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Satisfying, Healthy Road Trip Food - Pack Your Own!

Updated on May 09, 2016

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Healthy, Satisfying Road Trip Food for Pennies

This lovely array of satisfying, healthy road trip foods is similar to what we pack and how we pack it.
This lovely array of satisfying, healthy road trip foods is similar to what we pack and how we pack it. | Source

Eat Right on the Road - Save Money and Be Kind to Your Body, Too

My mother is an expert at packing delicious, healthy, and satisfying food for road trips. Everything I know about road trip food I learned from her. She's got an innate sense of what's good for the body. Her formula for good nutrition is very simple: a breakfast of cereal, fruit, and dairy; a lunch of protein, bread, greens, and dairy; a dinner of protein, carbs, and two or more vegetables. Snacks in between or at bedtime? Fruit or cereal. In case you are wondering, there were never sweets, processed foods, or sodas in our house unless it was a special occasion like a birthday or holiday. I believe my mother actually invented the Food Pyramid, the right one, the one that works. I’m not allowed to tell you how old my mother is (she'd kill me), but I can say that she's her hometown's senior center member who helps other seniors 25 years her junior. Something is right with her food plan.

You can guess that Mom is also thrifty. As many who grew up during the Great Depression, Mom believes an extra dollar spent on something done for you that you could do easily for yourself is money down the drain. It costs very little to provide your own road trip food, so get to it!

Mom's Road Trip Foods

Mom's road trip food choices will help keep you energized even when you travel alone, when the monotony of a long drive is most likely to take its toll. You won't be hungry and you won't be overly full.

These ingredient amounts are for one adult and provide satisfying, healthy, road food for up to 12 hours of driving time in one day. These foods are easy to handle in the car and require no mixing or preparation except what needs to be done before the road trip begins.

  • 1 Hardboiled egg, peeled
  • 1 Container yogurt, 8 ounces
  • 1 Piece of whole grain bread spread with the nut butter of your choice, cut in half, and arranged into a half-sandwich
  • 1 Sandwich made with whole grain bread, lettuce and cucumbers, and whatever protein and bread spread you like, sliced in half
  • 1 Orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 Serving of grapes, washed and removed from their stems
  • 1 Cup of berries in season
  • 1 Sweet pepper, small, green or red or whatever color you like, cleaned, seeded, and cut into narrow strips
  • 1 Carrot, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Celery stalk, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Ounces of cheese, cut into pieces
  • 8 Crackers
  • 2 Ounces of the trail mix of your choice
  • 2 Cookies–oatmeal, chocolate chip, or whatever you like
  • 1 Small chocolate bar
  • 3 Bottles of water, 16 ounces each

 

Make Road Trip Food the Night Before

Prepare road trip food items the night before you start out on the road.

  • Wrap the half-sandwiches individually in waxed paper and then seal them together in one plastic bag.
  • Pack the fruits, vegetables, cheese, trail mix, and crackers in individual plastic bags or containers.
  • Store all but the cookies, trail mix, and crackers in your refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, load a large cooler with bagged ice and add the refrigerated food. Fill a small tote or boat bag with the non-refrigerated items. To the tote, add these items for convenience:

  • Plastic spoon for the yogurt
  • Small disposable bag for trash
  • Roll of paper towels or package of paper napkins
  • Hand sanitizer, wet-wipes, or a spray bottle of plain water for rinsing hands and cleaning up

Keep Your Road Trip Food Safe

A good rule of thumb for keeping perishable food safe on the road is to add ice to a cooler so that the ice takes up about one-third of the cooler's volume. The night before a road trip, I fill three one-gallon zipper-lock bags with ice and store them in my refrigerator's freezer. When it comes time to load my 30-quart cooler, I distribute the ice bags among the food and bottled water to avoid creating a warmer zone at the top of the cooler.

If you are packing food for more than one day on the road, you will need to replenish your ice supply at the end of each day. Ice is cheap or even free in most hotels and motels, and it's a simple task to empty the zipper-lock gallon bags and refill them.

The Colorado State University Extension has more great tips for keeping your road trip food safe.

The Logistics of Eating Road Trip Food When Driving Alone

When I travel with friends or family, we munch on road food any time the urge hits. As I'm almost always the driver, I get spoiled by my companions who hand me bite-sized pieces of food any time I ask, so I'm never distracted from my focus on the road. But when I'm traveling alone, opening a plastic bag or even peeling a banana poses a safety risk.

Instead of keeping the cooler and tote next to me, I leave them in the back of the car and raid them only when I make a stop to gas up, use a rest room, or take a break, although I always keep a cold opened bottle of water within easy reach in the console's cup holder. If you really want to eat while you drive alone, lay out the food items you want on the passenger seat, making sure bags and containers are already open.

About Our Road Trip Food Choices

Not everyone can or wants to eat what Mom and I do, and so you may want to make changes. If you do, keep her good sense in mind. Choose carbs, proteins, dairy, fats, fruits, and vegetables in reasonable amounts and proportions, prepare and package them all in advance, and drink plenty of water along the way. When your car is loaded with smart food choices, you won't be tempted to splurge on expensive roadside eateries or chow down on high-calorie fast foods. Should that tempting coffee shop with fresh cinnamon buns just happen to be located where you pull over for a rest, you won't feel a bit guilty for indulging–just this once.

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    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Road trips. Oh boy, I've taken so many I've lost count. As you know, my family and I made several trips to CA and back, visiting relatives along the way. My favorite places were my Aunt's farm and my grandma's tiny little house in town.

      As an adult, I've driven to upstate NY and once took a cross country trip that lasted six weeks.

      Mostly I remember having fruit. I don't recall what else my mom packed, or even what places we may have stopped at along the way.

      Not only is this very sound advice, I can see tht it would also help someone who is watching their weight. I will certainly keep this in mind should I ever venture farther than your house lol.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Those were the days, Trish. Going somewhere far away was a family affair, and the car was the way to do it. Your Mom was a wonderful cook, and although you don't remember what she packed, I'm sure it was good, and fun too. Thanks so much, my friend, for sharing your thoughts.

    • Feline Prophet profile image

      Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

      ST, I'm volunteering to hand you food the next time you plan a road trip alone. Will you take me along? :)

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Good thing you don't have me along on a road trip, Sally. I start delving into the sandwiches and other snacks from the moment we start the trip.

      You must do some road trips in India sometime to experience our road side 'dhabas'. They dish up really mouthwatering yet healthy and freshly cooked hot food, primarily for the truckers, but motorists are welcome too. And they have every thing, from meats, chicken and fish roasted in a clay oven or on open fire to beans and lentils, lots of dairy stuff and local seasonal veggies. Some of them even oblige with home brewed beers and distilled liquor.

    • Fay Paxton 5 years ago

      I wholeheartedly agree that anything beats the high calorie fast food you can pick up along the way. I especially enjoy a homemade mixture of fruit and nuts. These are excellent tips, Sally.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Good to read this and be reminded that we do have healthy and good economical choices. Thank you.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      What delectable and healthy road-trip-food you have selected, Sally. I tried including lots of good food when we used to take our children along on road trips.

      Only problem was we never came out even. The food always ended way before the trip did. Way before! :)

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 5 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      Thank you for inspiring me to eat healthier for me and my family on the next trip we take... I will also incorporate these snack choices into my daily life. Great article... glad to be following you.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

      We always pack food and these are great ideas! I love going out but then am so often disappointed in the quality of the food or the sodium content alone!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Feline, you bet I will! And I'll make sure you have plenty of treats. Did I tell you the cat nip is starting to come up already? :)

      Jaspal, I know what you mean by wanting to dive into the food right away. It's lots easier to restrain yourself when you're driving alone and don't have Feline Prophet to hand you goodies. :)

      Fay, check out that "trail mix" link above. That Hub has a nice discussion about nutrition, fruits, and nuts, and several trail mix recipes. Thanks for your good words!

      Patsybell, you are so welcome. Yes, we do have choices, don't we? I don't mind admitting I'd rather eat a couple of Italian hoagies AND a couple of ice cream cones on a road trip, but then I'd really pay for it in terms of feeling sluggish. Also, I wouldn't get to justify that cinnamon bun!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Flag up and useful! Enjoyed.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      drbj, the good news is that you all got the good food before having to resort to other choices. Imagine if you hadn't brought the good stuff along! Glad you enjoyed this and thank you for your good words.

      mepperly, thank you for such kind words! Check out the My Primal Kitchen site above (the link is under the photo). The author has excellent ideas for getting to basics, although her reasons are not the same as mine or my mother's. Well worth the visit.

      Audrey, I hear you! I'll add to that then when I spend good money on a meal out, I don't want to be disappointed. Unfortunately, I often feel as though I could have done a better job. But happily, there are times when you find a stellar experience. A few years ago, traveling in rural Georgia, we stumbled upon a small-town restaurant occupying the first floor of a converted old-time bank building. Everything from the service to the sweet tea to the homemade dessert was out of this world and very reasonably priced. We thought we'd just get lunch and go, but we wound up there for hours, gabbing, relaxing, and stuffing ourselves silly. Thanks for commenting and resurrecting this memory.

      dallas, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I live for "up and useful"!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

      That is an excellent advice and hub.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks, H,h!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

      I'm printing this up and saving it on my fridge. THis is a great list, especially now that I'm a mom and need to think about having snakcs handy all the time. You bring up a great point about saving money too. Sounds like you have a great mom!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Hi Sally's trove,

      A great hub which will be very useful to me and many others I'm sure !!

      Useful/up for this one.

      Thank you for sharing

      Eiddwen.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      izettl, you're right, these are great snacks for any time and any place. We'd probably eat more of them at home if we prepared them ahead of time and then just reached for ready-to-eat pieces. I'll pass your good words along to Mom!

      Eiddwen, thanks so much for the good words. I live for "up/useful"!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your mom and my mother must have come from the same school. When we traveled by car we always did similar things. Saves lots of time and money and the foods mentioned have good health benefits as a bonus. Great hub. Voted useful and up!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      And that was a great school, Peggy. Our moms taught us good things. Glad you enjoyed!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great suggestions on road trip food. It certainly sounds better than fast food. So many people pack candy to snack on and stop at the first fast food joint they see.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      KKG,indeed there are alternatives to a road-food diet of only sweets and fast food. As you can see by the list above, I have no objection to including sweets...but in moderation. Thanks for the good words!

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Terrific Hub Sally! I regularly make road trips that take a half day and pack similarly. I never made a formula so I am grateful you shared your mother's formula for nutritious eating! What a smart woman..thanks to her for inspiring you to give us this great plan for road trips. I want to eat those snacks in the photo right now! They are sooo good!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Scribenet, I love that photo of the road food ready to go. When my daughter, mother, and I start planning our summer road trip, I'll add a photo or two of what we do, which is very similar to what My Primal Kitchen does.

      Thanks for remarking on my mother's formula, because indeed that's what it is...a formula she's lived her life by. I think you, like my mother, have an inherent sense of what foods are good for the body. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, This is fantastic! and very well timed! my son is going on a 9 hour coach journey next week! I was wondering what to pack him for food, now I will bookmark this ready for the night before packing, thank you!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Nell, that is so cool! Give him an extra boiled egg and another ounce of cheese. He's a growing boy. Also, please give him another choco bar for me. :)

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Thanks for this hub. I am getting ready to take a road trip myself and this will help.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You are welcome, SUSIE. Have a wonderful trip!

    • Healthy Food Snacks 5 years ago

      Hi, thanks for teh nice hub. I especially like the advice to not put cooler next to you when you drive alone :)

      I haven't seen my favorite travel food - grilled tortillas. I do tortilla wraps, grill them on my small foreman grill, wrap them up in aluminul foil, and so far this has been the best road food for our family.

      Best,

      Olga

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What a great idea about the tortilla wraps. Once they're wrapped in foil, they're easy to manage and they don't "leak". Thanks for the excellent tip!

      That's a wonderful website you have, Olga. I'm fascinated with how you came to create your food plan. Thanks for commenting here and introducing yourself.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      OOoooooooo--delish choices, and all vegetarian, too! Yum! Back when I was taking my kids on trips, we used many of these tips ourselves.

      If I'm traveling alone, now..the cooler I keep next to me on the front seat is one of those push-button-handle-flip-over lids..one handed operation with eyes still on the road.

      For longer stops--here's a tip I learned from my folks for thermos-bottle hot drinks:

      A few minutes before filling, fill the thermos with very hot tap water or boiling water. Close & let stand while you fix the beverage or pack the cooler.

      Then, dump the hot water, and immediately fill with your chosen drink. Pre-heating the thermos this way will help the drink stay hot longer by a significant amount of time..especially for the new stainless steel unbreakable type.

      Cheers, and happy tripping! ;-)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      MsLizzy, you are a wealth of information! My favorite travel mug is insulated stainless. Just like you, I put a good cup of boiling water in it to warm it up. Thanks always for adding good stuff!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 5 years ago from Houston TX

      Really, this article will help me alot. Thanks

    • eudociadavis 5 years ago

      Awesome article,excellent advice and hub,Great suggestions on road trip food which can helpful for me and others.

      Thanx and God Bless you.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      crystolite and eudociadavis, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm delighted that you both find this info worthwhile!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great tips and so useful to have a list so thank you.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You are so welcome!

    • ShannonSays profile image

      ShannonSays 5 years ago

      Very good tips! I'm a runner and I'm going to use this as a guide for packing snacks for the trip to my next race. Thanks Sally! (And Sally's mom!)

    • jennifercriston profile image

      jennifercriston 5 years ago from Oxford Road

      You have mentioned very yummy items. The trip would become really delightful if we take even some of them.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Shannon, you are very welcome. I've been sharing comments with Mom (she's not online), and I'll pass your good words on to her. Thanks for leaving your thoughts about this road trip food for other runners to read. If you're traveling a long distance to a race, you surely don't want to fill up on heavy stuff along the way!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Jennifer, if I could take only some of them, I'd be really tempted to take only the cookies and the trail mix. LOL! Thank goodness Mom sets such a good example...I'd wind up taking the fruit and veggies instead, out of guilt. Glad you find these yummy. :)

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      It sound like your mother raised you right :) A very smart lady. Thanks for the excellent tips and advice about preparing healthy foods for a road trip. Great read, awesome Hub!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Becky, I'll share your kind words with my mother. I guess she did a pretty good job raising me...after all this time she still likes me. :) Glad you enjoyed the read!

      indiatraveltouris, I'm glad you found these food choices appealing. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • mark 5 years ago

      No to bad. I do have the things I like for road trips. But when I camping and hunting, we are definitely grilling.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Mark.

    • FeliciaM profile image

      FeliciaM 5 years ago from Canada

      Great tips on healthy road trip eating!! Thanks for sharing

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      FeliciaM, you are so welcome. Glad you like the tips!

    • ekenzy profile image

      ekenzy 5 years ago

      nice hub. keep it up.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks, ekenzy!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, Sally - great tips for road trip foods. Back then, people did not eat a lot of junk. The healthy food you suggested will keep you feeling great and are delicious as well. One thing I like to do is to remove 1/2 cup or so of juice from a plastic container, then freeze it. I use this for the ice, and when we arrive, we have some juice instead of a lot of melted ice.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      That juice tip is a great one, Dolores. I'll have to do some of that the next time around.

      So true about "back then." When I was growing up, we never had junk in the house. If you wanted a snack, get a slice of bread and butter, a piece of fruit, or a bowl of cereal. I'm afraid we of the baby boomer generation allowed this sorry state of junk food affairs to settle in upon the later generations. Guess that's meat for another Hub.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ha ha - was it the Baby Boomers or the bunch that came after us. As a BB my own self, my kids got cheerio's to snack on. One of my son's is very health food conscious and close to being a vegetarian. The other is a junk food junkie. My daughter as well. Kid # 4, the jury is still out but he sure likes what I call garbage.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      What a great list!

      As a frequent flier I have learnt that it is useful to pack a very small selection of food to take along. Airport concessions sometimes only sell stuff laden with fat - not good in case of delays. Also when travelling with kids it's a good idea to have some healthy food to hand.

      thanks for a useful hub - I'll be coming back to this one.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Dolores, I often go back to my mother's thoughts about who is responsible for this mess we live in -- junk food, sin taxes, government debt, the corrosion of public school education, hog-wild litigation -- She points to me and says, "It's YOUR generation that stood silently by and let these things happen." There is some truth there. I, too, gave my kid cheerios to snack on, but what I didn't do was stand up tall enough and yell loud enough about some of these things that today I complain about. *sigh*

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      That's a really good point, 2patricias. There's no reason healthy road food shouldn't take to the air!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 5 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Good article. I wish I was more frugal. I would rather pack my own food as well. I don't buy very many processed foods. They are not nutrient dense and full of unwanted fats and sugar. Your mom was right. Why pay for someone else to do it when you can yourself. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      There's another aspect to packing my own road trip food, Teresa, I just love to do it! I'm sure it's got a lot to do with the love my mother has put into her road trip packages since I was a kid; I do feel it's an act of love. My daughter and her friend, and their two dogs, took a long road trip last summer, and I asked them to stop by my house before they left...I'd prepared a cooler and a tote full of goodies for them to take along. The only mistake I made was not including biscuits for the dogs (I'll fix that next time)! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • TheSloneGal profile image

      TheSloneGal 5 years ago

      This is a great hub one of a kind sounds like you are very smart just reading this. We always try to pack our food on any trip or day out in the sun for several reasons one: the food we bring is better and the other one saves loads of money and we have it when we get hungry and do not have to drive around looking for a place to eat when you got kids you always have to have some thing with you at all times because they will get you every time. Thank you for this great and insightful hub.

    • RandomThoughts... profile image

      RandomThoughts... 5 years ago from Washington

      What a great hub. It is so nice not only to have a list of food, but how to prepare it, store and a picture just incase. Thanks, I think this is great even just for the day; especially when you have children. Thanks..useful/up

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      TheSloneGal, I so enjoyed your comment. It reminded me of my childhood when Mom would take us to the beach for the day, out in the sun. We didn't have coolers then like we do today, so everything was wrapped in waxed paper and packed in paper bags and put under an umbrella. My favorite memory tastes of summer in those days are warm peaches and cherries, and warm bologna sandwiches! Thanks so much for bringing back this memory.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      RandomThoughts, I'm so glad this Hub is useful. The "picture just incase" I owe to My Primal Kitchen (link above, under the pic). Pictures really are worth a thousand words! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and your votes.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      WOW, all the foods here are very healthy. I wish I can be as disciplined as you are, I always have a bag or two of sinful potato chips during trips :-(

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      kerlynb, nothing wrong with sinful chips! The thing is, we make this road food out of love and memory, and in that sense, it's a joy to do and thus doesn't even feel like discipline.

      My daughter and mother and I, and my daughter's friend, are taking a road trip at the end of August. The day before, we'll put all these good things together, like having a party. It's a bonding thing. And I guarantee you, there will be chips involved, although they will be a minor part.

      Thank you for your thoughtful sharing comment. :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 5 years ago from USA

      I loved this and used many of your suggestions. With Lynn's Bone Marrow Issues, we are making monthly trips for awhile to MDA in Houston. We hate eating on the road at fast foods places. It's always bllllicccck and guaranteed heartburn. My husband and I decided to pack some food, and your article gave me some great tips. I really liked the tips about the cleaning up items, the first time we took food, sure enough that's what we had forgotten. The fruit and cheese was so refreshing and healthy. I added Sun Chips, which we enjoy and provided a bit of salty crunch...the neat thing is you can pack what you like. It's worth all the prep time and you organized it for us beautifully! Your remark ..."you won't be hungry and you won't be overly full" is right on! We were just "satisfied!" Which made the 9 hour trip so much more comfortable!! Thanks, as always for writing useful, informative, reader friendly articles.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Marisue, I'm delighted this Hub is helpful. I didn't realize the trip to Houston was so long. One of the nice things about this kind of road trip food is that you can snack on it for hours, any time you like, and it does you nothing but good. Nothing wrong with some Sun Chips! I love them, too.

      Mom, Anne, and I just came back from our road trip / family reunion in Ohio. (Unfortunately, Anne's friend couldn't come along.) On the way there, we added watermelon cubes to the usual pack-your-own fare, and, boy, were they good! Wet, cold, sweet, and juicy. I love being the driver...Mom or Anne just pop good food into my mouth, often without needing to be asked. :)

      On the return trip to home, we stopped at Buckeye Lake and had one of those comfort food country breakfasts at a delightful place called Sammy J's Deli...biscuits, gravy, chicken fried steak, gravy, eggs, gravy, bacon, gravy, and sour dough toast. Oh...I forgot the sweet tea! Highly recommended by me, Anne, and Mom, in case you ever get to traveling out that way. But if I had to have two meals like that in one day, for sure I'd be dead! We ate our usual home-packed road food for the rest of the way home. :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 5 years ago from USA

      I can imagine the comforting meal...yum. Have to do that once in a while. I love the idea of watermelon, and a dash of salt! LOL Great article as always and so useful. We never travel without food. We used to and the thousands of trips that involved car trouble broke us from that misery. In the winter I have blankets, sweat shirts, packaged food, cans of sand with candles in the middle, flashlights, water, energy bars, small containers of applesauce or jello, matches, the cell phone charged and charger, and a red rag for the car window and a sign that says help in a bag in the trunk. I'm tellin ya...I'd be the one snackin on Fritos when the cops come to pull me outta the ditch!!! LOL

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Fritos are good!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Sally, back when the speed limit was 50 mph and interstates didn't exist, my mother *always* packed a picnic lunch for the trip to the Aunts and Uncles (a 4-hour trip my dad always turned into 6 hours -lol!). Mother was not a great cook, or concerned with nutritional value, so our road trip food was nothing like your mom's.

      I don't happen to be a nibbler while driving alone. I prefer to eat when making a pit stop, in places that I know from past trips serve local fare that's tasty enough to forego packing my own. In an area new to me, I'll look for Mom 'n Pop cafes. Even sandwiches in such places are freshly made, filling and (for a city girl) surprisingly cheap. Sometimes the servings are so large that I'll take half in a doggie box for the next meal down the road!

      That said, watermelon chunks could turn me into a nibbler behind the wheel! ;D

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Jama, I so identify with what you are saying about making pit stops in great local places. Back in the 70s, my Grandma Ellie gave me one of those "road food" paperbacks that get updated every year or so. I found fabulous places through that book. I am also a lover of the truck stop. I'll never forget one in Abilene, Kansas, that my daughter and I visited on a cross-country road trip. We were so tired and hungry, and the stereotypical 50s waitress, with apron and big silk flower pinned to her uniform, patted us both on our shoulders and said, "Honey, you both need that pork chop dinner with the hash and sauce. It's the best." Then she just walked away and put the order in. We got not only comfort food, but genuine comfort. These places are gems.

      Thanks for the great comment!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      TY, travelclubuk.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 5 years ago from Austin, TX

      My wife tries to pack healthy snacks for our kids all the time. Its hard on the road.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      That it is, iguidenetwork. It's tough enough for grown ups, but when kids are involved, it's always more challenging. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Fabulous and creative ideas for a road trip. I can't sit in a car for more than 15 minutes without getting antsy so I won't be taking a road trip anytime soon. I'll share with many others who just might be:)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL Sunshine! Road trips aren't for everyone. I do wonder if you'd rather be the driver than the passenger...being a passenger makes me SOOOO antsy. I prefer to drive, and get fed by the passenger. :)

    • Grace D. profile image

      Grace D. 4 years ago from Missouri

      I am all about being prepared with healthy snacks to avoid unhealthy snack attacks. Very useful information and tips. Thanks!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thank you, Grace D. So appreciate the good words. :)

    • bemily521 profile image

      bemily521 4 years ago

      What a great idea for a post! I always feel so gross after eating fast food and sitting all day...hopefully this will help. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      bemily, so right about feeling gross after eating fast food and sitting all day. I know this idea works...we've been doing it for years in our family. Enjoy packing your own for your next road trip!

    • bemily521 profile image

      bemily521 4 years ago

      Thank you, I will! :)

    • Jeani Nugent profile image

      Jeani Nugent 4 years ago from Cumberland, Wisconsin

      Great hub! I just got back from a 12 day vacation and we packed all our meals...eating out only twice and that was for frozen yogurt :) I totally agree that not only does it help financially, cut the health and nutritional benefits are astounding.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Jeani, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I just love to hear about these great experiences!

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 3 years ago from United States

      Thanks for your tips! I'd always get tempted to eat out whenever I'm on my road trip (especially when I spot a lone fast food chain, for instance), but because of your hub it inspires me to eat healthily even when I'm on the road. You need the right nutrients and vitamins to keep you going while you're driving. Up and useful.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      These are some great ideas when packing a lunch for a day hike. I have been thinking I want something other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and this hub gives me some more ideas. Also I do eat when driving alone and do exactly what you suggested - have the food layed out and already opened so it's not a distraction when driving.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 24 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really useful and easy to prepare with all your instructions.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips to have a healthy snack for your road trips with the family. Voted up for useful!

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