this post is sponsored by Alpha Foods. thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow brewing happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
You might already be following along on Instagram, but if you aren’t – I’m currently on a road trip! I’m traveling through the Southeast of the United States with my boyfriend. We’re packing 10 cities into 2 1/2 weeks! That means we’re rarely spending more than one night in a city, and spending A LOT of time in my car. For someone who’s job revolves around food and health, it was super important to me to figure out the car snack situation.
I’m pretty much a road trip expert at this point. After traveling from LA to Atlanta in my car, LA to SF many times, and Atlanta to St Louis and beyond – I’ve really figured out the sweet spot for healthyish living in your car. It’s not easy to do, but don’t worry I’ve got a list of Haley approved snacks that won’t make you feel sick two hours into your drive.
So I put together an easy list of what snacks to pack, along with how to pack them and other useful road trip essentials you won’t want to forget! It’s my hope that this list helps you save some money while on the road, as well as keeps you feeling “on track” when it comes to health. I know that it’s hard to feel normal while on the road. Hopefully this guide helps. xo.
A Healthyish Road Trip Guide
- Pack a cooler. This will allow you to have fresh fruits and veggies on your trip. Don’t underestimate the power of vegetables to make you feel healthier while stuck in the car. Coolers are essential.
- Bring jars or tupperware! You can use these to store and replenish your snacks. Just simply pop into a grocery store when you get to your next destination and refuel. This helps to reduce the amount of waste you’re creating on the road, but it can also help to limit the amount of snacking you do! Part of what can cause you to feel gross while traveling is mindless eating, so if you have a limited supply I find that it helps to slow my eating roll. Also, I find that jars fit perfectly into the cupholders of my car and therefore are perfect for snacking!
- Don’t forget utensils and straws. I love to carry bamboo utensils and metal straws in my bag at all times so that I can avoid accumulating and using single-use plastic.
- Don’t leave your reusable bags at home! We often forget that we’ll still be grocery shopping on the road, so bring your reusable bags along. I promise they’ll come in handy.
- Bring a (big) water bottle to refill. Staying hydrated is huge in staying healthy on the road. Stopping every hour or so is good for your body anyway. Don’t forget to do some backbends when you stop to help counteract the sitting!
- Try to stop at grocery stores instead of convenience stores. This usually helps you make better choices when it comes to snacks, because healthier, fresher items are available. Obviously gas stations are unavoidable for gas, but if you’re just stopping for a snack – seek out a real grocery store instead!
- BYO Coffee Grounds. If you’re a coffee drinker like me, it’s important to pack your own coffee – pre ground! Most airbnb’s and hotels will have coffee makers, but usually not *good* coffee. So it’s always a safer bet to bring your own! (Sometimes I even pack my own pour over or french press, just in case!)
Healthyish Road Trip Snacks
These are my FAVORITE foods to pack on a road trip. I usually try to buy things out of bulk bins at the grocery store, that way you can get the exact amount you want and usually you end up saving money that way! I wanted to provide a list that covers everything from the munchies to a full on “road meal,” in case you can’t or don’t want to stop for a meal along the way. ENJOY.
- Dried fruit. I suggest buying these in bulk when you can, and try to find the kind without added sugar. Fruit is sweet enough! Dried mango and pineapple are two of my favorites, but almost any fruit makes for a delicious snack. This is easily refillable at most grocery stores for if/when you run out.
- Trail Mix. I generally suggest making your own from combining nuts and dried fruit from the bulk section, but you can also find a bag you love. Just try to keep away from overly salty mixes, and added sugar. Those ingredients will dehydrate you even more! Trail mix is the best for when real hunger strikes, but you’re more than an hour from your destination. Hanger is never fun.
- Veggie Chips. I don’t mean the veggie chips that are just potato chips disguised in a different bag. I mean the ones that are made of actual dehydrated vegetables (check the photo near the bottom of the page for visual reference). Usually you have to search these out a bit more, but most of the time you’ll find them in the bulk bin or in a plastic container near the fresh produce.
- Snap Pea Crisps. Not the healthiest per-say, but I still think they beat out potato chips when it comes to nutrients in the snack category. They great to eat when you just want something salty and delicious to munch on.
- Banana Chips. I consider these different than dried fruit, because they’re crispy instead of leathery. Opt for the unsweetened kind. I promise they’re still delicious.
- Bananas. I generally save these for the morning to eat for breakfast to save some money. I just never buy more than 2-3 at a time, because no one wants over ripe bananas to smell up their car!
- Nut Butter. Almond butter. Peanut butter. Cashew butter. Whatever you want. I use this on my bananas and apples to make a more sustainable snack. This is where your bamboo utensils will come in handy!
- Baby carrots. Crispy, delicious and good for your eyes – carrots make a great snack for the car. Keep ’em in your cooler and they should stay good for your whole trip.
- Apples. I like to keep my apples in the cooler for road trips because I find that they last longer. Plus they’re delicious and refreshing when you get super thirsty, and provide a great boost of energy for your tired driver!
- Alpha Foods Burritos. I love to bring these guys along in my cooler to eat when you have to be on the road ALL DAY, or when you don’t want to spend money on lunch or dinner. They’re plant based and come in delicious flavors like Mexicali, Philly Sandwich, Pizza and (my favorite) Chik’n Fajita. You can find them at most local grocery stores like Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Ralphs, etc. Just use their store locator to find a grocery store in whatever city you are traveling to. They can be cooked in an oven, microwave, panini press, stovetop, etc. so you can find a way to make them even if you’re in a hotel, airbnb, or friend’s house.
- Salsa and Guacamole. I keep these in jars in my cooler so that I can eat them with my Alpha Foods burritos, or dip my veggie chips in them!
Tips for Keeping Your Body Healthy on a Road Trip
- Stop ever couple of hours. Pee. S T R E T C H. Do back bends. Your body doesn’t love being stuck in a sitting position that long.
- Once you arrive, walk. When you’ve finally made it to your destination, do your best to park the car and walk as much as you can. Your body needs that movement.
- Prioritize exercise. If you’re a person who consistently works out, going on a road trip can be a hard break in that pattern. So try to find gyms or workout classes in the cities you are visiting and prioritize exercise. Think of it as a way to get a local taste of the city.
- Sit properly. Try not to contort your body in the car. Sit with good posture for as long as you can. Roll your shoulders back, keep your legs uncrossed, sit your seat back up so that you are sitting tall, engage your core. Do your best to return to this posture whenever you catch yourself slouching.
- Get as much sleep as you can. Sleep heals the body, and it will restore your mind. Allow yourself to say “no” to that late night drink, and opt for sleep instead. Choose day adventures rather than night.
Road trips can be grueling and also thrilling. They can leave you feeling disoriented and incredibly alive. They’re monotonous and new. And staying healthyish and balanced can be a challenge in the midst of all of the ups and downs. Hopefully this guide helps you live your best life on the road! xo.