Good Food for Road Trips?

I’m planning on a driving vacation this June. What are some good things I can pack in my cooler?

Meals or snacks?

And it depends on what you mean by “good”…at one time I would have said Twizzlers and Combos, Slim Jims and Big Red soda…

I’d stick to more proteins and less carbs.
Beef jerky, nuts, cheese sticks, etc.
Carbs will make you sleepy.

A little of both.

Nuts and cheese sticks sound like great ideas - ones that I would not have thought of, to be honest.

Cut up a bunch of carrots, celery, and broccoli. Get some individual-size hummus cups.

I was going to say nuts as well. Nanners.

Cheese, nuts, produce (apples, carrot sticks, whatever cut fruit and veg you like), bread, something to in the bread as a sandwich, like peanut butter, hummus, whatever. Stop at any grocery for sliced ham or turkey to make a cheap sandwich. Cereal and milk. A small bit of junk snacks (candy, chips, soda). Pretty much the sky is the limit here.


Yeah, that would go over real damn well :rolleyes:

Exactly what I was going to say. You want protein on road trips for the sake of long-term energy. Not that you need to completely avoid carbs, but you should have more protein than carbs in each snack.

No burritos, but you could make tortilla wraps with cheese and sliced meat. They’re convenient and should keep well in the cooler.

Back when I was a kid, my family always went on vacation in the car. We didn’t fly (too expensive). And we always had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we’d have when we stopped for lunch at one of the Oasis on the highway.

So I’d say peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That way, it’ll remind you of my family vacations when I was a kid. :smiley:

Are you the driver, and are you planning to eat while driving? If so, that makes a big difference. Things like nuts will be annoying because they’ll be salty or oily and you’ll want to wipe your hands a lot, which is tough to do while driving. Slim Jims aren’t a bad idea, if you peel them open ahead of time (or will have a passenger who can peel them for you). Granola bars are another good option.

Really, though, I would recommend not packing food and indulging in one of the great joys of road tripping: local diners and greasy spoons. It might cost a little more, but those kinds of places are never too expensive, and they’re part and parcel of the experience.

Something that won’t give you the poopies. (This may differ for each person.) No body wants the poopies during a road trip. (“Drive FASTER!”)

Hence the moratorium on burritos.

There was a time when I would have agreed with you, but a lot of that local character has disappeared - or at least has smoothed out to the point where it is no longer easy to cognitively metabolize at one sitting. Local eateries have become increasingly homogenized - or extinct. Kind of a shame.

Definitely a shame, though some of them are still out there and kicking - witness all those Food Channel shows on roadside diners and local eats. Do you have a smartphone? Download the TripAdvisor app and ask it to pinpoint places “Near Me Now” - that should lead you to some good ones.

It depends on the road trip. I’ve been on plenty where there was nothing of the sort to be had at all for most of the day, and others where…well, you’d be better off going hungry. That’s not to say you can’t still happen across some gems that way, but you have to factor it into your planning, and it never hurts to have contingency snacks.

Alas, I’m going to be in rural Nebraska/Colorado. I might try some local color going through the mountains, but I played out the Cornhusker vein years ago. Every place I wanted to stop last year was closed up for keeps. Crying shame.

Damn, this thread just got depressing! :frowning:

I’ll probably pack some fresh pineapple! That should be great!

I’m trying, mate.

For those long stretches that make you sleepy: corn nuts. Nobody can fall asleep while eating corn nuts and chasing it with a Coke.

I think you’d be better off not eating while driving. You’ll avoid turning the car into a pigpen, as noted above, it’s safer and, if you’ve got the time, adventure starts when you get out of the damn car.

You can make sandwiches with canned ingredients (tuna, artichokes) and local bread. Condiments like mayo, mustard, etc. are sold in packets. Fresh fruit and adequate water intake are great ways to keep your energy levels up, especially if you normally neglect those things.