The most important decision is to choose a dish that totes well. Dishes that easily spill or get soggy can make a big mess. Depending on travel time, some dishes can transport well over short distances, but if you have a long ride ahead of you (over 4 hours) it’s best to choose a dish that you can either put in a cooler or that doesn’t need refrigeration.
If you choose to make a green salad, pack the dressing separately. If you do get assigned a messier dish (like soup), use sturdy storage containers (like these from Cambro) and then place in a plastic bag.
For hot dishes that will need to be heated, check ahead with the hosts about oven space so you don’t end up stressing them (and you) out!
- Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing (above, from Food Network Magazine)
- Portobello Mushroom Salad
- Massaged Kale Salad
- Lemon-Herb Rice Salad
- Lentil and Kale Salad
- Carrot Salad
- Made-Over Deep Dish Brownies
- Cinnamon Bread Twists
- Marbled Banana Bread
- Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread
- Gingerbread, Slimmed
- Orange Chocolate Cookies
Traveling by air can get tricky, especially with long flights and restrictions on carrying liquids. If you’re looking to bring homemade fare, stick with shelf-stable foods like bread, baked desserts, and individually wrapped candies. International flights may have some regulations when it comes to traveling with food, so check beforehand.
Breads and Rolls
- Pine Nut Cookies
- Almond Blueberry Cookies
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Apple Cider Snickerdoodles
- Fleur de Sel Caramels
Get It Delivered
Don’t want to schlep food on the plane? Place an order online and have it directly shipped to your host. Just be sure to do it ahead of time, since many places need advance notice or require expedited shipping during the holiday crush.
- Graze: Farm fresh Vermont food is cooked and sent to your doorstep. Serves New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
- Eat Boutique: From spiced nuts to chocolate bark to apple cider marshmallows, you can have artisanal homemade desserts delivered anywhere in the United States.
- Fresh Direct: Local online supermarkets deliver healthy ready-to-serve dishes from appetizers to main courses to dessert. Fresh Direct delivers within New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.