Packing Food for Trips

I am having the hardest time replying to comments right now, for some reason.  So, in response to a question in the comments I figured I would make a whole post about it. Thanks for the question, Camille!

Food at airports isn't cheap.  Food at hotels isn't cheap.  Crew members, at least at Steve's airline, no longer get meals during flights.  Steve refuses to buy a meal on a plane, which is a principle thing more than anything.  Pilot salaries isn't always the highest.  Yes, a pilot gets per diem, but per diem still isn't always enough.  A man has to eat. 

Steve packs food on his trips.  Call him cheap, call him whatever, but it works.  Steve is also training for a marathon, so he is able to pack foods that are healthy and good for him.  Steve will, however, eat dinners out if the layover allows for it.  I think that is one meal that he doesn't worry about spending money on.  He may even have a drink or two as well. 

So, what does Steve pack on trips?  Here are his staples:
- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Make sure that you apply peanut butter on both sides of the bread so that the bread stays softer, longer.

- fruit.  Steve always takes apples or oranges.  They aren't too messy.  They travel well, and don't bruise easily.  Plus, I can buy 3 pounds of apples for $3, where you can buy one apple at an airport for $1.19.

- trail mix.  Nuts and dried fruit is filling, easy to pack, and good for you.

- protein bars (I eat these too).  We aren't brand loyal to these, but I usually get them at Aldi or South Beach bars at Big Lots.  Big Lots is the best place to buy these.  Instead of paying about $2 a bar at Target, they are around $.75 to $1 each at Big Lots.

- microwavable meals, like noodles in a bowl.  These aren't the healthiest option for you, but when push comes to shove they work.  These are great for short overnights with reduced rest and early shows.  The last thing Steve wants to do when he gets into a hotel room, which he has to leave again in 7 hours, is sit at a restaurant waiting for food.  He just wants to fill his belly and go to sleep.

- oatmeal packets.  Just add hot water, and presto! Instant breakfast.

Those are the staples, and usually what he packs.  He does carry a lunch box/cooler thing.  He alternates between a playmate (I think) one that is red and black, and a Royal Caribbean one we got on a cruise.  Both are somewhat sizable that has straps, so he can just hook it on my his roll-aboard and off he goes.


  1. It is a shame, that the Airlines are going to remove the crew meals more and more.... I'm glad my company still is taking care for us. On Shorthaul it's always Business Class for us and the Cabin and an Longhaul our First Class Galley Staff is always serving to us some food from the First Class and for the Cabin it's always Business Class Food...

  2. A post just for me. Thanks for answering my question. Sometimes we forget that's what per diem is for.. I just consider it part of his salary, going toward the expenses at home. Anyway, my husband is regional, but occasionally on longer flights he may get a first class meal if it's available, but can never count on it. I know he goes hungry a lot when he's got a busy day and there isn't time to grab something and he didn't pack enough snacks. We know the hotels as, "good breakfast" or "no breakfast". Seems like if he gets a good hearty breakfast, he's good to go through the day. I know he tries to only eat out once a day.. It probably gets so annoying eating out of a lunchbox for four days.

    He packs bagels a lot. Sometimes lunch meat or chicken, or nutella. Apples and applesauce, yogurt. Our crew lounge had pb and j sandwiches available to make for 50cents when he by chance is there, but he can only eat so many of those.

    Anyway, thanks again! Some good advice. I think I'll pick up a few of your suggestions and pre package them up.. He got a crappy schedule for July, it's going to be a bad month.

  3. Steve has a bad schedule for July too! I think it is because July is a heavy vacation month and a heavy flight schedule month, so lots of schedules get screwed up.

    I totally think it is a shame not to feed crew. He can fly a 6 hour leg, and to not feed them?!


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