Up In The Air: 6 Hacks To Avoid Being Hungry While Flying
Don't go hungry, or worse, buy overpriced Pringles.
Keeping yourself properly fed and hydrated while traveling by plane is surprisingly easier said than done.
I have been on more flights than there are seats on a Boeing 777X.
In the past year alone, I've probably been on about 20, which is pretty typical.
Spending half my life in the air means I've learned a lot about how to keep myself satiated.
Here are a few food-travel hacks to keep you from spending an absurd amount of money on food or starving mid-transit:
1. Bring snacks.
Be realistic and prepare for the worst.
You can't always depend on a vending machine, the airport eateries may not be open and the airplane may not even serve food.
It's easy to forget to eat simply because you don't have time or forget to stop at a place for food because you were so busy trying to get to and from terminals.
Plus, why pay $5 for a small can of Pringles when you can bring your own, full-sized can for $1?
2. Buy a bottle of water after getting through security.
You never know when you're going to get thirsty, and it's always good to be prepared.
Flying on an airplane can also be extremely dehydrating, so it's important to have water on hand.
This is one thing you unfortunately can't bring through security though, so you'll have to buy it on the other side.
3. Don't depend on flight attendants to feed you.
So, your ticket says, "Meal included."
But, you don't know when you're going to get this meal.
Unfortunately, you can't just ask for your meal whenever you want. You go by the airline's schedule.
For example, if you're on a seven-hour flight from New York to London, they may not feed you for several hours until after the flight takes off.
I've been on several flights that don't serve "dinner" until 11 pm or midnight (usually around the time you want to catch a few Zs), so bring a sandwich or wrap for dinner in case you don't last that long.
4. If you're really hungry, ask an attendant.
If you're really desperate mid-flight, you can ask an attendant for whatever's on hand.
He or she will usually give you a small (and I mean small) snack for free.
Usually, this is a bag of peanuts or pretzels, but hopefully it'll help tide you over for a bit.
5. You can have the entire can.
When the flight attendants come around with drinks, it is commonly assumed you only get a very small plastic cup of whatever drink you want because that's just normally what you're given.
What you don't know is you are actually paying for several (depending on the length of your flight) entire cans of a drink as part of your flight ticket.
This is partly how airlines make money off of you.
Take advantage of what you're paying for, and say you want the whole can when the attendant asks you what you want to drink.
6. You can request a special meal depending on your dietary preference.
Usually, you have to do this before and not during the flight, but you can request vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or Kosher meals while booking your ticket.
If you do forget, there are usually extra vegetarian options on board, just in case.
One plus of having a "special dietary meal" is you usually get served up to half an hour before everyone else.