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When traveling by car you’ll want to pack the best road trip snacks to keep fueled, energized and ready to play.
Many sports teams travel to tournaments during the summer or for a quick weekend event. Even games just a few hours away can throw a wrench in your eating routine. (1)
To stay on track with your performance nutrition plan, you’ll want to pack easy portable snacks.
Read on for some ideas for packing the best road trip snacks to ensure you can build a travel nutrition plan to keep you at the top of your game.
Plan ahead to pack the best road trip snacks
Since you’re traveling by car, you’ll likely have room to pack everyone’s favorite. Some of the best road trip snacks or snack combinations pair a shelf stable food with something from the cooler.
Make sure you keep the cooler chilled with plenty of ice packs and ice so that you can keep your food at a safe temperature.
Equipment for packing snacks:
- Soft sided cooler– You can fold these down for easy storage and tuck them away until needed. Extra pockets and compartments puts snacks and utensils within easy reach.
- Wipes and hand sanitizer-Keep your hands and surfaces clean before you eat.
- Paper towels, paper plates, silverware
- Ice packs-Make sure your food is kept cool and safe for the duration of your trip.
- Plastic sandwich bags or reusable containers or silicone bags
- Garbage bags
Healthy and portable snacks for road trips
These snack options provide something for everyone. Whether you’re craving something sweet, salty, creamy or crunchy. Keep different choices on hand to prevent you from reaching for empty calories at convenience stores along the way.
Shelf stable road trip snacks
- Graham crackers
- Animal crackers
- Dry cereal, granola
- Granola bars
- Gluten free protein bars
- Nuts, seeds
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Applesauce, fruit pouches
- Bagels, bread, tortillas
- Peanut butter packets
- Jerky-beef, turkey, fish, mushroom, plant based
- Dark chocolate
Road trip snacks for the cooler
- String cheese
- Deli meats (no nitrates)
- Sliced cheese
- Individual hummus
- Carrots, celery, snap peas, sliced cucumbers
- Individual guacamole packs
- Cut melons
- Hardboiled eggs
- Overnight oats
- Grain salads
- Pre-made sandwiches
- Electrolyte tablets
- Milk, non dairy alternatives
- Coconut water
- Sports drinks
Combinations to make athlete snacks
These snacks above can be eaten alone or combine a protein and carbohydrate to make a well rounded snack.
- Peanut butter and jelly/honey sandwich
- Hummus and veggies
- Berries, greek yogurt and granola
- Bagel sandwich with avocado, turkey and cheese
- Avocado “toast” with hardboiled egg
- Sandwich wrap with hummus, turkey, cucumber and cheese
Make a list of your favorite snacks so you can pick up everything you like before you hit the road. Combining a protein and carbohydrate snack will help you meet your energy and protein needs. Thus, you’ll stay on track with ensuring you meet your performance nutrition goals.
Check out our post on high protein vegan snacks for some additional ideas.
Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 20 years in public health and nutrition experience. As a performance nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.