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Travel Tip #30

Bring Your Own Food on the Airplane

“Chicken or beef?” You hear the flight attendant ask the question. You try to peer around the food cart so perfectly sized that even a stray napkin cannot fit between it and your armrest to see what the other passengers are eating. Forget which looks better. Which looks edible? Quickly, you try to organize everything you know about food safety into one coherent thought. Chicken or beef? How hard can it be? Beef seems safer to eat, but chicken is harder to screw up. You ask for a vegetarian meal. There are none. You had to select that option on Orbitz nine weeks ago when you booked your ticket. You make a hasty decision and end up eating the crackers with a pat of butter added.

We here at L&A like food. Not just any food, but good food. And airline food is not good food. Maybe the passengers in the other cabins get better food, but we suck it up in row 47 and save our travel dollars for something better, so we will never know. When the food cart comes along, we politely decline any meal, which always seems to arouse suspicion. The flight attendant’s eyes narrow as she does a risk assessment on us. How likely is it that our blood sugar is going to plummet and we become cranky, irritable and a nuisance to the staff by refusing the meal. Instead, we reach into our carryon bags, shoved ever so carefully under the seat in front of us and pull out food we brought from home. A gruyere sandwich, with lettuce, onions, tomatoes on fresh sourdough bread with a side of trail mix and some fresh fruit is rare treat at 35,000 feet. The passengers nearby are drooling over the gourmet treat that could have been theirs with 10 minutes’ worth of prep work back home. Don’t care for sandwiches? Just about any food that was not prepared (warmed) in the plane’s galley is bound to be better, so do yourself a favor and bring your own food aboard. Your GI tract, from taste buds to large intestine will thank you.

Know Before You Go

Bringing your own food aboard is not a problem, provided there aren’t any liquids greater than 100 ml. So, leave the bottle of ketchup at home.

Bottom Line

This is so easy, cheap and delicious, we are always amazed that we are the only ones we see doing it. Do you BYO food? Share your story in the comments!

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