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We’re into that time of year for summer camps and family road trips. In fact, this week we’re at the annual Midwest Family Camp we attend in Indiana. I am always looking for ideas for road trip snacks that travel well. Every time we go somewhere, I get online and search, hoping that I’ll see something that will really “wow” my family. I don’t know that we’ve hit “wow”, but we have settled into some standards that have come to be expected.
I will say, that along with these make-ahead snacks, we also each have our go-to convenience store snacks that we pick up along the way. Mine is Cheddar Cheese Combos. The only time I ever eat them is on road trips, I’ve never once purchased them aside from on trips. But when I travel I crave them.
Road Trip Snacks
The biggest criteria when it comes to road trip snacks are neatness, sturdiness and no strong smell.
That rules out most things with chocolate, crumbly or delicate pastries, and things like hard boiled eggs. I do like to always bake something for the road, and have found the greatest cookie recipe for trips. These brown sugar cookies are so tasty and make no mess in the car. In fact, just the other day when we were talking about our trip to Family Camp, Greg said, “Are you going to make those really sweet, chewy cookies for in the car?” Why yes, yes I am! You can find the recipe for these at the bottom of this post.
Other cookies that travel well include:
Road trips for us usually begin before dawn. As such, I like to have something prepared for breakfast. I make:
- or Scones
These normally wouldn’t meet my ‘sturdiness’ criteria for traveling, but I bag them up in sandwich bags a few to a bag. That way people can eat them out of their own bag without making a crumbly mess in the car.
Since I know we usually don’t eat quite as healthfully on trips, I try to make many of our snacks nutritious. The three we have come to rely on are:
- Carrots (baby carrots or sticks)
The grapes and carrots I wash and pack in sandwich bags. That way each person has their own to munch from. The popcorn I make on the stovetop (I like to pop mine in half coconut oil and half bacon fat), then I salt it and let it cool a few minutes before bagging it up. I pack this up in gallon Ziplocs.
Some other fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks that travel well are:
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Broccoli Florets
- Cheese sticks
- Teddy Grahams
- Some granola bars
- Dried or freeze dried fruit
If you want to have dip without the mess, try this idea: Put your dip in the bottom of a pint size jar, then fill it up with your dippers. Lid it up and you’re ready to go. Some combinations can include:
- Celery and Peanut Butter or Nutella
- Carrot Sticks and Ranch Dip
- Veggies and Hummus
We’ve all been there. Someone gets hungry and you reach for a snack only to find they are buried underneath pillows, sleeping bags or luggage. I find the best way to keep our road trip snacks accessible and not crushed is to pack them last. Just don’t forget them (which I did once)!
If you have room, putting all of your snacks into a single tote or bag is helpful, too.
You also want to be sure to pack things like napkins/paper towels and wet wipes. And don’t forget drinks. We pack plenty of bottled water, picking up soda or coffee along the way as special treats or caffeine boosts.
And speaking of special treats, you can print the recipe for my brown sugar cookies below. They are chewy and buttery and delicious! And if you’re looking for things to pass the time on your road trip, think about one of these audiobooks we’ve loved.
What are your go-to road trip snacks? I’d love to try something new!