant. I also find that a glass of wine on a long-haul flight helps me sleep on the plane.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Airports and airplanes are dry environments. Keep well hydrated or you’ll wilt like a potted plant, and end up cranky and with a headache.
  6. Avoid the dependable mediocrity of chain restaurants, and enjoy the local cuisine, even in the airport.
  7. A small package of mints is a life saver when you need a little pick-me-up or can’t brush your teeth.

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