Summer.  Is.  Awesome.

Backyard BBQs, swimming, fireworks, vacations, longer nights, and waking up to the sunrise instead of the alarm!

And what’s summer without a road trip or two (or three or four)?  It’s fun to drive through small towns, stop at antique stores, explore new cities, pull over to take pictures of beautiful scenery, etc, etc, etc.

Heading into Hobart, Tasmania on the BEST ROAD TRIP EVER.

What’s not to love about road trips???

Well….  how about the inexplicable regression to eating garbage fast food and gas station fare?

Seriously.  This is a big deal.  Nothing will ruin a scenic view or a game of I Spy quicker than gastrointestinal distress from a bucket of fried chicken or gas station hot dog.

As fate may have it, I’ve recently had several converastions on this very topic.  People just want to know what the heck to eat on a road trip!


My recommendation is to pack your own cooler with snacks.  If you see an awesome little restaurant that looks quaint and/or hipster- get on it!  Otherwise, don’t waste a cheat meal on a deep fried whatever’s convient.

To qualify as a good road trip snack, the food must be able to survive in a cooler in the back of a car for a few days (sorry, Ice Cream is out).  It also has to be relatively low mess and non sticky.  That can limit the options, but it’s not impossible.  Here is my list of 10 road trip compatible foods that won’t derail your goals or your wallet.

  1. Beef Jerky.  If you can make your own, awesome.  If not, I recommend Steve’s Paleo Kits– pre-packaged meals/snacks that are from ethically source animals and proceeds benefit an awesome cause!
  2. Holy Guacamole.  These suckers are awesome.  The ingredients are legit, they’re not messy, and they come in individual packets.  You can bring chopped veggies or organic tortilla chips for dipping.  I love to dip my beef jerky in them.  Mmmmmm…
  3. Hard Boiled Eggs.  These will last in a cooler and pack a perfect punch of protein and fat.  You can also pre-peel them so you don’t have to deal with the pesky egg shells in the car.
  4. Kale Chips.  Kale is a nutrient powerhouse and Kale chips are delish. You can make them yourself or most grocery stores are carrying them these days.  Just watch the labels for any gnarly ingredients.  If you’re buying, I recommend Brad’s Raw Kale Chips.
  5. Nuts.  Any kind that suits your fancy.  Just be careful with over consuming- one handful goes a long way!
  6. Grapes.  You can really chop any type of fruit that you want, but I always feel like my fingers get really sticky really quickly with most chopped fruit.
  7. Mini Sweet Peppers.  I eat these like candy- they are sweet and crunchy. Eat ’em on their own or with some Holy Guacamole!
  8. Dark Chocolate.  I mean, it’s vacation, right??  This might satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you from pulling over to get an over sized shake (and fries to dip in it- am I right??).
  9. Water.  This is super important, especially if you’re wanting to hit the ground running or are trying to recover from too much sun.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and avoid coffee and soda at all costs.
  10. Justin’s Butter Nut Packets.  You can cut the corner of these handy little packets and eat them straight, or pair them with your dark chocolate!


If you want to escape the confines of the car, are in a bind, or maybe get more than four feet from your family, use a “better than” strategy when selecting fast food.  Find someplace that serves a good salad- Subway, Panera, and Wendy’s are good options!  Most fast food restaurants will serve bun-less burgers and many will allow you to sub a side salad for french fries  These places may not be ideal, but they are better than the alternative.

And finally,

Remember that it’s vacation.  It’s important to nourish your body, but don’t be afraid to enjoy the local food.  If it’s kangaroo in the Outback or your weight in Seafood on the Gulf Shores, culinary exploration is one of the funnest ways to experience life.  And no matter where you’re heading this summer, be healthy, safe, and happy!

What are your “Go To” road trip snacks?  Share them in the comments below!!

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