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15 Best Healthy Foods for Road Trips (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

Finding delicious foods for road trips that are vegetarian and gluten-free can be a challenge on a road trip. If you don’t want to partake in fast food, want to eat healthily and save money during a road trip, a little bit of preparation is the trick. Below are my absolute favorite healthy vegetarian snacks (that also happen to be gluten-free) and many items can also double for breakfast and lunch on the go. 

snack of nuts for road trip

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The great thing about a road trip is you can pack and then replenish a variety of foods because you have the ability to bring along a cooler. I love to pack healthy snacks for road trips, so I can splurge on the sweets at the destination.

I love to bring a combination of non-perishable, fresh fruits and vegetables, crunchy and salty snacks, high protein snacks and bars, and a few sweet treats. Packing your own food for a short day trip or for a long road trip is an easy way to stay healthy and a great idea for saving money as well. 

15 Simple, Delicious & Healthy Vegetarian Snacks for Road Trips

Luckily, snacks for vegetarians are plentiful and easy to pack and prepare for a road trip. Even better, many are naturally healthy snacks for a road trip.

As a bonus, all the items below are also gluten-free snacks and many are vegan. Many are also okay to keep at room temperature, which is great for a longer trip. Whether you are heading on a one-day road trip or planning a trip for a few days or even a few weeks, here are some great ideas for vegetarian & gluten-free road trip snacks. 

nuts and seeds

Vegetarian Snacks for Road Trips

1. Nuts. I love to bring almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans on my road trips. Costco and most grocery stores have bulk sections and this is where I find the best prices for nuts. I then love to put the nuts in small reusable snack baggies that are non-toxic, BPA-free and phthalate-free. Another option is to pack them in small mason jars

2. Seeds. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are my go-to for travel. 

trail mix

3. Dried Fruit. Apricots and mango are musts when I travel, but you can also find dried pineapple, apples, and blueberries. My favorite place for dried fruit is Traders Joe’s, but if you don’t have one near you, you can also find it on Amazon (where you can find everything these days!). 

4. Trail Mix. Mix a combo of the above three; nuts, seeds and dried fruit to make your own custom trail mix! I will also sometimes add chocolate chips and coconut flakes. Trail mix is one of our favorite foods for road trips. It’s also great to throw into a backpack for hikes or excursions. 

Tip: If I’m taking a road trip with my husband and son, I’ll set out all the nuts, seeds, and chocolate and let them make their custom trail mix blend! It’s a fun snack that the whole family gets to customize with their favorites. 

NuGo Dark Chocolate Protein Bar

5. Protein Bars. NuGo Dark protein bars are my favorite because they are gluten-free and have 10-13g protein. I also love them because they are a cross between a sweet treat and a protein boost! (The bars are also vegan, Non-GMO, and Kosher Pareve).

NuGo is the only company to make REAL Dark Chocolate coated protein bars. 
I met the makers of NuGo at the Expo West trade show and was surprised to learn that other ‘dark chocolate’ protein bar companies substitute unhealthy palm kernel oil for natural cocoa butter.

My favorite NuGo indulgence is dark chocolate, so when I had the opportunity to work with NuGo to spread the word about their protein bars with real dark chocolate, I was on board! These are great vegan road trip snacks that are filling and yummy!

NuGo makes over 30 certified gluten-free protein bars and cookies.

You can order NuGo Dark boxes and sample packs:  Use coupon code TRAVEL for the 52 Perfect Days Nugo Discount! 

6. Fresh seasonal fruit. Bananas are a staple in my house and my road trip snack bag. I also love to pack seasonal fresh fruit. The biggest issue with fruit when traveling can be bruising, so I bring along a produce saver food storage container

7. Avocado. I know it is technically a fruit, but I never seem to classify it that way. Avocado is full of healthy fats and they travel well. Simply cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out and enjoy on it’s own. Another great way to enjoy avocado it scoop it all into a bowl and enjoy on it’s own with a few corn chips. You can always prepare this in advance as guacamole!  

8. Veggies and Hummus. Bring along a container of your favorite veggies cut into sticks or bite-size pieces (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, jicama, etc). You can bring a small container of hummus, peanut butter or your favorite nut butter or dip. Of course, they are also great to snack on their own.

9. Apples and Peanut Butter (sunflower, almond or cashew). I know I’ve already mentioned nuts and fruit, but one of my favorite combos is apple slices and sunflower seed butter. If you haven’t tried it, I promise it’s delicious and one of my favorite healthy snacks for vegetarians.

granola

10. Granola is great to pack as it can double as breakfast cereal, a crunchy snack or a topping for yogurt. (Make sure to pack some coconut or almond milk if you plan to eat it as cereal). 

11. Yogurt. This is a great quick and easy snack and today there are so many options for coconut and almond milk-based yogurt if you are a traditional vegetarian.  

12. Popcorn is one of my favorite foods for road trips.  I love salty & crunchy snacks, but they can be a lot of calories, so I’ve been opting for popcorn lately. This is a way for me to get my savory, crunchy and salty snack fix!

13. Potato Chips. Another salty snack I crave is potato chips. It is one of my favorite road trip snacks that I put into the guilty pleasure category. I try to find chips with natural ingredients and my favorite are Miss Vickie’s Jalepeno!

All snacks above are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Below you’ll find two additional snacks I love — so if you aren’t vegan these are a great option to add to your snack bag!

Hard boiled eggs

14. Hard boiled or deviled eggs. If you are lacto-ovo vegetarian, boil a dozen eggs before a road trip. Such a great source of protein! If you have little kids, it might be a good idea to save this snack for a rest stop or when you stop for a picnic lunch outside of the car! 

15. String Cheese. Another lacto-ovo vegetarian option that is easy to pack and good snacks for road trips. It’s a plus they come in single-wrapped packages, so they stay fresh much longer than bringing other forms of cheese.

You can easily create vegetarian road trip meals by combining several of the above items for either breakfast or lunch. 

For your next road trip, take a bit of time to plan your snacks in advance. It will prevent you from stopping at a gas station and impulse shopping on all that junk food! Instead, head to the grocery store to stock up on healthy road trip snacks,

Related Post: 52 Ultimate Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Non-Food Essentials

Along with food for road trips, there are a few items you must pack. Whether you are planning a long drive or a multi-day long trip, these items should be packed so you can stop for a picnic lunch or simply keep the food organized and the car clean. 

road trip snacks

Besides the delicious snacks, make sure to pack the below items to make your life during your road trip simple! Just a few things make a road trip so much smoother! You can find all the below items on my Amazon Store

  1. Cutting mat (they take up almost no room and are essential). 
  2. Cutting or paring knife (with covers). So, no one accidentally cuts themselves. 
  3. Cooler for snacks (I love to have one smaller cooler in easy access with our snacks during the time in the car). Make sure to buy a cooler that keeps your food cold for at least 24 hours. 
  4. Cooler for drinks (For longer road trips, I like to bring a plug-in car cooler. It plugs into your car’s outlet and it uses the electricity generated by your car’s battery to keep your food cold. The other nice thing about this cooler is that if you are staying in a hotel that does not have a mini-fridge, you can carry the cooler into your hotel room, and use the adapter plug in a regular wall outlet.
  5. Ice packs & freezable sheets. Instead of filling the cooler with ice which will melt and turn into a puddle of water, freeze water bottles (drain the first inch or two of water out of the water bottle and then freeze it) to use as ice packs. We also love these freezable ice sheets– they are very lightweight, and they wrap around food and drinks to keep them cold.
  6. Paper towels
  7. Re-usable snack bags
  8. Car trash can with lid
  9. Bowls and small plates
  10. Forks & spoons
  11. Produce Saver Food Storage Container

If you want to see all the above items, click here to view on the 52PerfectDays Amazon Store.

Know of other vegetarian snack ideas or healthy snacks for road trip ideas? Please share in the comments below. 

 

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Best Snacks for Road Trips. Simple, Delicious & Healthy vegetarian snacks (that are also gluten-free). Many can double for breakfast and lunch on the go. #roadtrip #travelsnacks #glutenfree #vegetarian

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Crysta! It can be hard to find snacks on the road. I always pack a bag of snacks — not just for road trips, but flights and to have for the first few days of the trip. I’m gluten-free too and some locations are hard when it comes to GF snacks!

  2. Love this! So very helpful. Not sure about the deviled eggs within the car (6 year old would be wearing them, for sure) but all the other ideas are perfectly mobile for us! Thank you!

  3. We love bring our own snacks for road trips! Saves me tons of money and prevents me from going into a gas station & impulse shopping on all that junk food. That Nugo Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bar looks yummy & I had no idea about cheaper knock off dark chocolate substitutes. I looked at the ingredients and it looks good though I have to say that it is pretty laden with sugar so be wary for anyone who is diabetic or suffers from a sugar crash.

  4. Wonderful blog. I really need this kind of blog. I am definitely gonna implement these snacks in my upcoming road trips. Thanks for sharing this informative blog.

  5. I always bring my own snacks for road trips because I’m constantly hungry! These are all great options, they’re all so delicious and healthy!

  6. Great tips! The majority of my family follows a pescetarian diet, so we also add smoked salmon and canned/pouch tuna to our adventures.

  7. Marvelous Article. This is what I was looking for. We are planning a road trip next week. and seems like everyone ha their own ideas about snacks. Thanks for sharing these healthy vegetarian snacks. We will definitely put these to use.

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