It doesn’t’ matter if you are traveling a couple of miles down the road or across the country. Having the proper snacks in your car makes all the difference in the world. It can refuel you after stops, or keep you full of energy to keep on the road. Plus having the proper stacks in the car will keep you making good decisions, instead of stopping for gas station sweets. All the while you save money! Check out these great road trip food ideas.
After a few summers of quick trips to the gas station for snacks and fast food, I realized my food choices were probably what was causing the lethargic feeling I got during our Day Trips. Sometimes it would be just tiredness but other times it’s an ongoing headache. Deciding last year to make a change I decided to create a snack box for the car. Filled with non-perishable, non-melting snacks. Once a month I’d replenish my supply because let’s face it. Day Trips usually start with me rolling out of bed and going. I don’t have time to worry about snacks!
Always having a quick bite in the car waiting for me was so refreshing. After hikes, or on a roadside stop, we’d grab something from the back of the car. Now I’m not sure if I could travel without these in my car.
What type of Road Trip Snacks do you need?
When it comes to road trip snacks it’s all about convince. Unfortunately, that usually means a few more prepackaged and portioned treats. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Most of my snacks are a healthy mix of foods from Aldi. I make sure to keep in a few treats for the kids too.
The Right Mix of Road Trip Foods
A proper balance of sugars, proteins, and carbs. Let’s not forget about electrolytes. This is essential to keeping you going all day long.
Protein – Protein keeps you full longer. In addition, they are absorbed slowly by the body giving you longer-lasting energy.
Carbs/Sugars – Great for quick energy. It seems unfair to pair them up but they fall into the same category. Your body uses them up first. If you consume too many carbs, the remainder gets stored as fat. Because you burn through it so fast, don’t go overboard.
Fats – They are the slowest form of energy and the most energy-efficient. They also slow the entry of sugar into the bloodstream. Healthy Fats alongside carbs are vital.
Electrolyte – Electrolyte power is a great way to stay hydrated. Even if you aren’t doing anything more than driving and roadside overlooks. Dehydration is easy in the car.
Everybody is different and everyone’s dietary needs change with it, but in general, make sure to pack in an equal amount of everything.
You asl o don’t have to spend a ton either. I usually stop by Aldi to get the bulk of my convenience food.
Road Trip Snack Ideas
Fruits/Veggies → Consider a cooler
These items don’t all need to be refrigerated but I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in a hot car for more than a day.
- Hummus Dip – Aldi sells individual portions
- Guacamole – Aldi Sells individual portions
- Ranch Dip
- Apple or Pear Slices – Held together with a rubber band to prevent browning
- Cuties Oranges
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Celery Sticks
- String Cheese
- Bell Pepper Strips
- Snap Peas
- Cream Cheese and Pretzels
- Snack Packs – Cheese and Nuts
- Babybel Cheese
Shelf Stable → Stay in Car
These are all tried and tested favorites. We keep the car loaded with these all summer long and refill as we run out.
- Beef Jerky
- Dried Fruit
- Trail Mix
- Skinny Dipped Almonds
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Cookies Packages
- Wheat Things
- Granola Bars
- Tuna Pouch and Crackers
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Breadsticks
- Ritz Sandwiches
- Joolies Fresh Organic Medjool Dates
- Bada Bean Bada Boom Bean Snacks
- Coconut Cashew Crips
- Sea Salt Dry Roasted Edamame
- Roasted Rye Chips
- Fig Newtons
- Nut Butter Packets
- Honey Roasted Sunflower Kernels
- Energy Bars
- Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
- Fruit Snacks
- Teddy Grahams
- Electrolyte Powered
Prep your fresh fruits and veggies either right before you leave, or the night before. Have them ready to grab and go in your fridge. before you leave.
Electrolyte powder packets can get expensive. Make your own by buying in bulk. Using a snack-size ziplock bag and a food saver, seal the bag in fourths. This creates multiple little bags to fill up. Much easier than measuring out power. You can throw them in your backpack, in the car, or anywhere else for added convinces.
I like to use this for single serving pouches of hot chocolate and protein powders too!
Bring extra water with you. The number one reason we end up buying gas station goodies is for a soda. But if you have water, you can mix your own sweet drinks in the car. Either fill up an extra couple of water bottles. Invest in an XL water bottle to refill empty bottles. Or if you really think you’ll need it, get a 3L bottle of water to keep in the car. We were turned onto this last year. We refill the water container at home. This way we always have the filtered water we love.
Ziplock Bags are your best friend. They are inexpensive and recyclable, in some cases. According to a Ziploc representative, the Ziploc Storage, Freezer, Snack, and Sandwich Bags are reusable by hand washing and thoroughly drying prior to reuse. However, if the bags were used to store raw meat, fish, eggs, or potentially allergy-triggering foods (for example, tree nuts or peanuts), they should not be used for any other food items. When it comes to your family, it’s not a big
A good quality cooler to keep things from melting. A smaller cooler for extra water, or perishable items like meats, soft cheeses, or precut fruits and vegetables.
Make sure you have a quality cooler to keep everything fresh. Get one by clicking here.
Water Bottles – I love having a HydroFlask in my car. Add some ice before you leave and it will stay cool all day long. Bring some backup H2O to refill your bottles denied on the activities.
Garbage Can – I don’t care how old everyone in the car, having a trash can is a game-changer. They can be discrete but it’s perfect for keeping everything under wraps.
I’ve been using a foldable can with hard edges. What I love is that it has trash liners built into it! Click here to check it out.
Box with Latching Top → Sterilite 6 Qt Clear View Box Clear with latches works great because it contains everything. Dog can’t get into it. If you plan on a longer trip, or if you are like me and go on multiple trips a month, consider a 15 qt container.