I’m not proud of it, but I’ve definitely been known to get “hangry.” If I don’t eat a big enough breakfast or miss a meal while we’re on the road, all of a sudden I’m irrationally cranky. It’s not a pretty picture, especially on long drives.
So when it comes to planning a vacation, there are few things more important than good road trip snacks. Sure, it’s fun to stop along the way and try local restaurants. But on the off chance that I ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere with nary gas station in sight, I prefer to be prepared.
When I’m heading out on a trip, I never leave home without stocking my car with at least a few of my favorite road trip snacks.
Trader Joe’s Trail Mix
In my opinion, Trader Joe’s nut and trail mix selection is one of its best kept secrets. Not only are their offerings reasonably priced but they also have an incredibly tasty variety. The Simply Almonds, Cashews, and Chocolate Trek Mix is my typical go-to for a hint of sweet. Though the Happy Trekking mix is also pretty fantastic. And while it’s sometimes harder to find, the Peanut Butter Cups Trax Mix is perfect for a bit more indulgent of a snack.
Regular Goldfish are a classic snack. But when it comes to guilty pleasures, my go-to is the pretzel variety. These Goldfish are the perfect ratio of salty and crunchy, and offer a healthy alternative to other salty snacks.
Let’s be honest—any cookie that claims you can eat it for breakfast is going to be a winner in my book. These banana everything cookies from The New York Times are so healthy that you won’t feel guilt snacking on one for breakfast.
Trader Joe’s Contemplate Inner Peas and Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets
Initially I was skeptical of both of these snacks, but boy, am I glad I gave them a try. These puffy snacks offer the perfect amount of crunch while still giving you the reassurance that you’re eating a “vegetable.”
Haribo Gummy Bears
I take gummy bear brands very seriously and, trust me, there’s nothing better than Haribo. These are my ultimate road trip sweet treat. I’m not entirely proud of it, but a group of friends and I once made a five-pound bag of these disappear on a weeklong road trip.
Especially on long trips, I start to crave fresh fruit. Before hitting the road, I’ll grab a bunch of extra green bananas or a few apples at the grocery store to tide me over when I otherwise might not be eating my healthiest. When I start to crave something fresh, I’ve got the perfect thing on hand to balance out the gummy bears.