There are two non-negotiable things every road trip must have in order to be enjoyable: good music and tasty snacks. (Okay fine, gas too.) Whether you’re gearing up for an epic adventure or just a traffic-filled drive to visit family for the holidays, having the perfect snack stash is a requirement they should really teach in driver’s ed.
There’s an art to creating the perfect road trip snack supply: First, it should include both sweet and savory options to have all your bases covered at any point in the drive. Then there’s the nutritional value. If you’re not stopping for a while, a bag of chips definitely isn’t going to do the trick—you’ll need protein to help you literally go the extra mile. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your gas station faves, just have to go for brands who have health-ified them—or make them healthier yourself by prepping them at home).
This roundup covers your bases on both fronts. Included here are 10 healthy road trip snacks you can buy before you hit the road, and 10 healthy road trip snacks you can make at home before your trip. Either way, you’ll end up fueled and ready for your drive, traffic be damned.
Healthy road trip snacks you can buy ready-to-eat
1. Krave beef chili lime jerky, $4.99 each or $39.92 for an 8-pack
Jerky is the ultimate road trip snack. While the OG brands that have been hanging out at gas stations since the beginning are loaded in sodium, Krave uses lean cuts of meat and natural seasonings. This chili lime one has a slight kick to it and is a fun, unexpected flavor.
2. Pan’s mushroom jerky, $8.50 each or $42.99 for a 4-pack
This snack lets vegan eaters get in on the jerky snacking, too. When seasoned properly, mushrooms taste surprisingly close to meat—one of the reasons why they’ve become a go-to ingredient in blended burgers.
3. Dang sticky-rice chips, $3.99 each or $16.99 for a 4-pack
Warning: These chips are so good that you’ll be tempted to eat your whole supply before you’re even halfway through your drive. Fortunately, they’re low-sugar (one snack size bag only has two grams) and the ingredients list has foods you’ll genuinely recognize.
4. Quevos egg white chips, $3.33 each or $39.99 for a 12-pack
Have keto eaters along for the ride? Here’s a chip they can eat. Besides being low-carb, it has 10 grams of protein and six grams of fiber—two nutrients you’re definitely not going to find in the chip brands you grew up with.
5. The Real Coconut flour tortilla chips, $13 for 2
Corn-, grain- and gluten-free, these coconut flour based chips will satisfy the craving for something crunchy and salty—without being loaded with sodium. Being cooked in organic coconut oil adds a subtle amount of sweetness, too.
6. Ojas Studio date and grain energy bites, $16.50 for an 8-pack
These oat- and date-based bites will hit the spot when you want something sweet. Plus, they’re portable (and less messy) than your standard DIY energy bite.
7. Siren Snacks protein bites, $15 for a 4-pack
Here’s another bite-sized snack that will give you a quick hit of protein. With flavors like lemon poppy seed, cookie dough, dark chocolate brownies, and snickerdoodle, they go beyond the usual chocolate-peanut butter combo that, while delicious, can be overdone.
8. Hilo Life crispy cheddar cheese and almonds snack mix, $14.98 for a 6-pack
This savory snack mix is basically a healthier version of Cheez-Its—and they’re keto-approved (if that’s your thing). Made with cheddar cheese, whey protein, and almonds, they have an impressive 12 grams of protein per serving, too.
9. Hippeas organic chickpea puffs, $20 for a 12-pack
More of a Cheetos lover? Go for this healthier take, made with chickpeas—another snack that really brings it on the protein front. (One serving has four grams.)
10. Sahale Snacks all-natural nut blends, $19.78 for a 12-pack
Trail mix is a classic road trip snack, and Sahale Snacks’ blends hit both sweet and savory notes—without relying on M&Ms.
Healthy road trip snacks you can make before you go
If you’d rather make your own protein bites than scour the snack aisle, this recipe from Two Healthy Kitchens delivers on both taste and nutrition. Besides oats, the recipe also calls for flaxseed flour—which ups the fiber as well as the protein. Honey, vanilla, and coconut flakes serve as natural sweeteners.
This road trip snack gives you a similar crunch factor as chips or popcorn, only it’s way more nutrient dense. The chickpeas are a good source of both protein and fiber, and all you need to season them are salt, garlic powder, cayenne powder, and oregano—spices you likely already have in your pantry.
13. Zucchini chips
These crunchy zucchini chips will come in handy when that craving for salty potato chips strikes. Made in the oven and seasoned with paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper they don’t take much work and they’ll definitely be appreciated on the road.
Packing some cookies for the road is definitely a good idea. The ones featured in Well+Good’s new Alt-Baking Bootcamp YouTube series are both vegan and gluten-free, so a car full of different types of healthy eaters can all dig in.
Looking for another vegan and gluten-free snack? Try these energy balls, which blessedly don’t even require the oven to make. Because of their almond butter base, they’re full of protein.
Satisfy the craving for something sweet *and* crunchy at the same time with these baked apple chips. All you need to make them are apples and cinnamon—that’s it!
Coconut flakes, coconut oil, and salt are all you need to make this satisfying snack. Even though the recipe is crazy simplistic, it has multiple taste notes which ends up being really freakin’ delicious.
Made with rolled oats, these granola bars are full of fiber—a nutrient it can be difficult to get enough of when you’re on the road. Chewy and sweet, they’ll make passengers of all ages happy.
Seasoned with sea salt, ground cumin, and cinnamon, these baked carrot chips have a little bit of a kick to them, which is toned down by the sweetness. It’s a well-rounded snack packed with vitamin A requiring only four ingredients.
This recipe gives the run-down on how to make a classic trail mix using nuts, tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, and coconut), and antioxidant-rich cacao nibs. The result is instant energy, sourced from nature.
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