The hazy days of summer are finally here! Temperatures are rising, schools are out, and our freezers are packed with delicious ice cream. Summer is by far my favorite time of the year, and since we can finally travel again, this summer is going to be even more special – hopefully!

The idea of lying on the beach under the scorching sun while enjoying an ice-cold mojito is almost in arm's reach, but first, there are a few things to get done. Booking tickets, planning the holiday, and of course the packing, none of which are my favorite parts.

I’m not the best planner, and if you are like me, packing and ticket booking are usually left as late as possible. Because of this last-minute mind frame of mine. I’ve missed out on some great offers, my holidays became more expensive, and by booking everything separately, I missed a few bits here and there.

Then I tried Southwest Airlines:

Southwest Airlines fly to most parts of America, Cancun, and parts of the Caribbean. Their low fare calendar allows you to look into the fares and pick the lowest-priced tickets (it’s been a real savor for me).

Apart from a normal airline site, which allows you to book tickets and check in online, Southwest Airlines also has the option to help you book hotels, rental cars, or even complete vacation packages. They have numerous packages and offers – a family adventure, romantic luxury experience, or something more magical; they have a lot of different offers to choose from.

One of the most complex travel things is finding which sites are worth a visit; We’ve all gone to a few museums, wishing we had just skipped them. Southwest Airlines lists all the attractions of the area and when the best time to visit the place is. Plus, with their pet travel policy, I could keep my little Cleo in her carrier right by my feet because I take her everywhere!

Southwest Airlines helped me plan and book my whole vacation, but unfortunately, packing was something I had to do myself. I know I’m not the only one that leaves packing until the night before – you can’t pack your essentials earlier anyway, so why not do it all together? Since I always leave it to the end, I forget something, usually a hairbrush, sunglasses, and snacks.

The long waiting lines, tight flight connections, and delays have always taught me that knowing what snacks and where to get them in an airport are essential. Starving on a flight with no other option apart from waiting is not fun! So no snacks or at least knowing what I can and cannot get in the airport is essential.

There are things you need to consider when packing airport-appropriate snacks. It needs to be something you can eat on the go, so curries are out of the question. Something that is easy to carry in your handbag and satisfies your stomach. Once you’ve found snacks that do all three, you know you’ve hit gold.

Here are a few of my favorite airport snacks that have been a revelation for me:

Potato Chips

The classic Potato chips are always a safe bet for a snack. They might not be the healthiest, but you always know what you're getting. There are tons of flavors, so if you’re bored of classic potato, you can tantalize your taste buds with bbq, dill pickle, and vinegar.

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Not only is it something I manage to carry onto an airplane, but it’s also included in my daily bag. A delicious bar of semi-melted dark chocolate never goes astray. It can help boost mood and protect against blood clots and those low sugar crashes. Researchers have discovered that chocolate can thin the blood like aspirin, suggesting passengers enjoy a piece before long-haul flights.

Nuts

Nuts are the healthiest option out there in terms of snacks. They are low in carbs, contain healthy fats to energize you, and even Keto friendly. A mixed bag of nuts has so many different flavors and textures that help me pass the time away. It’s even something good to share with your neighbor… but make sure they aren’t allergic first!

Trail Mix

This classic cannot get any better; it has a variety of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate all in one. It’s easy to munch on (or pick out the chocolate chips) while watching a rom-com. Mixes are easy to find or make yourself and can last you through a grueling 5-hour flight. It’s something that stays fresh and tastes delicious on the beach, saving you money instead of picking something up from overpriced beach shacks.

Smoothie/ Shakes

Not something you can sneak through security, but if you're running through the terminal and need a quick pick-me-up, a shake is exactly what you need. Not the overly sugary packaged ones, but one with natural fruit and protein that can keep you satisfied on your hunt for the right gate.

Apart from these, there are a lot of other snacks you can carry. Just remember no liquids above 3oz! Or, if you have time, sit down at a restaurant at the airport and enjoy a delicious meal. But food before flying is essential.

“As the pressure falls while you fly, gas starts to expand, which is why your stomach can feel uncomfortable…The Aerospace Medical Association says our body’s gas can expand up to 25 percent while in flight. So it’s better to opt for light, easy meals before boarding, especially if you have a long commute,” says celebrity dietician Nmami Agarwal to Vogue.

Air travel has always been known to affect your stomach, so keep a few snacks with you at all times, and you’ll be ready to sunbathe on the beach the minute you land.

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