Snack Foods for a Road Trip


Snacking is part of the road trip experience, whether you are driving alone or taking the family cross-country. Some drivers eat snack foods to avoid stopping for full meals. For others, snacks are simply one more way to relax the usual rules while on vacation. Depending on the length of your trip and how many people you travel with, it is a good idea to pack a variety of snack foods.

Salty Snacks

  • Salty snacks, such as jerky and chips, are standard fare at gas stations and convenience stores. Don't limit yourself to obvious choices to satisfy your savory snack cravings. Buy roasted nuts, olives, lunch meats and cheeses at the grocery store before your trip. Drain the olives. Cut the lunch meats and cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Pack each food in separate plastic containers or bags for easy snacking.

    Make your own snack mix by combining cereal, nuts, dried fruit and mini marshmallows. Mix well and store in single-serving containers or bags.

Sweet Snacks

  • Sometimes, especially early in the morning or late at night, you want something sweet to snack on while you drive. Homemade or packaged granola bars provide protein and carbohydrates for longer lasting energy.

    Hard candies and mints are easy to keep in the car when you want a little sweetness without filling up between meals.

Healthy Snacks

  • Road snacks don't need to be unhealthy. Fresh fruits, such as grapes or berries, are a sweet snack you can feel good about. Baby carrots and other fresh vegetables give you the satisfyingly crunchy texture of chips without the fat or sodium.


  • Remember to pack drinks with your snack foods. Individual water bottles or juice boxes are the easiest way to stay hydrated on the road. Caffeinated beverages will help you stay awake on long drives, but too much caffeine can make you jittery.

Foods to Avoid

  • Avoid foods that must be kept hot or cold. Dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, must be kept refrigerated, which can be difficult on a road trip. Store meats and cheeses in a cooler packed with ice.

    Foods with sauces or dips are not a smart choice for road trips, especially for the driver. They are likely to spill or drip as you eat, and could cause you to become dangerously distracted.

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