24 Fantastic Road Trip Food Ideas
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? The freedom of the open road, the excitement of new destinations, and of course, the snacks!
One of the key ingredients to a successful road trip is having the right food to keep you fueled and happy along the way. In this post, we’ll explore some tasty and easy-to-pack road trip food ideas to make your next adventure even more enjoyable.
9 Breakfast Food Ideas for Road Trips
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s especially true when you’re on a road trip. Starting your day with a hearty breakfast can give you the energy and focus you need for a long day of driving and adventure.
When it comes to breakfast food for road trips, options that are easy to pack and eat on the go are key. Luckily, breakfast is one of the easiest meals to bring along on a road trip. And don’t forget the coffee! Bringing your own coffee or stopping at a local coffee shop can make for a cozy and satisfying start to your day.
Hearty breakfast ideas for road trip food
- Hard-boiled eggs. Boil up a bunch of eggs, peel them, and then keep them cold in the cooler for an easy and filling high-protein breakfast.
- Egg bites. Egg bites are surprisingly easy to make (I use this wonderful silicon tray) and taste good warm or cold. Make a variety of flavors, pop them in a Ziploc, and enjoy them on the road.
- Breakfast sandwiches. These are great for days you leave from home or a condo. Make up a batch of them and enjoy them in the car as you take off down the road!
- Chia pudding. Chia pudding is incredibly easy to make, tastes decadent, is super good for you, and is delicious cold. Make up a batch the night before you leave and it will be ready to enjoy the next morning.
Sweet breakfast food ideas for road trips
- Baked goods: Scones, muffins, and donuts are all easy options for breakfast on the road. Plus, it’s way more affordable to make a dozen muffins and bring them along versus buying them as you go!
- Granola or protein bars: Not only are these filling, but they are easy to pack. Since they don’t need to be kept cold you’ll save on cooler space. I always throw a box of my favorite version in my suitcase when I travel and I start most days enjoying one with a cup of local coffee (or coffee made in the room and poured into my travel mug).
- Yogurt with granola and fruit: Of course, you can just bring cups of yogurt or plain granola, but you are on vacation! Make it special by creating a little yogurt bar with fun mix-ins. This breakfast idea would be best if you plan on stopping for a quick breakfast picnic as it might get a little messy!
- Fresh fruit: Easy and delicious! Plus, some fruits don’t need to be refrigerated so once again, you’ll save space in your cooler.
- Bagels and cream cheese: Bagels travel well, so bring a bag along with a tub of cream cheese and you’ve got a filling and tasty way to start the day. For a real treat, bring a few from your favorite local bagel shop!
Don’t forget that coffee!
Coffee is critical for me when I’ve got a day of driving and exploring ahead of me, so if we are starting off at home I’ll make a travel mug to go. If we are on the road and have coffee at the hotel I’ll bring that along.
Another fun option is to make your morning coffee one of your splurges. Find a local coffee shop and indulge in a freshly brewed cup to enjoy alongside the breakfast food you packed.
Road Trip Food Ideas: 8 Snacks for the Road
Snacks are an essential part of any road trip, keeping you fueled and satisfied between meals. When choosing snacks for your road trip, it’s best to opt for options that are easy to pack, not too messy, and provide some nutritional value.
- Nuts and Trail Mix: A classic snack that’s both satisfying and healthy. Make your own version by mixing your favorite nuts with dried fruits and a touch of chocolate for a sweet and salty combo. I like to add seeds to my trail mix and store it in a Mason Jar to keep it fresh and easy to transport.
Insider tip: If you have an Aldi near you, they have a wonderful selection of very affordable nuts, seeds, and dried fruits that are perfect for making your own trail mix!
- Beef Jerky: High in protein and low in calories, beef jerky is a perfect snack to keep you going on long drives.
- String-cheese or BabyBell: I almost always pack string cheese when we travel – even if it’s just overnight, it’s easy to throw in the cooler, is filling, and not too messy to eat in the car. Add a piece of fruit and it could technically work for breakfast too.
- Granola bars: Do double-duty by packing granola bars for snacks as well as breakfast!
- Fresh Fruit: Apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes are all easy to pack and provide a refreshing break from savory road trip snacks.
- Cheese and crackers: This is a favorite of mine. I love to pack a few different cheeses, and not only enjoy them as a road trip snack but also in the evening at our hotel with a glass of wine! Especially if there is a beach view.
- Fresh Vegetables: Cut up some carrots, celery, and cucumbers and throw them in a Ziploc or Tupperware for easy and healthy snacking!
- Pretzels/Chips/Pirate’s Booty: It’s a rare road trip that we don’t pack a bag of pretzels. They are a fantastic snack for driving, and it’s fun to mix them with microwave popcorn later for an evening snack in your hotel room.
Road Trip Food Ideas: 7 Easy Meals on the Go
While snacks are great for quick bites, sometimes you need something more substantial to fuel you through a long road trip. That’s where easy meals on the go come in. With a little creativity and planning, there are plenty of easy meal options to keep you satisfied and energized on your road trip.
Classic road trip meals
- Sandwiches: Classic and versatile, sandwiches are a perfect road trip food. Try turkey and cheese with lettuce and tomato, or a PB&J for a nostalgic treat. This is my go-to for shorter road trips (like our frequent six-hour drives to Boyne). I make up a batch of sandwiches and instead of stopping for a fast food lunch or dinner, we enjoy a sandwich, chips, and drink in the car.
- Pasta salads: Remember those big batches of cold pasta salad you used to always see at pitch-ins? Turns out that making a big batch is also a classic money-saving, delicious, and filling option for a road trip meal!
- Tuna packets with crackers: Who didn’t eat tuna fish for lunch as a kid? Well, just like when you were a kid, it’s easy, filling, and inexpensive. And now you can buy packets that are easy to bring along and don’t take up much room!
Fun & different road trip meal ideas
- Wraps: Like sandwiches, wraps can be filled with a variety of ingredients and are easy to eat on the go. Try a veggie wrap with hummus and avocado, or a chicken Caesar wrap for a heartier meal. My favorite is black beans, chipotle cream cheese, salsa, and lettuce.
- Mason Jar Salads: A fun and easy way to pack a salad without the mess. Layer your favorite greens, veggies, and protein in a mason jar, and add dressing when you’re ready to eat.
- Grilled Chicken: My family loves grilled chicken, and it’s super easy to grill up a bunch of chicken breasts with a yummy seasoning and then enjoy them while on the road. If you don’t like to just each plain chicken, you could add it to your pasta salad, wraps, or mason jar salads.
Insider tip: we LOVE this seasoning for our grilled chicken – I actually use my indoor grill pan and make a big batch for snacking on or lunches throughout the week at home too!
- Hummus, pita, and veggies: Another easy go-to is hummus, pita bread, or chips and fresh veggies. It’s filling, healthy, and delicious. Add some stuffed olives or dill pickles for a little bit of extra crunch!
Drinks to Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential on any road trip, especially during the hot summer months. Bringing drinks to keep you refreshed and hydrated is crucial. With a variety of drink options to choose from, you can stay hydrated and energized throughout your road trip.
- Water: The most important drink on any road trip! Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated and save money.
- Liquid IV/ ZippFizz: If you want to add an energy boost, or just some flavor to your water, pack some Liquid IV (I love the tangerine for the flavor and extra Vitamin C and Zinc!) or ZippFizz.
- Coffee and Tea: If you need a caffeine boost, bring your own coffee or tea and a travel mug for a cozy pick-me-up on the road.
- Sports Drinks: If you’re doing a lot of physical activity on your trip, sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes and keep you energized.
What are some other fun things to pack?
While it’s important to pack snacks and meals that will keep you fueled and satisfied, road trips are also a great opportunity to indulge in some fun and tasty foods that you might not eat every day. Bringing along some fun foods can make your road trip even more enjoyable and memorable.
- Desserts/candy/chips: There isn’t a road trip we don’t go on that doesn’t include Twizzlers. We rarely eat them at home, but they usually make an appearance as a road trip snack!
- Growler: Something unique to bring along is an empty growler or two. If you enjoy stopping at local breweries, it’s fun to fill your growler with your favorite brew (or even rootbeer) to enjoy later in your hotel room or at home.
- Wine or Beer: Obviously you shouldn’t be drinking wine or beer while you are driving, but you might enjoy a drink at the end of the long drive in your hotel room, so if that’s the case, bring along what you enjoy to save a little money!
Don’t forget to pack these items
While packing food is important, there are other items you should not forget to bring on your road trip to ensure an easy journey. Here are a few essentials:
- Plates/silverware/storage containers: Depending upon the food you pack you may need a variety of plates and silverware. If you think you’ll have leftovers, having a few storage containers can make life easy for you.
- Napkins/paper towels: Bring along either a pack of napkins or a roll of paper towels to help you keep things neat while you eat.
- Wet wipes: Make cleanup easy with wet wipes!
- Ziploc baggies: I always have a few empty sandwich and gallon-size bags with me, they come in useful for so many occasions.
Why should you pack food for a road trip?
You should pack food for a road trip because it can save you time and money, and ensure that you have access to healthy and satisfying meals and snacks throughout your journey.
By packing your own food, you can avoid the expense and hassle of stopping at restaurants or fast food chains and also have more control over the nutritional content of what you’re eating.
Packing snacks and meals that are easy to transport and consume on the go can also save you time and keep you energized during long stretches of driving. Overall, packing food is a smart and practical way to make your road trip more enjoyable and convenient.
How to pack road trip food
Packing road trip food can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning and organization, it can be easy and stress-free. Here are some tips on how to pack road trip food:
- Make a list: Start by making a list of the snacks and meals you want to pack, taking into account how long your trip is and how much storage space you have available.
- Keep perishables cool: If you’re bringing perishable items like cheese, yogurt, or fresh fruit, be sure to pack them in a cooler with ice packs to keep them fresh.
- Pack snacks in easy-to-reach places: Snacks like trail mix, granola bars, and fruit are perfect for packing in a small bag that you can keep in the front seat for easy access.
- Plan for meals: Preparing meals in advance can be a great option for longer road trips. Pre-made sandwiches, wraps, and salads are easy to pack and can be stored in a cooler.
By following these tips, you can pack road trip food that is easy to transport, delicious, and nutritious.
FAQs about Road Trip Food
What food won’t go bad in the car?
Foods that are shelf-stable won’t go bad in the car. Things like pretzels, beef jerky, peanut butter & jelly, trail mix, etc. are good choices.
What is the hardest food to eat while driving?
Soup is probably number one. Tacos are quite hard to eat while driving too – they just fall apart too much. Ice cream that is not in a cone is also quite difficult as you can’t use a spoon while you are driving.
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Conclusion: Road Trip Food
Road trip food should be easy to pack, tasty, and satisfying. Snacks like nuts, beef jerky, and fresh fruit are perfect for quick bites, while sandwiches, wraps, and mason jar salads make for easy meals on the go. Stay hydrated with water, sports drinks, coffee, or tea.
With a little planning and preparation, you can make your next road trip even more enjoyable with delicious and convenient road trip food. Happy travels!