The Best Road Trip Snacks to Bring Along for the Ride

If you’re setting out on the road, one of the most important things you’re going to need (besides gas and a banging playlist) is a great collection of snacks. Depending on where you’re going, there could be stretches of hundreds of miles where you the only thing you’re going to see are mileage markers reminding you that you’re still in the middle of nowhere.

On one hand, this is great — it’s just you and nature. On the other, what happens if you get hungry? Sure, you could find some berries on the side of the road … or you could just be prepared by having the best road trip snacks on the planet.

When preparing your snack pack, you’re going to want a balance of things. At the very least, you’ll want some crunch (if for nothing else than to keep you awake), some protein for energy, and something sweet to round it all out. You also want to avoid things that melt or will go bad over time (unless you’ve got a cooler, of course). Below, you’ll find some of our favorites to bring on the road.

Pretzels

pretzel bowl
Snyder's of Hanover/Facebook

While hot pretzels with a nice mustard would be an amazing addition to any road trip, that’s just not going to happen. You’ll have to opt for the bagged, smaller, harder versions, which thankfully come in tons of different flavors. Not terribly unhealthy, pretzels also offer an audible assist in staying awake if you start to get sleepy. Flavor-wise, you can’t go wrong with Snyder’s Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzels (or really any of their options).

Jerky

beef jerky closeup

To do anything you need energy, and how best to get that energy? Meat. In this case, jerky. We love it when it’s made from beef, but nowadays they make jerky out of just about everything (including earthworms). You can’t really beat the old standby, though. Lately, we’ve been digging Jack Link’s Beef Steak Strips for their portability and protein content (8g per strip).

Protein Bars

quest nutrition protein bars
Quest Nutrition/Facebook

If meat isn’t your thing (or if you’re not feeling savory), a protein bar is the perfect way to get a condensed (and usually healthy) energy boost. Packed with vitamins and nutrients you didn’t know you needed, these bars will get you ready to go in no time. Depending on which brand you get, some also work as meal replacements for when you want to pack less but have the same amount of energy at your disposable. We recommend Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Trail Mix

Two-Ingredient Energy Bar

Trail mix is a classic journeying snack. It doesn’t matter if you’re scaling the Matterhorn or speeding your way to the coast, trail mix is always a great option to have by your side. You can make your own — thereby giving yourself all the control in the world over what goes into it — or you can buy myriad varieties available online. Power Up High Energy Trail Mix is a great option for those looking for a tasty, energy-boosting mix.

Brownie Brittle

brownie brittle
Brownie Brittle/Facebook

We’ve all got to treat ourselves sometimes, right? If you took the crunch of potato chips and mixed it with the sweet deliciousness of a fresh-baked brownie, you’d get brownie brittle. We could just leave it at that (how are you not clicking the link to buy some already?), but we’re also fans of brownie brittle because it allows us to indulge in the sweeter side without having to worry about bringing an Easy Bake Oven along on the ride. Particularly, we go with Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle Salted Caramel just about every time.

Fruit Leather

stretch island fruit leather
Stretch Island/Instagram

Fresh fruits are a great option, but if they’re as ripe as they should be, they can get messy. A banana probably won’t leave your hand sticky (minds out of the gutters, y’all), but a peach, a pear, or even an apple may leave you wishing you hadn’t forgotten that bottle of Purell. That’s why fruit leather is so great — it’s portable and you get your daily servings of fruit. We’re fans of just about every flavor of Stretch Island Fruit Leather.

Chewing Gum

chewing gum

If you’ve been on the road all day, you probably haven’t taken too much time to brush your teeth while going 80 mph down the highway. (Don’t do that, by the way. Brushing one’s teeth while driving, you might say, is unsafe at any speed). When you finally reach your destination, or just need a refresher, gum is a necessity. For those times, we’ve got a consistent supply of Eclipse Winterfrost ready to go.

If you’re going on a road trip, don’t forget these apps too. They’ll make your trip epic.

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