Road Trips: Fun Snacks To Eat In The Car

This article gives examples of great snacks for a road trip, and some that are not so great.

Road trip! The words evoke adventure, fun, freedom. There are many things involved in planning and heading out for a road trip, and one of the more important facets is food. What to eat? What kind of snacks do well on road trips?

Obviously, the ideal road trip snacks are foods that need little or no refrigeration and can be eaten out of hand, with few utensils needed, except perhaps a paper napkin. Foods should be flavorful and easily packed or stowed, as well.

Fruit, of course, makes a great road trip snack, and this includes fruit leather as well as fresh. Apples can be sliced, grapes picked off the stems and strawberries hulled and sliced for easier eating. These are good fruits which travel well in a soft-sided cooler with chilled drinks. Blueberries also travel well, as do bananas, which can be peeled and sliced. Fruit should not be of the very juicy variety, such as peaches or oranges. While these are delicious, they are not easy to eat in the car.

Cracker snacks are universally popular. These can be purchased in the pre-packaged varieties, or made ahead of time. Saltines with peanut butter, cheese crackers with peanut butter, butter crackers with peanut butter -- all these variations are popular with adults and children alike. Crackers are also great with cheese, either sliced or spread. Wheat crackers can also add some variety to the cracker snack options, and most people like them.

Oriental rice crackers bought pre-packaged are a popular road trip snack. They are savory and tasty and are not messy to eat.

Some ambitious travelers may prefer other homemade snacks. These can include bite-sized biscuits with bits of ham, sausage or bacon inside, sausage-cheese pinwheels, peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches and homemade party mix.

Party mix deserves a special mention. This is one of those snacks that is individual to the person who makes it. Some families prefer a saltier mix, some spicier. Some love a strong Worcestershire sauce flavor, others prefer only a hint. Some families like pretzels in the mix, some hate peanuts, and some families even add oat ring cereal. No two party mix recipes will taste the same. This means it is a snack that can be tailored exactly to a family's preferences, which means it will be eaten, not left in the car. It isn't messy and is a universal favorite.

No snack sack is complete without a little something to satisfy a sweet tooth. Here again, a traveler can opt for packaged or homemade. Pre-packaged cookies are usually easy to pack and store, as are granola bars and candy bars. Homemade treats can include cookies also, or something like chocolate-coated pretzels. The key to keep in mind is what isn't messy and what doesn't need refrigeration.

Drinks are also a part of a road trip snack menu. One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to pack a soft-sided cooler with a frozen blue ice insert and carry juice boxes. Bottled water also packs well and a traveler can invest in a travel container that has an insert similar to blue ice, but stays in the liquid in the container. These also have stoppers that are leak-proof and easily opened and closed.

Diet soft drinks and diet fruit drinks need to be cold but will keep children from tearing the car apart on a "sugar high" and will help adults stay on their diet regimens.

Now, a word on what not to include in the snack ideas. While sandwiches may seem like a great idea, those with egg or mayonnaise should be avoided. Tuna fish sandwiches will ensure that the car smells like that sandwich for at least a month. Egg salad and chicken salad carry the same caveat, as do corned beef, deviled ham "" pretty much anything but a PB&J. If the travelers have a deluxe van with a small refrigerator, these concerns are lessened, but common mortals should mark these sandwiches off the list. The exception is if the family is planning a picnic lunch on the way, and these sandwiches will be eaten shortly after being packed in the cooler. It is a good idea to pack the salads separately, and not make the sandwiches ahead of time, if a picnic is planned. This will allow the salads to be stored in a sealed container. Travelers should make sure they wash the containers thoroughly with soap and water and should wipe them dry, to keep the smell from permeating the car.

Other snack no-nos include anything that will drip or spill. On a road trip, if something can be spilled, it will be spilled! So minimize the chances by including non-drip snacks. Also take plenty of pre-moistened, packaged wipes to cope with the inevitable.

So, the car is packed and ready to go, the food is stored. Enjoy the road trip!

© High Speed Ventures 2011