Summer is just around the corner. That means it is nearly the time of year for road trips to lakes, holiday cabins, beaches and all kinds of other vacation destinations. Weekend getaways and short trips are excellent ways to escape the depressing constraints of the office and enjoy the sun, fresh air and experience the great outdoors. While the actual destination is always the pinnacle of the trip, you would be surprised how much fun you can have getting there, that is, if it is done right! Whether you are traveling with a group of friends, family or by yourself, good snacks will go a long way in enhancing the experience. Avoid the usual pitfalls of junk food, salty snacks and soda. These are full of calories and the refined carbohydrates will leave you feeling bloated and tired (definitely not ideal for driving!). This is why I bring you the top 10 delicious snacks to bring on a road trip that will keep you safe from the nasty sugar highs and lows:
- Fruit – A selection of pre-sliced fruit is a healthy, yummy favorite. Bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin B6 and carbohydrates. Cherries and grapes are tasty and an easy snack to pick at during the journey while melon is useful for keeping you hydrated, although it can be slightly more messy. Consider putting a nice selection together in a fruit salad. However, most of these fruits will go bad if they are left out in the sun. Therefore it is important to pack them all in an ice chest cooler.
- Vegetables – Although they are technically a fruit, miniature cherry or grape tomatoes are an easy grab-and-go snack, which are both wholesome and refreshing. Carrots and celery sticks always go down well, particularly if accompanied with a dip or dressing. You can buy prepared vegetable selections designed for dipping at the grocery store or you can arrange your own before you leave and store them in plastic food containers.
- Nuts – Nuts are a great snack, much better for you than chips or crackers. Packed full of protein, nuts will keep you satisfied without the drowsiness and bloated feeling you get from fattier alternatives.
- Cookies – While I have been preaching healthy snacks it is perfectly okay to include a few sugary snacks (you are on vacation after all!). High fiber cookies, such as those with fruit, oatmeal or nuts are the most gratifying.
- Granola –Packed full of fiber, granola is another snack that can be easily picked at during the drive. Grocery stores sell pre-packed mixtures, however it is much better to come up with your own assortment of your favorite fruits and nuts.
- Cheese – A personal favorite is to pack a selection of cheeses into your cooler. They act as a delicious source of protein and calcium. Slightly more fiddly to deal with in the car but if you are planning snack breaks there is nothing better. If you intend to bring cheese, either have it pre-cut into cubes or bring along some plastic utensils to make your job easier.
- Sandwiches – While sandwiches are an extremely popular snack there are a few considerations to be made when bringing them on a road trip. It is better to avoid messy condiments and elements that will make the bread soggy, such as mayo, tomatoes or lettuce. For easy access it is handy to have them pre-cut into manageable portions that won’t fall apart.
- Yogurt – Another healthy snack which rich in calcium, protein, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. To avoid requiring a spoon, it is better to buy yogurt that come in tubes or with a screw top for road trips. Yogurt must be kept chilled in the cooler to stop it from going bad.
- Beef Jerky – An old trucker favorite, beef jerky, is a great snack that won’t take up any space in the cool box. It will last for a long time without going bad so it will still be good for the next road trip! Jerky comes in a huge variety of flavors but make sure you get healthier low-sodium variety, for obvious reasons.
- Water – Yes, I know this is not a food, but an ample water supply is essential for long car journeys. People are supposed to drink 1.8 liters of water a day and this is especially important when sitting in a warm car. By putting a couple of bottles in the freezer on the day prior to departure they will stay chilled for much longer as well as keeping the rest of the contents in the cooler cold. While soda and energy drinks may seem desirable, they contain huge calorie numbers and will leave your drowsy and bloated.
I hope you take some wonderful road trips and this summer! If you feel I have missed anything or would just like to tell me about your own favorite road trip snacks, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.