11+ Foods You Should Avoid While Traveling

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat Before Getting On a Plane

In-flight meal
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Hopping on a flight can be the most stressful part of traveling, so doing everything you can to make sure your body feels its best while you’re in the air is crucial. From snacks that may spike your blood sugar or those that could cause heartburn and indigestion, avoiding these foods while you’re traveling from one destination to another can make your upcoming flight so much easier, so you can focus on what you’re going to eat when your plane lands.


Coffee in a to-go container
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Airplane cabins are notoriously dehydrating, and adding caffeine to the mix can make things worse. Caffeine’s dehydrating properties can lead to headaches and nausea, making your flight uncomfortable. Instead of splurging for that cup of coffee or soda at the airport terminal, try opting for water, seltzer or juice until you land.

Red Meat

Steak dinner with broccoli
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If you’re considering grabbing a burger before your flight, you might want to think twice. Red meat can be tough to digest and cause discomfort and bloating for a few hours after eating. This could not only make your flight unpleasant but can also create an unappealing odor for those around you. Try ordering chicken or fish instead before your flight and save the steak dinner for after you arrive at your destination.

Fried Foods

French fries
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We all love French fries, but it’s wise to avoid them and other fried foods before a flight. The fats and oils in fried foods can cause heartburn, making your flight uncomfortable. Additionally, their high sodium content can lead to fluid retention, causing bloating and swelling during your flight. If you’re still looking for a crunchy and savory snack, try air-fried potato chips instead.


Bean salad
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By now, you’re probably aware that beans can cause gas. It’s one thing to deal with at home, but imagine being stuck in a tiny airplane seat for hours after eating a burrito. It’s not just uncomfortable for you, but also highly unpleasant for the unlucky person seated next to you. To ensure a more pleasant flight for everyone, consider avoiding beans before your next flight.


Sushi tray
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Sushi often contains raw fish, which can harbor bacteria or parasites if not properly handled or stored. The risk of foodborne illness is higher with raw fish, so if you do enjoy sushi before you travel, try and make sure that any included fish is fully cooked. Most sushi restaurants have options without any raw fish like California rolls and Philadelphia rolls.


Alcoholic beverage at an airport
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Not to dampen your spirits, but combining alcohol with air travel is a recipe for disaster. The combination can severely dehydrate you, leaving you feeling hungover and miserable upon landing. Do you really want to start your trip feeling that way? It’s better to stay hydrated and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to enjoy your vacation.


Woman eating an apple
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Apples may appear to be a healthy pre-flight snack, but their high fiber content can make them difficult to digest. This can lead to gas and bloating, making your flight uncomfortable. While apples are nutritious, it’s best to avoid them before flying. Opt for low-fiber fruits like bananas or grapes instead.


Veggie side dish
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Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, much like beans, are known to cause gas. This can lead to discomfort and bloating, making your flight less pleasant. It’s best to avoid these veggies before flying and save them for after you land. Instead, opt for easier-to-digest veggies like zucchini and carrots.


Chewing gum
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Chewing gum allows excess air to enter your body, which can lead to gas and bloating. To avoid these discomforts while still keeping your breath fresh, choose a mint instead. Mints provide a quick and effective way to freshen your breath without the risk of introducing extra air into your digestive system.

Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks
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Avoid carbonated beverages both before and during your flight. When the drinks cart comes down the aisle, it’s best to stick with water or juice. Soda and other fizzy drinks can cause gas and potentially lead to heartburn, making your flight uncomfortable. Water, on the other hand, helps keep you hydrated and aids these digestive issues.

Spicy Foods

Chicken with spicy peppers
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Spicy foods are well-known for causing stomach discomfort and other digestion issues, so try to avoid them for at least 12 hours before you fly. There’s nothing worse than needing to rely on the plane’s small bathroom for extended periods of time, risking the ire of your fellow passengers, so try to keep your meals on the bland side the day before you fly.


Display of cake pops
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Eating candy can lead to a quick spike in blood sugar levels followed by a rapid drop, causing feelings of fatigue and irritability. Consuming sugary foods can also cause gas and bloating, as many people have difficulty digesting large amounts of sugar. Plus, high sugar intake can often cause headaches, which are already a common experience for flyers due to dehydration.


Shrimp cocktail
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Shellfish can sometimes cause severe allergic reactions, even in individuals who may not be aware they are allergic. Also, if shellfish is not properly stored or cooked, it can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Experiencing these symptoms while in the confined space of an airplane can be particularly uncomfortable and challenging to manage, so it’s better to avoid shellfish for a day or two before flying.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts
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Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. These vegetables contain a type of carbohydrate called raffinose, which the human body has difficulty digesting. As a result, they can cause gas and discomfort, especially in the confined and pressurized environment of an airplane cabin.

Heavy Meals

Pasta with Alfredo sauce
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Although you might crave a hearty meal like a burger and fries or a plate of pasta before boarding a plane, it’s not the best choice. Consuming dense, heavy foods can lead to stomach discomfort during your flight. Try eating a breakfast wrap or baked quesadilla instead. Heavy meals can cause bloating and indigestion, so it’s wise to choose your pre-flight meals carefully.

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