By Brooke Porter Katz
August 20, 2015

Lara Merriken had what you’d call a true “aha” moment while hiking in Colorado back in May 2000. She was eating trail mix and realized ingredients like fruit and nuts could be combined to make a bar unlike any other on the market. The end result? Larabar, which now has 21 flavors of vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO bars. On a recent visit to New York, we got Merriken to reveal her tips for airport eating—her own creations excluded.

Try to think ahead.

“While exploring and the unknown is the best part of traveling, it can occasionally be challenging to find an abundance of healthy on-the-go options. I try to know the terminals and what kinds of food options they’ll have. And if there isn’t anything remotely healthy, I’ll go for the simplest thing I can find like a bag of nuts.”

Go for protein.

“If you’re at an airport that only has fast food options—which I recently experienced in Honolulu—look for protein-oriented types of things. For example, if it’s a Mexican restaurant, go for something with chicken and beans. And items like almonds or any other mixed nuts or seeds, hummus, and string cheese can generally be found within an airport.”

Drink a lot of water.

“I always make sure I have water with me when I travel whether I bring my own refillable bottle or purchase one at the airport. That way, I can be sure to stay hydrated while flying.”

Don’t travel hungry.

“If I know I’m heading into a long day of travel, I try and eat a filling meal at home first. That way I can have more control over a hearty breakfast or lunch and rely more on small snacks to curb hunger at the airport.”