Check out this list of ideas of healthy road trip snacks to find a variety of fresh, packaged, and non-refrigerated healthy traveling snacks for your next trip.
As someone who has gone on a lot of road trips AND has lost 100 pounds and maintained that weight loss for years, it has been so important for me to find healthy snacks for the road!
But you WILL notice that in most of my travel snacks pictures, there is a mixture of healthy choices and treats.
The treats help keep me from feeling deprived and they make fast food and gas station junk food stops WAY less tempting.
That’s just one of the many ways I live in the grey area – healthy-ish.
General Healthy Traveling Tips
1. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is one of the best things you can do on your weight loss journey.
To keep a road trip healthy, that means:
- Planning healthy snacks BEFORE you leave for your trip so you aren’t desperately reaching for anything edible when you’re starving (that usually leads you straight to junk food!).
- Having healthy snacks ready to grab so you aren’t as tempted to grab candy or chips at a gas station or run through fast food.
- Knowing what your healthy options could be at gas stations (for longer trips where you can’t have all of your food ready in the car with you).
- Having an idea of how many snacks you should eat during your trip to keep you within your healthy calories/points boundaries for the day.
2. Use Single-Serve Bags
Almost all of the snacks I mention below are sold in individual serving bags and I highly suggest you either buy them that way or portion them out in single-serving snack bags before you leave.
It is far too easy to grab a big bag of popcorn or apple chips and not even realize that you just plowed through 4 servings!
3. Eat Intentionally
When you are sitting in the car all day fighting boredom, it is so easy to mindlessly snack all day long.
Plan your snacks for the day and don’t let yourself use snacking as entertainment! Enjoy your snacks, but don’t let it get out of control.
Healthy Road Trip Snacks Non-Refrigerated
Apple chips are a crunchy and delicious way to get your fruit in. They are baked and there is nothing added (no added sugar or preservatives), so they really are just apples!
Bare Apple Chips have snack size bags that are especially awesome because, these chips can be addictive, so having single-serving bags really helps you stick to serving sizes.
Pouches are insanely awesome for traveling because you don’t need a spoon and there’s no mess!
I like the no-sugar-added varieties. Motts is my favorite for applesauce pouches because they also have the clear pouches. After the mold scares with the pouches, I appreciate that feature!
Beef or Turkey Jerky
Jerky can absolutely be a healthy snack, but it does depend on the type you buy. Sodium is the biggest thing you want to watch when it comes to jerky.
Try to look for varieties that have less than 500mg of sodium per serving.
Chomps, Epic Bars, Lucky Jerky, Think Jerky, and Country Archer are all great brands.
I just tried these for the first time and I was so impressed with how good they tasted! And I’m not talking “good…for being so healthy,” I’m saying I would choose these over typical pretzels based on taste and texture.
They have butternut squash pretzels that are just as good, too!
Before you run and grab your box of Reese’s Puffs, know that cereal can be a healthy travel snack, but only when you are eating the varieties that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
Cheerios are a great choice, as is Fiber One (see more varieties listed in my 50+ Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss post).
Some dried fruits have a lot of added sugar (dried pineapple is usually the worst offender!), but there are some great dried fruit options out there without any added sugar.
Trader Joe’s has some great ones (I love their “Just Mango Slices“) and Mariani has a Mixed Fruit blend that includes prunes/plums, apricots, apple rings, and peaches with no sugar added.
I know, I know…applesauce, apple chips, dried apples, and now freeze-dried apples? There are just a lot of fun ways to eat fruit on-the-go and there is just something for everybody.
I don’t buy freeze-dried fruit very often because it tends to be more expensive, but that makes it even more of a treat for road trips and traveling!
Honey Wheat Pretzel Twists
These are a favorite of mine. You can buy honey wheat pretzel twists pretty much anywhere (Walmart, King Soopers, Trader Joe’s, etc) and they make a great dipper for hummus.
I love these snack bars because they only use simple, whole ingredients (mostly just dates and nuts) and they taste great!
They have all kinds of different flavors, but my favorite is the Peanut Butter Cookie.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are one of the most portable proteins there is! Roasted almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios are great choices.
And things like sunflower seeds and pistachios can be great distractions for passengers to shell as you drive.
Again, protein bars can be a healthy choice as long as you make sure the sugar content isn’t too high.
I try to avoid bars with artificial sweeteners and I look for under 10g sugar and under 200 calories per bar.
My favorite is Nature Valley’s Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (190 calories, 10g protein, and 6g sugar per bar) because it has a pretty low sugar content for a protein bar and it tastes like a candy bar to me!
An apple might not keep you full for very long but an apple paired with some peanut butter will keep you satisfied for a while!
The little individual packets of Jif (I love the Jif to Go Natural) are fantastic for road trips.
Popcorn is an awesome whole grain snack that is low-calorie and high in fiber, making it a great healthy road trip snack.
I’m a big fan of the individual bags of Skinny Pop White Cheddar popcorn!
If you are looking for another crunchy, salty healthy snack, roasted chickpeas are high in fiber and protein and aren’t too high in calories, making them a great choice for traveling.
Tuna Packets (Or Salmon Or Chicken)
Tuna packets are a great protein-packed snack for the road. StarKist has a ton of flavors to choose from so that all you need to do is open up the pouch and spread it on some whole wheat crackers.
You can make your own trail mix at home before your trip or you can buy them ready-made, but the combination of dried fruit, nuts, and a little bit of chocolate can be a wonderful healthy snack, as long as you can stick to a single serving!
Whole wheat crackers
I don’t recommend eating whole wheat crackers by themselves, because they are so easy to overeat (it takes a lot to feel full without anything else!).
But pairing them with some protein makes them a great choice! Dip them in hummus, top them with peanut butter, have some with a cheese stick, or spread tuna packets on them for a satisfying healthy snack.
Best Fruit & Vegetables For Traveling
There is no question that when it comes to healthy choices, there is really no beating nutrient-packed fresh fruit and vegetables.
These are the fruits that are easy to grab, not very messy to eat, and don’t require any prep to dive into, making them ideal for traveling.
Apples are a great choice for road trips because they last for a long time without refrigeration and they can stand up to getting shoved into backpacks and some rolling around.
If you know me at all, you know these will never be included in any snack list of mine, but there is no denying that they are easy to grab for traveling!
Clementines (or mandarins) aren’t as messy as oranges and they are much easier to peel, so they make a great portable snack.
Grapes are a little bit easier to squish, so you have to be a little bit more careful with them, but as long as you wash them ahead of time (and I suggest cutting them stems to make little individual bushels), they are ready to eat!
Baby Carrots or Carrots Sticks
These are super portable and are great dippers for hummus!
Celery is another hearty vegetable that is easy to eat on-the-go and is delicious dipped in peanut butter (or hummus). They even sell pre-washed and chopped packages of celery in many grocery stores, so there is no prep involved!
You have to take a little bit more care with these as they will smush if not protected, but they are still easy to eat on the road.
You are welcome to cut up cucumber slices to take with you, but they also sell cute little mini cucumbers these days that are fun to pack on the road!
Sugar Snap Peas
These are fun crunchy snacks that are easily dippable, slightly sweet, and they hold up really well.
Healthy Traveling Snacks For The Cooler
These are great snacks for the road but do require refrigeration, so I recommend bringing along a cooler and some ice packs.
These require a little bit of planning ahead for you to make them before your trip, but I almost always have a batch of energy bites in my freezer for a quick, healthy snack option on-the-run.
There are all kinds of recipes out there (beware of the super high sugar content in some of them!), but these Cranberry Almond Energy Bites are my go-to’s. I like to add some Rice Krispies for an extra crunch!
Lunch Meat Roll-Ups
Choose your favorite low-sodium lunch meat and spread on a little bit of cream cheese then wrap it around a slice of cucumber or carrot.
Of course, the options are endless with these! Add olives, use goat cheese, include some baby spinach – whatever you like!
Remember how I really love pouches for the road? That goes for yogurt, too! Chobani sells some “Gimmies” in pouches.
They are made for kids, but I love using them on my road trips for a mid-morning snack!
Again, the individual packs of guacamole are the best here! Because they are single-serving, you won’t have to worry about browning or how to store leftovers.
Guacamole is a great way to get in some healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer. Pair it with celery, baby carrots, or whole wheat crackers or pretzels for a filling snack.
Eggs are one of the best weight loss snacks around because of the high-protein, low-calorie content. And, as a bonus, they are incredibly easy to make! I’ve found that when I make my Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs, they are super easy to peel.
But if you feel like skipping the cooking, most grocery stores carry readily-made hard-boiled eggs, too.
Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a great healthy snack. And there are so many different varieties to choose from!
You can make your own, but I usually buy store-bought. I love Sabra’s roasted red pepper hummus and my absolute favorite flavor is Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil hummus.
String Cheese or Cheese Sticks
String cheese is a portable high-protein snack that is convenient and already portioned out. Most of them are around 80 calories for about 8 grams of protein, which is great!
Turkey pepperoni has a lower fat content than traditional pepperoni, making it a healthier choice. It is still higher in sodium, so be aware of that, but it’s more portable meat for traveling.
Laughing Cow or Babybel Cheese
These cheeses are both already portioned out into little wedges or wheels that are calcium-rich and low in calorie (only 45 calories in a Laughing Cow cheese wedge and 50 calories in a Babybel Light cheese wheel!).
These are a great snack paired with whole-grain crackers.