30 Road Trip Snacks to Elevate Your Next Car Journey
If you’re heading on a lengthy car ride, it goes without saying that road trip snacks are a must: When hunger and boredom strike, these little treats may just be your savior.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of some favorite road trip snacks that you should definitely take along on your next adventure. So, pack your cooler, buckle up, and let’s get into it!
What Are the Best Road Trip Snacks?
When packing snacks for a road trip, you should pick foods that are both convenient to store and eat, and those that aren’t overly messy.
The driver, in particular, will need snacks that are easy to reach and eat, as they’ll be busy focusing on the road.
Snacks in individual packets are a great option, but you can also portion up healthy snacks, like carrots and cucumbers, into zip lock bags or plastic containers.
Healthy Road Trip Snacks
There are plenty of healthy car snacks that you could take on your next epic road trip, and below, we’ve narrowed down some of our favorites.
Beef jerky is a great road trip food because it contains a lot of protein, which is guaranteed to satisfy your hunger. It’s also extremely easy to eat, as it already comes in its own packet and leaves behind minimal mess.
When choosing beef jerky, stay away from the gas station kind. Jerky that’s sold at gas stations comes full of preservatives, so instead, opt for some organic, grass-fed jerky from a natural foods store.
Sometimes you need more than just a snack, and that’s where sandwiches comes in.
Of course, depending on what you put in, these could be messy snacks; so, it’s best keep things simple. PB&J or a ham sandwich are great snack options for road trips.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare, store, and eat. Eggs are packed full of protein, which is exactly what you’ll need on long car rides to keep hunger at bay.
Once you’ve boiled your eggs, remove the shells and place them in a plastic container so you can quickly grab them when needed.
Granola or Protein Bars
Granola and protein bars are fantastic snacks that come in their own individual packets.
However, take the time to choose your bars carefully. Some are filled with sugar, preservatives, and additives — stuff you don’t want to be ingesting.
When shopping for a granola or protein bar, always check the label and look for natural ingredients that will fuel your body.
If you’re particularly handy in the kitchen, you could even make your own granola bars. That way, you know exactly what is going into them!
String cheese may be designed with kids in mind, but who doesn’t love peeling bits of cheese off and placing them in your mouth? It’s recommended not to leave cheese strings out at room temperature for more than 4 hours, so make this your first road trip snack or place it in a cooler!
Carrots and Cucumber Sticks
Carrot and cucumber sticks are the ultimate boredom snack — carrots especially. The amount of concentration chewing a carrot requires will relieve all boredom and also give your body some all-important nutrients and fiber.
Precut the carrots and cucumbers and place them in a container or zip lock.
You could even add some hummus or your other favorite dips to make these easy road trip snacks even tastier.
Fresh fruit will always be a great snack, whether you’re at home, on a picnic, or on a road trip.
If you prefer your fruit chilled (like we personally do), then be sure to pack a cooler.
Here are some great, easy-to-eat fruit options while road tripping:
And, if you have time before your trip, you could even cut up pineapple, watermelon, and mangoes and place them in a container.
Sliced apples are also an alternative if you’re not a fan of eating apples whole.
Nuts are an amazing source of protein, and make a fantastic travel snack. You could create a nut mix by adding different types of nuts to a bag, or you could single out your favorite to enjoy while driving.
Here are a few nuts for you to consider for your next road trip:
- Pistachios – Packed full of fiber and unsaturated fats. Low in calories.
- Walnuts – Contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids
- Peanuts – A great source of protein.
- Almonds – Rich in vitamins and minerals.
Protein balls are an alternative to protein bars.
And, I don’t know about you, but foods made into different shapes often look more appetizing.
The rules that apply to protein bars are also in effect for protein balls: Look for ones that aren’t filled with lots of sugars and additives, or make them at home!
Here’s a simple protein ball recipe:
Mix nut butter, shredded coconut, protein powder, rolled oats, chocolate chips, and dried fruit.
Then, roll the mixture into ball shapes and place the balls into the fridge.
Crackers make a good snack if you’re looking for something crunchy. Whether you turn them into cheese crackers, tuna crackers, or nut butter crackers is completely up to you.
Whatever you choose to do with your crackers, just be sure to prepare the snacks before getting into the car.
Seeds are another great option alongside nuts. Sunflower seeds are full of magnesium and healthy fats.
Remember to pack a spare bag to spit the shells into!
We love popcorn for road trips, and here’s why.
For one, not only is it a great source of carbs and fiber, but it is also fun to snack on.
Secondly, if you’re feeling lazy, then microwavable bags of popcorn will do.
Now, for an even healthier snack, grab some popcorn from a natural food store, or even better, make your own.
To make your own popcorn, simply grab some kernels, place them into a pot, add butter, salt, or olive oil for taste, and heat them on the stove until they start to pop. Be sure to put a lid over the pot while the kernels are popping, but leave it open just a little bit.
You can find numerous trail mix options at most food stores, but it’s also incredibly easy to make your own. Your homemade version will probably be a lot healthier, too.
For a simple trail mix recipe, add your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. And, if you want to enhance it even further, you could add cereal, popcorn, chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips.
Instead of eating your fruit fresh, you could always go down the dried fruit route.
However, be careful — like most pre-packaged foods, your dried fruit mix can contain high-fructose corn syrup or lots of added sugar. Look for options that contain fruit and nothing else.
Also, note that most fruit that’s been dried — and prunes in particular — could have an unintended laxative effect. And, I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s something you should avoid at all costs while on the road.
Road Trip Snacks for a Sweet Tooth
Now that we’ve covered the healthy foods, we also thought we should mention some snacks to satisfy your cravings for sweets. Because, let’s be honest, we all need a little sugary pick-me-up from time-to-time.
One of the easiest mess-free snacks that’ll satisfy your sugar cravings is candy. There are tons of candy options out there, and everyone has their favorites.
What we will recommend, however, is not to pack candy covered in sugar, or smaller candies that are wrapped individually. The sugar will end up all over you and the car, and the wrappers are just annoying to dispose of.
If you have more of a chocolate sweet tooth (you and me both), then chocolate bars are guaranteed to nip your sugar want right in the bud.
We’ve found it’s best to pack your chocolate in a cooler to avoid it melting during the journey. After all, melted chocolate equals mess, and no one wants a messy car during a road trip.
Bite-sized muffins, either homemade or store-bought, are another fantastic road trip snack option. Remove the wrappers and place them in a container to avoid excess trash accumulating in the car.
Waffles and Pancakes
Waffles and pancakes are incredibly easy to make and even easier to snack on. Whip up a batch before your trip begins and place them in a container.
You could even cut them up so you can grab some whenever you get hungry.
Cookies are another sweet road trip snack you can make at home or buy from the store. I personally would choose the soft types of cookies as they are less likely to cause a mess.
Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids
Of course, kids can devour all the snacks we’ve listed above, but there are some additional kid snacks we thought we should mention.
Be sure to place all children’s snacks in containers or bags, and prepare all the food before starting your journey. By having everything ready and easy to access, the kids can get to their snacks themselves and won’t have to ask you for help.
Applesauce cups are a healthy and yummy snack, but be careful; if your little ones aren’t the cleanest of eaters, things could quickly get out of hand.
Don’t forget to pack a spoon; or, even better, opt for the squeezy applesauce variations.
Similar to applesauce cups, yogurt is another excellent snack option for the kiddos. Yogurt tubes are widely available, so if you can find them, always choose squeeze! They aren’t as messy, and they can be resealed if your kids have had enough.
Note that you’ll have to keep the yogurt refrigerated if you’re going on a longer drive.
We mentioned fruit before, and we’ll mention it again. Fruit snacks are healthy, tasty, and easy to eat on a road trip.
When preparing fruit snacks for little ones, be sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces and place them in a box with a fork. This way, the kids’ hands won’t get sticky, and the fruit won’t end up all over the place.
Nutella and Go!
Nutella really went the extra mile by creating the Nutella and Go! dipper packs.
If you’ve never seen these before, they’re small containers split into two sections. The first section is filled with Nutella and the second with breadsticks. Once you peel back the foil, you can dip your breadsticks into the Nutella for an easy and satisfying snack.
Potato chips may not be the healthiest option, but they sure do keep the little ones entertained. Those in a resealable can are a great choice because they can be closed with the lid once your kids have had enough.
Or, you can buy a big pack of chips and portion them into smaller zip locks. That way, they’re much easier for your kids to open, and you can limit how many they’re eating.
Cereal is just as good, if not better dry. So, grab a zip lock bag, add in a combination of your little one’s favorite cereal options and give it a good old shake.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
Cooler? Check. Road trip snacks? Check. Drinks? Almost forgot!
Drinks are just as important on a road trip as the snacks. Some may even say more important, depending on what type of drink they choose.
As you’re on a road trip, it’s best to not guzzle down liters of liquids at a time as then you’ll be stopping every five minutes for a toilet break.
Juice boxes may look childish, but they’re actually an amazing road trip drink option.
You see, juice boxes are tasty, they hold just the right amount of liquid, and they’re easy to pack in a cooler.
Some juice boxes contain lots of added sugars and additives, so pay close attention to the ingredients label before purchasing.
This one goes without saying. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, and adults should be consuming over 2.7 liters of water every day.
It’s best to pack your own reusable water bottle and fill it up at stop points along your trip.
If you’re bored of normal water, try sparkling water instead. You could even add a splash of fruit juice or cut up fruit slices to elevate it further.
Road trips are long, and a cup of coffee may just be the pick-me-up you need after driving for hours and hours.
Depending on where you drive, you may or may not have access to coffee shops, which give you a great opportunity to sample new coffees.
Alternatively, you can make your own at home, pour it into a flask, and then place it in your cup holder for whenever you’re ready to drink it.
This one definitely isn’t the healthiest option, but if you aren’t a coffee lover, you could opt for an energy drink instead.
It’s pretty common knowledge that energy drinks are full of caffeine and sugar, so we don’t recommend drinking more than one, and if you really are that tired, then you should pull over instead of driving.
Road Trip Snacks: Conclusion
Road trip snacks are a must for any lengthy car ride. They can keep kids entertained, give you a much-needed energy boost, and even cure boredom — even if it is just for a minute or two.
As we come to a close on our road trip food article, we’re interested to know what your go-to road trip snack is. What have you found works best for you and your family?
Let us know in the comment section down below!