On-The-Go Snacks to Fuel your Summer Travel

May 18, 2022
| Created by Melanie Taylor, MS, RDN, CD

For many of us summer is travel season. Good nutrition doesn’t have to be thrown out the window when it comes to snacking on the road or away from home.  It also doesn’t have to leave your car in disarray. With a little preparation before your trip or planning for pit stop purchases, it’s possible to eat well on the open highway.  Try some of these ideas for more nutritious and less messy car travel choices:    


I’m a sucker for salty, savory snacks but I find they’re easy to mindlessly overeat on the road (keep reading for tips on portion and mess control).  Some great options include:

  • Nuts 
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Veggie sticks or pieces (e.g. cauliflower, snap peas, radishes, grape tomatoes, mini peppers)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hard boiled eggs (packed with salt or a favorite seasoning)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dry roasted edamame
  • Nut butter pouches
  • Freeze dried veggie snacks
  • Beef jerky
  • Pickled veggies or olives


Candy, candy, candy. If you have a travelling sweet tooth, there is no lack of cheap, very sweet gas station options.  Try curbing your sweet tooth with more nutrient dense options, such as:

  • Whole grain cereal cups
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Trail mix (try Harmons build your own trail mix in the bulk section)
  • Low fat, whole grain muffins
  • Fruit slices or pieces (apples, cherries, grapes, clementines)
  • Dried fruit (without added sugar)
  • Granola or granola bars
  • Fruit leather
  • Applesauce and fruit pouches
  • Unsweetened sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee (hot or iced)
  • Fruit infused water
  • Low fat flavored milk
  • Energy bites such as this one

supplies and packing

Once you’ve got your road trip munchies picked out, packing and planning for car friendly supplies is key to keeping your vehicle from getting crumby, sticky or disheveled. A few of my favorite snacking hacks include:

  • Pack a cooler and/or bin with all your snack and supplies in one easy-to-get-to location.
  • Use gel ice packs or ice contained in a leak proof container (I like gallon zip top bags) rather than loose ice to prevent waterlogged items and soggy labels.
  • Include hand sanitizer, wet washcloths, dry towels or wet wipes to keep areas and hands clean and germ free.
  • Consider containers like plastic cups, reusable cups, zip top or reusable bags to portion larger packages into single serving sizes.
  • Better yet, consider portioning items out ahead of time for grab and go convenience. 
  • Wash, chop and package produce ahead of time, including peeling citrus or sectioning grapes into manageable portions.
  • Include convenience items like small scissors, chip clips or twist ties.
  • Last, but not least, have a plan for trash.  Recycle grocery bags or containers to keep trash together and easy to dispose of at your next pit stop.

Looking for more specific options? Check out this curated list of Smart Snacking ideas or email dietitian@harmonsgrocery.com.