Heading on the road and need advice on what road trip snacks to bring? We’re here to help. Because while grabbing a few bags of chips on the go is an easy fix, knowing what food to bring on a road trip will keep everyone healthier and ultimately happier. It’s also cheaper and more timesaving than eating out, and produces less waste than prepacked food.
So what snacks to bring on a road trip? In this post, we list a variety of food to bring on a road trip. We first cover the easy-to-pack, healthy snacks. Then come tasty, homemade snacks that require some prepping but are very rewarding and can substitute meals. We’ll also cover a few snacks for kids. Finally, we list some all-time favourite snacks to bring on a road trip.
Healthy road trip snacks that are easy to pack
Does bringing healthy road trip snacks only mean munching on carrots and celery while drinking alkaline water? No, you silly. There are plenty of easy-to-pack snacks for a road trip that is healthy and tasty and don’t make you look like you’re on a diet. But yes, do bring carrots and celery if you like ‘em. Here’s a list of healthy food to bring on the road:
Starting with the obvious road trip snack to bring, fruits are packed with fibres, antioxidants, and minerals. They don’t just keep you healthy but energized too as they’re filled with sugars.
If you have a long holiday ahead of you, dried fruits keep longer. Keep in mind that dehydrated fruits lack water and won’t fill you up quite as much as they normally would. You, therefore, risk eating too many sugars and calories.
Bring fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, cherries, grapes or any locally abundant fruit in your car or motorhome and you’ll always have a power-up when you need one.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, fibres, and protein. They also contain omega 3 and 6, essential oils for staying healthy.
Besides being healthy, they’re also just about the easiest food to bring on a road trip. Easy to pack, nuts and seeds don’t spoil and you can pop a few in your mouth whenever you want.
Peanuts pack a lot of proteins and other great nutrients. Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecan nuts contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds are great sources of nutrients too. Bring your favourite mix of nuts and seeds, or get a granola trail mix!
On the road, it’s your all-purpose spread. Peanut butter does well on bread, bananas, and is an all-time favourite for kids when paired with jelly.
Peanuts are packed with healthy fats and proteins. With almost 600 calories per 100 grams, it’s a miracle that peanut butter is perfectly acceptable on a weight-loss diet (in moderation and when pure).
These come in all shapes, sizes and tastes. Protein bars do a great job at filling you up and keeping you going.
Eggs are nature’s multivitamin. They contain a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Egg proteins are some of the best you can find, as they contain all amino acids the body uses as building blocks. — boiled eggs last up to seven days in the cooler
Health experts recommend 1 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day, depending on your age and weight. But when you’re on the road it’s all too easy to slack on your vegetable intake. Fill up a container with bite-sized vegetables to get your daily dose of goodies.
Carrots taste good and have a crunchy bite. The carotenes they contain improve vision in the dark, very useful on a road trip. Baby carrots are the perfect size for snacking.
Cherry tomatoes are the right size, too. Cut up some bell peppers, celery, and cucumbers and you’re set for a long drive.
Homemade road trip snacks
Snacks that require preparation at home but are closer to complete meals. Can act as breakfast, lunch. Healthy to varying degrees.
Sandwiches are staple road-trip meals. They’re easy to eat while underway in a campervan or car, plus there’s a type of sandwich for everyone. Here are a few sandwiches to bring on a road trip:
The peanut butter sandwich
The easy way out but tasty and nutritious nonetheless! Just bring a pot of peanut butter and you’ll always have a backup plan.
Egg and cheese
You can choose to add ham or bacon, but keep it cooled in that case. Oh, don’t forget the mayo.
Pita pocket (caprese, leftovers, chicken)
Pitas are great for in the car or campervan because you’ll less likely spill food on your seat. Make pita caprese with mozzarella, tomato and basil. Or stuff ‘em with anything really, from falafel with tzatziki to yesterday’s leftovers.
Bring tortillas and everyone travelling is going to thank you. Go mexican with refried beans, cheese, and bring salad and sour cream to add fresh. Tortilla wraps go well with tuna or chicken too.
Guacamole and hummus
Make your own dip at home before leaving to make those veggie snacks more interesting. Hummus tastes great and is a good source of protein, making it a good pair to vegetables.
For the guac, consider bringing a bag of nachos (the natural variant).
A meal salad makes for a refreshing bite and good lunch, especially during a hot summer day. Prepare your favourite salad: tuna pasta salad, potato salad, or a baked chickpea salad perhaps?
An easy 5-min prep, overnight oats are a great breakfast on the road. Just fill a mason jar with equal parts oats and warm water or milk. Next, add toppings of your liking (berries, seeds, and honey maybe?) and leave in the fridge overnight. While on the road, keep your mason jars with delicious oats in the cooler.
Road trip snacks for kids and toddlers
While a lot of the mentioned snacks work for kids too, snacks for kids need that yum factor to convince them. Here are a few alternative ways to prepare the food mentioned above:
Ants on a log
Fill up a piece of celery with peanut butter and top it with raisins. Ants on a log make for a perfect nutrient combo!
Popcorn trail mix
Instead of oats, prepare a trail mix with popcorn—a guaranteed hit.
Mini pancake wraps
Fill them with some peanut butter and red fruits for a healthy snack and a serving of fruit in disguise.
All-time favourite road trip snacks
Is the right food for a journey healthy and homemade? Yes, but not always. Because what’s a road trip if you can’t let go every now and then?
We, humans, are comfort creatures and a six-hour drive can get pretty uncomfortable. Reward yourself and your passengers with a snack of your choice to keep the spirits high and the mood light. Here’s a list of all-time favourite road trip snacks:
Chocolate deserves a special mention. It’s the ultimate snack when morale is low. Cocoa raises the endorphin levels in your brain and so decreases stress and pain while increasing a feeling of wellbeing.
Chocolate has another secret ingredient: your body uses the tryptophan in chocolate to create serotonin, the brain’s happy chemical. Eating dark chocolate will work best for these benefits, but the sugar rush from a chocolate bar will tingle your dopamine receptors too. Going for a survivalist approach to your journey? Chocolate suppresses hunger too.
Crunch, crunch, crunch. That’s the sound of a few happy passengers. If you’re with kids, consider smaller serving small bags or a smaller bowl so that they don’t stuff themselves. It’s so easy to overeat crisps.
Chocolate chip, wafers, biscuits, pick the cookie that is closest to your heart. Just don’t eat the whole pack in one go.
Hopefully, this list of road trip snacks can give you the energy you need to keep you going on your next adventure.
About the Author
Seasonal vanlifer on a permanent holiday. Does occasional creative work to sustain his diet of beachside margaritas and paperback thrills.