The Best Road Trip Food List: Stop Eating Junk Food Each Time!
There are so many aspects and types of travelling that excites us, but going on a road trip is one that sticks out above the rest for us.
The freedom to move anywhere you please, the ability to go off track into a new town, and the chance to witness some of the most stunning landscapes a destination’s got to offer.
Just as we do for our regular vacations, we pay attention to details whenever we go on a road trip, from packing and getting the car ready to preparing the food. Hence, we thought it would be cool to create a road trip food list so you guys won’t need to be eating off petrol kiosk grocery stores.
You can choose from items you can grab from the supermarket, or put your culinary skills to the test by preparing your own. Either way, no more bland food on the road!
In this post, we wanted to make it as comprehensive as possible for you, so you can first get your hands on the food list, and then check out a bunch of questions and answers that can help you plan your road trip better!
Related: Road Trip Packing List
What kind of food should you bring along?
That really depends on the length of the journey, the number of people and the kind of food you enjoy, but generally, you would want something delicious, nutritious, and easy to eat without an actual table!
I (K) remember those long drives when we are somewhat short on time, or we simply didn’t want to get off the highway to another busy city just to grab a bite. So having the right kind of food in the car really smooths that problem out.
At any other time though, you could be snacking in the car with your friends or partner, or you guys can pull over for a quick picnic, so be prepared for that too.
Be it an epic long road trip or just a tiny getaway, the list that we have come up with today will suit each scenario, so be sure to check out all these awesome road trip food ideas!
Related: Travel Destinations
Road Trip Food List
Let’s jump right in to the list of food that you can bring along for a road trip.
No prep needed
- Dark Chocolates
- Almonds, Pistachios
- Trail mix
- Dried and Fresh Fruits
- Cheese Sticks
- Salsa and Corn Chips
- Lots of Water!
The night before
- Hard-boiled eggs with soy sauce
- Dips: Ranch, Hummus, Guacamole
- Roasted Chickpeas
- PBJ Sandwich
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Cook on the road
- Scrambled Eggs
- Instant Soup
- Tortilla Wraps with Deli Meat
- Freeze-dried Meals
- Ready to Eat Meals
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich
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You probably have a few questions about the cooking on the road, like how are you gonna do that?
Well, if you are on a short trip, then it certainly might not make much sense. However, if you are on longer journeys, you can easily pick up ingredients from the city before you leave. There are so many recipes you can try out while on the road.
That said, you will need some tools to help you out. We highly recommend these essentials:
Related: 6 Creative And Fun Road Trip Games For Kids That Will Keep Them Entertained For Hours!
The Jetboil MiniMo Camping Stove Cooking System is perfect to use on the road to make simple meals and boil water for your caffeine fix!
If you don’t wish to spend too much time preparing and cooking, the ready to eat meals will be perfect.
We really like this this chicken meal that’s perfect for a pit stop.
Obviously you won’t be able to bring this along on your travels, but this is perfect if you are just doing a road trip within your country (we highly recommend that too!).
They come in various sizes and keeps your food chilled for a very long time.
Store all your food items into this sturdy and large basket before dumping it off into the trunk or back seat.
We love its construction and the fact that it can be collapsed easily where it takes up very minimal space.
We use it everywhere! Especially perfect for supermarket runs where you don’t need the plastic bags.
Favourite recipes for food on the go
There are literally millions of recipes out there, and we wanted to throw in another two of our favourite make ahead meals which are simple to prepare, nutritious, and super delicious!
Avocado Sandwich (serves 2)
- 1/2 cup, Cheddar Cheese
- Tomatoes, 4 slices
- 1/2 Avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- Multigrain Bread, 4 slices
- Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning
- Add ingredients onto 2 slices of bread equally, then cover with remaining 2 slices of bread
- In a hot grill pan, cook the sandwiches for 3 minutes on each side, or until it has browned evenly and the cheese starts melting
Greek Salad (serves 2)
- 1 cup, Cherry tomatoes, or your favourite kind
- 1/4 of a Red Onion
- 1/2 a Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced
- 1/2 a Green Bell Pepper, sliced
- 1/6 pound Feta Cheese, diced
- 1/6 cup Olives
- The sauce
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Splash of Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/6 cup Olive Oil
- 1/6 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Black Pepper
- Whisk garlic, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl
- Put the cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and onions into a big bowl. Pour the sauce over and slowly add in olive oil.
- Finally, add Feta and Olives and toss. Set aside for 30 minutes before eating.
What food keep well without refrigeration?
There are a bunch of healthy food that can do without refrigeration, which makes them perfect for road trips. While packing, you can easily throw them together or just grab them from the supermarket before setting off.
Not only are they fuss free, they pack nutrition to keep you healthy and stay off the nasty junk food aisle.
- Energy or protein bars
- Trail mix
- Powdered milk
- Stock cubes
- Banana Bread (or make your own with this great recipe)
Is there milk that doesn’t need refrigeration?
Yes there is, although it doesn’t seem ‘normal’ to buy it as we usually buy the fresh type.
Non refrigerated milk is possible due to the way it is being packaged. Without going into the specifics, non refrigerated milk is perfectly safe to drink, and pretty much tastes just like fresh milk at room temperature.
This is the time where the cooler box comes in handy!
How can I eat cheap on a road trip?
Yes, it is entirely possible to eat cheap while on the road, and the key thing is to set yourself a budget before setting off.
Without a budget, you will have no idea what is cheap or expensive and no way to track if you are being too thrifty or you have overspent.
One of the best ways to eat cheap and healthy is to prepare food for yourself, and there are so many ways to do so (we have a couple of great recipes up above!)
If you do want to head out and have a nice meal, plan ahead. Shortlist a few restaurants and check out food discount apps to get yourself a good deal.
Visiting during off peak hours can sometimes snag you great deals or at least happy hour prices for alcohol.
We like to look for local eateries that are small operations to get the best food and local experience. Not only do we enjoy the meals, we can hang out with someone knowledgable of the place and pick up a recommendation or two!
How do you travel safely with food in the car?
The most important aspect of food safety here is keeping the bacteria off your food.
You will certainly want to start off by giving your car a good wipe down before setting off. Good hygiene habits goes a long way.
The next thing is using the proper storage. A cooler box does wonders to keeping food fresh, and if you’re not travelling within your country, check with the car rental company if they have this option to add on.
You will also want to make sure that you do not pack any raw food with cooked ones to avoid cross contamination. Small lunch boxes are incredibly useful and can be reused after the road trip ends.
Try to consume the fresh foods at the start of the road trip to prevent them from going bad, and if necessary, keep them chilled or cool.
Related: Things to do on a road trip with friends
How do you pack a cooler for a road trip?
Our first piece of advice is to make use of ice gels/packs rather than using loose ice. If you have access to loose ice only during a road trip, pack them into individual bags so that you can move them around easily within the cooler box.
Those items that you do not need to use right away, stash them to the bottom of the ice box, and keep those that you need soon on top.
Ideally, you should keep the ice cooler box in the trunk rather than the backseat as it tends to heat up slower, especially when driving in the open (versus being stationery in the garage).
Road trip food list: Conclusion
Look, you really don’t need to survive on potato chips and soda on every road trip.
There are so many ways to spice things up and they can be cost effective as well.
What is your favourite road trip food? Share with us with a comment down below!
If you like this post, do share it on social media and pin it to Pinterest!
Related: How to travel without going out?
Logistics before your Road Trip
Save on currency exchange rates
Stop paying exorbitant rates forever! Make use of TransferWise debit card to get the best rates across the globe. You can also use it to transfer money worldwide for cheap.
Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.
Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates.
Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.
Your mobile phone can do a pretty good job, but if you need an upgrade, we recommend the Sony A6000 (US) (International)
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.
Planned for you activities.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed.
More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.