Snack Ideas for Long Drives


If you are planning for an epic road trip or about to embark on a long drive, there are many things that you need to consider in order to make the journey comfortable and convenient. One of these is the snacks that you should bring along. Whether you are traveling alone, with family, or with friends, having a stash of delicious and convenient snacks can turn a tedious drive into a delightful culinary adventure.

If you haven’t thought of what snacks to bring on your upcoming road trip, we are here to help you. In this article, we have gathered some delicious snack ideas for long drives that will keep you fueled, satisfied, and excited throughout your trip. From savory to sweet, healthy to indulgent, these hand-picked snacks will surely add a flavorful twist to your travel experience. If you are ready, read on and explore the best road trip snacks that will make your adventure enjoyable and tasty.

Things to Consider When Planning Your Road Trip Snacks

friends eating in the car

Before we give you our best ideas for long-drive snacks, let us first take a look at a few things that you must consider when planning snacks for a road trip. You don’t want to just go to the supermarket or convenience store and buy out whatever snacks you see there. You also don’t want to take something that you end up having to throw out for some reason. To help you, below are some of the important things you may want to take into consideration when planning your road trip snacks:

Where to Buy?

This may not seem too important, but you should also think about it. Are you going to buy your snacks before the trip at a local grocery store? Or will you only buy snacks when you stop at a convenience store or gas station during the road trip? There is actually no right or wrong way to buy snacks, but you will want to think about what is easier and more affordable for you. But you may also choose both. You can buy some snacks from the grocery store before the trip, and then stop at a convenience store if you think of other snacks that you want to buy, particularly if you have kids with you.

Storing the Snacks

When bringing road trip snacks, you also need to plan carefully on how you will store them. It is not just about where you will put the snacks in the car, but also how to keep them fresh. For example, if you plan to bring a cooler, see to it that your snacks can fit in it, especially those that should be kept cool. You also need to consider how you will handle ice or cooling in the cooler during the trip.

If you are bringing dry snacks like potato chips, keep in mind that they can be squished and turned into crumbs. Therefore, find ways to protect them when you store them in the car. You also have to think about how you will all share the snacks during the long drive, especially if you have little kids with you. Will you just give them a large bag of chips or buy individual serving sizes of chips? Always choose the option that will be more convenient and comfortable for everyone.

Role of Snacks in Your Meal Planning

While road trip snacks are extra fun to snack on, there are some who want to use them as part of their meal planning. For example, during your road trip, you will most likely stop at fast food places for meals. Therefore, you want to ensure that you have some healthy snacks, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, available.

Others, on the other hand, may want to pack items that will make it so they do not have to stop for meals at restaurants. These may include packing protein bars, sandwich fixings, or some string cheese. How you plan to use the snacks will play a big role in which snacks you pick. But either way, they are a must-have for a long drive.

Are the Snacks Allowed?

Depending on where your destination is, there are some snacks that might not be allowed. For example, in California, there are agricultural checkpoints as you enter the state. There are times you will be waved through, but other times, they may limit certain products due to disease or other reasons that they are trying to keep away from their own crops. Just be aware that you may be asked to fork over snacks like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc. Therefore, it is best to pack only what you know will be consumed before these checkpoints, and just buy more in the state.

The Best Snack Ideas for Long Drives

It is quite tempting to pack junk foods and sweets when going on a road trip. However, it is also important to pick healthier snacks that will keep you full throughout the drive. By ensuring that you pack good, healthy snacks for your long drive, you will find that you won’t be tempted to grab junk foods in the convenience store as you know something better is waiting for you in your car. To further help you, below are some of the best snack ideas for long drives:

Trail Mix

trail mix in a bowl

This snack is loved by both kids and adults. In addition to nuts and dried fruits, there are trail mixes that are loaded with Cheerios, pretzels, marshmallows, and M&M’s, which gives it a good combination of color, flavor, and texture. It is so good that your family or friends will find it almost impossible to stop snacking on it. It is also healthier compared to potato chips. You can pack one big bag of trail mix or place it in smaller bags so you can hand them out to everyone while on the road.

Beef Jerky

dried peppered beef jerky

This is a good road trip snack because it is packed full of protein, which is a great way to satisfy hunger. However, do not pick jerky from convenience stores that come loaded with preservatives and have high levels of sodium. Instead, choose a type of beef jerky that is organic and grass-fed, which is usually available in local natural foods stores. However, note that beef jerky has a strong odor, and some people who get motion sickness can find the smell triggering.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

hard-boiled eggs on a table

Hard-boiled eggs are also great road trip snacks. You can prepare them at home, or you can buy them in the travel snacks section of larger convenience stores. They are healthy as they contain about 6 grams of protein, which is perfect for those who are looking for protein snacks that are not peanut butter or beef jerky.


popcorn in a bowl

Popcorn is a good source of complex carbs and fiber that will help your body stay regular, and provide you with energy while on the road. However, avoid choosing microwave popcorns as it is filled with chemicals. It is better to buy popcorn from a natural foods store that is made of just corn, salt, and oil. Better yet, you can pop some on the stove at home using olive oil or butter and just salt. That way, you are sure what exactly you are getting.

Protein Bars

hand holding a protein bar

Protein bars are among the easiest snacks that you can bring on a road trip. There are also countless options out there. However, you need to be wise as many protein bars are full of nothing but sugar and other unhealthy additives. Try to search for a protein bar that is full of natural ingredients that will give you the nutrients your body needs and wants without the sugar crash.

String Cheese

pulling a string cheese apart

String cheese is a healthy and fun snack that you can bring on a long drive, particularly if you have kids with you. You can pair it with apple slices to make a snack that covers healthy fat, good protein, and complex carbs. This type of snack will keep you full for a while and will also increase your energy levels.

Sandwiches and Wraps

eating sandwich in a car

You can also prepare some hearty sandwiches or wraps with your favorite fillings. Some of the best examples are turkey and avocado and hummus and veggies. Sandwiches and wraps are great for road trips as they are satisfying snacks and also mess-free options.

Fresh Fruits

sliced fruits in a plastic container

It is also a good idea to keep a selection of fresh fruits like grapes, apples, and berries for a refreshing and healthy snacking alternative. They are perfect to snack on, particularly for your kids who are searching for something sweet and juicy.

Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate bars on a table

Dark chocolate is also a healthy snack idea for a road trip. However, it is not recommended to chow down a whole bar in one sitting. There are many benefits that you can get from eating a bit of dark chocolate. It is known to lower the risk of heart disease while increasing brain function. Therefore, if you want to be energized while on the road trip, you can snack on dark chocolate, but in moderation.

Homemade Vegetable Chips

vegetable chips in a bowl

Instead of packing potato chips for your road trip, it is better to make your own vegetable chips at home that are guilt-free. One of the most popular types of vegetable chips to make at home is kale, and they are quite easy to put together. You just need to rip the washed kale into pieces, toss the leaves with olive oil, spread them onto a baking sheet, and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let cool.

Bubbly Water

pouring carbonated water in a glass

There are moments when we think we are hungry, but we are actually just thirsty. If you don’t feel like drinking regular water during the road trip, you can instead try some carbonated water, which can make your drink feel a bit more exciting. There are also some that come with flavors. However, ensure that what you are getting is not filled with added sugar.


When it comes to long drives, the right snacks can make all the difference, transforming a mundane road trip into a memorable culinary adventure. By packing a diverse selection of delicious and convenient treats, you can keep hunger at bay and maintain your energy levels throughout the drive.

From the classic trail mix to the refreshing freshness of fruits and veggies, the possibilities for satisfying snacks are endless. Also, snacks are not only about the taste but also about the joy of sharing. Bringing along a variety of snacks allows for moments of bonding and laughter as you pass around the goodies and indulge in each other’s favorites.

Therefore, as you plan your next long drive, take the time to plan and prepare your snack selection. Packing the right snacks for a road trip can go a long way in making your journey more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. We hope this article helped you learn more about the best snack ideas for long drives.

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