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Smart Snacks for Your Trip

Contributors: Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN

Reviewers: Academy Nutrition Information Services Team

Published: August 14, 2018

Reviewed: December 11, 2023

family loading car
MariaTeijeiro/ iStock /Getty Images Plus

Ah, road trips: You stare at the road all day, eating candy out of boredom and downing coffee to stay alert. Upon reaching your destination, you feel jittery and bloated. This is no way to start your vacation! It's easy to grab candy and soda at a gas station, but with a little planning, you can snack the smart way on a road trip and arrive at your destination feeling energized.

Pack Sensible Snacks for Road Tripping

Don't rely on empty calories to power your road trip. Instead, pack snacks that will fuel you with protein, dietary fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Here are some good grab-and-go options:

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Pre-washed fruit such as apples, pears, bananas and grapes
  • Dried fruit
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fruit and nut bars
  • Whole-grain crackers or pretzels
  • Plain popcorn
  • Peanut butter

Pre-portion snacks into single-serving containers before you leave home. A cooler is another great option — just be sure to keep the cooler temperature under 40°F using ice packs. Start with everything already refrigerated or frozen so it stays cool longer. Tasty snack options for the cooler include:

  • Sliced fruit and veggies
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Yogurt
  • String cheese

Stay Hydrated on the Road

Water is the best way to stay hydrated. When on the road, try drinking unsweetened seltzer water or add a slice or two of a lemon or lime to regular water and drink up!

If you drink a lot of coffee, soda or other drinks with caffeine on the road, you'll arrive at your destination feeling buzzed and might have trouble sleeping. Instead, pack a bottle of iced tea with sprigs of mint, slices of lemon or cucumber. It's really refreshing when you've been sitting in a car for a long time.

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