So you’re heading out on a road trip and want some good snacks to munch along the way.
While bringing junk food is tempting, there might be better options for a long drive. The last thing you want is to feel sluggish when there are still four more hours before arriving at your destination.
We’re sharing five of the best snacks for road trips, which are also some of our favorites. Maybe even yours too.
Let’s hit the road!
Why Are Snacks Important on Road Trips?
Having a good stockpile of snacks on your road trip serves a few purposes. For one, eating the right kinds of food while on long drives can help keep you alert. Something with a little nutrition over empty calories can keep your energy level up where it needs to be.
Another reason to pack some snacks for the road is it encourages you to stop to rest your eyes. Sure, you could eat while driving, but it’s safer and more enjoyable to do so during a break. Snacking on veggies and dip while behind the wheel could certainly result in a mess.
And if kids are on the trip with you, having snacks ready for them when they get cranky is super important. Maybe more for you than them! Keeping everyone happy and comfortable during the road trip makes for a better experience all the way around.
Do I Need a Cooler For My Road Trip Snacks?
Depending on the snacks you choose to bring with you, a cooler may be optional. But it broadens the variety of yummy treats you can include in the mix. Plus, you can keep water, juice, or other drinks nice and cold for when you want them.
If space allows, using two smaller coolers could be beneficial. One could be for beverages and the other for food items such as string cheese or veggie dips.
One tip we learned years ago was to use frozen bottles of water or juice in the cooler in addition to ice packs. Not only will they help keep things cold, but you’ll also have icy drinks as they defrost.
Keep the cooler in a section of the car or RV that doesn’t heat up too much. And make sure to close the lid tightly after every time you open it. While these tips seem like common sense, sometimes they’re easy to forget.
Healthy vs. Junk Food Snacks For a Road Trip
Now, on to packing healthy snacks or junk food for your road trip. We’re not against having chips or sour gummy worms with you, but don’t let that be all you bring along. A good mix of treats that makes everyone happy is what we recommend.
And for the young travelers along for the adventure, filling them full of sugar might not be the best idea. You don’t want them bouncing off the walls in such a small space!
We gathered five of the best snacks for road trips. Again, feel free to grab a bag of Cheetos but try to have some healthier alternatives on hand too.
#1 Trail Mix
Who doesn’t like a good mix of nuts, dried fruit, and maybe even a little chocolate to snack on? While you can easily buy pre-made trail mixes at the store, making your own can be fun and gratifying. It works well mainly because you can include all your favorite ingredients and none of the ones you dislike.
Let your imagination go wild when making your own trail mix. Besides the usual nuts and fruit, consider adding shredded coconut, popcorn, or animal crackers.
Just remember, keep the mix in the cooler if it includes chocolate. It could make for a messy and less enjoyable snack experience if it melts.
The awesome thing about cheese is you can have a variety to snack on during a road trip. String cheese is a tasty and fun treat for everyone to enjoy. But you can also include those little wax-coated Babybel wheels or Colby-jack sticks.
Sliced cheese is also a good thing to have, especially if you pack crackers. And if you’re a meat eater, include salami or pepperoni for a roadside charcuterie treat!
#3 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
This is one of those road trip snacks you’ll want to eat while taking a driving break. No one wants jelly drips on their shirt or a sticky steering wheel.
Prepare enough PB&J sandwiches ahead of time to keep everyone satisfied until arriving at your destination. Some of the other snacks we mentioned are more along the lines of finger food, but this one can be more filling.
Peanut or almond butter is also a great source of protein. So it can help give the driver more energy on those long, boring stretches of highway. Can’t do peanut butter? Pack some tuna or chicken salad sandwiches instead.
#4 Dark Chocolate
Almost everyone’s favorite sweet snack, chocolate, specifically the dark variety, is great for road trips. It can give a little boost of energy to keep you alert behind the wheel. And if you don’t feel like stopping, it’s easy enough to eat while driving.
Another nice thing about dark chocolate is it doesn’t melt as quickly as other varieties. Even so, if you don’t have a cooler, keep it somewhere relatively cool.
#5 Veggies & Dip
This is when having a cooler comes in handy. Cold veggie dip to dunk celery, baby carrots, cauliflower, sweet peppers, or zucchini spears is a popular snack.
Prepare and cut the vegetables at home and keep them in ziplock bags in the cooler. It’s a very refreshing road trip snack. Not to mention healthy! Including two different kinds of dip can keep riders from getting bored with just one option.
Healthy Snacks Keep Your Road Trip on Track
So there you go! We hope this list of road trip snacks helps you prepare for some adventures in your future.
Remember, variety is the spice of life, so mix it up. Bugles, gummy bears, and M&Ms can come along for the ride too. But be sure to pack snacks that won’t put the driver to sleep or give the kids a tummy ache.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: