I have a 14 hour drive starting tomorrow night – probably more like 17 after some rest stops and filling the tank twice. What is the best food to snack on as I go? I’ll have a small cooler next to me should that matter. I don’t want to get chip fragments all over me and the car. It can’t be something too complicated to open while driving. I was thinking some kind of energy bars, but a lot of those are crumbly too. Jerky? I’m hoping for the right size thing – so I can eat one and be satisfied for a while – I don’t want to just nibble for extended periods.
Grapes and fruit and nut mix. We go back and forth from the east coast to the west every year. Those are our go to road foods. The fruit and nut mix from costco is the best, but not the junk with yogurt bites or m&m’s or chocolate. PB&J sandwiches at rest areas are also good. If you need a sugar hit, tootsie roll pops are awesome. Lots’o’water helps too.
I prefer to stop into a diner or some other quick restaurant right off the road, instead of only eating in the car. This way you get something freshly made and don’t have to worry about crumbs in your car. Could this be an option along your route?
Almost the whole drive is on I 80 westbound. The drive back is more southern on I 70 with a stopover in Kansas City. I expect to make least one or two stops for food, but I don’t want to get off the highway every time my stomach growls.
I keep a coffee and a coke with sugar in it while on long drives. The coke will usually last most of the day but if I want a little sugar the coke is right there. I stop for gas about every 2 1/2 hours and will grab a quick snack at stops. 1 or 2 days on the road food is really not much of an issue.
If you don’t want to stop at a restaurant, pack some bread and lunch meat in the cooler. You can make a sandwich at a rest stop or fill-up, and be back on the road, sandwich in hand. (Isn’t that why we have sandwiches? One-handed eating while doing something else?) I’d suggest making them ahead of time, but I don’t like the way the bread gets soggy after too long against the meat. If that doesn’t bother you, have pre-made sandwiches in the cooler!
I think jerky or cheese for the protein to keep you from getting too hungry. Fruit for the sugar energy.
Also, my father was a cross-country truck driver for 40+ years, and he was never without a pack of Doublemint gum. He said the chewing kept him awake and focused. I later learned that peppermint is supposed to keep you alert, so if you don’t like gum, maybe some peppermint candy?
I recommend protein for long-term energy, with some carbs for short-term boosts. Jerky, wraps with meat and/or cheese, and nuts are good. I try to avoid most excessively sugary stuff on long solo drives (with a concession to sugary caffeinated drinks).
And this is why I said Subway. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of a 12" cold-cut sub. They’re not too messy, and you can eat a half, wait a few hours and eat the other half. Nothing’s going to go bad in that short time and they’re actually quite delicious.