With everything that has happened in 2020, going abroad isn’t really a possibility. Now, though, is the right time to start preparing for a short trip around your country with a limited group of people. But wait — you do have to prepare for it in advance and plan it all out! And luckily, here is a list of the best road trip food ideas to help you out.
Now, will you use all of these ideas? Of course not! It’s encouraged to adjust your plans according to what the whole group likes and, more importantly, can eat. However, the following list is a good place to start, especially if you need ideas for all three meals plus some snack suggestions.
First things first, though — let’s discuss what kinds of food you should even take on a road trip.
Don’t Relax Your Eating Habits Too Much — You’re Risking Your Health
When it comes to road trip food ideas, you’ll soon realize that this little journey you’re about to take is a great chance to forgo any diets you may be on. But really, is that smart at all?
Just because you’ll be traveling the country with your friends or family for a few days doesn’t mean that your health should suffer. Besides, if you have some health conditions that require you to follow a strict diet, you definitely shouldn’t risk it all.
That said, you don’t have to worry about the following list of road trip food ideas. The variety of ingredients and dishes on it is its main strength. You can bet that most, if not all, of the suggestions are healthy and good for your overall well-being as well.
While on the road trip (and in life, in general), you ought to think of food as energy. It’s not there for you to gorge on it; its main purpose is to give you enough strength and endurance to go about your day and live your life to the fullest.
In the end, your road trip will be a total success if you get to see some sights, enjoy your time with family or friends, and keep up with your healthy habits. Now is not the time to go for crisps over apples and pasta over eggs — so let’s start with the staples you should bring, shall we?
14 Best Road Trip Food Ideas for Your Next Adventure
1. Granola Bars
If you’re one of those people who don’t feel that peckish in the morning, a cup of Joe and a healthy granola bar may just be all you need. Fortunately, there are lots of recipes online you could try out that don’t use any refined sugar. In fact, some of them may not even require any baking!
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Packed with protein and easy to prepare before you set off on your road trip, hard-boiled eggs aren’t just a fantastic breakfast option — you can even use them as snacks. Plus, they are rather easy to combine with other foods, such as fresh veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) and some healthier types of cheese, like mozzarella or feta.
The best part about preparing some muffins before your road trip is that you can eat them for a few days without worrying about them going stale. As long as you keep them in an air-tight container, they’ll remain fresh and delicious until the end of the trip.
But what about the recipes? Well, you’ll be happy to know that both savory and sweet muffins will work as breakfast on your journey. How about some delicious blueberry muffins that don’t use refined sugar at all, or a healthy zucchini option that will surely keep you satiated well into lunchtime?
Are you having trouble kicking your bakery habits and are looking for some healthy pastry to bring with you on the road trip? Look no further than some rather healthy scones then. These triangle-shaped goodies will easily satisfy your hunger without making you feel bad. Plus, you can make them with pretty much anything you’d like, both fruit and veggies!
Of course, when it comes to road trip food ideas, nothing beats fresh fruit in the morning.
Some say that since fruits can be high in sugar, they aren’t a great option, especially since most fruits won’t keep you satiated for too long. But that’s where they’re wrong.
You don’t have to just opt for fruit; nothing’s stopping you from bringing some nice Greek yogurt with you too and maybe even some nuts (pistachios, almonds, etc.) When you combine all of these together, you get a nice breakfast that may not be as hearty as bacon and eggs but will give you enough energy until lunchtime.
6. Sandwiches and Wraps
Of course, a list of road trip food staples cannot be complete without the real MVPs — sandwiches and wraps.
Now, you may think that these aren’t the healthiest options out there. And you’re right; the way most people make sandwiches and wraps isn’t healthy at all. Most of them usually drown them in some mayo and opt for processed meats (cold cuts, for instance) that can do more harm than good.
Instead, why not try some vegetarian options? A sandwich doesn’t need cold cuts to be delicious. You can always make one with some eggs, fresh veggies, a bit of cheese, and whole-grain bread.
If you opt for wraps, though, go a step further and use lettuce instead of a tortilla. To make the meal a bit more calorie-dense, you can add some shredded chicken (brought from home, too!).
Just make sure to bring a cooler like Pelican or Yeti with you on the road to keep these lunch options from going bad. There’s no use in trying to make them as delicious as possible only to leave them on the backseat of your vehicle in direct sunlight!
7. Salad in a Jar
Finally, if you lack some inspiration, one of the best road trip food ideas people swear by is a salad in a jar. Basically, instead of buying a pre-made one at some supermarket, you can get a jar and create your own on-the-go salad at a fraction of the price using your favorite veggies.
Just make sure that the salad is a mix of some healthy veggies and some more calorie-dense options, like rice. You don’t want it to be too light, especially if you’ve had a low-calorie breakfast as well.
8. Pre-Cooked Roast Chicken
One of the best road trip food ideas is a whole roast chicken that you have made at home and can use in various ways. For instance, you can easily make a few roast sandwiches with it, or even add some of it to your salad in a jar. Alternatively, you can simply take it with you in an air-tight container and eat it with some cheese, fresh veggies, and your favorite condiments.
Most people love their quiches to be on the more caloric side, but if you’re looking to eat healthy on your road trip, there are a few low-cal options out there.
Even if you opt for the regular recipe, know that you won’t go hungry quickly after dinner. Quiche is pretty satiating, especially if you combine it with some salad. You could even eat some of it for breakfast too — it goes pretty well with Greek yogurt.
Keep in mind, though, that you probably won’t be able to eat each meal out of your car, truck, or bus. Of course, if you’re trying to make the road trip as cheap as possible, you may decide to forgo any eating out.
If you can spare a meal a day, though, it’s best to opt for dinner. It’s going to be late anyway, and you may not be up for another pre-packaged meal. Besides, for most people, dinnertime is when they can really indulge themselves and eat a bit more than usual.
The suggestions above are incredibly delicious, no doubt. However, don’t forget that you can also treat yourself, depending on how many days you’ll spend on the road trip. After all, it’s essentially a vacation!
Snacks for Guys and Gals on the Road
Naturally, if you’re looking for some awesome road trip food ideas, you probably need some snack suggestions too. And if you want to stay healthy, you won’t settle for chips or pretzels found at the nearest gas station. You’ll want to prepare the snacks in advance!
Fortunately, the following stuff is either easy to make or can be found in pretty much every supermarket out there. Plus, it should be good for your overall well-being, digestion, energy levels, and focus.
Even though it is a fantastic source of complex carbs and fiber, most people disregard popcorn because they see it as a “movie snack.” If you’re into road trips, though, it will save you from sudden hunger pangs that may come about after sightseeing for hours.
Of course, you shouldn’t just opt for the store-bought variety. Yes, it’s easier to just microwave them at home. In that case, though, you’ll be eating just a lot of salt and oil. Instead, make popcorn yourself to ensure they aren’t chock-full of grease but rather a highly nutritious snack.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts — these and many other nut varieties will keep your hunger at bay and help you last longer until lunch or dinner.
On top of that, they’re very good for you. Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Research has even shown that they can help you live a healthier life overall!
12. Dark Chocolate
Yes, you’ve read that right — one of the best snacks you could bring on a road trip is dark chocolate. It has been proven that this delicious treat is quite nutritious, as it’s packed with soluble fiber and a variety of minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Besides that, dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants and can have a positive effect on your blood pressure, improve your brain function, and even lower the risk of heart disease. And if that doesn’t convince you, keep in mind that it will satisfy your sweet tooth a lot better and faster than regular chocolate!
Since they are the ultimate road trip snack, don’t be surprised by the variety of cracker recipes you’ll find online. You can actually make them out of pretty much anything, as long as you’re willing to take the time.
The best part about crackers, though, is that you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a snack. They go great with cheese, eggs, and various dips like guacamole. In case your kids start feeling a bit peckish, these are a better alternative to crisps too.
14. No-Bake Cookies
And finally, if you or your travel buddies aren’t that into dark chocolate as dessert, you can always opt to make some no-bake cookies at home and bring them on the road with you. This recipe is not only a great alternative to store-bought cookies but also rather healthy for something that ought to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Make no mistake — while on the road, going sugar-free completely is not an option. And why even try, really? This list of the best road trip food ideas proves you can eat well while traveling AND make healthy choices!
Whether you’re a complete novice or a road-tripping veteran, these road trip food ideas should keep you satisfied, energized, and healthy while traveling. Sure, you may opt to bring with you a few bags of chips or pretzels as well — that’s perfectly fine. The good news is that you can always balance it out by opting for some healthier alternatives whenever possible!