Over here at People’s Choice, family comes first (most of the time), and snacking comes second. Being a family company keen on traveling together and snacking our days away, we know a thing or two about road trips and what to bring on them. So, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide of the best snacks you can add to your road-trip packing list.
People’s Choice has been handcrafting the best, healthiest, mess-free, road trip snack for over 90 years. Plus, we've also looked closely at what other health connoisseurs have to say as well.
We picked out our list snacks by evaluating how they fit into the following categories:
- Protein and sugar count. We wanted our snacks to be high in protein and low in sugar. This makes them a healthy addition to your diet that will keep you fueled longer.
- Ingredient quality. Almost all our snack options are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While also leaving out artificial additives, this makes them the highest quality.
- Easy to take on the go. Eating on the go is never an easy thing to do– that’s why we made sure that every item on our list is easy and safe to eat while driving. Whether you’re road-tripping from LA to San Diego, or LA to Chicago, these snacks have got you covered.
- Taste. Spoiler alert: they’re all delicious!
Here are the 25 best healthy, mess-free snacks for a road-trip:
1. People’s Choice Beef Jerky
Coming in at number 1 for one of the best travel snacks is our old-fashioned original beef jerky. Not only is our beef jerky sugar free and high in protein, but it’s also stored in a resealable bag. This allows you to dive in when you please. Like your car will need fuel for your road-trip, you will too, and this delicious snack is guaranteed to keep you fueled all day long.
Shop on People’s Choice Beef Jerky: Old Fashioned, Original Beef Jerky - $6.99
2. Misfits Protein Bars
With 15g of protein, and only 1g of sugar, these protein bars are right up our alley. Coming in all sorts of delicious flavors, they are sure to make the whole family happy. (The peanut butter and jelly being a fan favorite here at People’s Choice). For a quick, tasty, and healthy snack, just tear open and chew away.
Shop on Amazon: Misfits Vegan Protein Bar, Variety Case, 12 Pack - $28.80
Shop on Misfits: Misfits Vegan Protein Bar, Variety Case, 12 Pack - $32
3. Skinny Dipped Almonds
If you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, these dark chocolate almonds are a great healthy alternative to a dessert. With more almond than chocolate in every bite, these carry a lot of protein, and very little sugar. Packaged in a resealable bag, you can put them away when you’re feeling salty, and grab them again when you’re feeling sweet. The perfect combo.
Shop on Skinny Dipped: Almonds - Dark Chocolate Cocoa, 5 Pack - $26.99
Shop on Amazon: SkinnyDipped Almond Variety Pack, Pack of 5 - $24.99
4. Brad’s Veggie Chips
While most vegetable chips aren’t actually all that healthy, these 100% plant-based snacks are packed with all the good stuff. With high amounts of protein, fiber, and nutrients you can't go wrong. Contained in another resealable bag, they’ll be ready for snack time when you are.
Shop on Brad’s Plant Based: Crunchy Kale, Original w/ Probiotics, Pack of 12 - $47.99
5. Thrive Market Avocado Oil Potato Chips
Now, if you’re like me, and would rather have regular chips as a salty snack, this alternative is perfect. These low-sugar, vegan chips are made from simple ingredients, keeping you healthy and clean. Plus, with iconic chip flavors like barbeque, you can't even tell the difference. Delivering a powerful punch of flavor, throw them in the car and be on your way!
Shop on Thrive Market: Non-GMO Avocado Oil Potato Chips, Salt & Vinegar - $3.29
This one doesn’t need much explanation. Fruit is an excellent source of all essential vitamins and minerals. Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Bananas are a great source of magnesium and potassium. This makes both of them perfect car snacks. If you want to prepare a tiny bit, you can even cut the apples into slices beforehand. For the easiest road-trip snack, fruit of any kind is your go-to.
7. Dried Fruit
This one also does not need much explanation. If you find real fruit a bit too difficult and too juicy to eat while in the car, dried fruit is your next best option! Apple chips, banana chips, and dried cranberries are all great options you can easily grab from the grocery store before you leave. Pop in your mouth and keep your eyes on the road– it’s as simple as that.
8. Greenbelly Meal 2Go Bars
These meal bars are packed with all sorts of nutrients. Although we don’t condone skipping meals, sometimes when you’re taking long road trips you can’t help it. But don't fret-- these meal bars work as a great supplement. Each bar contains a well balanced nutritional profile to keep your energy high. Plus, these bars are pretty much as easy to eat on the road as it can get– tear and chew.
Shop on GreenBelly: GreenBelly Meal, Pack of 5 - $37
Shop on Amazon: Greenbelly Meals, Variety 5 Count - $41
9. Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks
If you’re looking for a snack that little kids love, these organic, vegan, and gluten-free fruit snacks are the perfect treat. Made with real fruit juices and wholesome ingredients, each flavor delivers a powerful punch that will keep you wanting more. Throw these in your purse, in the glove box, or in the backseat and pop ‘em in your mouth when ready.
10. Trader Joe's Oven-Baked Cheese Bites
If you’re a cheese-lover these are the perfect snack for you. These little bites of goodness are oven-baked and made from real cheese. This makes them much healthier than their competitors. Being gluten-free, low in carbs, and high in protein, there is little room for disappointment. Packaged in a resealable pouch, they are easy to snack on and store away when you’re done (if you can manage to put them down).
11. String Cheese
If you’re not in the mood for something crunchy, substitute those crispy cheese snacks for regular cheese! Cheese sticks have high levels of calcium, vitamins, and protein. When it comes to snack time, either pair it with some fruit or simply pull it apart and go to town. Your car won’t mind. The best part is, if you run out you can replenish at any local convenience store you run into.
12. Nature’s Bakery Original Fig Bar
If you’re looking for a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the extra junk that comes in typical cookies, fig bars are a great alternative. These plant-based, whole-wheat snacks are not only healthy, but they are delicious, and easy to eat on the go. Perfect for a family road-trip to any destination.
Shop on Nature’s Bakery: Whole Wheat Fig Bars Original Fig, 6 count - $6
13. Whole Grain Dry Cereal
Whole grain cereal is full of fibers, protein, and nutrients. This makes it a great addition to your list of road-trip breakfast ideas. Of course in order to avoid major disaster, it’s best to eat this straight out of the box while taking it on the go.
14. Trail Mix
Another popular snack is trail mix, and this is for good reason. It is filling, customizable, tasty, high in protein, and a great source of healthy-fats. Make your own, (I love adding pumpkin and sunflower seeds to mine) or grab some from the store. Throw it in the car, and get on the road!
15. Smart Sweets
These Smart Sweets are the perfect treat to satisfy any sweet tooth. Especially for young kids who only want to snack on candy. Smart Sweets offers a variety of snacks. Some of these include gummy bears and sourmelon bites (a great alternative to sour patch kids). With 92% less sugar than other fish candies, these not only taste delicious, but they are one of the healthiest candies on the market. Like the other snacks on our road trip food list, they are easy to eat while driving, making snack time anytime.
Shop on Smart Sweets: Sweet Fish, 6 Bags - $19.74
Shop on Amazon: Smart Sweets, Sweet Fish, 6 Bags - $9.67
16. Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
One of our other favorite sweet snacks to take on the road with us are chocolate covered espresso beans. These deliver a bunch of healthy antioxidants. On top of that, these will heighten your mood and give you the boost of energy you’ll need during those long car rides.
Nuts are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. When it comes to healthy, mess-free road trip snacks, they're hard to beat. Grab some from the grocery store or pre-pack your own before you hit the road.
18. Peanut Butter Pretzels
Any snack that is high in protein and low in fats and sugars are our kind of snack. That’s why we added peanut butter pretzels to our list. Not only will these satisfy your sweet and savory cravings, but they are great for taking on the road with you. Coming in a resealable container, you get to pick and choose when it’s the right time to grab a handful (spoiler alert: it’s always the right time).
19. Skinny Pop
Although popcorn is not one of the healthiest snacks, skinny pop does have an edge over its competitors due to its low count in calories and sodium. Skinny pop is yummy, it’s easy to eat while driving, and it’s still healthier than other popcorn alternatives.
Shop on Amazon: SkinnyPop Original Popcorn, 12ct - $15.72
20. Coconut Chips
Coconut chips are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This makes them yet another yummy, healthy, easy to eat, road trip snack. The bett’r brand in particular is gluten free with no cholesterol or trans fat. Guaranteed to provide you with goodness in each crunchy bite.
Shop on Smart Organic: Coconut Chips French Sea Salt - €1.09
21. Gin Gin’s Ginger Chews
These chewy treats are a road-trip necessity for anyone who struggles with nausea or an upset stomach. Ginger chews not only taste delicious, but they also double as anti-nausea medicine. These chews will help settle your stomach and keep you stress-free on all your long trips. They also come in a resealable bag so they are easy to store and ready to help out whenever you need them.
Shop on Ginger People: Gin Gins Original Ginger Chews
22. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum may not be a typical road-trip snack you would think of; however, it has many benefits. Gum helps you burn calories, curb your appetite, stay awake, and fight off nausea. All things extremely beneficial while on long drives. Chewing gum is by far the easiest snack on the list to eat on the road, so take advantage of it!
23. Homemade Energy Balls
If you have time to prepare beforehand, these homemade energy balls are for you. They're delicious, easy, quick, and great for any trip. Make them into balls or make them into energy bars– either way they make for a perfect healthy recipe. With ingredients like oats, coconut, peanut butter, and flaxseed, these bites are high in protein and full of nutrients. Throw ‘em in a bag and take ‘em on the go. Here’s our favorite recipe to follow.
Find the No Bake Energy Bites recipe at Gimme Some Oven.
24. Dark Chocolate Covered Acai
Another candy alternative that will satisfy your sweet tooth is this Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Acai. This snack is packed with nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants, making it much healthier than normal candies. Coming in a resealable pouch, they also make for a very easy road-trip snack.
Shop on Hershey Land: BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Açai and Blueberry Candy - $5.99
25. Liquid IV
Another non-traditional road-trip snack, but an absolute must for any form of travel: liquid IV. Most people are dehydrated on a day-to-day basis, so it’s even more likely to happen to you while traveling. Add these tasty powders to your water and instantly start feeling better. Liquid IV packets deliver hydration to the bloodstream way quicker than normal. Because of this, they will keep you healthy and ready for any obstacle that gets thrown your way.
Shop on Liquid-IV: Hydration Multiplier, 16 Pack - $24.47
Shop on Amazon: Liquid-IV, Hydration Multiplier, 16 Pack - $22.71
No matter where your road-trip endeavors may take you, there is a People’s Choice Beef Jerky flavor for every occasion.
Don’t forget to check out our full line of jerky’s here!
Looking for more snack ideas?