Road trip snacks and how to plan and pack them. This is something that I have learned the hard way and through trial & error. I’ve personally driven across the country more than my fair share of times and for multiple reasons. The first time I drove from Chicago to Los Angeles with a friend because she was starting a summer job in California. We lived off of drive-thru burgers, gas station snacks, and an unhealthy amount of coffee. Just DAYS of unhealthy food.
I’ve moved from Chicago to Denver to Las Vegas back to Chicago in the past few years – and that is A LOT of driving. Through trial & error I learned that, at least for me, coffee doesn’t always keep me awake on a 16-hour drive (yes, I do 16 hours by myself in one day – I love long drives listening/badly singing to music, new podcasts, etc.). I cannot remember where I heard this, but I tried drinking a Gatorade instead of coffee on one of my drives and it was amazing. I was wide awake the entire time – I didn’t need to pull over to walk around or stretch as often.
The cross-country road trip has also happened a few times – most recently it was to drive from Chicago to Denver because I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. One of the other girls drove with me and we did not want to be bloated or feeling gross by the time we got there so we planned ahead and packed healthy snacks.
Here’s what we did:
- Used a medium-sized cooler (we knew we had to pack enough snacks for 2 people for at least 16 hours) and filled it with the following:
- A few large Ziploc bags of ice (so it didn’t melt and get everything soaking wet)
- 2 bottles of water each (to be refilled at gas stations/rest stops as needed)
- String cheese
- Hummus with baby carrots and celery and sliced cucumber
- Fresh fruit (grapes, strawberries, apples)
Things not in the cooler:
- Bread and peanut butter for sandwiches
- Trail Mix
- Mandarin Oranges (whoever was passenger had to peel these)
Did we over pack food for ourselves? Yes. Did we stop and buy anything from gas stations on the way? Only coffee and Powerade or Gatorade. Now anytime I go on a drive longer than 2 hours I make sure I bring my own water and some sort of snack with me so I’m not tempted by those golden arches and other drive-thrus.
We would love to hear from you! Are you going on a road trip soon? What are your favorite road trip/car snacks?
Pack Smart and Drive Safe