Top 50 Healthy Road Trip Snacks

April 15, 2024

Does it seem like normal eating “rules” go out the window when you are on a road trip?

All of a sudden, it becomes acceptable to eat ice cream for dinner, and snack on Skittles before breakfast.

The options that are provided at gas stations, convenience stores, and fast food chains along the way leave drivers feeling like it’s okay to eat unhealthy while on the road, because what other options are there?

If you are lucky, you will find a stray banana or two to grab along with your bag of potato chips so you feel a little less guilty, but you are only really fooling yourself. Mostly, you are left to choose from a slew of brightly colored candies and treats that will leave your body feeling completely zapped of any nutrients.

And this could not come at a worse time. Your body is already running on low energy since all you have been doing is sitting in the same spot for hours, maybe even days.

Throw some sugary food on top, and you will be missing out on a whole lot of road trip adventures.

So how do you keep this from happening? How do you keep from spiraling down the dark rabbit hole of unhealthy road food?

The following tips will help you prepare some healthy snacks to eat on your road trip that will keep you feeling full, nourished, and able to enjoy the beautiful road that lies ahead.

50 Healthy Road Trip Snacks

As tempting as it may be to grab that Snickers bar when you stop to fill up on gas for your road trip, you will definitely regret that decision.

Not only does a Snickers bar have absolutely no nutritional value to help your body get what it needs, it will actually put harmful chemicals in your body such as high fructose corn syrup.

By making sure that you pack good, healthy snacks for your road trip, you will find that you will not be tempted to grab that Snickers bar because you know something better is waiting for you in your car.

Here are our top healthy snacks to take on a car trip.

Dried Peppered Beef Jerky Cut in Strips

1. Beef jerky

This long-lasting travel snack is packed full of protein, which is one of the best ways to satisfy your hunger.

However, do not opt for jerky from the gas station that comes loaded with preservatives, and whose sodium levels are off the charts.

Instead, pick up an organic, grass-fed one from your local natural foods store.

Homemade popcorn spilling from a brown paper bag.

2. Popcorn

Popcorn is a great source of fiber and complex carbs that will help your body stay regular, and provide you with energy while on the road.

Make sure you are not getting the microwave popcorn that is filled with chemicals. Instead, grab one from the natural foods store that has ingredients of just corn, salt, and oil.

Even better yet, pop some on the stove at home using olive oil or butter and just salt. That way, you know exactly what you are getting.

Hard boiled chicken eggs on rustic wooden table.

3. Hard-boiled eggs

These little eggs are not only easy to prepare, they are easy to store, and easy to eat on the road. They are fairly mess-free, and are packed full of protein that your body will need while on the road.

For some extra crunch and the perks of some quality complex carbs, add some whole wheat crackers to your egg snack for the perfect pick-me-up.

Close up of a man holding an open protein bar.

4. Protein bars

Be wise with your choice of protein bars.

There are countless protein bars out there that are full of nothing but sugar and crazy additives and preservatives that you have never heard of.

Instead, look for a protein bar full of natural ingredients that will give you the nutrients your body needs and wants, without the sugar crash.

Close up of hands pulling string cheese apart.

5. String cheese

You are never too old to eat string cheese, especially when you know the nutritional benefits it provides.

Pair your string cheese with apple slices, and you will have a snack that perfectly covers healthy fat, good protein, and complex carbs.

With this trio of nutrients, you will not be hungry again for a while, and you’ll also feel your energy levels increase.

Small baby carrots in orange ceramic bowl on a green wooden background.

6. Carrots

Though carrots do have fiber in them and other great nutritional value, one of the reasons this is a road trip snack is because oftentimes when on the road, you find yourself wanting to eat simply because you are bored.

So, rather than fill that boredom with unhealthy snacks, munch on some carrots that will take you a while to eat, and will keep you busy without making a mess.

Woman choosing bunch of fresh red grape to buy in supermarket.

7. Grapes

Similar to carrots, grapes are a great option for when you are bored and want to eat something on the road.

Healthy, clean, and easy to eat, grapes will help stave off the boredom. Just don’t go overboard with the grapes — they do have a lot of sugar in them.

Bowl of hummus garnished with olive oil and paprika with sticks of celery on the side.

8. Hummus and celery

Hummus is another great protein-packed snack that will help keep your belly full and happy.

In addition, hummus is full of B vitamins.

And celery is the perfect dipping stick. Low in calories, but high in water content, your body will love this hummus-celery combo.

Greek yogurt in a small terracotta bowl.

9. Greek yogurt

Protein all the way with Greek yogurt. This little snack is full of it, and will help keep you full until your next meal.

Top your Greek yogurt with some nuts or fruit for some added fiber and energy.

Knife spreading peanut butter on bread on a cutting board.

10. PB sandwich (skip the J)

Though jelly is a great addition to your sandwich, it usually doesn’t offer up anything but loads of added sugar.

Instead, grab for quality peanut butter (be sure to check your ingredients and say “no” to peanut butter with sugar added to it) for a healthy dose of protein and fat.

Slather that peanut butter on some whole wheat bread, and you have covered your complex carbs, your protein, and your fat.

If you’re feeling extra hungry, grab a banana, slice it up, and throw it in between the bread and have yourself a PB&B.

Young woman hands holding and picking up a pistachios nuts.

11. Pistachios

The protein from these nuts is plant-based, and they are also packed full of unsaturated fats and fiber.

Not to mention, they’re much lower in terms of calories than other nuts. Pistachios weigh in at just 4 calories per nut, while Brazil nuts are 33 calories each.

Cracked walnuts on a green wooden table.

12. Walnuts

Pistachios are not the only great nuts on the block — walnuts are great for their own reasons.

They have the highest amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids when compared with all other nuts, which will help you feel full for a longer amount of time.

Roasted spicy chickpeas in a paper cone.

13. Baked chickpeas

These snacks are easy to make at home, and will give you great fiber without having to stuff yourself full of a bag of chips.

Simply drain and dry your chickpeas, then toss them with olive oil. Season with salt and other spices of your choosing and bake for 30-40 minutes at 450F.

Delicious rolls made of ham stuffed with cheese.

14. Ham and cream cheese wheels

Ham is a great source of protein, and the cream cheese offers up some healthy fat. The two combined will help keep you full, and keep additional cravings from kicking in.

Ham and cream cheese wheels are also great because they are easy to make ahead of time. Simply lay out a piece of ham, spoon some cream cheese into the middle, roll the ham up into a tube, and slice it into small pieces to eat.

15. Trail mix

Though there are plenty of options for trail mix at the store, many prefer to make their own.

And this recipe is almost too simple not to make: ½ cup whole-grain cereal, 2 T pecans, 1 T unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 T dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs.

Homemade almond butter close up with wooden spoon.

16. Almond butter and strawberries

While eating almond butter by the spoonful is an option, the idea of dunking a strawberry in the almond butter sounds even better.

This protein-filled snack will also satisfy your sweet tooth.

Close up of protein balls made with granola and dried cranberries.

17. No-bake protein balls

You can get really creative with the options for your no-bake protein balls, but here is an example to get you started:

Combine rolled oats, nut butter, dried fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, protein powder, and chocolate chips. Roll into small balls and put in the cooler.

Close up of protein balls made with granola and dried cranberries.

18. Dried fruits

Before you buy any dried fruits, be sure you check the label.

You do not want to get any that have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Find the ones that simply have ingredients listed as just the fruit, and nothing else.

Crispy Crackers with Tuna Spread.

19. Tuna and crackers

Tuna is a great way to get a healthy dose of omega-3s, and the crackers are a great way to round out the snack with some complex carbs.

Close up of man making guacamole.

20. Guacamole with sliced bell peppers

Though chips and guac are a classic, chips are not the healthiest snack.

Guacamole (especially if you make it at home) can be quite nutritious and full of good, healthy fats from the avocado.

By eating it with bell peppers instead of chips, you are getting additional nutrients that chips just can’t offer.

Sunflower seeds on wood background. Salted sunflower seeds.

21. Sunflower seeds

You really can not go wrong with any type of nuts or seeds while on the road, but sunflower seeds are particularly great because they are full of healthy fats and well as magnesium, which helps support your heart health.

Sunflower seeds on wood background. Salted sunflower seeds.

22. Peanut butter pretzels

Not only is this snack a great way to satisfy your desire for crunch (yes, that really is a thing), it will also provide you with protein and fat to help fill your stomach until the next meal.

Make sure you opt for natural versions that are not loaded with extra sugar, and try to stick to the serving size so you don’t end up eating the whole bag.

Pita with chicken, vegetables and sauce.

23. Pita pocket sandwiches

This can be a great snack or a small lunch, and is super easy to put together.

All you have got to do is stuff your pita pocket with mozzarella, tomato, basil, turkey, cheese, hummus, cucumber, and/or tuna salad.

Simply store in a cooler until you’re ready to eat.

Organic Roasted Coconut Chips with Sugar and Salt.

24. Coconut chips

When you are craving something sweet, grab for some coconut chips. These are simply slices of coconut that have been baked in oil until they become crunchy.

You can stick with plain, or go with other flavors from a variety of brands that step of the flavor.

Pieces of chocolate on a black dish.

25. Dark chocolate

Yes, you read that right: dark chocolate.

While most people do not recommend chowing down an entire bar in one sitting (and you probably wouldn’t want to with the really dark stuff), there are some benefits from eating a bit of dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is known to lower the risk of heart disease while also increasing brain function.

Close up of a blue bowl with vegetable chips on a rustic table.

26. Homemade vegetable chips

Rather than potato chips, make your own veggie chips at home that are guilt-free.

Kale is among the most popular types of vegetable chips to make at home, and they are quite easy to put together.

Simply rip the washed kale into pieces, toss the leaves with olive oil, spread onto a baking sheet, bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 F, and let cool.

Platter of assorted cut fruit with yogurt dip.

27. Fruit with vanilla-honey yogurt dip

Grab any kind of fruit you like — apples, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and dip them in some vanilla-honey yogurt.

You will get your fill of protein and fiber, with a healthy dose of sugar.

Young woman eating cereal with fruit.

28. Cereal

Now don’t think you can just get any cereal and it will be healthy.

Unfortunately, most cereals out there today are full of sugar and tons of other junk your body does not want or need.

So, when choosing a cereal to bring as your road trip snack, make sure you choose one that is high in fiber and low in sugar.

Top view of an opened cup of unsweetened applesauce with a spoon in it, isolated on a white background.

29. Applesauce cups

This snack is perfect for kids. Just the right amount of applesauce to satisfy their sweet tooth without jacking them up on tons of sugar.

The ones that come in little cups are much easier to deal with than a giant messy jar.

Fresh Spring Sparkling Water with Ice in a Glass.

30. Bubbly water

Many times, when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty.

If you do not feel like grabbing for some “boring” regular water, instead try some carbonated water that makes your drink feel a bit more exciting, and more like a treat.

You can opt for some flavored ones as well, just be sure they don’t have a bunch of added sugar.

31. Apples

Apples are a great road trip snack as they are portable, and the fruit does not bruise easily.

32. Granola Bars

Granola bars and similar snack bars are a great snacking option as you only have to worry about disposing of the wrapper.

Roasted edamame beans on a white background.

33. Dry-Roasted Edamame

This protein-packed snack has fiber, vitamins and minerals and is available in flavors such as wasabi for a healthy and flavorful snacking option.

Homemade banana chips in wooden bowl, close up view.

34. Plantain Chips

Since these chips are vegan, gluten-free and paleo-friendly, they are a great option to satisfy anyone on your road trip.

35. Cheese Crisps

Cheese crisps also have less fat than other cheese-flavored chips for a healthy way to satisfy your craving.

Close up of yogurt-covered rasins.

36. Yogurt-Covered Raisins

Grab a handful of yogurt-covered raisins to enjoy as you drive, or you can mix them into a trail mix for a healthy alternative to chocolate candy.

Fig bars with cut fig on a cutting board.

37. Fig Bars

Fig bars are a great way to indulge while getting the fiber you need.

Green snap pea chips - healthy snacks, selective focus38. Green Pea Snack Crisps

Crunchy green pea snack crisps are a delectable way to satisfy your crunch cravings.

Woman holding blister pack with chewing gum, closeup.

39. Gum

While gum is not technically a snack, it can satisfy your cravings and help wake you up on the drive.

Closeup of a woman about to drink a small yogurt beverage.

40. Drinkable Yogurt

Drinkable yogurt is excellent for kids and adults and offers a convenient way to get some extra protein to help you feel more energized.

A pile of cheerios on a white background.

41. Dry Cereal

Packing a container with a dry cereal such as Cheerios is a great travel option as it allows kids to grab them one at a time.

Some Rice Cakes (close-up shot) on an old wooden table.

42. Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are a healthy snack option you can enjoy plain or with toppings like peanut butter.

Woman eating ripe blueberries.

43. Blueberries

Blueberries are ideal to bring with you on your road trip. They are low-mess, and you can store them with your drinks.

Handmade fruit leather in tight roles surrounded by blueberries.

44. Fruit Leather

Fruit leather is an excellent substitute for candy, especially kinds that are likely to melt in the sun.

Fresh olives and olive oil branch rustic wooden background.

45. Olives

Olives are a low-prep snack option — you only need to open a can and place it into a resealable container.

Saltine crackers in a bowl on a wooden background.

46. Saltine Crackers

Saltine crackers are very portable and can help settle the stomachs of passengers with motion sickness.

Dried Peppered Beef Jerky Cut in Strips

47. Dried Meats

Dried meats like salami and pepperoni are a great snacking option with protein to keep you going.

A bunch of oranges with one cut in half.

48. Oranges

Oranges provide a tasty burst of sweetness. Pre-peeling them allows you to enjoy them easily and without getting juice everywhere.

Colorful organic cherry tomatoes on a blue background.

49. Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes may not be your first choice when packing snacks, but they are sweet and portable, making them perfect for snacking.

Colorful organic cherry tomatoes on a blue background.

50. Muffins

Homemade muffins are ideal for munching on while on the road. You can make them sweet or enjoy savory options such as pizza muffins containing cheese and pepperoni.

What Is a Healthy Snack on the Road?

Healthy snacks on the road are foods that are high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals.

What Snacks Should I Take on a Car Trip?

When thinking of snacks for a car trip, you want to ensure they are filling and low-mess. This means trying to avoid wrappers and foods with a lot of crumbs.

How Do You Eat Healthy on a Long Road Trip?

Some ways to eat healthy on a long road trip include packing plenty of fruits and vegetables and options that will give you the energy to keep driving.


See — snacking healthy while on the road does not have to be boring.

In fact, the healthier you snack, the more you will be able to enjoy your trip. When you’re giving your body the nutrients it wants and needs, it will give you the energy and happiness you want and need in order to enjoy your trip to its fullest.

With a bit of planning ahead while packing for your road trip, and practicing some self-restraint when going into the gas stations along the way, you will be on the way to a healthy car trip that is guaranteed to be a blast.

Try these 30 healthy snack options for your next road trip!


Ready to hit the open road? KOA has you covered along the way to your destination. Check out our trip planner tool to find KOA Campgrounds along your route!


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Leslie K Hughes

Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.

Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.

With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.

Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:

“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.

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