Snacks on the Road (trip)

The Return of the Road Trip

For us, the road trip never went away. We always enjoy a good road trip – after all, it is the inspiration for this blog & our name. However, in the age of covid-19, the road trip is making a huge comeback. People are limited in their travel options and vacation destinations. I, for one, am excited about my next road trip. I look forward to every aspect of a road trip – from the planning, the adventures we will have, the roadside attractions we will see, and the attractive small towns you go through – and not to be forgotten – the food.

Whatcha Packin’?

As you are doing your planning, you may wish to pack some road trip snacks and drinks to get you going. Having a variety of snacks to munch on will keep you from getting hungry and irritable between meals. Some general suggestions are to keep it healthy but have some fun snacks as well. Be sure to pack some water, protein-rich snacks, and items that will not spoil in the vehicle.

Check out Roguetrippers’ other tips for What To Pack, in our Travel Resources

Packing Healthier Road Trip Snacks

The key is to have more healthy snacks on hand to keep you going. Try to avoid unhealthy items like greasy fast food, sugary drinks, and the gas station junk food. It may seem more straightforward to grab something convenient to snack on, but unhealthy snacking can leave you feeling lethargic, weighed down, and irritable. Try to keep your road trip snacks as nutritious as possible.

Healthier snacks to pack are items like:

                                                          • fruits and veggies
                                                          • some dips like peanut butter or hummus
                                                          • cheese and crackers
                                                          • beef Jerky (I prefer turkey or alligator)
                                                          • trail mix (try to get the ones with more nuts and fruits, and less candy)
                                                          • nuts and seeds
                                                          • boiled eggs (grab a couple of extra from your hotel breakfast bar)
                                                          • dried fruits like raisins, apricots, prunes*, banana & apple chips
                                                          • popcorn
                                                                              • try packing snacks that are small, easy to grab, and make the least amount of mess. This is especially important for the driver, as they don’t need added distractions like messy food. Also, try to avoid added sugars or chemicals and any food that can cause a bad odour.

Fun Road Trip Snacks

Okay, we are all packing healthy snacks for our road trip. Cool! Good for us. We have a fantastic assortment of healthyRoad trips mean stopping at many rest stops and gas stations for snacks road trip snack in the car. Items that are full of nutrition, protein-rich, and real fuel to keep us going…. blah, blah, blah. That is great, but don’t forget the fun stuff. This is a road trip after all, and you are allowed to have some fun.

We always pack some candy to enjoy during the drive, gummies, jujubes, taffy, and the like. Chewing gum is essential for us, as it helps to keep your mouth fresh & moist. Did you know it also can aid in digestion? I always pack plenty of sugar-free gum. Pretzels, potato chips, cookies, and other sweet snacks are great as well. “Everything in moderation”, right?


Roguetrippers Pro Travel tip: Try to avoid too many mints (or lozenges) – they can cause some severe gas. Nobody wants to be sitting in a car with a gassy traveller. 

Get your Fibre while on Vacation

One area of consideration I like to remind people of when it comes to packing snacks for a road trip is fibre. Yes, bland Roguetrippers always pack veggie snacks for every road trip vacationand boring, under-rated fibre. Sitting in a vehicle for long periods can lead to a lack of gut motility, and that can be very uncomfortable. Having some fibre-rich snacks to eat (and water on hand) will keep things moving along nicely.
So, eat your fruits and veggies, or a fibre bar – your bowels will thank you.



Pack your cooler full of drinks for everyone in your road trip pack. Not everyone likes the same things, so make sure you know what people want before you go. It is essential to have water in your cooler to ensure hydration. You can always pick up more beverage options along the road at rest stops, convenience stores, or grocery stores.

Pro Travel Tip: Freeze the water bottles ahead of time and use them as ice packs to ensure the cooler stays colder longer.

Lunch on the Go

To help cut the costs of your vacation, pack some sandwiches for the drive. Cold cuts or Meat & cheese type sandwiches are often best. It is best to avoid anything with a mayonnaise base, like egg or tuna salad – they don’t stay as fresh as long, plus often create an unpleasant odour – especially on hot summer days.
Fried chicken also travels well and can be picked up at many restaurants along the road.

Pro Travel tip: Enhance your travel memories and stop at a park or rest stop with a nice view along a river or lake, and enjoy the scenery with a nice picnic lunch.

Rest Stop Snacks

Although you tried your best to pack the car full of enough snacks for the road trip, eventually you will run out and may need to refill your snack stash: best-laid plans and all that. At every ONRoute, gas station fill-up, or rest stop area, you will find some form of snacking options. Typically, these are not the best options, but you can always find something like bags of nuts or trail mix, protein bars, raisins, or depending on the rest stop – fresh fruit. Prices at rest stop convenience stores are not always great, but they are convenient.

Grocery Stores

As you enjoy your road trip, make a plan to visit a grocery store before you get to your hotel. You can replenish your road trip snacks for the next day and save money by avoiding the higher prices at rest stops.

Hotel Breakfast

Does the hotel you are staying at offer a complimentary breakfast buffet? If they do, pick up a few snacks from the buffet to take with you. Hotels (like Holiday Inn Express) often have fresh fruit, cereal bars, muffins, etc. Grab some apples, oranges, and bananas to replenish your supply. Why not make extra breakfast sandwiches, boiled eggs, or a bagel with cheese to take with you for later?  Many hotels that offer breakfast have those little boxes of cereal at their breakfast bar – grab a few to snack on. While hotels do expect you to take some items, try to be reasonable with what you take.

Cross-border Roadtrips

Right now, cross-border road trips are not really an option. Stay up to date on Covid-19 Canadian Travel advisories. However, they will be again. One thing to remember when crossing the border is what food items can and cannot be transported across. Do not bring any meats or cheeses, no vegetables or fruit – these are all forbidden things, and border guards will confiscate them.

Pro Travel Tip:  There are plenty of grocery stores and other places to stop and pick up more snacks once you cross the border. Do not risk the fines, vehicle search, or just the hassle.

Bring a cooler

Coolers are essential to keep your road trip snacks cold and fresh. Whether you have a regular one that fills with ice or a plug-in one that runs on car battery power, both types have their drawbacks. Bring the cooler into your motel room at night and plug it into an outlet if possible. You can also place the real perishables in the motel fridge overnight.

Pro Travel Tip: If you leave the cooler plugged in the vehicle overnight, it will drain your battery
– that’s a lesson learned the hard way.

Packing snacks for your next road trip can save you a lot of money.
Enjoy your road trip and avoid getting “Hangry” when you are supposed to be having fun, by packing a good assortment of healthy and satisfying road trip snacks.


Don’t forget to make stops on occasion and enjoy some local flavours along the road trip.

Don’t forget – no road trip is complete without some butter tarts


Adventurer, gastro-tourist, avid road tripper, and butter tart aficionado. Exploring the road less travelled and the adventures that exist for all to see if you open yourself up to new possibilities. Greg and his husband Nick are residents of Guelph, and their greatest joys in life are exploring the world around them. Road trips with no real destination are a favourite past time. Get off the beaten path and discover somewhere they have never been before. Sometimes the best vacations are the ones you don't really plan. Life is about the journey together and not the destination.

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