REAL RVers chime in on their favorite road trip snacks, including healthy and not-so-healthy but delicious treats…
Who doesn't love good travel snacks? While gas stations can provide you with a convenient, on-the-go snack, you'll want to be careful with what you choose to eat while on the road.
If you eat more healthy snacks and limit the unhealthy ones (please make note of the disclaimer below), you might be more alert while driving. You might also feel good and have more energy to set up camp once you arrive at your destination.
The following outlines a way to choose a healthy snack (the more real and less processed it is – the better) and a list of what real RVers take to eat on travel day.
Please note that what is considered healthy is still being debated, so the following IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE 🙂 – we're just passing along what OTHER RVers are suggesting. OK?
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What Makes a Good Snack for a Road Trip?
Have you ever been on a road trip where you picked up a sweet treat at a gas station, only to feel hungry again twenty minutes later? That's because there is a significant difference between healthy snacks that will stave your hunger for a long time and not-so-healthy snacks that will make you feel hungrier in the long run.
So, what makes the healthiest, best road trip snacks?
**PSST! You should check out these 10 Easy Campfire Snacks & Treats, too!**
Balance & Measure
One thing you might want to try to do is to choose food that might balance your blood sugar. If you eat fresh fruit, like an apple, pair it with protein. Have a handful of nuts, a smear of peanut butter, meat slices, or string cheese.
Just be careful to watch your protein serving size, as nuts, cheese, and meats can pack a lot of calories. It is a good idea to measure out your snacks before driving. Otherwise, you might open a large bag of trail mix and mindlessly eat as you go, which can result in an unhealthy calorie intake.
Taste the Rainbow
Another suggested way to eat healthy on the road is to pack a rainbow of snacks. It is as simple as having natural foods that are different colors. For example, you can pack orange carrots, red apples, and tan hummus.
Some people say the brighter your natural food color, the healthier it is (usually). Many white or brown foods indicate that they have been processed, such as crackers. Limit those foods, and avoid foods made bright from food dye.
When looking for a healthy snack, you also want to consider what contains healthy fats. Our bodies need fat, but we want to have more healthy ones that come from natural foods. For example, you might consider making a sandwich with avocado instead of mayonnaise.
If you love having salty or sweet travel snacks while on the road, then treat yourself! Just limit road trip food that makes you feel groggy while driving your rig.
RVers' Favorite Road Trip Snacks (Healthy & Not So Healthy)
One of our RV Lifestyle Group members recently posed a question to other real RVers. Heidi wrote:
“What are everyone's favorite travel day snack and lunch ideas? I want to minimize buying food at gas stations or restaurants on travel days. We have a small cooler we keep in the truck with us.”
As usual, this post got a lot of really great responses! Many people provided recipes, so be sure to check out the post and read the comments!
The following are ideas for healthy road trip snacks that can be modified for you or your family.
Let's start with the Healthy Suggestions from RVers
1. Good Ol' Fresh Fruit
People usually like to munch on road trips, which is why chips and jerky and other stereotypical road trip snacks are popular. But, fresh fruit is an excellent alternative munchy!
LOTS of RVers said that fresh fruit is the way to go. They realized they couldn't live off chips, leaving them feeling groggy and hungry.
It's a good idea to pair fruit with some protein to help prevent your blood sugar from spiking, which can cause tiredness and hunger once the fruit's sugar wears off.
Consider pairing all your fresh fruit snacks with protein, like a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, or string cheese.
Grapes are a great, healthy snack for those with a sweet tooth and those who like to munch to pass the time! Apple slices with peanut butter are also a great way to satisfy that need for a crunchy snack.
2. Protein Bars
A great option to fill your belly. Protein bars can stick with you to keep hunger at bay until you arrive at your destination.
Be careful, though; some protein bars have a surprising amount of sugar in them. So, be sure to read the nutrients table.
3. Meat, Cheese, and Crackers
A snack of meat, cheese, and crackers was our Facebook post's most frequently commented snack. Not only does this delicious snack taste great, but it packs a big punch of protein to help tie you over during a long drive.
Though they are more expensive than making your own, you can buy premade packs from the grocery store that are quite yummy!
Some members suggested specific types of meat, such as Summer Sausage. But you can easily personalize this snack to include your favorite meats. Consider bringing salami, pepperoni, or your favorite lunch meat.
You can also include whatever type of cheese you love. Some folks like to buy blocks of Pepper Jack or White Cheddar cheese and cut them into bite-size cubes.
4. String Cheese
String cheese isn't just for kids! It's a great on-the-go snack since it has its packaging. You can toss it in a cooler and go!
It is also convenient since it is pre-measured into a healthy serving since cheese can be high in fat.
5. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make another great snack. They are a great source of protein and come with their nature packaging! They are easy to grab and eat from the road.
You can add a little salt or paprika to spice it up a bit.
6. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds pack a lot of excellent nutrients. You can choose the un-shelled roasted seeds for an easy-to-eat snack. These are easy to pick up at a convenience or grocery store.
Some people love opening the seeds themselves. It helps pass the time and can also help you eat less. Shelling them can help you feel fuller since it will take longer to eat your snack.
Just be sure to check the serving size since nuts and seeds can have a lot of calories. Plus, opt for less salt or salt-free sunflower seeds!
7. Granola Bars
Granola and energy bars are convenient road snacks. Bars come in different flavors and can be healthy food, but they are not all created equal.
Some bars are packed with nutrients, while others are just empty calories like a candy bar. You can also find bars with less sugar that will also be likely, to have fewer calories.
8. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a great way to get healthy protein and fats into your road trip day. Trail mix takes a while for your body to process, making you feel full and energized for a long drive.
You want to watch your serving size and choose trail mix that limits candy in the mix.
Consider taking along baby carrots or celery sticks as a healthy snack while driving on travel day. There is an easy way to get your veggies in a while on the road! If you are not a huge vegetable fan, consider bringing a small tub of dip for the veggies.
Hummus is another healthy snack that can be paired with vegetables. You can even buy a lower-fat ranch or make your own using plain Greek yogurt and Ranch seasoning to keep it as healthy as possible. Or, if Ranch is your “go-to” vegetable dip, bring some along.
Before we mention the ‘not-so-healthy' snacks…
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Not-So-Healthy Snacks LOVED by Real RVers
Healthy snacks are an excellent way to stay energized and full on those long traveling days. But, it's also nice to enjoy a delicious not-so-healthy snack every now and then.
The following are some of the favorite snacks by real RVers while driving long distances.
10. Potato Chips
This salty snack is an all-time favorite road snack. Potato chips, tortilla chips… you can even go a bit healthier with baked chips, pita chips, or kale chips.
Since chips are not very healthy, try to limit chips to when you are on the road. That way, you can enjoy this treat without making it a regular part of your diet.
Cookies and snack cakes also make a great sweet treat. You can usually find travel packs of your favorite cookies, including Oreos, Swiss Cake Rolls, or Chips Ahoy made with dark chocolate chips.
Better yet, bake some before you leave and enjoy that homemade goodness on the road!
12. Ice Cream
MmmMMM Ice cream! Boy, this is a great treat, especially when traveling through hot areas. And, having a freezer in your RV is a perk other road trippers don't have. So, make the most of it!
It seems like every small town has an ice cream shop, which is always fun to track down. You can grab a cone, ask about the area, and explore a bit before getting back on the road.
13. Soda or Coffee
Another great treat on a long road trip is grabbing a cold or hot beverage. Soda and coffee can help boost your mood and help keep you alert with a little caffeine boost.
You may want to watch your calories, and watch out! You also risk getting a “sugar crash” once the caffeine and sugar wear off.
Everyone has their definition of what makes a healthy snack, depending on their dietary restrictions and needs. But, everyone can agree on the Importance of Staying Healthy While RVing.
In the above video, you can meet Chris and Aaron of Irene Iron Fitness, full-time RV Influencers who travel the country in an RV sharing their fitness and nutrition expertise through online training programs.
We learn lots of tips in this fun interview about eating right, managing our fitness, what food we should carry and how it can fit in those small RV refrigerators.
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