This guide to convenient and healthy road trip snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner will help keep you fueled up for your next cross country drive.
Road Trip Meals And Snacks
Road trips are a great way to see the country. But they can also be a lot of work, especially when it comes to food.
You need to bring enough food for everyone, but you also want to make sure that it’s healthy and easy to prepare. Fruit snacks work great of course, but there's plenty of other bite sized nibbles you can take on long drives.
That’s why I’ve put together this road trip food list. My list features some of the best road trip snacks and other options for every meal, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All these are tried and tested during my various road trips around Greece and other parts of the world.
If you’re looking for healthy snacks or meals that you can easily prepare on the go, I’ve got you covered with this road trip food guide!
Related: Travelling by Car: Advantages and Disadvantages
Road Trip Food Ideas
Here's a few ideas (ok, more than a few!) of my favorite road trip snacks you can pack for your next journey so you don't have to rely on fast food!
1. Boiled eggs
Hard boiled eggs are perfect to eat cold on the go, and they’re packed with protein to give you energy. They’re also easy to make – just boil a dozen eggs at home before your trip and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you need them.
I normally put them in a small Tupperware type box, and also pack some small salt and pepper to go with them.
2. Chopped veggies
When you’re on the go, it can be tough to find healthy snacks that are both convenient and satisfying. But chopped vegetables make a great road trip snack because they check all of those boxes.
They’re easy to store and carry with you, and they provide plenty of fiber and nutrients to help keep you energized. Plus, they’re affordable and versatile, so you can mix and match them to create a variety of flavors.
Taking along your own food means you can eat healthy even on the most epic road trip. Chopped veggies like snap peas, carrots, and bell peppers are great for snacking and don't take long to prepare in advance.
3. Dips and sauces
Dips and sauces are great for adding flavor to your road trip snacks and meals. Pack some of your favorite dips and sauces, like guacamole, salsa, or tzatziki, in small containers to enjoy with your celery sticks, chopped veggies or as part of a healthy wrap or sandwich.
Living in Greece and taking road trips in the Peloponnese and driving around Crete has made me realise that olives are good snacks! They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and I love the taste!
The fatty acids in olive oil can help to improve cognitive performance, making it easier to focus on the road while you’re driving. Plus, olives are packed with antioxidants that can help to protect your body from cell damage caused by free radicals
This combination of health benefits makes olives an ideal choice for keeping you nourished while you’re driving along the highway.
5. Fresh Fruit
When you’re on a road trip, the last thing you want is to be stuck eating unhealthy snacks the whole time. That’s why it’s important to bring along some fresh fruit instead. Not only will it keep you healthy, but it will also help to fight off boredom.
There are all sorts of different fruits that make great road trip snacks, so you can mix and match depending on what you like. Some of my favorite fruits for rad trip snacks include apples, oranges, grapes, and strawberries.
6. Deli meats
OK, so deli meat might not entirely tick the healthy box when it comes to road trip food, but it’s a great way to pack some protein for your trip. Just make sure you opt for low-calorie options, like turkey or chicken, and try to pair with fresh veggies or whole grain bread.
7. Chicken wings and drumsticks
Chicken wings and drumsticks are another great option for road trip food. They’re easy to eat on the go and can be served cold or hot. Just make sure you have a cooler to store them in if you’re planning on eating them cold, especially if you are driving in a hot climate.
8. Sausage rolls, pastries, pies
If you’re in the UK, you can’t go on a road trip without packing some sausage rolls, pasties or pies. These are all great options for road trip snacks or light meals. If you see a Greggs, you know you'll never go hungry!
Here in Greece, I often drop by a bakery to pick up a tiropita before a long car ride.
Eating healthy on the go can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. A salad is a great way to get your veggies in while you’re on the road. Just make sure you pack the dressing separately so that your salad doesn’t get soggy. Top off with sunflower seeds for added perfection!
10. Tinned legumes/pulses
Tinned legumes, like chickpeas and lentils, are a great way to add protein to your road trip meals. They’re also easy to prepare in advance for quick meals on the go.
11. Plant-based milk
If you’re vegan or simply want to avoid dairy products, take along a few cartons of your favorite plant-based milk. Also, if you're touring through an area where it might be hard to find any, you can plan ahead and buy a few cartons for the vacation.
12. Cold Pizza
There’s something about cold pizza that just makes it the perfect road trip snack. It’s filling, it doesn’t require any special preparation, and it travels well. Plus, if you get stuck in traffic, there’s always room for another slice.
If you’re looking for an easy road trip snack or light meal, cold pizza is maybe not the heathiest choice – but it is the most moreish choice!
13. Beef Jerky
This is really a non perishable food item, so it doesn't hurt to always have a pack tucked away in the car somewhere for emergencies!
Beef jerky is a great road trip snack because it is high in protein and low in carbs. It also doesn’t require any refrigeration, so it’s perfect for taking on long trips. And unlike other snacks like chips or candy bars, beef jerky doesn’t make you feel bloated or sluggish after eating it.
14. Premade falafel & salad
These are great for vegans or anyone who wants a quick, healthy meal on the go. Just make sure you pack the falafel separately from the salad so that your pita pocket doesn’t get soggy.
15. Frozen water bottles
If you're driving in a hot country, you might find your water gets warm even if you have the air con on. One travel tip is to pre-freeze a couple of bottles of water in order to keep your water cold. This way as they thaw out, you'll have cool water to drink. I do this all the time when driving around the islands of Greece!
Pretzels are a great road trip snack because they’re easy to eat and don’t make a mess. Plus, they’re packed with fiber and protein, so they’ll help keep you full on your journey.
17. Trail Mix
Trail mix is the perfect snack to take on car rides because it’s easy to eat and packed with healthy ingredients, like nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain cereals. Just make sure you watch your portion size, as trail mix can be high in calories!
18. Bread Buns
Bread buns are a great option for road trip snacks or light meals. You can fill them with anything you like, from deli meats to veggies. Just make sure you pack them separately from the filling so that your bread doesn’t get soggy.
19. Crackers / Rye Bread / Crisp Breads
Crackers, rye bread, and crisp breads are another great option for road trip food. They’re easy to eat on the go and can be paired with a variety of toppings.
20. Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts…)
Fill up some small plastic containers with a selection of nuts, and you'll have an ideal nibble that will last you until you reach the next rest stop!
21. Dried Fruit (dates, raisins, apricots, banana chips, cranberries)
Dried fruit is a great option for road trip snacks because it’s filled with nutrients and fiber.
22. Tinned fish
If you are headed on a road with rest stops with a picnic table, you can take along some tinned tuna to make into sandwiches when you're out of the car.
23. Candy bars
If you're on a family road trip, everyone should have their favorite candy bar or other type of sweet treat to keep them happy along the way! If you've got a sweet tooth and no self-control (and I talk from experience here!), perhaps just pack a few so as not to get carried away eating a candy a mile!
These are great for road trip snacks or light meals. Just make sure you pack them separately from the icing or filling so that your cupcakes don’t get squished.
Oats and oatmeal are good road trip breakfast ideas, as they’re filled with fiber and protein. You can also cook them ahead of time in the motel room or at home so that you don't have to stop on the side of the road. Store in a food thermos to serve warm whenever you pull over at the side of the road.
26. Pita bread or bagels
Bagels and pita bread are another great option for road trip snacks or light meals. They’re easy to eat on the go and can be paired with a variety of toppings.
Most gas stations and convenience stores sell them so you can pick them up during your journey if you forgot to pack them before you left.
27. Granola Bars / Protein Bars
If you are in a rush, grab a granola or protein bar to take with you in the car on the next road trip. Energy bars like these are perhaps the best road trip foods. They are perfect to eat while on the go and they give you energy, so they're ideal if you have a long day of driving ahead of you.
28. Potato Chips
You can pick these up at any gas station, so they're perfect for a quick snack at the side of the road. Just make sure you don’t eat them all in one sitting!
29. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a great road trip snack because it’s packed with antioxidants and can help boost your mood. Plus, it’s easy to eat on the go.
A little like potato chips, nachos are easy to snack on when driving on long trips. Picking the crumbs up from the car seats is perhaps harder work though!
31. Dry cereal
Dry cereal is a great option for road trip breakfast ideas because it’s easy to eat on the go. You don't have to mix it with milk if you just want to nibble on them as you drive.
32. Sliced bread + topping of choice
One way to save money as you travel is to prepare your own food, and it doesn't have to take long. Just slice some bread and add your favorite toppings for a quick and easy meal.
33. Tea / Coffee
Pack a thermos and fill it with your favorite hot beverage. It will help keep you stay alert and awake on the long drives as well!
34. Tortilla wraps
Tortilla wraps are a great option for road trip meals. You can fill them with anything you like, from deli meats to veggies.
35. Filled sandwiches/bagels
What sort of road trip sandwiches do you prefer? I'll just mention peanut butter sandwiches for the win and leave it there!
36. Pasta salad
Pasta salad is a light and filling meal for road trip meals. It doesn’t require any cooking, so you can prepare it ahead of time and easily eat it on the go.
Plus, you can customize it with whatever ingredients you like best. So if you're traveling with kids, they can help choose the ingredients and they'll be sure to love the end result.
37. Chocolate chip cookies
If you're looking for a road trip snack that is both tasty and satisfying, homemade chocolate chip cookies should be at the top of your list.
Not only are they easy to make, but they also travel well and don't require any special preparation or equipment. In addition, chocolate chip cookies are relatively healthy, providing a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
38. Iced tea
Ice tea is perfect for a road trip because it’s refreshing and hydrating. It comes in many different flavors, and is a nice pick me up if you've been behind the wheel of a car for several hours.
Popcorn is a great road trip snack because it's nice and light on the go!
Non Food Items To Take On A Road Trip
If you're planning a long road trip, you'll also want to take along some non food essentials. Here's a checklist of great ideas for non food items to consider taking when road tripping.
- Road trip playlist!
- License and registration
- Copy of car insurance policy and the relevant contact numbers
- Car’s manual
- Spare tire
- Roadside Emergency Kit
- Paper maps/Maps.Me App
- Spare money
- A notebook, pen, and pencil
- First aid kit
- Wet wipes
- Bug Spray
- Large Water Bottles
- Toilet Roll
- Paper towels
- Phone chargers/USB cord
- Bluetooth/Wireless hands free kit for your mobile phone
- Camera + USB chargers
- Instant Camera
- Portable Wifi
- Travel Pillow
- Travel Mug
- Reusable Water Bottle
- UV Window Shade
- Extra Jumper/Wrap
- Hand sanitizer
- Painkiller/Anti-Inflammatory Medication
- Reusable Shopping Bag
- A Towel
- Flip Flops
- Toiletry Bag
- Sun Screen
- Body Wipes
- Mini hairbrush
- Hair ties/Grips
- Plastic/Garbage Bags
- Car Cooler
- Swiss Army Knife
Related: International Travel Packing Checklist
How do you pack food to travel in a car?
When packing food to travel in a car, it's important to think about portability and how long the food will stay fresh. Consider cold packs to keep food fresh.
How much money should I bring for food on a road trip?
It's always a good idea to bring some spare money when you go on a road trip, in case you want to buy food along the way. How much money you bring will depend on how long your trip is and how many people you're feeding.
Also read: Symbolic Numbers In Different Cultures
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