There are some countries in the world that have expensive food and drink prices due to high import and tax costs. Some countries that may instantly spring to mind are Iceland, Finland and Norway. Having visited all three, I can safely say that “Yes, the rumours are true. These countries are expensive.” I wish it wasn’t true though as I know it can prevent some of you from travelling there. Which is where this food packing checklist comes in!

On our recent travels to Iceland, we were determined to beat the expensive food and drink prices by smuggling in some dry food in our cabin luggage (that were allowed through UK security) rather than having to buy everything we needed on the other side. If you are going to try this, make sure that the airport security allows for food in cabin luggage though. UK and Iceland were absolutely fine with it, but as I’ve not tried this in other destinations, you may need to do some checks beforehand.

Anyway, as we were only in Iceland for 4 days, it made sense for us to do this and we’ll likely do it again for other expensive countries (and providing their airport security allows us to do it). If this way of thinking also makes sense to you, then I’ve listed the kinds of foods you could take with you and even created a downloadable food packing checklist you can print outaren’t I a nice travel blogger?

Remember that you are only allowed to take dry food through security – absolutely no liquids unless under 100 ml and in your sealed plastic bag. These are all the dry foods we road-tested and had absolutely no worries with getting through either UK or Iceland airport security.

Teabags & Sweeteners

We Brits love, love, love our tea. So much so that some of us can be a little picky about what brand of tea we drink. This is easily solved through packing some teabags in a sealed plastic food bag. They’re light so no need to worry about carrying a tonne of bricks around with you and the plastic food bag will help keep them fresh. Add in a tube of sweeteners if you like sweet tea and you’re nearly ready for that cuppa as soon as you arrive at your lodgings – you’ll just need to buy milk on the other side and ensure you have some mugs to drink from!

Morocco Mint Tea

Porridge Sachets

Dried porridge sachets are flat and light, which makes them perfect for adding to cabin luggage. During our four days, we were a little boring in that we ate porridge everyday for breakfast, but it worked and we’d happily do it again.

Tortilla Wraps

I adore tortilla wraps at lunchtime. They can make a nice change from sandwiches and you can add vegetables, small pieces of meat and cheese to bulk them out. As wraps are flat, you can stow them away in your cabin luggage better than that loaf of bread you might have been thinking of cramming in!

Packet Soups

Packets of dried powdered soup are ideal for lunches or light dinners. You should opt for light and flat packets so that storing them in your luggage isn’t a problem.


Dry Pasta & Rice

Dried foods like pasta and rice are a great food item to take with you. With so many different kinds of meals you can make with pasta and rice as the main or side dish, this is one food item that will go a long way during your travels. You can even buy microwaveable rice in packets if you want the flavour already thrown in for you.

Packet Noodles

Forget the Pot Noodle as it’s too bulky. But flat packets of noodles are light and flat enough for packing. Similarly to pasta and rice, they can be a good base food item or something to make a side dish from.


Cereal & Snack Bars

Cereal and small snack bars are perfect for taking with you on day trips away from your hotel or cabin, so be sure to pack plenty of these for your trip. If you opt for a nutty variety as well, then this can be a good source of protein to keep you going during the day.

Snack-sized Banana Loaves

I’m not sure if these are only available in the UK, but I’m sure other countries will have similar kinds of snacks out there. Banana loaf is a great source of energy and the lunchbox-sized ones are good for day trips whilst you’re travelling.

Chocolate Bars

If you absolutely must pack something sweet, try taking lunchbox-sized chocolate bars. Normally packaged in long, thin wrappers, you could opt to take a whole hoard of these with you. And with airplanes being chilly in the hold or overhead cabin compartments, your chocolate shouldn’t melt.


Bonus Item: Prosecco, Wine & Champagne

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Nope, sorry, these are liquids. You can’t take them!” This is true. But you can buy bottles of alcohol in the duty free once you’ve made it through security or even on the plane itself. We managed to buy a couple of small bottles of Prosecco for £6 each so that we could toast our first night in Iceland from the hot tub. We will certainly do that again!

Hot Tub Iceland

And… like I said before. If you want to download and print this food packing list, then I’ve gotten creative and made one for you, which you can see below. Go ahead and view, download and print it if you want to.

Food Packing Checklist

Right, over to you now – what other food items can be taken through airport security? Or do you have any other tips for beating expensive food prices whilst travelling? Pop a note in the comments section below…

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Beat Expensive Prices Whilst Travelling With This Awesome Food Packing Checklist

10 thoughts on “How To Beat Expensive Food Prices Whilst Travelling

  1. kennedylazar says:

    This is so genius! I never even thought about packing my own food!

    1. Woo, thanks Kennedy! I love being labelled as a genius! 😉

      Iceland was the first place we tried this with and it worked so well, so we’ll definitely be doing this again!

  2. nomadepicureans says:

    Back in Austria I always used to pack smoked sausages, haha! This post is taking me back to my student days 🙂

    Unfortunately this is now useless to me because we live in Finland and food is cheaper everywhere else 😂


    1. Ooh yum, smoked sausages sound amazing!! Ahh…yeah, haha, you won’t get much value from packing your food before you travel away from Finland then… you’ll be more likely to try smuggling food back! 😉

  3. Yuen Mi says:

    This is awesome. Another person who actually packs their own food when travelling. I also can’t go without my teas. I put some teabags in my purse and just request for hot water while in-flight. Great list, and thanks for the downloadable checklist.

    1. Great tip Yuen! I had never thought of carrying tea bags for the plane journey itself – I’ll be sure to do that next time! 😉

  4. Laura says:

    I love this idea! I’m traveling to Iceland next month and have been told about the high-cost of food! Thanks for the free food packing checklist – will definitely be making use of it!

    1. Awesome! You will absolutely love Iceland! By far, the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited…! You’re welcome for the checklist – I hope it comes in handy! 😀

  5. Agnes says:

    Hi! Where have you stayed during the Golden Circle and south coast trip? I am going to Icland this in the end of the week and still missing accomodation for 2 nights

    1. Hi Agnes, sorry for the delay (I must have missed your comment). We stayed in a cabin that we found on AirBNB. Unfortunately, that particular cabin gets booked really quickly as it’s quite popular. I hope you’ve managed to find something decent and are enjoying your trip – I love Iceland! 🙂

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