With summer here, there is no better way to spend a weekend than taking a road trip. But there’s one major problem…the food. Everyone wants to eat different things and when you’re driving, options are limited. So we set out to create the ultimate road trip snack pack!
Food For Road Trip
One of the hardest parts of packing for a road trip is coming up with road trip food and meals to have on the way. While you can plot out places to stop, fast food day in and day out on the road is not ideal.
Not to mention gas station food. Somewhere between the beef stick, greasy hot dog, and bags of salty snacks, I start to get really grossed out. And if you are gluten-free, vegan, or have dietary restrictions or allergies, this can be even harder!
It is not only unhealthy to eat like this for multiple meals over several days, but it is also expensive. And costs you time.
Plus, if you are on a road trip in somewhere like Arches National Park, you won’t have the option of stopping somewhere for lunch inside the park. You will have to bring your own.
But if you plan ahead with your road trip foods, and pre-make some road trip meals and snacks, you can definitely keep your family well-fed on the road. You can actually premake, plan and organize (also important) road trip breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
And, if you are vegan or gluten-free or in need of road trip snacks for toddlers, don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten you. I also include a helpful list of road trip foods to make your road trip meal planning easy too!
Here is the ultimate road trip food list you will love!
Why Bring Your Own Road Trip Foods
If you are wondering what food is good for road trips, and what are the best snacks for road trips, you have come to the right place!
Before we get to the road trip food list, let’s quickly look at why you should bring your own or make-ahead road trip meals and snacks on your trip. Yes, it is way easier and more convenient to buy it along the way.
But, keep this in mind:
- Your own make-ahead road trip meals and snacks are healthier.
- Bringing your own road trip food saves you a lot of money.
- Choosing in advance assures everyone has something they can and will eat.
- Having your own road trip food limits stops or having to surrender to what is available at the time you are stopping.
- It is easy to pull over at a rest stop with a picnic table and eat or have in your hotel room, RV, or even in the car.
- You can easily answer the “what’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner” question with your already planned, make-ahead road trip meals.
- Road trip snacks can keep kids full between meals and busy in between road trip activities.
- You can bring road trip food whether you are on a family road trip with a cooler, going camping, or traveling in an RV with a kitchen like the Forest River Cedar Creek 38RTH (it has a kitchen with an island!). But no matter how you travel, there are road trip foods and meals for every mode of transportation.
The Reality and Practicality of Road Trip Food
Now, let’s be real. It isn’t possible for all of the road trip food you bring to be homemade, especially if say you are going on a 10-day Midwest road trip.
That’s a long time and a lot of food to pack for a road trip. There are many easy things that can serve as healthy road trip meals that can be purchased.
And, it is both practical and easier to include nonperishable road trip food with some of your make-ahead meals. It is also part of the fun to eat out while on a vacation.
But it is still healthier and easier when you control what you are bringing overall. And when you plan ahead, as opposed to being left with whatever is available on the road, you can save time and money, and eat better.
So here are the best road trip foods for traveling and some of my best tips!BVWK Road Trip Food Tip #1Use a road trip food list and meal planner like mine below to plot out your meals and snacks. Not only will this help you shop ahead and assemble what you need, but it will also help you organize the cooler so that the first meals are on top. It can also help you at destinations if you need additional ingredients.
If you are wondering, “What should I eat for a long car drive?” remember to include breakfast on your road trip food list. You need the energy to drive all that way, and driving on an empty tank – literally and figuratively – won’t work for a long car journey.
Breakfast is an important part of our morning routine. But because of the times of our departure, we don’t usually eat before we hit the road. And, sometimes we leave before our hotel offers breakfast.
Having road trip breakfast ideas that are portable and easy to eat in the car is very important for the success of our road trips. For this reason, things that are either nonperishable or easy to hold (like breakfast sandwiches, muffins, etc.) are the best for this important meal.
Nonperishable Road Trip Breakfast Ideas
- Store-bought granola
- Single Serving Dry Cereal
- Pop-Tarts (I prefer the Bobo’s brand)
- Breakfast Bars
Cold Grab and Go Road Trip Breakfast Ideas
- Biscuit Muffins
- Croissant (ham and cheese or even chocolate)
- Bagels and Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
- Overnight Oats
- Chia Pudding
- Homemade Granola
- Cornflakes Cereal Granola
- Instant Oatmeal
- Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Breakfast Bars
- Healthy Banana Pikelets (Baby Pancakes)
- English Muffin and Peanut Butter
- Fresh Fruit (use sturdier fruit that won’t get too mushy, like apples)
- Yogurt Pouches/Gogurt and Fruit
- Boiled Eggs
- Premade Yogurt and Granola Parfaits
- Mediterranean Breakfast Burrito
- Broccoli and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
- Keto Ham and Cheese Fritatta Muffins
- Bagel and Cream Cheese
- Egg, Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
- Quiche Florentine
HEALTHY SNACKS FOR YOUR NEXT EPIC ROAD TRIP
As tempting as it may be to grab that Snickers bar when you stop to fill up on gas for your road trip, you will definitely regret that decision.
Not only does a Snickers bar have absolutely no nutritional value to help your body get what it needs, it will actually put harmful chemicals in your body such as high fructose corn syrup.
By making sure that you pack good, healthy snacks for your road trip, you’ll find that you won’t be tempted to grab that Snickers bar because you know something better is waiting for you in your car.
Here are our top picks for healthy road trip snacks.
1. BEEF JERKY
This road trip snack is packed full of protein, which is one of the best ways to satisfy your hunger.
However, don’t opt for jerky from the gas station that comes loaded with preservatives, and whose sodium levels are off the charts.
Instead, pick up an organic, grass-fed one from your local natural foods store.
Popcorn is a great source of fiber and complex carbs that will help your body stay regular, and provide you with energy while on the road.
Make sure you’re not getting the microwave popcorn that is filled with chemicals. Instead, grab one from the natural foods store that has ingredients of just corn, salt, and oil.
Even better yet, pop some on the stove at home using olive oil or butter and just salt. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting.
3. HARD-BOILED EGGS
These little eggs are not only easy to prepare, they are easy to store, and easy to eat on the road. They’re fairly mess-free, and are packed full of protein that your body will need while on the road.
For some extra crunch and the perks of some quality complex carbs, add some whole wheat crackers to your egg snack for the perfect pick-me-up.
4. PROTEIN BARS
Be wise with your choice of protein bars.
There are countless protein bars out there that are full of nothing but sugar and crazy additives and preservatives that you’ve never heard of.
Instead, look for a protein bar full of natural ingredients that will give you the nutrients your body needs and wants, without the sugar crash.
5. STRING CHEESE
You’re never too old to eat string cheese, especially when you know the nutritional benefits it provides.
Pair your string cheese with apple slices, and you’ll have a snack that perfectly covers healthy fat, good protein, and complex carbs.
With this trio of nutrients, you won’t be hungry again for a while, and you’ll also feel your energy levels increase.
Though carrots do have fiber in them and other great nutritional value, one of the reasons we suggest this as a road trip snack is because oftentimes when on the road, you find yourself wanting to eat simply because you’re bored.
So, rather than fill that boredom with unhealthy snacks, munch on some carrots that will take you a while to eat, and will keep you busy without making a mess.
Similar to carrots, grapes are a great option for when you’re bored and want to eat something on the road.
Healthy, clean, and easy to eat, grapes will help stave off the boredom. Just don’t go overboard with the grapes — they do have a lot of sugar in them.
8. HUMMUS AND CELERY
Hummus is another great protein-packed snack that will help keep your belly full and happy.
In addition, hummus is full of B vitamins.
And celery is the perfect dipping stick. Low in calories, but high in water content, your body will love this hummus-celery combo.
9. GREEK YOGURT
Protein all the way with Greek yogurt. This little snack is full of it, and will help keep you full until your next meal.
Top your Greek yogurt with some nuts or fruit for some added fiber and energy.
10. PB SANDWICH (SKIP THE J)
Though we love jelly, it usually doesn’t offer up anything but loads of added sugar.
Instead, grab for quality peanut butter (be sure to check your ingredients and say “no” to peanut butter with sugar added to it) for a healthy dose of protein and fat.
Slather that peanut butter on some whole wheat bread, and you’ve covered your complex carbs, your protein, and your fat.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, grab a banana, slice it up, and throw it in between the bread and have yourself a PB&B.