Every time I travel I hear the same thing… “I didn’t know you could bring that on the plane!” As I’m enjoying my quinoa salad, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, and healthy homemade cookies and tea, I’m met with sad stares across greasy pizza, soggy cold cut subs, and super salty crackers/chips/pretzels. Don’t let this be you this summer! I’ll teach you how to pack the perfect carry-on.

Here’s a list of my top carry-on items:

1. Water Bottle

Yes, it’s true you’re not allowed to bring water through security at the airport. So make sure you bring an EMPTY reusable water bottle with you. Take it out of your carry-on at the x-ray machine (along with your electronics) to show the security guards that the bottle is definitely empty. Once you’re through the checkpoint, stop in at a restaurant and get it filled up. You can then take this on the plane with you. During your flight, get the flight attendant to refill your bottle instead of giving you one of those ridiculous, teeny, tiny cups of water. Airplanes are extremely dry so stay hydrated!

2. Tea Thermos

Same deal as the water bottle. Make sure your thermos is EMPTY when going through security and take it out of your bag along with your electronics. Bring several tea bags, as many as you like. Make sure you have enough for your trip home as well. On the plane, have the flight attendant fill your thermos with boiling water and voila! Tea to keep you warm on freezing cold flights. Why DO they make it so cold on airplanes??

3. Fruit

I like to pack fruit in Ziploc bags and small plastic containers. You can even make a fruit salad. I bring apple slices, melon cubes, strawberries, grapes, etc.

4. Veggies & Dip

Pack a Ziplock bag with veggie sticks like celery, carrots, and peppers. Stay away from things like cucumber that gets soggy quickly. You can also bring a small container of dip or hummus but make sure that it is in a small, clearly marked, plastic container that is 100ml/100g (3.4 oz). Your dip container must fit into the clear plastic bag that you keep all other liquids under 100ml in for inspection. If you’re feeling uneasy, just skip the dip.

5. Edamame

Edamame is the perfect travel food. Pack a plastic container or Ziplock bag with steamed, lightly salted, organic edamame pods for a delicious and filling snack. You can steam the pods the night before your trip and eat them at room temperature on the plane.

6. Quinoa Salad

This is the main event. Your big meal for when you’re travelling over lunch or dinnertime. I like a hearty quinoa salad loaded with beans/legumes and veggies, and a flavourful vinaigrette. Grain salads are perfect because they soak up the dressing, which means you’re not travelling with stray liquids that security guards love to throw in the garbage.

7. Homemade Cookies

I like to pack small treats for my travels as well. It can be tempting when everyone around you is indulging, so plan ahead. I like to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth without all the nasty preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and GMO ingredients.

8. Nuts

A bag of mixed nuts are perfect for travelling. You can even get some in a variety of flavours… spicy, roasted, maple, or cinnamon. Even better, make them yourself at home!

9. Other Options

Some other options to bring with you are trail mix, granola bars, crackers, and muffins.

There are so many great choices to keep you filled up and healthy while travelling! All it takes is a little planning and you’ll be the envy of all your fellow travellers.