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If you’ve read our Where to Eat guides, you’ll know that we splurge on vacation. That being said, there’s a difference between having one indulgent meal and abandoning your healthy diet completely. Eating a keto diet has helped us with anxiety and weight management. We stick to low carb eating most of the time, so that we can enjoy those decadent moments without guilt. Plus, it just feels good to not be bloated — especially while traveling. That’s why it was easy for us to come up with the keto travel snacks we pack for every trip!
The best keto snacks for traveling will be high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Ideally, they should be compact, require no refrigeration, and be TSA compliant (no liquids!). Choose travel sizes or use storage bags to ration out portions ahead of time.
During layovers, you can always grab hard boiled eggs, cooked bacon and sausages from places like Starbucks or McDonald’s. On the go, you’ll need things that are low in carbs, non-perishable, and satisfying. Whether you’re in a plane, train, bus or car, you’ll be sharing the air space with others, so try to avoid anything too odorous. I’m allergic to oranges and lemme tell you, everytime someone cracked one open on the bus, I wanted to hurl. Don’t be that person!
So, without further ado, let’s talk about the low carb, keto-friendly snacks you can carry with you as you travel. Being prepared can help you stay on track and have no regrets following a fantastic vacation!
For a long time, almonds have been my go-to snack of choice. When I had gestational diabetes during one of my pregnancies, it helped me quell my hunger without spiking my sugar levels. We estimate that I ate around 75,000 almonds during the third trimester. It’s probably well into the millions by now!
After going keto, my love for almonds intensified. I’ll be honest, though. They aren’t all created equal to me. I’ve got to have Blue Diamond Almonds, preferably the Wasabi Soy flavor. The combination of salty and slight sweetness hits all of my cravings and makes me feel like I’ve eaten something of substance. They are a little spicy, but even our four-year-old really likes them, too!
As a kid, I didn’t spend a lot of time with my mother, but when I did, it often involved pistachios. The red ones, specifically, that would leave a residue from the dye on my fingers. There’s a theory that, when you have to work for food, it tastes better and I tend to agree. My small hands worked hard prying open those shells, and every pistachio tasted like heaven. They’re on the higher end of the recommended nuts for the keto diet, but they are worth it to me.
Again, I have a preferred brand. I’ll only buy Wonderful Pistachios. At home, I’ll get the original roasted and salted flavor, but while traveling, I get the ones without shells. It just seems pretty obnoxious to be sitting on a plane with a tray table full of shells. Plus, due to my germaphobia and desire to stay healthy while traveling, I avoid using my hands to eat, if possible. Instead, I just pour this deliciousness straight into my mouth!
A lot of low carb eaters turn to jerkies and dried meats as snacks. I’ve tried so many, and while they are satisfying, it’s just not a texture I enjoy. Maybe it’s my age, but there are few things I enjoy more than snapping into a Slim Jim. There are people who roll their eyes or call it “dirty keto,” but I don’t care. My 70lb weight loss says otherwise *wink*
You can get the Giant Smoked Meat Stick (I like to keep them in my hotel room in case I’m hungry at bedtime) or you can get the minis. I like the Snack Size Slim Jims because they easily fit into backpacks and carry on bags and are the perfect size for a quick keto travel snack. The choice is yours!
Catalina Crunch Cheddar Cheese Bites
One of my favorite keto snacks is to have a plate of deli meat (like pepperoni or salami) with cheese slices. Obviously, that’s not really practical on a flight, so I replicate it by pairing Slim Jims with Catalina Crunch’s Cheddar Cheese Bites.
I’ve tried a lot of different of these types of cheese products, but these are my favorite. The taste is great and the texture works for me. The Cheese Bites are crispy and a little squeaky, and don’t feel processed. Maybe that’s because they contain only one ingredient — 100% grass-fed cheddar cheese. I love knowing what I’m eating!
Catalina Crunch Cereal
If you’ve never tried Catalina Crunch’s lineup of cereals, proceed with caution. I’m a huge cereal fan and the first time I tried their Dark Chocolate flavor, I knew I was in trouble. There are a lot of products out there that claim to be low carb cereal, and most of them are pretty gross (sorry!). These, on the other hand, are ridiculously good!
In the past year or so, they’ve expanded their lineup to include a variety of flavors including Cinnamon Toast, Maple Waffle, Honey Graham and Chocolate Banana (I haven’t tried this one!). If I had to choose two, it would be the Cinnamon Toast and Maple Waffle. I could eat them every day for the rest of my life drizzled with a little heavy cream. YUM! This is perfect as a dry snack or to keep in your hotel room as an easy breakfast!
I’m not a big chocolate eater. That being said, I do enjoy treats. When I’m craving something sweet, I’ll grab a dark chocolate bar from Lily’s Sweets! In fact, I probably eat three to four squares every night with my tea (which contains just a splash heavy cream). Keto-friendly chocolate just tastes better to me! For Lily’s dark chocolate, my must-haves are the Almond and Crispy Rice varieties. When I want something with a milk chocolate feel to it, I have the Salted Almond. All of them are just the perfect level of sweetness. They just put a smile on my face! When I want something a little extra, Lily’s has me covered with their Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Covered Almonds or Chocolate Covered Peanuts. All of these sweets come in dark chocolate or milk chocolate style and are perfect for traveling. These come in handy when I know I’m going someplace where I know I’ll be tempted!
My biggest weakness are things like gummy bears. Now that I follow a keto diet, eating the regular ones makes me feel so sick. They are really sugary and my blood sugar hits the roof. It’s just not worth it. Fortunately, there’s an alternative that keeps me on track.
Smart Sweets contain no sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners, but some people might be sensitive to them. I’ve noticed that, if I eat too many, it upsets my belly so definitely stick to no more than one bag per day. While some have said that eating these stalls their weight loss for a day or two, I still think it’s better than eating a bag of regular gummies!
Keto Travel Snacks Are Great!
So, there you have it. These are the keto travel snacks we just can’t live without. We chose these because they are convenient, filling and aren’t too smelly in enclosed spaces. For nearly two years, these have kept me on track over more than a dozen trips. Really, I can’t say enough about being prepared, even if you’re planning to indulge a little.
You never know how the food will be wherever you’re going, so having a backup plan is important. We hope this list inspired you to make a keto packing list for your next journey. It was fun writing this, but the only problem is that it’s left me feeling peckish. Be right back — there’s a bag of Smart Sweets calling my name!