Many people are driving to their destinations with airline ticket prices surging this year. Whether your destination is one hour or eight hours away, it’s important to have snacks handy to prevent unnecessary stops. You’ll save time and money by packing snacks from home. Read on for the best road trip snacks for your next long drive.
Road Trip Snacks When You Don’t Have Room for a Cooler
Let’s face it. Coolers are big and bulky and take up much precious cargo space. And when you pack your car tight with your necessities for your trip, a cooler to house your road trip snacks may need to be left at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take some delicious snacks to nibble while you’re on the road. So here are tasty snack ideas you won’t need to keep in a cooler.
Trail mix is filling and delicious and comes in so many different mixtures. Choose a variety that meets your nutritional needs while on the road. For example, pick a trail mix with nuts for a snack high in protein. Or choose a variety of dried fruits and seeds to add fiber to your day.
Try making your own at home by mixing your favorite nuts, cereal, dried fruits, and seeds. Add a bit of sweetness with chocolate chips or coated chocolate candies.
Beef jerky is a portable and easy-to-eat healthy snack high in protein and low in calories that is perfect for your next road trip. Beef jerky is also high in iron, zinc, and B12, packing a nutritious punch in every serving. In addition, there are many flavors to choose from, so you will surely find one you enjoy.
Nuts make a great road trip snack because they are high in protein. However, nuts are extremely calorie dense. So you should pre-portion this snack into the recommended serving size (usually about a handful) to avoid consuming too many calories at one time.
Whether you enjoy almonds, roasted peanuts, or walnuts, a small handful of nuts are satisfying and perfect for curbing your hunger.
If you are craving something salty and crunchy while on your road trip, pretzels are an excellent snack and are much healthier than potato chips. Or pack up freshly baked soft pretzels for a different road trip snack to enjoy during your drive.
Air-popped popcorn makes a cheap and healthy road trip snack. Popping your popcorn at home is an excellent way to make a budget-friendly snack for the family. Pre-portion popcorn into separate reusable containers or bags so everyone has individual portions in the car.
Granola bars are perfect for eating on the go. Whether you enjoy crunchy or chewy granola bars, choose a version with high protein to help you stay satisfied longer. Or making your granola bars would be a fun pre-road trip activity with your kids. They are easy to make, and you can ensure they are healthy and free of additives and preservatives.
Fresh fruit is one of the healthiest road trip snacks. Specifically, bananas are a great pick because they provide your body with potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral for your body for many reasons. It helps your body function properly by regulating fluid within your body’s cells and supporting your nervous system. Bananas are easy to pack and consume while on the go.
Apples make another excellent choice for a healthy snack for a road trip. Like bananas, they are easy to pack and eat in the car. In addition, apples are high in fiber and antioxidants. Medical researchers have associated apples with weight loss and improved overall health. If you prefer eating apple slices, cut them ahead of time and use one of several methods to prevent them from turning brown.
Whether store-bought or home-baked, muffins are a delicious snack for the road, especially in the morning with a cup of coffee or hot tea. You can visit your local bakery for freshly-baked muffins or look for pre-packaged mini muffins at the grocery store. Or, you can bake healthy muffins before you leave for your trip. Muffins freeze well and are easy to make before your road trip.
Snacking on dry cereal while on the road is an easy way to satisfy your hunger. Opt for cereal with low sugar content (less than 6 grams of sugar per serving) to avoid blood sugar spikes and energy crashes during your trip. Low-sugar cereals to try are:
- General Mills Cheerios (2g sugar per serving)
- Honey Bunches of Oats (3g sugar per serving)
- General Mills Kix (3g sugar per serving)
- Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins (5g sugar per serving)
- Quaker Life (6g sugar per serving)
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
PB & J sandwiches aren’t just for kids’ lunches. This classic sandwich is delicious any time of day and makes an excellent and filling road trip snack. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make and freeze until your trip. Just spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread before spreading the jelly to prevent soggy bread.
Don’t forget to pack something sweet for your next road trip. From chocolate to gummy candy, lollipops to chewing gum, you will be the hit of the car when you pull out a surprise treat. Although sweets aren’t healthy, enjoying a small piece or two of candy on a long drive can help keep everyone happy.
Road Trip Snacks To Keep In Your Cooler
Have you got space in your vehicle for a cooler? Then you have even more options for delicious road trip snacks. Here are more healthy snack ideas to take on the road.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese is one of the best foods for a car ride. It won’t spoil quickly, and cheese is easy to keep in a cooler with other snacks because it’s sturdy. Add some whole-grain crackers, and you have a substantial snack to curb your hunger. Cube up various kinds of cheese for adults and choose string cheese for a mild-flavored, healthy snack for kids.
Hard-boiled eggs are nutrient-dense and low in calories, making them excellent road trip snacks. They are easy to make and last about a week in the refrigerator. Make hard-boiled eggs in your InstantPot for perfect, easy-to-peel eggs every time.
Rolled Lunch Meat
Rolled lunch meat is a popular lunch idea for work for men and makes an easy-to-eat, high-protein road trip snack. Choose your favorite deli meat, add a slice of cheese if desired, and roll them up to take along. Or, for something different, spread a layer of cream cheese on sweet bologna before rolling for a tasty snack.
Deli sandwiches are the perfect easy lunch idea and make filling snacks for the road. Quick and easy to prep to pack in your cooler, sandwiches are a healthy choice when loaded with your favorite meat, cheeses, and veggies. Also, try switching up your basic bread for variety with rolls, pita pockets, wraps, or pretzel rolls.
Any fresh fruit makes a good snack, but grapes are fantastic for snacking during a road trip. Not only are they easy to eat when on the go, but they are also healthy. They are full of antioxidants and nutrients that offer several health benefits. In addition, grapes are an excellent source of fiber and water which can help keep your digestive system in check, even on a long car ride.
Dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat two to three cups of vegetables daily. But don’t let your car ride throw off your good eating habits. Pre-cut vegetables are essential road trip snacks to eat healthy while on the go. Baby carrots, celery sticks, bell pepper slices, and cucumber slices are all veggie choices that make excellent snacks. Eat them plain, with hummus, or dipped in your favorite salad dressing.
Regular or greek yogurt is another simple yet healthy and delicious food to pack in your cooler when you head out for your road trip. If you have young kids, yogurt tubes make effortless snacks for kids. A yogurt smoothie makes it easy for the driver to get the health benefits of yogurt without a spoon.
Tuna, Chicken, or Egg Salad
Tuna, chicken, and egg salad not only make cheap meals, but they also make inexpensive snacks when on the go. These three salads are easy to prepare, and you can enjoy them in many different ways. Scoop them up with crackers, fill a pita, spread them on your favorite bread, enjoy them over a bed of lettuce and veggies, or eat them straight from the container with a fork. Any way you consume them, tuna, chicken, and egg salad are hearty road trip snacks that contain tons of hunger-curbing protein.
Tortilla Chips and Guacamole
Tortilla chips and guacamole make a delicious and healthy snack any time of day. So why not take this perfect pairing on your road trip? For convenience and so all members of your road trip party have an individual serving, pick up individually portioned guacamole cups from your grocery store. Then, pre-portion your tortilla chips in separate reusable containers or bags so everyone has their own.
Don’t Make Your Road Trip Snacks an Afterthought
You’ll want your road trip to go smoothly without any bumps to throw you off course. By planning your snacks and drinks for the car, you’ll prevent last-minute detours for hungry passengers. Try some of these healthy road trip snacks for your next long drive.
This article originally appeared on Savoteur.
Lisa is a personal finance enthusiast and founder of Adapt Your Dollars, where she writes about her knowledge of frugal living and money management. Her goal is to help women gain control of their money to live their best lives possible. When she isn’t writing or at her day job helping people, she can be found cheering on her kids at their sporting events, baking bread, or running.