Weekend Getaways: Best Foods for Car Trips

updated Jun 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Chances are, you’ve read about what foods to carry on the plane (it’s been quite a popular post for some time now). But in the summer, we find ourselves in a car even more than an airplane. So, what should we snack on?

In the backseat of your own car, you don’t have to worry about TSA regulations or fitting your food in the side pocket of your carry-on bag. But other rules apply…. Here are our thoughts:

No tiny pieces. Granola might be a great snack on a plane, but if you try to eat it in a car, you’re going to be finding oat clusters in between the seats for months.

Keep it simple — no assembly required. Again, on a plane, you might be able to place the little sliced radishes on a slice of bread. In the back seat? You’ll hit a speed bump and lose everything in your lap.

Smelly things are still out. Odors can be hard to get rid of in a car — and driving 70 mph with the windows down isn’t fun unless you are a dog.

Keep your energy up! You’re driving! Stay alert! Think protein and fruit, maybe some sugar if you need a quick burst to get you to your destination.

Bring a garbage bag. Re-use a plastic grocery bag, if you have one, or bring a tote bag designated for scraps, pits, and napkins.

Salty Food? We’re making this a question due to lack of scientific evidence, but we have known salty food to keep us from having to make a pit stop every 100 miles. Does it make you dehydrated? Maybe.

Some good foods to consider:

  • Fruit (see garbage bag, above, for pits and cores)

  • Simple sandwiches like peanut butter and jam, or prosciutto and mozzarella. You may want to skip mayonnaise or lettuce if it’s hot and you’re taking a long trip.

  • Vegetable sticks and a thick (i.e. hard to spill) dip.

  • Leftovers! A piece of grilled chicken or a slice of pizza is compact and you can pick it up with your hands.

  • Chewy cookies (fewer crumbs)

  • Homemade granola bars

What do you bring to eat on road trips?

Related: The Great American Road Trip for Food Lovers in Saveur

(Image: Flickr member roadsidepictures, licensed for use under Creative Commons)