Who doesn’t love to road trip? Most people choose to fly if they can, but there is something just so special about loading your entire family into the car, putting on some bad pop songs, and getting lost on back roads. If you are the type of person who prefers to travel in a car instead of taking a plane (where you can’t bring your own food), you probably plan in advance for snacks.
Buying from a gas station or a rest stop can be extremely expensive and time consuming, especially if you are on a tight time budget. Instead, think about packing your own snacks and foods to save time and money.
In order for a snack to travel well, it has to be easy to carry, easy to clean up, do well in room temperature, and appeal to a wide variety of people. If you have some time to prepare, here are the best foods to bring on a road trip:
Let’s start with the most important: drinks. If you aren’t going to bring anything else, bring drinks with you in the car. The best drink to bring is water. Water is easy, doesn’t cause sugary spikes, is relatively cheap, is good for you, and won’t stain if it spills. You can bring flavored water, infused water, coconut water, or sparkling water for something a little different and unique. You can bring those flavor packets as well to personalize your choices.
Some of the other drinks you can bring include juice boxes for a fun, sugary treat, soda cans for something universal, cold coffee drinks to keep you awake, and milk for younger children.
Fruits and Veggies
Starting with the healthiest and widest appealing options, fruits and veggies make for great road trip food. You can snack away without really thinking about your calories as the countryside passes by, especially with something good. However, bags of chips or candy bars shouldn’t be your go to. There are some fruits and veggies that are better than others, however. You want to avoid anything that makes you too sticky, anything that will stain if you drop it, and anything that can bruise too easily.
The best of the best in fruits and vegetables include:
• Celery sticks
• Carrot spears
• Broccoli florets
• Easy Peel Clementine’s/Oranges
If your children don’t really like fruits and vegetables by themselves (or you don’t, no shame) you can bring some dippers with as well. Ranch, hummus, peanut butter, and guacamole can all add an additional taste to the foods.
If your family tends to love fruit over vegetables, consider getting dried fruit but ensure that you get dried fruit that doesn’t have anything added to it like colors, sugar, and preservatives.
For people who are trying to go low on the carbs scale, proteins are a fantastic option. Protein keeps you satisfied between bigger meals and is usually really easy to carry – more so than you’d think. Some of the best sources of protein include:
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Roasted Chickpeas
• Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews)
• Energy Bars
• Hummus Dips
• Protein Chips
For the Sweet Tooth
Depending on how long it takes for you to get where you’re going, you might want to get something sweet as well. Instead of buying chocolate candy bars or gummi sugar, you might want to pack some of these healthier sweet treats. The best option is cookies that aren’t too sugary, like whole grain cookies, graham crackers, and animal crackers. You can also bring yogurt covered raisins or fruit snacks.
Another great option for many families is to bring dry cereal in a bag. That is easy and finger size so that everyone can enjoy it – and it will help you to eliminate some of those almost empty boxes.
When you are planning for a road trip, whether it is three hours or you will be driving for three days, you absolutely cannot forget to pack snacks. There are plenty of options out there to keep everyone satisfied, but you do need to be smart about what you pick. Start with this list and add some of your favorites. Remember that you can get things that are messier depending on who you put into your car.