Simple Foods

20 Real Food Road Trip Snacks

June 27, 2013
20 Real Food Road Trip Snacks blog post- picture of an open road

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Summertime means vacation time for many families. But often, when on the road to your vacation destination, the choices that you have for food are, shall we say….less than healthy. But you don’t have to be stuck with only fast food and convenience store fare this year. You can bring plenty of healthy, real food road trip snacks that will make everyone happy.

There is also a big concern with eating on the road for those who have a food intolerance to things like gluten, dairy, and non-gluten grains. Bringing your own road trip snacks allows you to have control over exactly what you are eating so that you don’t end up feeling yucky after eating something that doesn’t make your body very happy!

Now when my family travels, we always bring a cooler. It simply gives us far more choices in the snacks that we can bring with us! And unless you are traveling by air, I can’t recommend bringing a cooler with you more!

Here are 20 snacks that you can take on your road trip!

Homemade snack bars

If you like snack bars like Larabars, you can make them at home from scratch. These taste great and travel very well too!


You can make homemade yogurt or look for a good whole-fat, low-sugar variety. With a cooler, regular or Greek yogurt is a great addition to your travel cooler.

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Chop up some fresh veggies and bring them in containers. You can bring fresh fruit. They can be whole or cube fruits like pineapple and melons.

Homemade dried fruits

Homemade dried fruits such as dried strawberries are great snacks to bring. They taste like candy but are healthier for you.

Hard-boiled eggs

Boil up some eggs and throw them into the cooler for a protein-rich, hand-held snack on the go.


Nuts that have been soaked and dehydrated are great, healthy, filling snacks for any trip.


Along with the nuts above, seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds can help to fill your tummy on a trip.


Bringing pre-made sandwiches can really help you to avoid the fast food joints along your route. Making sandwiches also allows you to use gluten-free bread or grain-free bread options.


Hummus is a great dip for cut veggies or crackers. You can easily make this at home and bring it in a container.


Bringing cheese cubes is an easy snack that most kids and adults enjoy.

Kale chips

If you are looking for something tasty, but without all of the nasty vegetable oil found in potato chips, then kale chips are a great substitute. These are also pretty simple to make at home and can be made in advance….if you can keep everyone away from them before the trip!

Homemade trail mix

Combine your favorite nuts, seeds, dry fruit, and maybe even some dark chocolate chips so share….so good!


I do recommend homemade jerky if you are going to bring jerky with you, but this snack is protein rich and tastes wonderful.


I love to pop a big batch of popcorn and snack on it throughout the trip. Easy to make and very portable too!

Homemade chocolate snacks

If your family likes chocolate, you can make your own chocolate snacks in a variety of flavors to bring with you….just make sure you keep them in the cooler if it is hot out or you will end up with a chocolate mess!


Crackers are easy travelers and can be paired with cheese, hummus, or even nut butter! There are some great, easy recipes that you can make at home, to help you avoid the processed ingredients in store-bought varieties. You can find plenty of organic crackers with limited ingredients, and gluten-free crackers and there are lots of online recipes for grain-free crackers….just check out Google!


Bring a batch of homemade cookies and your family will be happy. You can easily find recipes for whole wheat, gluten-free and grain-free cookies that will work for you.

Homemade muffins

Muffins are very portable, and can be made from scratch with any fruits or even bacon and cheese!

Nut or seed butter

Use these to spread on crackers or to dip fruit.

Pickles or olives

Easy finger foods to bring along…and if you happen to bring fermented pickles, even better! They will help to keep your digestion on track during your vacation.

Try to plan ahead for the foods that you are going to bring on your vacation. If making homemade snacks, most of the ones on the list can be prepared well in advance and some can be frozen as well (like the cookies and muffins).  Most of all, enjoy your trip!