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.
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How do you pack snacks for travel
You can pack snacks for travel in a cooler, lunch bag, beach bag or regular shopping bag. Since you’re traveling by car, you’ll likely have room to pack everyone’s favorite.
You can pre-portion dry snacks into individual baggies so that it’s easy to grab and go, especially if you don’t have much time to stop.
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 road trip 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
What snacks to bring on a long road trip
Good snacks to bring on a long road trip are those that satisfy whatever you’re craving from something sweet, salty, creamy or crunchy.
- 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
These snack options provide something for everyone.
Having some different options from these lists, will keep you from reaching for empty calories at convenience stores along the way.
What foods should you avoid on a road trip
On a roadtrip you want to avoid foods that are greasy, high fat and spicy as these can cause stomachaches, gas, bloating or nausea. Sometimes raw fruits and vegetables can create more gas or discomfort, especially when you’re sitting a car for hours.
When traveling, pack familiar foods for meals and snacks.
Best roadtrip fluids to have on hand
- Electrolyte tablets
- Milk, non dairy alternatives
- Coconut water
- Sports drinks
What are easy foods to eat while traveling
Some easy foods to eat while traveling are these combination snacks with a mix of protein and carbohydrate to make a filling and hearty snack. You can combine the snacks in the lists above or try these options below:
- 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 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian 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.