Many people will agree that road trip snacks are one of the best parts of RVing. It might not be proven by science, but food just seems to taste better when consumed on the open road.
However, the options you’ll find along the highway usually aren’t the best for our bodies. While stopping at gas stations and loading up on sugary sweets and high-sodium chips may be fun at first, they’ll ultimately leave you feeling tired, bloated, and ready to pull over at the next rest stop.
Cutting these foods out of your road trip routine doesn’t have to mean leaving snacks behind altogether, though! There are plenty of healthy options that you can pack ahead of time or pick up at a local grocery store that will give you the energy you need to make it to your next destination.
20 healthy road trip snacks and drinks to bring on your next journey
Here are some of the best road trip snacks to pack before you leave home.
1. Chia pudding
Chia seeds are a superfood that supplies your body with healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Chia pudding is an easy, customizable way to incorporate this small but mighty ingredient into your road trip diet.
Our favorite base recipe only has three ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- ½ cup of your choice of milk
- A drizzle of honey or your favorite sweetener
Once you mix these together in a sealable jar or container, let it sit for a few hours before consuming. This will give the seeds time to absorb the milk and create a tasty pudding-like consistency.
The best part about this recipe is that you can customize it however you’d like. You can add ingredients and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar. For additional flavor and nutrition, you can add fresh fruit like strawberry slices and apple chunks.
Chia pudding lasts about 5 days once you combine the ingredients and should be kept cool, so you can make a few batches ahead of time to keep in a small cooler next to you or your RV kitchen fridge. You can also bring the three main ingredients and keep the chia pudding stream flowing for the duration of your trip.
2. Fruit leather*
Sometimes the inner child in us craves gummy fruit snacks like Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot. Did you know that you can make your own version of these nostalgic treats at home?
Fruit leather is relatively easy to make and only requires a few natural ingredients. How, exactly, you make your fruit leather will depend on what fruit you want to use, but people have found that strawberry, raspberry, blueberries, blackberries, mango, peach, and banana work well.
To make it, you’ll need a blender and an oven.
- Start by pureeing one pound of your fruit of choice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Pour the mixture evenly onto a silicon mat or wax paper on a baking sheet. Tap and move the sheet to evenly distribute it.
- Place in the oven on the lowest setting for 4 to 5 hours, or until the center is no longer tacky.
- Once it has cooled, slice into long strips and roll them up with parchment strips.
Cook times may vary slightly depending on your oven and your mixture, so be sure to keep an eye on it as it cooks. When stored in an airtight container, fruit leather can stay fresh for up to a month, but we doubt it’ll last that long!
*Fruit leather is a great snack to take on a hike!
Cheese is an easy snack for the road that doesn’t require any prep ahead of time. Just buy your favorite string cheese, cheese stick, or cubed cheese, throw it in your cooler or fridge, and go! If you want to add a little pizazz, pair your cheese with your favorite cured meats.
Hummus is among the healthiest of the dips, providing several key nutrients like fiber and protein. You can choose to make your own before you leave, but it’s also readily available at most grocery stores across the country.
Hummus pairs well with a number of foods, but our favorites for the road include:
- Baby carrots
- Bell peppers
- Whole-grain pita chips
If you choose to buy a large container of hummus, you can divide it up into single-serving containers that are easy to snack from on the road. Otherwise, be careful — it’s easy to eat a whole tub of hummus without even realizing it!
Nuts are packed full of vitamins and nutrients and are a great alternative to chips if you’re craving a crunchy, salty snack. Pack reusable baggies full of your favorite nut or nut combos and grab one when you’re feeling peckish.
Nuts can also be used to make your own DIY granola bars. Find that recipe here!
*Nuts are a great snack to take on a hike!
6. Boiled eggs
Though they might not have a pleasant smell, hard-boiled eggs can be a great snack for the road. Boil and peel them before you leave and keep them fresh in a cooler for up to a week.
7. Homemade trail mix*
Trail mix is an outdoor adventure favorite — and, perhaps, the road trip snack to rule all road trips snacks — but oftentimes store-bought brands don’t hit the right ratios or leave with too much of your least-favorite ingredient.
The solution? Make your own, of course!
Purchase your favorite non-perishable goods and mix them together to create a hearty mix. Some of our favorite ingredients include:
- Nuts, such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, and walnuts
- Dried fruits
- Dark chocolate chips
- Pumpkin seeds
- Healthy breakfast cereals
Keep in mind that trail mix is a calorie-dense food. Though the ingredients are good for you, it’s best to consume them in moderation.
*Trail mixes are healthy snacks to bring on a hike!
8. No-bake energy bites*
No-bake energy bites are easy to make and can keep you full on long days of travel. Like trail mix, these energy balls can be made with a variety of ingredients. One of the most popular online recipes calls for the following:
- 1 cup old-fashioned or rolled oats
- ⅔ cup toasted shredded coconut
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Once you have all the ingredients measured out in the same bowl, stir until thoroughly combined. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, and then roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.
These will keep for up to a week in a sealed, refrigerated container.
*Energy bites are great to take along quick day hikes.
9. Dark chocolate
Have a sweet tooth? Dark chocolate is a heart-healthy snack that can satisfy your cravings.
10. Veggies chips
Veggie chips are another great alternative to greasy potato chips. You can purchase these at most grocery stores or make your own ahead of time using your oven or dehydrator and veggies like kale and sweet potatoes.
11. Homemade beef jerky*
Beef jerky found in gas stations is often loaded with sodium and preservatives. Instead, opt for organic store-bought options. Better yet, make your own before you leave the house!
If you’ve never made beef jerky before, read up on different recipes and methods before getting started. To make one of our favorite flavorful jerky recipes, you’ll need:
- An eye of round roast, about 3 lbs, trimmed of fat and silver skin
- 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned meat tenderizer
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Start by slicing the meat between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick, with the grain. If it’s hard to cut, place it in the freezer for one to two hours.
Next, combine and whisk the other ingredients in a bowl to make a marinade. Add the meat to the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.
After that, line two baking sheets with foil. Place a wire rack over each pan and preheat the oven to 175°F with the oven racks placed in the centermost positions. Cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the jerky is dried out, yet tender. It’s also best to rotate and switch the pans around midway through.
Et voilà! You have tasty, homemade beef jerky that can satisfy a meat craving when you don’t have time to make other meaty meals like these pheasant fajitas.
*Beef jerky is great to pack on a hike!
12. Air-popped popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is a light, yet filling snack that you can quickly make and bag up before you hit the road. If you want to get creative, you can season your popcorn just the way you like it.
13. Fresh vegetables
Sometimes, nothing is better than the crunch of a fresh veggie on the road. Prep your favorite assortment of vegetables for the road by washing, cutting, and storing them in easy-to-access containers.
As an added bonus, if you have leftover veggies like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, or olives, you can use them later for a skillet pizza!
14. Fresh fruit
Similarly, you can prepare fresh fruit for your journey. Apples, bananas, easy-to-peel citrus fruits, and berries all make great choices.
15. Dried fruit*
If you want your fruit to last even longer, you can opt for dried fruits. If you purchase packages of dried fruit in stores, be sure to read labels. Sometimes they’ll come with extra added sugars, and it’s best to avoid these.
*Dried fruit makes a great trail snack!
We interrupt our road trip snacks messaging to move snack adjacent to road trip drinks. Starting with the best of the best — good ole H20.
Water is by far the best drink you can have with you on the road. Even though it may feel as if you’re doing nothing, you can easily get dehydrated on the road. Don’t skip out on the hydration just because you think it’ll make you stop for bathroom breaks. Besides — it’s good to stop every once in a while to stretch your legs!
*Water is a must-have for any hike!
17. Sparkling water
Want something fizzy? Skip the soda and grab sparkling water instead. You won’t get loaded down with sugars, but you can still get fun flavors.
18. Unsweet tea
Unsweet tea can be just as hydrating as water, studies show. So brew a gallon of your favorite caffeinated or herbal tea before you go and keep it cold in your cooler for refills.
A caffeine pick-me-up can help you stay alert and focused on the road. Grab a container of cold brew before you leave or brew your own using coarse coffee grounds and water. While at your campsite, you can make your own hot cup o’ Joe with this pour-over method.
Want something on the sweeter side to drink? Natural juices can be a great option. Look for brands that don’t add extra sugars, preservatives, or coloring.
Our favorite healthy camping and hiking food brands
Whether you’re looking for easy-to-make meals or snacks for the trail, be sure to check out these brands.
Looking to make gourmet meals while camping but don’t want to deal with all the hassle of shopping and prep? Packit Gourmet has you covered with easy to assemble breakfast, lunch, dinners, desserts, and snacks. They even have bundled packs that allow you to purchase three days’ worth of meals so you don’t have to even think about food for weekend trips.
Check out their products at packitgourmet.com.
Mountain House has long been a staple of campers everywhere. Boiling water brings these freeze-dried meals to life, supplying you with tasty food that rivals what you’ll find in some restaurants.
Mountain House has tons of options to choose from ranging from breakfast biscuits and gravy to pasta primavera.
Explore their options at mountainhouse.com.
Range Meal Bars
Range Meal Bars were created by an avid outdoor enthusiast who found that other protein bars weren’t cutting it on skip trips, tough climbs, or long hikes. So he sat out to create a bar that could satisfy. These meal replacement bars are a no-mess, no-hassle trail food packed with nutritionally dense ingredients.
See what’s in store at rangemealbar.com.
RXBAR is another high-protein snack for the trail. With 15 flavors to choose from, these bars can be a great way to add a variety of tastes to your trail pack. RXBAR also makes RX Nut Butter, which is a high-quality, protein-packed spread made from basic ingredients like egg whites, dates, and nuts. You can choose from various flavors and buy them in jars or single-serve packets, which are perfect to take on both short and long hikes.
Find RXBAR products at rxbar.com
Make your grocery list and go
Note which of these road trip snacks and food ideas you’d like to try and jot down a quick grocery list for items and ingredients. Good road trip food doesn’t have to involve crazy prep while driving — just a little planning ahead of time!
Happy RV travels and even happier snacking!