We live in Florida and often drive to visit my sisters in Tennessee and my other sister and parents in New York, as well as countless family vacations. This means that we find ourselves packing up our car quite a bit. There is something so special about being stuck in the car for hours with your family – it builds memories that last for a lifetime.
Road trip snacks are as essential to the experience as a pair of sunglasses and a working air conditioner. You can certainly survive without them, but it won’t be as much fun and you can expect some grumpy passengers.
Sure, you can just jump in the car and pick up snacks en route, but I don’t recommend it. I don’t remember where I heard this, but a wise person once said “never fill up your body in the same place you fill up your car”.
With a bit of thought and just a little effort, you can have a selection of healthy snacks available for your family to munch on as you drive. Food does play a big part in keeping everyone in a better mood, feeling good and will save you some money too.
These snack ideas are all pretty easy to put together, travel well and are mostly healthy – definitely healthier than most of the things available at gas stations and fast food restaurants.
Fruit and Vegetables
Cut up fruit or vegetables – these snacks are as healthy as can be, mess free and very convenient.
- Apple slices
- Pear slices
- Grapes (extra points if you take the grapes off the stem)
- Berries – blueberries are my favorite for traveling
- Clementines (peel them before traveling, so you don’t have to have extra trash in the car)
- Whole fruit, like peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears – although you will have some trash to deal with after eating the fruit
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Cucumber slices
- Cherry/grape tomatoes
- Bell pepper slices
How To Keep Apples From Oxidizing (Turning Brown)
Slice your apples, removing the core. You can keep the skin on or peel the apples first.
Fill a large bowl with clean, filtered water and squeeze in the juice of one lemon.
Place the sliced apples into the water with lemon, making sure the apples are completely submerged in the water for at least 30 seconds, pushing the apples down into the water with your hands.
Remove the apples from the water and store in a container or bag. Discard the water.
For best results, keep the apples refrigerated if you do this in advance and keep them in a cooler when traveling.
Nuts and Dry Fruit
- Walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, nut mixes, etc.
- Raisins, dates, apricots, mangos, figs
- Apple chips, banana chips
- Trail mixes
- Cheese sticks
- Apple sauce
- Granola bars
- Protein bars
- Mandarin oranges or other fruit, like peaches, pears, etc.
Make your own selection of sliced cheese with deli meat, cooked chicken, sausages and add crackers, pretzels, vegetables, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- Candy (I like bringing a handful of chocolate for us to enjoy with our coffee)
- Cookies, muffins, pastries, etc. (If you have time, you can bake something homemade)
- Russian snacks (sunflower seeds are a must for road trips, then there’s sushki, Russian pretzel sticks, etc.)
What Meals We Eat While Traveling
On long road trips, snacks aren’t the only thing we eat. Sometimes, we pack sandwiches as well as snacks, but we usually stop by to get some hot food too. Not only is it nice to eat a warm meal, but it’s a chance to stretch, have the boys run around and get rid of some pent up energy and for us to take a break and relax a bit before getting back on the road. On shorter trips, we have one hot meal and on longer trips, we have two hot meals.
For breakfast, we usually buy our boys oatmeal. Almost every fast food place offers oatmeal, but most of them are the oatmeal packets with tons of sugar and additives. Starbucks is the only place that we’ve found that has the perfect option – just oatmeal with agave syrup and dry fruit and nuts or fresh blueberries on the side. We ask for hot milk to be added to the oatmeal.
For lunch/dinner, we try to find a place that offers soup, such as Chick-fil-a or Panera Bread.
Of course, there are lots of food options while traveling, both fast food and sit down restaurants, but we always find oatmeal and soup for our boys and Sergi and I can be more adventurous.
What are your favorites snacks and lunches to bring along on a trip?