23 Healthy Road Trip Snacks To Fuel Your Journey

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Planning a long drive? Remember to bring along road trip snacks. You’ll find all the best ideas for delicious and healthy snacks to keep you fueled on your journey right here.

Woman eating road trip snack outside car in Yosemite Park.
Photo credit: Yayimages.

One of the most important aspects of a road trip is having the right snacks to keep you fueled and energized throughout your journey. When choosing foods to take on the road, consider both nutrition and convenience. Pack a variety of snacks that are easy to eat on the go to avoid frequent pit stops and unhealthy fast food options.

Choose items that won’t easily spoil or melt in the car. Avoid messy foods that could leave crumbs or stains on your car seats. Bring a cooler and keep things organized in food storage containers if it’s a long trip. Staying hydrated during long drives is also important, so bring plenty of water bottles or sports drinks.

Healthy Fruit and Vegetable Choices

Eating on the road doesn’t have to break good eating habits. Here are a few healthy road trip snack options that are quick and easy to take along.

  • Apples are high in fiber and low in calories, making them the perfect snack for a long drive from the west coast to visit New England. Pair them with peanut butter for added protein.
  • Carrots can be cut into sticks, eaten plain, or dipped into hummus for a nutritious snack.
  • Berries make great snacks because they don’t require any preparation or cutting beforehand. Small fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries are naturally sweet and flavorful.
  • Grapes are easy to transport, healthy, and tasty. Plus, they can easily be packed in individual servings.
  • Celery sticks are lightweight, low in calories, and full of essential vitamins and minerals. The crunchy texture helps satisfy cravings while providing fiber and nutrients. Pair them with other healthy snacks such as hummus, peanut butter, or cottage cheese for a more filling snack.
  • Oranges don’t require any special storage or preparation. The sweet taste is sure to provide a welcome change, and the juice provides hydration.
  • Bananas have a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad quickly. This makes them ideal for long car rides where refrigeration isn’t available. They are also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C, which can provide a healthy energy boost.
  • Cucumbers are light, nutritious, and easy to transport. They also provide a good source of hydration, with each cucumber containing about 95 percent water. Eating cucumbers can help keep you feeling full and energized during long drives.
  • Dried fruit has a long shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about it spoiling during your trip. It also tastes sweet and has a satisfyingly chewy texture.

“I personally love bringing dried fruit on road trips. Not only is it a healthy option, but you don’t need to worry about keeping it  refrigerated.” — Gen La Rocca, Two Cloves Kitchen

Driver eating a banana while driving on a road trip.
Photo credit: Yayimages

Quick Protein Bites

These delicious and nutritious protein snacks are perfect when you need something to keep you going on the road.

  • Nuts contain essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are easy to pack, don’t require any refrigeration, and come in different varieties, such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts among others.
  • Seeds are both nutritious and easy to eat while driving making them a good choice for anyone traveling alone. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that can give you the energy you need to stay focused on the road. They also have fiber, which helps keep you full for longer periods. Shelled sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great choices.
  • Trail Mix is easy to make yourself by combining nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate pieces together. The sweet and salty combination is easy to pack up enough servings for everyone in your car.
  • Protein bars are a great source of protein, making them an ideal snack for long car rides. They come in various flavors and sizes, so you can choose the types you like best.
  • Jerky is easy to store in your car and doesn’t require any refrigeration or preparation. It also comes in various flavors, so you can find something that everyone will enjoy.
  • String cheese is convenient and easy to eat while on the go. Kids love the cheesy strings they can pull off , and adults appreciate the convenience of this healthy snack choice.
  • Edamame are soybean pods that can be found pre-packaged and ready to eat. They make an excellent protein-packed snack that’s easy to eat while traveling.
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“We like to keep it healthy when traveling to avoid any snack temptation. We pack biltong and macadamia nuts and make sure to pack extra water just as a reminder to drink it!” – Kita Roberts, Pass The Sushi

family in car playing road trip games.
Image source: Depositphotos

Savory Snacks

Satisfy your snack cravings on the go with a tasty savory treat.

  • Granola is a great option because it is easy to pack and full of healthy nutrients. The crunchy texture and nutty flavor make it an enjoyable treat while on the go.
  • Veggie chips are light, crunchy, and full of flavor. They are also an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, making them a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips.
  • Popcorn is low in calories and fat compared to other snacks like chips and candy bars. Therefore, it’s a healthy choice that won’t weigh you down while on the road.
  • Pretzels are easy to transport, low in calories, and have a long shelf life. They are also relatively low in calories compared to snacks like chips or candy bars. 
  • Potato chips provide a quick energy boost. The salty flavor can help combat fatigue and boredom, while the crunchy texture can help break up long stretches of driving. 
  • Tortilla chips are a great snack for road trips because they are light, crunchy, and easy to eat while driving.
  • Crackers are light, easy to pack and store, and provide a good energy source. Paired with snacks such as cheese or peanut butter to create a more substantial meal.

Sweet Treats

Candy is the ultimate snack for any road trip. It’s easy to handle, doesn’t require refrigeration, and comes in various options. From gummy bears and sour patch kids to hard candies and chocolate, there is something for everyone.

It’s important to keep portion control in mind when it comes to sugary confections. One way to limit it along the trip is to make it a special prize for the winners of games on the road.

“For our family, it isn’t a road trip without licorice! We have to get Red Vines and Twizzlers and argue over which one is best. It’s all in good fun though and it does help to pass the time with teens in the car.” — Laura Sampson, Little House Big Alaska

Beverages

Drinking plenty of water is important, especially if driving for long periods or in hot weather. Bringing a refillable water bottle that can be easily filled up at gas stations or rest stops along the way is one of the best road trip hacks for staying hydrated. If you don’t like drinking plain water, take along some flavor packets, juice, or sports drinks with electrolytes.

Woman drinking from a water bottle while driving.
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Tips for Road Trip Snacks

When packing snacks for a long road trip, choosing items that will keep you satisfied and energized during the journey is important. Here are some tips for selecting the best snacks: 

  • Choose nutrient-dense foods such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These types of snacks are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can help boost your energy levels throughout the trip. Additionally, they can help keep you feeling fuller for longer so that you don’t need to stop as frequently. 
  • Look for snacks that have a long shelf life. This is especially important if you’ll be traveling in hot weather or leaving on a multi-day trip. Choose items like granola bars, trail mix, jerky, and dried fruit which won’t spoil easily. 
  • Avoid sugary and high-fat treats like candy bars or chips when possible.
  • Invest in a cooler so you can keep your snacks fresh and cool. Plug-in electric coolers are best if you want to avoid dealing with ice packs. Having a cooler will allow you to take along perishable items like meat sandwiches and yogurt.
  • Pack your snacks in reusable containers with tight-fitting lids to keep your snacks fresh. This food packing hack will help prevent spills and keep everything organized.
  • Stock plenty of napkins and wipes in the car. From spills and sticky fingers to unexpected messes, they can be a lifesaver on the go. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the snacks for your next road trip can make all the difference. Not only can they help fuel you for long stretches on the road, but they can also add to your overall experience. Healthy and energizing options like nuts, fruits, and protein bars are great choices to keep you alert and focused during your drive.

Bringing along some indulgent treats like candy or chips can add fun to your trip. However, it’s important to balance healthy and enjoyable snacks so you don’t feel deprived or restricted. Remember also to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your journey.

Overall, planning your road trip snacks beforehand will ensure you have everything you need for the perfect adventure on the open road.

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