Summer is the best time to hit the road. You’ll have to take time off from work, craft the perfect reading list, and pack your things for a short trip as a nomad. But when getting the car ready, remember to pack food, drinks, and other snacks and pack more on the trip. This is not a list of the healthiest snacks or even a list of the most popular snacks. Opinions may vary, and each their own, but these are our 20 favorite road trip snacks.
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com
While protein-packed jerky beef is available in almost every convenience store, don’t settle for Slim Jims or any other product with chemical preservatives. Stock up on high-quality jerky at the supermarket, make your own, or enjoy locally made varieties while you’re on the road.
Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com
Not only are Blow Pops a delicious blast of sugar to keep you energized on extended trips, but because they – and the chewing gum inside – are an active snack, they can help keep you awake. Pacifiers are also great for occupying (and silencing) children for long periods of driving.
Let’s put the rest of the candy in a catch-all category. Whether you munch on candy bars, cotton candy, chocolate, gelatin bears or have a red licorice dispenser built into your car like Garth in “Wayne’s World”, we’ve got it. Sweets are an easy, tasty, and satisfying road trip snack and, like lollipops, are good at stifling cries of cranky children.
KK Stock / Shutterstock.com
A good cracker that you can snack on all the time is a road trip staple, and our top pick is Cheez-Its. They’re made with real cheese (if the label and the cheese wheel joke ads are true) and they’re relatively low in calories, with only about 150 out of 27 crackers.
JJava Designs / Shutterstock.com
There are other snack mixes available, and you can whip up your own at home, but we’re still a fan of Chex Mix. Chex cereal, pretzels, mini breadsticks and bagel chips are the OG ingredients of the ‘traditional’ variety, but we won’t blame you if you prefer sour cream, cheddar or even the ‘turtle’ flavor. similar to a dessert.
Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com
What is it about Combos that makes them such a popular road trip snack? Is it pure nostalgia? Is it the fact that these cylindrical bites are basically pretzels with an extra topping? Is it the imaginative varieties, from cheddar cheese and pepperoni pizza to buffalo blue cheese and seven layer dip? Or maybe it’s just the ubiquity of gas stations. Whatever the reason, we know many people who are looking for Combos in the car, and we honor that commitment!
Sparkling photography / Shutterstock.com
Smspsy / Shutterstock.com
If you’re looking for a healthy snack for a road trip, keep looking. Our guilty pleasure on the road is fast food fries, although it’s a little tricky to dip them in ketchup in a moving vehicle. Whether it’s Arby’s curls, White Castle’s pleats, Chick-fil-A waffles, or classic McDonald’s laces, there’s something for everyone.
Epov Dmitry / Shutterstock.com
Kids and adults alike love fruit snacks, and unlike many other snacks, they fit well in any bag, backpack, seatback, or pocket. Fruit snacks can be purchased in bulk, but if you want to avoid mindless snacking, buy the packets in portions.
10 of 20
Fruits + vegetables
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock.com
One of our favorite road trip snacks is also the healthiest: fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut and / or peel apples, oranges, pears, peaches or other fruit in advance, or dig into the whole fruit. Celery, carrot sticks and other vegetables also work well on the go. Bonus points if you buy your products from a farm stand along the way!
Estrada Anton / Shutterstock.com
No treats here; we’re talking about granola bars, energy bars, protein bars, and other healthy options. (But be sure to check the label – some “healthy bars” may contain as much sugar as their candy counterparts.) They can provide you with a beneficial energy boost from their carbohydrates and protein, and are easy to use. unpack and enjoy in transit.
Andrii Yurkevych11 / Shutterstock.com
Ice cream is difficult to pack on a road trip, but finding an ice cream shop along the way can be extremely easy. We really like trying the local spots (mainly because we like ice cream in general) and are especially interested if the milk comes from local cows.
Chaded Panichsri / Shutterstock.com
When looking for energy, a little protein, or a snack to quench your hunger, you can’t beat nuts. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts … they are all good or you can go for a mix!
Alp Aksoy / Shutterstock.com
We’re not talking about shrink-wrapped American slices that look like processed cheese, but healthy options like Babybel Wheels and individually wrapped string cheese. It’s a great way for drivers and passengers to get some protein energy, and they’re fun for kids to eat too!
Koy_Hipster / Shutterstock.com
Your favorite variety of crisps might be different, but let us make the case for Pringles as the go-to crisps for road trips. First, they are less greasy than many shavings and therefore less likely to stain the interior of your car. They also tend to fracture into larger pieces and produce fewer crumbs. Plus, Pringles come in resealable packaging and, miraculously, they fit in many car cup holders. We rest our case!
Tonelson Productions / Shutterstock.com
Once upon a time, the only kinds of rice cakes available were the big, bulky varieties that made tons of crumbs and only had one flavor: plain, which looks a lot like styrofoam. Now, brands like Quaker Oats, SkinnyPop, and Lundberg have injected much-needed flavor into the rice cake game, and they’ve also cut these diet treats down to a snack size perfect for road trips.
17 of 20
Multihobbit / Shutterstock.com
Crunchy, salty and super easy to snack on, roasted chickpeas are a driving delight. Many companies, like Biena and The Good Bean, make packaged varieties, or you can make them yourself at home with this recipe from Love & Lemons.
Rblfmr / Shutterstock.com
This one is a throwback to our childhood. After long stints in the car, it’s hard not to be mesmerized and drawn to the multicolored, swirling slush machines at almost any rest area, convenience store, or gas station. We’re purists, so if we go through any of the 32 states that have 7-Elevens, we get a Slurpee.
Salena Stinchcombe / Shutterstock.com
You don’t have to hike to enjoy the mix of trails, you could also make your way through the country on the open road. (You could also be sitting at home; there are no laws regarding this snack.) Something fruity, something nutty, something salty, and something sweet are the usual ingredients for a good mix. highlander, but buy or make any variety that suits you.
Jabiru / Shutterstock.com
Need a more substantial snack? Pass on the sandwiches, lest you end up with the ingredients all over the interior of your car. Instead, opt for wraps, which are better contained and less likely to leave crumbs.