As an avid road tripper, I love to stock my car with some of the most healthy road trip snacks and meals. These often range from road trip breakfasts to road trip lunch ideas and drinks. Of course, I also make pitstops at good restaurants at intervals but nothing beats picnics with your home-cooked food or well-packed road trip snacks and meals as one of the most adventurous things to do on a road trip. I do all these because I love to eat healthy and love the fun of going through and trying out some of the best road trip food ideas and recommendations I come across.
However, I didn’t just begin to pack food for road trips until I had that moment where my choice of foods, chosen carelessly during the trip from gas stations and regular restaurants along the way threatened to mess up my entire trip by leaving me and my travel buddies feeling sick and sluggish all through. It was one summer and we all planned a road trip where we mapped out the best road trip itineraries and packed up our road trip essentials and set out for this trip that took us through several states and lasted for several days. We were all so excited about the journey ahead and didn’t give much thought to what we were going to eat.
As you can tell, we didn’t plan our road trip snacks and meals and ended up in that mess that didn’t only threaten to ruin our trip but also cost us so much. On that note, I decided to compile this list of the best road trip snacks and meals that will keep you healthy and pumped up to enjoy your trip. Remember, a well-fueled body is important for the physical and mental well-being and clarity of any road tripper.
Snacks For the Road
Check out these healthy road trip snacks that you can consume on the go in your car.
- Trail mix – Ah, trail mix. The ultimate road trip snack. It’s portable, filling, and packed with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sometimes even chocolate. The perfect snack to munch on while taking in the scenery!
- Dried fruit – If you’re looking for a sweet and healthy snack, dried fruit is the way to go. It’s easy to pack, long-lasting and comes in a variety of flavors. My personal favorite is dried apricots. Yum!
- Energy bars – Energy bars are a lifesaver on long road trips. They’re easy to grab, convenient, and give you a quick burst of energy. Just be careful, as some bars can be loaded with sugar and are not the healthiest option.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are another great snack option for road trips. They’re packed with healthy fats and protein, making them a filling snack to help keep you going. My favorite is roasted almonds!
- Crackers and cheese – A classic snack duo, crackers and cheese are perfect for those savory cravings. They’re easy to pack and don’t require any preparation, making them a convenient option for the road.
- Fresh fruit – Fresh fruit is always a great snack option, and it’s especially good on road trips. It’s refreshing, healthy, and doesn’t require any preparation. My favorite road trip fruit is a juicy watermelon.
- Cookies or granola bars – Who doesn’t love a sweet treat on a road trip? Cookies and granola bars are easy to pack and come in a variety of flavors. Just be mindful of the sugar content in some options.
- Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is a great road trip snack option, as it’s packed with antioxidants and is satisfyingly sweet. Just be careful not to eat too much, as it can also be high in calories.
- Yogurt-covered raisins – Yogurt-covered raisins are a fun twist on the classic raisin snack. They’re sweet and creamy, making them a great option for those with a sweet tooth.
- Jerky – Jerky is a great option for a salty, savory snack on the road. It’s portable, long-lasting, and comes in a variety of flavors. Just be mindful of the sodium content in some options.
- Vegetable chips – For those looking for a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips, vegetable chips are a great option. They’re crunchy, satisfying, and come in a variety of flavors.
- Popcorn – Popcorn is a classic road trip snack, and for good reason. It’s light, crunchy, and satisfying. Just be careful of the added salt and butter in some options.
- Rice cakes with peanut butter – Rice cakes with peanut butter are a great option for a filling and satisfying snack on the road. Rice cakes are a low-calorie and low-fat alternative to crackers, and peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats. Simply spread a layer of peanut butter on top of a rice cake, and you’re good to go! The crunch of the rice cake combined with the creamy nuttiness of the peanut butter makes for a delicious and satisfying snack. Just be careful to choose a peanut butter that’s low in added sugars
Meals For the Road
Here are the best road trip meals to pack along for any road adventure.
- Sandwiches – Sandwiches are a classic road trip meal and for good reason. They’re easy to make, portable, and filling. Make a variety of different types to keep things interesting, such as turkey, cheese, avocado, or peanut butter and jelly.
- Salad – Salads are a great option for a refreshing and healthy meal on the road. Pack a variety of greens, veggies, and toppings for a delicious and nutritious meal. Don’t forget a dressing to drizzle on top!
- Wraps – Wraps are similar to sandwiches, but with a bit more flair. They’re easy to make and portable, making them a great option for the road. Fill them with your favorite ingredients, such as chicken, cheese, and veggies.
- Pasta salad – Pasta salad is a great option for a filling and flavorful meal on the road. Cook up some pasta, add in some veggies and dressing, and voila! A delicious and portable meal that’s perfect for the road.
- Instant noodles – Instant noodles are a classic road trip meal, as they’re easy to prepare and quite filling. Just add boiling water and voila, a hot and delicious meal in minutes.
- Soup – Soup is a great option for a warm and comforting meal on the road. Pack a thermos with your favorite variety, such as tomato or chicken noodle, for a filling and delicious meal.
- Rice dishes – Rice dishes are a great option for a filling and nutritious meal on the road. Pack a variety of ingredients, such as veggies and protein, to mix and match and make a variety of delicious meals.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a great option for a warm and filling meal on the road. Pack some instant oats, along with some milk or water, and you’ll have a nutritious and delicious meal in minutes.
- Water – Water is the most important drink to have on a road trip. It helps keep you hydrated and is essential for a safe and comfortable journey. Make sure to drink plenty throughout the day.
- Juice – Juice is a great option for a sweet and refreshing drink on the road. Just be mindful of the added sugars in some varieties.
- Tea or coffee – Tea and coffee are great options for a warm and comforting drink on the road. Pack a thermos with your favorite variety for a pick-me-up on the go.
- Sports drinks – Sports drinks are a great option for replenishing electrolytes and hydration during a long road trip. Just be mindful of the added sugars in some varieties.
Tips for Food Safety and Convenience
Follow these tips to pack your road trip snacks and meals conveniently and ensure that your meals are safe for consumption throughout your trip.
Keep Food at Safe Temperatures
Keeping food at safe temperatures is crucial for avoiding food poisoning during a road trip. Make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, using cooler and insulated containers where necessary. Don’t forget to pack a thermometer to check the temperatures of your food regularly.
Plan Ahead for Food Storage and Preparation
Planning ahead is key when it comes to food storage and preparation on a road trip. Make sure to pack enough containers and utensils to store and prepare your food, and think about the amount of space you’ll need in your vehicle. Consider bringing along a small portable stove or microwave for hot meals.
Balance Convenience with Healthy Options
Balancing convenience with healthy options is crucial for a successful road trip. Try to strike a balance between quick and easy snacks and meals, and healthier options that will keep you fueled throughout the day. Fresh fruit, nuts, and veggies are great options for healthy snacks on the go, while pasta salad, wraps, and rice dishes can provide more substantial meals. Just be mindful of the portion sizes, and try to limit the quantity of processed foods and added sugars.
Road trips can be an exciting and memorable experience, but having the right road trip snacks and meals on hand can make all the difference. We’ve covered some of the best road trip snacks, including portable options like trail mix and energy bars, sweet treats like fresh fruit and dark chocolate, and savory options like jerky and vegetable chips. Some great meals to bring along, include cooler options like sandwiches and pasta salad, hot options like instant noodles and oatmeal, and drinks like water and sports drinks.
When it comes to road trip snacks and meals, don’t be afraid to try new options and find your personal favorites. Mix up your snack choices and try different meal options to find what works best for you. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy some of these healthy and tasty options! Additionally, these road trip snacks and meals idea isn’t only for when you are packing from home, you could use some road trip apps and tools for locating restaurants like Yelp to find the best restaurants on your route while this guide helps you make a choice of healthy meals while on your trip.
Finally, remember that staying fueled during a road trip is crucial for a successful journey. By taking the time to plan ahead and pack healthy and delicious snacks and meals, you can ensure that you have the energy and sustenance you need to stay focused and energized on the road.