8 Road Trip Snacks You Should Pack

Hitting the road? Here's how to keep your travel eats healthy and light.
Published October 30, 2015

Everyone loves the ritual of a road trip: packing the car, gassing up, planning your open-road playlist and of course, stocking your cooler with drinks and snacks. But while a family-size bag of chips might be a cheap and convenient treat the whole carful can enjoy, it's not the healthiest choice when it comes to staying on Plan.

Whether you're traveling alone, with your friends or with your husband and kids, these snack ideas are designed for easy grabbing, and will help steer you away from fast food stops along the way.

Solo snacks

Driving alone can be a cathartic experience, especially with the windows down, the wind blowing through your hair and your favorite music blaring. To make the trip even better, hit the road with these easily accessible snacks that don't require help from someone in the passenger seat. 

  • Grape tomatoes: Miniature tomatoes, when ripe, make a delicious snack. This is a no-mess, grab-and-go treat, and one you can reach your hand in the bag for over and over.
  • Summer berries: Throw together blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any mix of berries in a plastic container. This snack can get messy, so unless you've got a bunch of napkins tucked away in your glove compartment, leave this one for the rest stop.
  • Plain popcorn: Whether you buy a bag of naked popcorn or air-pop your own kernels at home, plain, unbuttered popcorn is an easy-to-grab snack that won't stain your clothes or distance you from your goals.

Group snacking

It can be hard when you're traveling with a partner or friends who are looking forward to all the indulgent foods they're going to munch on the road. Your strategy: pack your cooler with treats so tempting you won't even blink when they order drive-thru meals and convenience store noshes. Just be sure to eat while you're riding shotgun, and not behind the wheel. Here are some ideas.

  • Pack popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or smoked paprika. (Take that, bottomless bag of Doritos!)
  • Top a yogurt with some crushed cereal or granola. This will give you a solid dose of calcium, and although a little more challenging to eat in the car, you can make it work by placing the yogurt in your cup holder.
  • Decorate some whole wheat crackers with your favorite low-fat cheese, and portion them out in plastic bags for easy access. You can use string cheese and snack on it by itself too.

Family snacking

You can prepare these snacks in bulk to pass around the car and share with the whole family. These foods are sure to keep the kids happy so they don't start asking to stop at the next exit (until they need the restroom, that is).

  • Make mini pita snackwiches. Hummus is full of protein and can help keep your hunger at bay until you reach your destination. Put some into mini pitas pockets with shredded carrots or sliced cucumbers for crunch. These mini hummus sandwiches make the perfect portable snack that the kids will love.
  • Meringue cookies are light cookies made from egg whites and sugar make a delicious sweet craving satisfier. You can get the store bought ones, or follow any recipe.

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