These 7 Foods Will Survive Any Traveling You Have To Do To Get Them To A Holiday Party

The season of dinner parties is upon us, friends. It seems like this is the time of year when every single friend group wants to celebrate by throwing a festive potluck. I love Christmas dishes and catching up with friends, but if you have to spend some time on the road to arrive at a gathering, it can be hard to figure out what to bring that won't spoil or collapse before you reach the dinner table. Luckily, these seven Christmas foods that travel well are great options for bringing in the car (or bus, or possibly even train) so that you don't have to show up empty-handed to the shindig, even if it takes you a while to get there.

Honestly, sometimes I would rather host holiday parties and take on all of the cleaning-up duties just so that I have access to my own oven and stove, but there really is something relaxing about leaving my own messy apartment behind to join some friends at someone else's place.

While these dishes are great to take on-the-go, if you run out of time (or just forget — we've all been there), grab some fresh flowers or a bottle of wine on your way, and you'll be all set. But if your heart is set on bringing a tasty dish to your holiday gathering, look no further than these seven options.


Poor fruitcake is often the butt of a joke during the holiday season, due to its weightiness and ability to last basically forever. But in this case, those qualities make it the perfect treat to travel with. Because the dessert is chock full of ingredients like spiced nuts and dried fruits, it's the perfect embodiment of the festive atmosphere and a "can travel" spirit.

Peppermint chocolate bark

Whenever I think of Christmas treats, I usually think of the white chocolate peppermint bark that one of my neighbors would always bring by during the holidays. This is basically a destruction-proof dessert because it's designed to break and crumble, so if the bag you've packed accidentally gets wedged under your laptop in your backpack, it really won't make a difference.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce isn't a full dish on its own, per se, but it's definitely a staple at many holiday feasts. If you've signed up to bring a side to a Christmas party, you can also travel with some fancy crackers to go along with this. Plus, it's just gelatinous enough that you can carry it through airport security if you need to, without having to separate it into those pesky 3.4 ounce bottles.

Also, in case you were curious, the type of fiber in cranberries has been shown to aid in digestion, as per research published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition, meaning it might help you make more room for all of the tasty dishes on the table.

Mashed potatoes

Depending on how long you have to travel, packing up a big ol' bowl of mashed potatoes might be just the thing to bring to a dinner party.

If you're going to be on the road for a long time and you're worried about a dish with milk sitting out for that long, try swapping dairy milk for some unsweetened almond milk, or adding in some extra butter so that nobody knows the difference. Simply pop the pan in the oven for a few minutes once you arrive, and it'll be nice and warm for everyone to enjoy.

A full cake

It might seem unusual, but I've definitely seen someone carry a full-sized cake onto an airplane seemingly unfazed. If you're tasked with bringing a dessert for everyone to enjoy, think about keeping each component of the cake as thick as possible. For example, consider passing on more delicate bakes like angel food in favor of the stodgier pound cake.

For icing, don't go with anything super whipped, as it might deflate in transit, but a fudgey frosting or a simple glaze should hold up quite nicely.

Hearty grain salads

I'm not talking about tons of greens here, BTW; rather, I'm talking side dishes made with yummy, filling ingredients like wild rice and roasted mushrooms that can be enjoyed warm or cold. If you do want to get some leafy greens in the mix, though, try using something less likely to wilt, such as Swiss chard or raw kale. Toss in winter ingredients like walnuts and dried cranberries with a nourishing grain, like tri-color quinoa, and with plenty of seasoning, you'll be ready to join the gathering.

Bonus: Whole grains are said to be great for keeping your energy up, as per Healthline, which will come in clutch for all of the partying you're bound to do this holiday season.

A savory pie

One of the many great things about pies is that you bake them in a very sturdy glass or metal dish, which turns out to be wonderful for carrying to another location, in my experience.

If you're not really feeling dessert and would rather bring something a little bit heartier, try making something savory. I've personally had great success with transporting this mushroom and thyme pie from Bon Appétit. It's both festive and low in dairy, so it can keep nicely out of the fridge.