When on a road trip, who doesn’t want to have something to snack on? When you are driving for hours at a time, you will need to have snacks with you; to reduce your number of additional stops along the way.
First, nine travel bloggers, who have traveled tens of thousands of miles, share their suggestions, and why they make for good road trip snacks. After that, are the results of when I quarried my friends and family for recommendations, to add some healthy and not so healthy ideas. Plus if you are looking for where to go, there are a few suggestions to consider for your next road trip. Let’s get started.
Oranges and Grapes – Penny, Globe Trove
When it comes to packing food for a road trip, I always find myself deliberating over the numerous options that are out there. Walk into a supermarket, and the urge to buy everything on the shelf somehow reaches an all-time high. It was only till our road trip from Bangalore to Mysore (we wanted to see the Mysore Palace) that I realized that fruits make the best snack on the road, especially in the Indian heat.
Our favorites are oranges and grapes mainly because they are easy to carry, your hands don’t get dirty, and there is minimum waste produced. A bonus is the fact that they have a high water content, which helps us keep rehydrated. Another great part about carrying fruits is the waste produced is biodegradable. It avoids the need to carry plastics, and you can eat while driving too.
Carrots and Hummus – Melissa Conn,
The Family Voyage
We’ve done over 10,000 miles of family road trips in the last two years and have gone through a huge rotation of snack options. One of our favorites is baby carrots and hummus.
This snack works best for kids who are at least 3 or 4 – then you can be sure that they’ll chew their carrots safely and also won’t make a huge mess with the hummus. We love that this snack requires no prep other than a trip to the grocery store but is loaded with protein and fiber to keep everyone satiated for a long time without a sugar crash. For an extra treat or some variety, add some pita chips.
Want to learn more about how to road trip with a toddler and a kid take a look at this blog.
Homemade Peanut Butter Oat Bars –
Niina Lehikoinen, Bizarre Globe Hopper
These homemade peanut butter oat bars are our favorite snacks for long days on the road – or hiking trips. My brother got the recipe for rock climbing sessions from his personal trainer, as these healthy energy bars supply fast but long-lasting energy boost when you’re tired.
The recipe is easy: mix equal amount of peanut butter, honey, and rolled oats in a bowl. No baking is required: just press the mixture firmly in a pan with parchment paper and refrigerate until it’s cold and firm (1 to 2 hours). Finally, cut into bars or squares. You can even roll it into balls before refrigerating if you prefer.
The recipe is easy to modify: add nuts or seeds, dried fruits, vanilla, or cinnamon to taste or switch peanut butter into another nut butter. I use only healthy, organic peanut butter (made from peanuts without any sugar or additives) and organic honey. I usually use less honey than the original recipe: taste the mixture and tweak it to your liking.
Please note that honey is not recommended for babies under 12 months.
Jerky – Maria Haase, India Upclose
In the US, Jerky is the ultimate Road Trip food. Dehydrated slices of meat will give you a savory, easy to eat, and protein-filled snack on the road. You can find it at the smallest gas station in the middle of nowhere. Some stores only carry big brand names, such as Slim Jim or Jack Links, but if you are lucky, you will find some locally produced artisanal jerky.
Jerky comes in many varieties. The most traditional one is beef jerky, but now you can find turkey jerky, deer jerky, even fish jerky.
Then there are the flavors. Things can get creative here, but the most common ones are original, black pepper, and teriyaki. I love spicy food, so if I can find something with chili, I am a happy road tripper. Beware that some of them can be quite spicy, so if you travel with children or spicy food triggers certain bodily functions, you might want to stick to the mild versions.
Going to India? Here are some road trip ideas.
Nuts and Veggies – Diana, Elusive Family
Road Trips are fun, and sometimes so very long. Food isn’t always available when on the road and rest stops can be hundreds of miles apart from one another. Some towns are almost completely closed down on Sundays, as is the case with a lot of European road trips we have taken, therefore having road trip snacks is a necessity.
Our go-to road trip snack is a mixed bag of nuts and cut up vegetables. The mixed nuts provide continued energy as well as numerous minerals, protein, and healthy fats. A combination of Brazilian nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews is a good combination.
Vegetables are also a great snack to have, especially when prepped in advance. Cucumbers; tomatoes; green, red and yellow bell peppers; and carrots are all veggies that can stay good for a long time.
Looking for a Campsite Reservation?
Dark Chocolate – Daniel James, Layer Culture
One of the best road trip snacks to carry, especially when you’re in hotter climates, is dark chocolate. Not only is it super good for your health, but it is really tasty and satisfying, plus, it keeps you fuelled for longer on the road. If you are not sure which brand to get, look out for Green & Blacks (manufactured in Canada and Europe) – you can find it in most major supermarkets.
When doing road trips in Latin America, exploring counties such as Mexico, where the temperature can get scouring hot, dark chocolate is a great companion because it doesn’t melt so quickly in your pocket. I’ve found many locals brands in regions like Oaxaca where it’s normal to eat dark chocolate that is 80 percent and up, pure cocoa.
Almonds – Jason Lee, Mini Habits
Whenever I go on road trips, I always pack almonds with me. Almonds are my go-to nut of choice because they are highly nutritious and incredibly tasty. It’s sometimes tough to finds snacks that check these two boxes and almonds do exactly that for me. And on top of that, almonds are incredibly easy to pack, and as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time, you shouldn’t have to worry about the natural fats going rancid on you.
Nutritionally, almonds are high in fiber, protein, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. They are loaded with antioxidants too.
A couple of drawbacks of almonds is that they are highish in fat (as most nuts are) and are a calorie-heavy food. If you’re on a low fat/low-calorie type diet, almonds won’t be a good fit.
Otherwise, pack a bunch of almonds on your next trip. Have a handful during those long hours on the road to keep you satiated instead of munching on a bag of chips!
Apples – Arzo Nayel, Arzo Travels
“One apple a day, keeps the doctor away” – I am not sure about that, but without a doubt, one of the best, healthy, affordable snacks for a road-trip is…an apple.
While you could snack any fruits or veggies, an apple is an ideal snack. It is healthy, typically does not cost much, but most of all, it is easy to eat. Apples do not need a lot of preparation (you do not even have to peel it, a quick wash will do) and you can buy them in bulk because they do not turn bad quickly.
On my recent trip, I always got a big pack of apples and, unlike bananas, I did not have to worry about, so they don’t turn bad. In that sense, apples were also like an emergency snack.
Going to Tuscany, Italy? Here is a blog with suggestions on how to make the most of your road trip.
Crackers – Priyadarshini Rajendran, Glorious Sunrise
For toddlers and young kids, having packs of crackers would help immensely on a road trip. Buy packs of Ritz crackers, Cheez-It, Gold Fish, or if you have very little ones on your trip, animal crackers would be a super hit with them.
Do not give the entire pack to them. It would upset their little stomachs. Instead, pack individual serving size portions into snack size ziploc bags and give them one package at a time. This will ensure that there is less mess in the car in case of inevitable spills and also keep the kids healthy. Ziplocs are a huge help when you pack for multiple kids as it makes sure that there are no fights because they all get the same size ziploc bag with their snack.
Looking for more tips about traveling with young kids, you may want to take a look at this blog.
Suggestions From Friends and Family
Ruth R. – If you are on the keto diet, I suggest Air Cheese. They come in individual serving packs, and I buy them especially for road trips.
Brady B. – Pistachio nuts; easy to eat, delicious, healthy, and they keep well in the car for long periods.
Bill W. – For me, I like trail mix, beef jerky and red licorice for no particular reason other than I like it and it’s easy.
Dora B. (lives in Rome) – Boiled eggs, omelet sandwiches, grapes, strawberries or tangerines according to the season, and pocket coffee (chocolate with liquid coffee inside).
Nancy F.C. – Beef jerky, red licorice, trail mix or granola
Cathy G.H. – Sliced up carrots and celery. Have had this on many road trips.
Holly G. – I like to have beef jerky, fruit like apples or oranges, and chips.
Lori F.H.A. – Red licorice, Chester’s puffed corn, and grapes
Julie V. – Cheese and crackers… easy to eat, easy to get ready, and you can have a variety of flavors.
Orlene Dentone – We never get in the car or truck for a road trip without jerky and Gardettos.
Carol G. – Cuties Clementine tangerines, sweet, tasty and fruit is healthy!
Ryan G. – Lemon Heads, Beef Jerky, Red licorice – Red licorice always says fun to me, and the beef jerky helps balance out the sugar.
Tom G. – Peanut M&M’s, individual package, and cinnamon raisin bagels.
Ballerinas&Sneakers (@Ballerinas_Blog) – Love honey peanuts or barbecue peanuts!
BabyBoomerSuperSaver (@BabyBoomerSaves) – Cut up veggies, nuts, and Parmesan cheese crisp bars.
Many people have asked me what my favorite is—for a long time; it was Peanut M&M’s. Like Ryan, they just said to me; we were going to go off and have fun. We have cut back on sugar now, so typically I will grab some nuts and raisins. If I want to splurge, I’ll buy a bag of Chex Mix.
Hopefully, this will spark your imagination to discover road trip snacks that fit your lifestyle and taste.
Destinations in the USA That Make Great Road Trips
• Blue Ridge Parkway (several states along the East Coast)
• Yosemite National Park, California
• Mt. Rushmore (and Sioux Falls), South Dakota
• Highway 49 through the gold rush towns in California
There are so many more, but those are ones we have done and enjoyed.
Hope your next Road Trip is lots of fun and don’t forget those all-important snacks.