Making your road trip food list? Let’s face it. Most people do some serious snacking while on the road to minimize stops and keep boredom at bay.
But instead of potato chips, opt for these delicious healthy snacks that will sustain your focus, energy, and satisfy your appetite. You’ll find the 10 best snacks to pack for a road trip, below.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will discover 10 delicious snacks to bring on your next road trip so you can stay nourished, including:
- Best Snacks to Pack for a Road Trip
- Safety Considerations About Eating While Driving
- Top 10 Healthy Snacks for a Great Travel Experience
- Storing Food Properly in the Car
- Final Thoughts on Your Road Trip Food List
Editor’s Note: This post was updated in April, 2022.
Best Snacks to Pack for a Road Trip – Food List
Taking an epic road trip is a lot of fun. They are the journey where no rules apply. You can take pit stops whenever you want, take detours if you like, and munch on anything along the way.
But sometimes, continuous munching might hinder your journey — especially if you’ve filled up on high-sugar, high-salt, or junky snacks. In that case, you might just arrive at your destination feeling a bit queasy or bloated. Ugh. That’s the way to ruin a perfectly good trip!
So, some planning is in order. In fact, I’d argue that your road trip food list is as important as your groovy playlist. If you choose the right road trip snacks, you’ll make the best of your journey and arrive ready to explore new places.
Safety Considerations About Eating While Driving
A quick word about road trip safety.
You’ve probably heard safety warnings about the dangers of texting while driving — but what about eating while driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), eating while driving increases your risk of a near-miss or car crash by as much as 39%. That includes drinking from an open container.
It’s really another dangerous form of distracted driving, which accounts for 80% of all accidents on the road.
So, if at all possible, pull into a rest area and take a quick break from driving while you eat. Stretch your legs, enjoy a healthy snack, and then you can be safely on your way again.
Now, what’s there to eat?
Top Healthy Snacks for a Great Travel Experience
Here’s a list of all the healthy snacks to add to your list of foods take on the next road trip. These options are enriched with nutrients and will keep you full for a longer time.
Popcorn is one of those snacks that never goes wrong.
Corn is high in complex carbs and fiber that helps to keep your body energized and doesn’t bloat even if you eat a hefty amount.
Make sure you’re not buying microwave popcorn that contains chemicals. Instead, get one from a natural foods store that only has corn, salt, and oil as ingredients.
You can also get great popcorn from street vendors, as you’ll see in Strictly Street, a dedicated series of Travelxp.
If you can make some at home with olive oil or butter and a pinch of salt, that’s even better.
Store your homemade popcorn for the road in single-serving zip-lock bags or in an air-tight food storage container to keep it fresh and easily accessible for the whole ride.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Did you make an impromptu decision to visit the most popular travel destination in your city but worried about what snacks to pack? Well, there are plenty of options but one of the most underrated snacks are hard-boiled eggs.
Hard-boiled eggs are full of protein, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to keep your energy boosted throughout the journey.
The easiest way to make perfect hard-boiled egg for your trip is:
- Put eggs in a medium sauce pan.
- Cover them with cold water.
- Bring the water to a full boil.
- After 10 minutes from boiling, they will be done.
- Plunge them in cold water to stop any cooking and cool them down.
Since eggs come in their own handy protective shell, once they are cool, you can just toss them in an insulated lunch bag to keep them cool for the ride. (This lunch bag has a place to hold wet-wipes and a drink, too.)
Then, peel, salt, and eat.
You don’t even have to worry about leaving the shells behind outdoors since they are biodegradable.
Editor’s Note: The only thing is that hard-boiled eggs can be a little stinky, which is all the more reason while you’ll want to stop and eat them outdoors rather than make the inside of the car smell bad. See our recommendation on odor-free storage at the end of this article.
If you’re someone who’s on a full-fledged diet, then pistachios are the best option for you.
You can maintain your daily calorie intake as these nuts contain only 4 calories each. That is considerably lower compared to other nuts – but oh-so satisfying!
As these are plant-based protein and contain unsaturated fats and fiber, these nuts are an absolutely great choice.
You can find pistachio nuts with the shell on or already shelled for you, salted or unsalted. It used to be that pistachio nuts were artificially dyed red but fortunately, you’ll most often find them without the dye.
If you opt for pistachio nuts with shells, don’t forget to bring a car trash cup like this one or something else to catch all the shells. Like the egg shells, they are also biodegradable but a bit messier to leave behind. Whether you take them with you or not is up to you. If you don’t, be sure to find a discreet place to dump them.
Hummus, which is packed with protein from chickpeas, is the perfect pick-me-up or lunch on the go. Mini-hummus cups are super-convenient, too. You can create mini sandwiches with pretzels or high-fiber crackers. These single-serve dips are available in roasted red pepper, edamame hummus, and original flavors.
Hummus is high in fiber, protein, and low in carbs, making it a must-try and fun addition to the road trip snacks.
Editor’s Note: If you’re not crazy about hummus, you can also try these single serving peanut butter cups to go.
5. Protein Bars
There’s a plethora of protein bars available at the markets that are nothing but sugar and loaded with strange ingredients and preservatives you’ve never heard of.
So, choose your protein bars carefully when you make your road trip food list.
Instead, aim for a protein bar made of natural ingredients that will provide your body with necessary nutrients–without the sugar crash.
The good news is, protein bars are small and pre-packaged, so they’ll fit your handbag and car seats very easily.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the strongest sources of antioxidants in the world, made from the cacao seed.
Dark chocolate is high in nutrients that are beneficial to your health (of course, not the one loaded with sugar). It’s been shown in studies that it improves health and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Plus, it’s a tasty treat while you’re on the road.
Did you know? Belgium is the number one producer of dark chocolates. If you’re tripping through Belgium, grab some of those.
It’s featured on shows like ‘Relishing Classic Belgian Delights’, which talks about the best cuisines of Belgium. (The show airs on Travelxp TV or you can watch it on the Travelxp app.)
Fruit is one of those snacks that are readily available everywhere. They make a good choice because they are natural sweeteners, full of beneficial nutrients, and they keep you full for longer.
Choose the one you love – cherries, grapes, mangoes, guavas, kiwis, apples, bananas. Take your pick!
Additionally, you can also choose a dip for an extra flavor. Greek yogurt makes the best fruit dips and is great for your gut health.
8. Beef Jerky
What is jerky, anyway?
Jerky is trimmed, lean meat that has been cut into strips and dried to keep it from spoiling. They are a full of protein, a good chew, and taste delicious.
Also, they’re very easy to carry without creating a mess in your bag or vehicle.
But beware of the ones in the gas station and roadside stalls, which are full of chemicals. Instead, buy only from a natural food shop for a healthier option.
9. Baked Chickpeas
Chickpeas have wonderful nutritional value. They are full of carbs, proteins, and a small amount of fat.
So, firstly, it’s healthy and secondly, it’s very easy to make.
- Drain and dry fresh or canned chickpeas.
- Toss with olive oil.
- Season with salt and other spices of your choice.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
You will find that this baked chickpeas snack can be as addictive as potato chips, but much better for you!
Store them in an airtight food storage container that travels well, like this one, and they’re read to go!
10. Ham and Cream Cheese
Pinwheels made of ham and cheese are a convenient, nourishing snack to add to your road trip food list.
The ham is a good source of protein, and the cream cheese is a good source of fat. When you combine the two, you’ll be able to stay full longer and avoid cravings.
They’re actually fun to make.
- Spread a slice of ham with cream cheese and roll it up.
- Place the roll at the edge of another piece of ham spread with cream cheese, and roll again.
- Repeat a third time and the roll should be about 2-3” thick.
- Now slice the roll into 1” pieces (or “pinwheels”) and you’ll have a series of bite-sized treats.
Editor’s Note: You can optionally add in some thinly sliced cucumber, shaved carrots, pickle, baby spinach, or basil for additional flavor.
Wheels of ham and cream cheese are also perfect because they can be made ahead of time.
You’ll want to keep these cool for your ride. This large lightweight collapsible cooler is great because you can fold it up to save space when you’re done using it.
Food Storage Considerations While Traveling
Make sure to keep your food snacks stored right on your road trip. That might mean packing a cooler with ice for anything that’s perishable or needs to stay cool. (This YETI Road Coolor is a great option.)
Also, store foods and beverages in a way that won’t spill and provides you with easy access.
Another good idea is to keep any smelly foods from permeating the indoor car space. Hard boiled eggs and peanut-butter crackers are convenient and high-protein snacks. Yet, you don’t want to stink up the car.
Instead, try these SmellyProof bags. They keep odors at bay and are also reusable. SmellyProof bags come in a variety of sizes so you can fit different snacks in each. Plus, they have no BPAs or other toxic stuff, so they are food-safe.
With food odors contained, your road trip will be more pleasant.
Final Thoughts on Your Road Trip Food List
It turns out that eating well while on the road doesn’t have to be tedious. In reality, the healthier your snacks are, the more enjoyable your trip will be.
When you feed your body the nutrients it craves, it will provide you with the energy and satisfaction you need to make the most of your vacation.
With a little preparation ahead of time and some self-control when stopping at gas stations along the way, you’ll be on your way to a safe road trip that’ll be a blast.
And, just for the heads-up, try pre-booking everything. That way you’ll save a lot of time. You’ll find various online travel booking sites, like Travelxp.com that offer amazing travel deals.
For more tips about preparing for your journey, click here to plan the best outfit for a road trip.
Author Bio – Submitted by Travelxp, one of the fastest-growing travel platforms for experiential and frequent travelers. Travelxp provides travelers with a chance to watch incredible travel videos along with access to exclusive discounts on flights, hotels, and exotic holiday packages. It is part of the Travelxp group which operates Travelxp TV, the world’s leading travel channel, broadcasting in 40+ countries with a viewership of over 500 million.
This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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18 thoughts on “ Road Trip Food List | Bring these Delicious Snacks On Your Next Road Trip”
I’m terrible for always going for junk food like crisps, chocolate and sweets on road trips but I should probably re consider and look at things that are more nutritious for me like fruits, nuts and dried meat. Although I must admit my car would be an absolute mess eating nuts in the car or anything that is easy to drop.
You are not alone with the junk food! And yes, I would probably make a mess shelling nuts in the car, too. Much better (and more neatly) enjoyed at a rest stop.
Thank you for sharing – I now have a variety of different food ideas to take on my road travels. Pistachios and dark chocolate have now been added to my list of favorite snacks!
My pleasure, Maria. Yum!
Great list of suggestions! Popcorn, pistachios, and dark chocolate I think would be the winning combination for our next road trip!
Thank you! That sounds like a great mix to me.
For us carrying enough healthy snacks with us is an important part of our travel planning especially when traveling outside India. Your list is absolutely perfect and also includes stuff we hadn’t thought about. My favorites are the dark chocolates, snack bars, cream cheese and baked chickpeas.
I’m glad to provide some new ideas for your travels…Enjoy!
I am always on the lookout for healthy snacking options, as I carry the same with me whenever I am off on a road trip. I rarely prefer eating the chips, therefore I appreciate your efforts of writing and sharing some cool healthy snacking options. In my opinion, it does save on time but there are certain routes sometimes on which you wouldn’t get anything to eat.
That is so true, Swati! On long stretches, it could be miles before you come across a decent place to snack. Much better if you’ve got what you need/like to eat with you!
I came across this blog just about the right time. I wouldn’t be munching on just the junk, now that I have gotten healthy and hassle free options for my upcoming road trip. Not only this, the idea of being prepared in advance in order to save time when one has hit the road is just amazing.
Hi Arnav, Glad I could help! Great to hear you’ll be replacing the junky munchies with these healthier options. You’ll be so glad you did!
Road trip without food is definitely no fun. We generally carry a lot of nuts and protein bars with us. Never really thought of hard boiled eggs. Sandwiches with eggs yes but never plain ones. Should try that out the next time and see how it works for us.
Happy to introduce a new idea to your road trip food repertoire, Ami! I’d love to hear how the eggs work out for you.
Some very healthy choices here, Jackie, I love it! We often take road trips and I agree that having snacks with you is essential. When you drive a lot you are tempted to munch on something and if you don’t have healthy foods at hand, you’ll end up buying junk food. Beef jerky is one of my favorite snacks.
Thanks, Anda. Beef jerky is so under-rated!
Perfect timing, I have back to back road trips coming up and have been making my shopping list. I hadn’t thought about popcorn or chickpeas, those are great ideas. Grapes are a good idea too, easy access and not messy.
Yes! Those are some of my favorites. Bite-sized treats like grapes are so convenient, too!
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