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The best road trip meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and healthy road trip snacks. This road trip food list and ideas for meal on the road will not only help you cut down your holiday budget, but they can also help you to eat healthy while you travel too… avoiding the greasy burger and french fries combo or gas station stacks you may otherwise have purchased!
Get easy road trip food ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus family-friendly snack ideas too.
And make sure to grab our free road trip meal planner and best road trip foods list too!
Road trips can be abudget-friendly family vacation that is fun for all ages, however, you can quickly blow out that budget if you are dining out for every meal during your road trip.
With some simple road trip meal planning and enough food inspiration, you can plan a thrifty road trip without having to stop for a single takeaway meal!
This ULTIMATE road trip food list is loaded with snack and meal ideas for the whole family, whether you are taking a short driving holiday over a weekend or getting set for an extended road trip adventure together.
PLAN YOUR ROAD TRIP MEALS AND SNACKS. GET THE FREEBIES!
Road trip meal planning will keep your budget down and help you avoid the fast-food trail from destination to destination.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t dine out at all. Sometimes that’s part of the fun, but if you want to avoid paying for meals at each stop. Or if you want to ensure you are eating healthier options, creating a road trip meal plan is essential!
You will need a good-quality large cooler to keep your food from spoiling.
A standard cooler with ice packs will get you through a few days of chilled food and meals. Anything longer and you will either need a proper12V powered travel refrigerator or to stop and grab extra ice or fresh groceries along the way.
Either will work, however, your options are more limited if you need to stop at a grocery store for supplies. This will mean knowing where on your road trip you can source ice and groceries too.
TIP: Avoid opening your cooler unless it’s absolutely necessary! This will keep food chilled longer.
Pack individual meals in stackable, compact food containers. You can get disposable airtight container options at the dollar store if you want to avoid having dirty containers to clean on the road.
For snacks, consider getting a BPA-free sectioned snack container to store different snack items. This is perfect for kids!
For one-day road trips, a supermarket cooler bag will work with an ice pack to keep everything chilled.
Planning Road Trip Meals
When planning your meals for road trips, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough food to last the entire trip.
This means packing enough snacks and easy-to-prepare meals for everyone in the car.
Second, you’ll want to consider the types of food that will be easy to make and eat while on the road! Avoid anything that is really messy or requires a lot of preparation.
You only have so much space to pack all your gear, so avoid having to add a lot of cooking and food prep tools too if you can.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you choose easy road trip meals to make your trip run smoother!
These camping meal ideas can be great for easy meals for travel too:
Options for road trip snacks are endless! Most snacks you enjoy at home can easily be enjoyed during your road trip. In saying that, snacks that don’t require any extra preparation and are minimal mess are preferable.
Pack items like fruits and vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated, as well as shelf-stable snacks like crackers, granola bars, and nuts, are great for snacks.
Especially if you are taking a road trip with kids! Having a quick bite to eat between stops will help keep them patient and happy in the backseat.
Snacks with natural ingredients are a good option for the whole family and will help keep the energy levels up on a long drive.
There are so many options for road trip snacks. Here are a few to get you started:
Banana chocolate chip muffins – These are a great option for anyone with a sweet tooth. Switch to dark chocolate chips and cut out the sugar. They still taste amazing!
TIP: Pack a few special treats for those moments when the kids are over of being car-bound and need a mood boost.
Road Trip Breakfast Ideas
If you are staying at hotels along the way, you may get lucky enough to find some with free breakfast included. That’s one or more meals along your trip that you don’t have to plan for and one less extra cost.
But if not, there are plenty of light options to get the day started before you set off for your next leg of the long journey.
After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is a great way to give you energy before starting the next leg of your journey!
Here are some simple road trip breakfast ideas:
Dry cereal – such as Cheerios that you can enjoy even without milk
TIP: Pouches are a simple, no-mess option for yogurt or pureed fruit. Keep them chilled, eat then dispose of the package.
Road Trip Lunch Ideas
There are plenty of simple cold lunch options you can make ahead for road trip meals. Plus how much nicer is it finding a beautiful spot within nature or with a view along your drive, than sitting in a fast food store!
When planning food to take on a road trip for lunch, consider the fact that you will likely be in the car a lot of the time during the day.
This means healthy road trip meals to pack are the best option to balance out the fact that you won’t be as active some days while travelling.
Try these cold lunch ideas for your road trip menu:
This will give you endless other options to enjoy camp style meals during your road trip without the full camping set up.
Or alternatively, use public BBQ facilities along the way at your rest stop to cook or heat meals.
TIP: If staying in a hotel room, choose hotels with basic cooking facilities you can use for dinners and meal cooking.
BBQ or camp kitchen dinner ideas:
Savoury mince or tacos
Bacon and eggs
Chilli con Carne
You can pretty much turn any one-pot or dump recipe into a camp stove or BBQ top recipe. Bag each meal individually, heat or cook and serve.
TIP: If you don’t want to bring your own, find an app for your phone that will tell you where the nearest public BBQ facilities are along your journey.
Healthy Road Trip Food
Taking your own make-ahead road trip meals is an easy way to ensure you are eating well while travelling. You can choose healthy road trip foods and avoid the greasy, carb-loaded takeaway food that tends to be associated with road trips.
It also means choosing healthy road trip snacks too.
Healthy snacks are a much better option when spending so much more time sitting than being as active as you would otherwise. A
nd while a little junk food is a fun treat, don’t overdo it!
Not only is this better for your health, but eating healthy foods will also make you feel better while travelling to not have those heavily processed meals sitting in your stomach while stationary for most of the day.
Travel stomach aches aren’t welcome here!
Baby & Toddler-Friendly Road Trip Meals
If you are doing a driving holiday with a toddler or baby, you will need to plan in a few different options to suit them.
This means ensuring you have enough baby food (and formula if needed), to last the full journey.
Bring baby food pouches for convenience or use small individual serve tubs for homemade baby food.
Make sure you have plenty of toddler road trip snacks because a full tummy will help keep them happy! Small snack foods and finger foods are ideal for little kids so you can avoid worrying about choking.
TIP: Consider potential allergies! If someone in the family has a nut allergy, avoid packing road trip foods with peanut butter or other allergens that could cross-contaminate.
Road Trip Drinks
When you are doing a long drive, it is essential to keep up your water intake the whole way.
Sitting in a car with air conditioning or heating can dehydrate the body. Sitting for long periods can also make us forget to get our daily recommended water intake too!
So be sure to make water bottles for each member of the family. Reusable water bottles can be refilled from a large water dispenser when you stop for a pit stop.
Having your on the road meals packed and ready is the most important part. But don’t get caught out on your drive by realising you have forgotten any of these non-food essentials for your epic road trip adventure.
Plates & bowls
Knives, forks, spoons
Chopping board or tray if you are taking anything that needs more preparation
Grab the free road trip food list and meal plan bundle to help you plan your ultimate driving adventure on a budget! These great road trip food ideas will help you get organised easily for your next road trip!
Conclusion: Best Road Trip Food Ideas
These road trip meals and road trip food ideas will help you plan the ultimate family road trip, with healthy snacks and make-ahead meals to help you skip the fast food on your next long car ride!
Do you have any favourite travel meals or travel food ideas we’ve missed?
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