Ultimate Road Trip Food List: 105+ Easy Road Trip Meals

Road trips are exciting adventures to take with your friends, family or solo. However coming up with a list of road trip foods can be hard. Even when we know bringing some easy road trip meals & snacks are essential. To prevent those hangry travel companions and to cut way down on food costs.

Not to mention less stops at the local gas station to buy food and snacks, equals healthier food and more time at places you really want to be. Which is where our list of ultimate road trip food meal ideas, comes in handy.

It includes easy ideas for healthy snacks & breakfast, lunch & dinners both kids and adults will love.

Plus tips for packing and what non-food items & supplies you’ll need to bring.

We’ve taken our share of road trips over the years. Cross country adventures and multi-day road trips to visit extended family, and a move to northern Canada are just a few.

Road tripping both as adults, and with kids ranging from months old to teenagers, and everything in between. So we know quite a few tricks.

If you plan ahead and pre-make some yummy snacks and meals, your family will be well fed on the road. Whether you are heading on a Southwest USA road trip or a coastal road trip to Boston to Acadia National Park.

Ready for some awesome road trip food ideas for adults and kids? Let’s go!

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Best Road Trip Foods : Why Make Ahead Meals For Road Trips?

Before we get to the epic road trip food list and road trip meals, here are a few reasons why you should bring your own make-ahead road trip meals and snacks.

  • Frees up some of your hard earned cash to splurge on meals you will actually look forward to and want to eat. 
  • Your own make-ahead road trip food is healthier.
  • If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, creating a road trip meal plan will allow you to have safe meal options on the road.
  • Have fun picnics at rest stops, parks, or in your hotel room along your long drive.
  • Avoid hungry kidlets with healthy road trip snacks, so they can focus on road trip activities, not driving you crazy with whining.
  • Perfect ideas for any type of travel; by car, by RV, plane, camping.

Now planning, pre-making and organizing your road trip meals will take a bit of time. Bringing your own food is well worth the time and money you can save on your adventure.

If you are eating gluten-free, vegetarian or need snacks for young kids, there’s ideas here for you too for your family road trip.

Make ahead easy travel meals are great for cutting down on the mess, stress and time it takes to prepare and clean up on the road.


When meal planning healthy road trip foods, you’ll need to consider a few key important things:

  • What road trip meals you want to bring, and which one’s you’d like to buy.

  • If travelling with kids, which foods do they already like. They aren’t going to magically start liking raw broccoli and raisins on your long trip.

  • Road trip meal ideas – Make a list of road trip food ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks

  • Creating a road trip grocery list is a good idea, so important items don’t get forgotten. But don’t stress, as usually you’ll be able to pick up ingredients along the way if needed.

  • How to pack food for your road trip, so it doesn’t get squished, and stays cool longer.

We’ll give you tips for all of these, as you hit the open road.

⭐️ PRO TIP: Bring a reusable coffee mug and water bottles for each family member. They’re great for filling up with hot water, tea, coffee and water on the go. Less likely to spill in the car if you use a spill-proof refillable cup and snack cup for the littles.

Healthy Road Trip Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. However it can often be overlooked, as you eagerly hit the road to your next destination. Especially if it isn’t included with your hotel stay.

Here are some easy road trip breakfast ideas you can take to go, or quickly eat hot in the morning. As long as you make ahead and bring in a cooler, or have access to hot water or basic kitchen facilities or a microwave.

Combine some healthy fats, with a little protein, so everyone can be full til the next rest stop.

Most are also portable and easy to eat in the car as well. Long road trip friendly.

Breakfast ideas on the road
Photo: “blueorangestudio via canva.com”

Cold Road Trip Breakfast Ideas – On-the-Go

Non-Perishable Road Trip Breakfast Ideas

  1. Cereal
  2. Granola
  3. Road Trip Breakfast Cookies  
  4. Cereal Bars
  5. Breakfast Bars
  6. Fruit & Veggie Pouches 

Cold Breakfast Ideas for Road Trips

  1. Smoothies
  2. Yogurt – Tubes, Drinks
  3. Fresh Fruit
  4. Rye Crisp Breads & Goat Cheese
  5. Chia Pudding – Make the night before
  6. Granola & Overnight Oats – Make the night before
  7. Muffins & Peanut Butter (or other nut or seed butters)
  8. Egg Muffins or Mini Quiches (To heat or not to heat. That is the question)
  9. Hard-Boiled Eggs
  10. Egg Salad
  11. Breakfast Cookies 
  12. Vegan Blueberry Muffins
  13. Bagels and Cream Cheese
  14. Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap
  15. No Bake Oat Bites 
  16. Apple Pie Oat Bliss Balls
  17. Croissant, ham, cheese
  18. Croissant, jam & cream cheese
  19. Pancake Sandwiches – nut butter / jam between two mini pancakes

Breakfast – Hot & Quick Ideas

  1. Instant Oatmeal 
  2. Cup of Soup or canned soup
  3. Pre-made Mini Quiche (just heat up)
  4. Egg, Cheese, & avocado tortilla wrap
  5. Haloumi Cheese and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
  6. One Pan Chickpea Hash (fried chickpeas, veggies, herbs) & Fried eggs

More kid friendly breakfast ideas here.

Road Trip Lunch Ideas – On-The Go

Road trip lunch ideas are probably the easiest for most people to come up with, when it comes to thinking of road trip meal planning. Often road trip lunch and dinner ideas can be used for either meal.

What is the first thing that comes to mind, but sandwiches. Sandwiches are such a staple we’ve given them their own section below. 

To be honest, I often just prepare and pack foods I would usually take for lunch at work, for the first day or two. Then add easy road trip lunches to grab and prep along the way, like sandwich fixings. Or cheese, meat  and cracker plates for a longer trip.

The best road trip lunches are ones that are easy to make, fairly mess free and don’t require heating up.

Meals on the road don’t have to be overly complicated or fancy. Unless you want them to be.

Easy Road Trip Lunch Ideas

Non-Refrigerated Road Trip Lunch Ideas

  1. Canned Tuna & crackers – The mini pull tab tins come in many flavours
  2. Protein Bars, Energy Bars
  3. Peanut Butter (or other nut & seed butter) & Jam Wraps

Cold Road Trip Lunches

  1. Sushi / nori rolls – sweet potato, cucumber and avocado,  smoked salmon, cucumber and avocado, smoked salmon & cream cheese
  2. Sandwiches (see Road Trip Sandwiches below for ideas) 
  3. Tortilla Pinwheels
  4. Meat Kabobs
  5. Pasta Salad
  6. Corn & Zucchini Fritters
  7. Sardines or Mackerel canned with crackers or bread
  8. Fruit (apple slices, cantaloupe, grapes), cheese and bread or crackers
  9. Charcuterie plate – cheese, deli meats, olives, dried fruit
  10. Chickpea or Bean Salads
  11. Quinoa Salad
  12. Mason Jar Salad – keep the dressing separate
  13. Pre-made Quesadillas – Refried beans and cheese. Keep salsa & sour cream separate in small leak-proof containers

Sides to Add to Lunch Ideas

  1. Muffins.
  2. Cut up veggie sticks and hummus
  3. Fruit – apple, berries, melon, grapes
  4. Homemade cookies or energy balls
Sandwiches are easy to prep, pack and eat on the go.
Photo: “juefraphoto via canva.com

Road Trip Sandwiches

What’s a road trip, without a sandwich or two. In fact sandwiches are so iconic, portable, easy to make and ideal for lunch and dinner they deserve a section, all on its own. And here it is! You’re sandwiches for road trips.

For easy,  awesome sandwiches you will need a few things:

  1. Bread: First you’ll need some kind of hearty bread (kaiser bun, wraps, pita, baguette, ciabatta)
  2. Protein: Pair with protein such as deli meat, sliced chicken or beef, bacon, eggs, tofu, nut butters
  3. Extras: Add on the extras such as cheese, lettuce, pickles, fruit 
  4. Condiments: mayo, mustard, olive tapenade, other sauces
Road trip sandwiches. 4 key ingredients wuth images of bread, protein, extras & condiments.

Here are some easy and interesting sandwich ideas for Traveling:

  1. PB&J
  2. Cheddar and Jam
  3. Egg Salad 
  4. Cream cheese and cucumber
  5. Spicy Tuna and Cucumber – leave out the spice if it’s not your thing
  6. Pesto Egg Salad Baguette
  7. Ham & Cheese Baguette or Wrap
  8. Turkey and Cheese Baguette or Wrap
  9. Turkey Club Sandwich
  10. Turkey, Pear, Feta Wrap
  11. Apple, Cheddar and Mustard Sandwich
  12. Roasted Red Pepper & Hummus Sandwich
  13. Curry Chicken or Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Tips to Prevent Soggy Sandwiches for Road Trips

Start with heartier bread or toast it first. Put a layer of mayo, or mustard on each side. It actually helps prevent soggy sandwiches.

I often toast the bread, and then wait until it’s completely cooled before making and storing the sandwiches.

Keep watery veggies separate like tomatoes, and add them right before eating. Or even better, pack each ingredient separately, then everyone can assemble their sandwich how they like, on-the-go.

How To Pack Sandwiches for Road Trips

No one wants to eat the sad sorry state of a squished sandwich that found its way to the bottom of a cooler, or bag.

Keep “wet” sandwich ingredients separate, like tomatoes and add them in right before eating.

Packing sandwiches in a hard sided container is ideal. Either use reusable individual sandwich containers or larger leak-proof containers for multiple sandwiches.

If hard sided containers don’t fit, we love silicone sandwich bags to cut down on plastic.

Keep the sandwiches on top of the cooler for easy to grab meals on the road.

Sandwiches make one of the best road trip lunches or dinners.

You may also like 50+ Easy to make, healthy road trip snack recipes

Easy Road Trip Meals: Dinner Ideas

Dinner is the one meal we often splurge on, and choose to eat out at a local restaurant, instead of on the road when possible. 

We like to do a bit of research and see what the area is known for, or if there are special meals we can’t get at home. Also after a few days of packed road trip meals, it’s nice to sit down at a restaurant and have someone else clean up and organize.

However, there are times when you need dinner in the car ideas. You can always re-use the lunch or even breakfast ideas, because they are all tasty anytime of day. 

Cold Road Trip Dinner Ideas

  1. Pasta Salad, Greek Salad
  2. Taco Salad
  3. Cobb Salad 
  4. Other Cold salads – Potato, bean, egg, chickpea, salmon, tofu, quinoa, rice and bean
  5. Sandwiches – check out ideas in sandwich section
  6. Chicken salad / caesar wrap
  7. Burritos
  8. Falafel Wrap
  9. Rice Paper Rolls & Peanut Sauce
  10. Chicken wings & pre roasted veggies
  11. Grilled or roast chicken, rice and veggies
  12. Tortilla Chips, Bean Dip and Salsa
  13. Egg roll pinwheels with spinach, and cheese 
  14. Mason Jar grain + protein + roast veggies (pre-made)

Salad Tips – Keep the ingredients & dressing separate. That way each person can assemble to their liking, and the lettuce doesn’t get soggy from swimming in the dressing all day.  

Mason Jar Meal tips

Mason Jars are a fun and easy way to store pre-made meals. They are fairly sturdy (I’ve dropped them many times without breaking them) and come in different sizes. The 500ml and 250 ml are perfect for individual meals. Choose a grain + a protein + roasted, steamed or stir fried veggies and you have a delicious meal to go.

  • Pre-cook a grain: brown rice, basmati rice, white rice, quinoa,
  • Choose a protein: roast chicken or beef, curried chickpeas, tofu
  • Cooked veggies: stir fries, steamed broccoli, curries, stew,

Hot Road Trip Dinner Ideas

One pan or pot dinner ideas are perfect for travel, camping and road trips. Especially if you ‘ve been entertaining kids with road trip conversations all day.

As long as you remember the hot plate, or cook stove. Been there, done that, forgetting the stove. Another option is to choose motels, or places to stay that have basic kitchen facilities. 

You can also meal prep ahead of time and put individual meals in separate containers that are easy to reheat and clean up. 

If you are a camping family, what you plan for camping meals is similar. Think easy camping type meals:

  1. Chili
  2. Baked Beans
  3. Cup of Soup or Canned Soup
  4. Frozen Homemade Soup (use the first day or two after it defrosts. Bonus it helps keep the cooler cold)
  5. Bacon or Sausages and Eggs
  6. Quesadillas
  7. Rice and beans or ground beef for tacos or wraps
  8. Chickpea Curry and Rice (pre-make and heat up)
  9. Spaghetti 

Road Trip Snacks

We have a full article on all the best road trip snacks to bring that both adults and kids will love. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Energy Balls
  2. Trail Mix
  3. Fruit and Veggie Sticks & dip
  4. Cheese and Crackers
  5. Apple Pear Muffins
  6. Jerky, Beef Sticks
  7. Potato Chips
  8. Plantain Chips
  9. Lara Bars
  10. Moon Cheese
  11. Seaweed Snacks
  12. Gluten-Free Bars – We like these mini Gluten-Free Bars 


Who doesn’t drink too much on the road because they are avoiding using restrooms at pull-outs or gas stations? I’m guilty of this too, but this often leads me to crankiness and wicked headaches, sooo…… Do as I say, not as I do (said Parents everywhere).

Staying hydrated is super important. While water should be the number one choice, sometimes you need a little something different like:

  1. Herbal Tea
  2. Coconut water
  3. Water with crushed berries, or cucumber slices, or lemon
  4. No sugar added fruit juices 
  5. Flavoured Sparkling water 
  6. Smoothies
  7. Almond / Oat / Soy Milk

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Road Trip Food Tips

With so much to do when planning a road trip, it’s sometimes hard to be prepared when it comes to food. Beyond throwing a bunch of items into the cooler and food bag and hoping for the best. Let’s give you a few tips to make packing a bit easier:

  • Bread: Bring wraps, pitas and flatbreads – they take up less room, and won’t get squished like bread loaves
  • Perishables: Eat your perishables and more fragile fruits first (bananas, raspberries, pre-cut fruit like melons, pineapple, mango etc.)
  • Freeze Water bottles: When hot out, freeze a couple of the water bottles the night before. They’ll keep your cooler cold, and give cold water to drink as they melt.
  • Pre-Make Meals & Portion Out: Pre-make meals, and portion them out in mason jars or reusable plastic or glass containers.
  • Cooler Tips:
    • Place your cooler somewhere cool the night before, or pre-chill the cooler for up to 12 hours with ice / ice packs you won’t be using on your trip. 
    • Lay solid blocks of ice or reusable ice packs on the bottom, plus put a layer of ice on the top
    • Pack the cooler full – too much space helps the inside heat up faster
    • Freeze food you won’t need for a couple of days, and use frozen water bottles to help keep the inside colder, longer
    • Try to limit the number of times you open the cooler in the day.
    • Pack your food in order of when you want to eat it, leaving the next day or two’s meals on top. 
  • Garbage Bag for the car: Having a designated garbage bag for the car, will keep the garbage contained, and your car organized.
  • Clean-Up Kit:  Bring a clean up kit. Kids, adults, toddlers all on occasion make messes. Having a clean-up kit handy just in case is good practice. Include wipes, paper towel, extra water, and an easily accessible change of clothes.
  • Storage: To keep things organized, use small stackable Rubbermaid containers to pack your non-perishables.
Road Trip Cooler full of food, apples, deli meat, cheese, carrots.
Cooler full of yummy road trip food essentials
Photo: “fishysam via canva.com”

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Road Trip Essentials – What To Add To Your Road Trip Packing List

Now that we’ve got the meals all planned out, and the best road trip SNACKS organized  let’s move on to the non-food items you’ll need to add to your road trip packing list. 

Reusable Items

Our goal is to reduce our impact on the earth whatever mode of travel. Bringing reusable items on our trips to cut down on waste is one simple way to do this. If you make it part of your routine, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it becomes.

Here are some other reusable items to pack for your road trip:

Storage & Cleaning Supplies

  • Cooler
  • Reusable Ice Packs 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper Towels & Wet Wipes 

Travel Backpacks

You will definitely want to make sure you and your kids have their own travel backpack for the trip.

A good travel backpack can be multipurpose, for hiking, storing road trip activities and entertainment, plus give easy access to a couple of snacks, and a handy change of clothes.

Best Road Trip Coolers

Coolers provide more flexibility with the types of meals and snacks  you can bring on your trips. We think they are a road trip essential, without a doubt. Before choosing one, there are a few things to consider:

  • How long is your trip?
  • Which meals will you be packing from home?
  • How often will you have access to a grocery store?
  • How much space do you have in your vehicle? Where do you want to put the cooler?

Answers to these questions will give you an idea of the size and cooling ability needed from your cooler. We’ve put together a list of the best coolers to try, that are easily available on Amazon.

Best Overall Cooler ( Size and Holds the Cold) – Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler

The Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler is narrow, so it easily fits behind the seat, is well insulated, which holds the cold, and is lighter than previous versions. It can also be transformed into a stool if you buy the cushion. It’s a bit of an invesment, so a good buy if you are planning on using it a lot.

Best Afforable Family Cooler – Coleman 316

The Coleman 316 Cooler is a top pick for size, flexibility and price. It can hold a lot of food and ice, which can be kept cool at higher temps for 2-3 days. Perfect for shorter trips, or if you plan on replenishing your food / ice every few days.

Best Soft Sided Cooler – TOURIT Leak-Proof Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack

The Tourit Leak Proof soft-sided backpack is an excellent option for shorter road trips or if you are planning a picnic or day at the beach. This leak-proof high-density insulated backpack can keep food cold for up to 3 days. It also has side pockets for extra storage.

Tips to Prepare For Your Road Trip

Anything you can do the day or two beforehand to prep your food, and pack your non-perishables, do it. This will save rushing around at the last minute, and forgetting important things like your water bottles.

We recommend doing the following ahead of time:

  • Make a Shopping list and meal plan.
  • Check off the items as you pack them. 
  • Wash and cut veggies and fruit
  • Prepare sandwiches, meat slices, cheese slices
  • Freeze meals and water bottles the night or two before
  • Prepare the snack bags or snack tote 
  • Prepare your Clean up kit
  • Pack non-perishable foods in small totes or bags
  • Pack your perishable foods in the cooler, right before you leave.

PRO TIP: Pack your car the night before you leave, to make sure everything fits. Make sure your cooler and essential road trip snacks are easily accessible. 

Conclusion: Ultimate Road Trip Food List: Easy Road Trip Meals

With over 100 delicious and easy road trip meal ideas, you will find a party in your cooler for all taste buds. Plus don’t forget that a little pre-trip planning can go a long way towards a stress free vacation.

What’s your favourite road trip meal or snack? Do you have any cool road trip meal planning hacks? Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

3 road trip meals ideas; charcuterie plate, granola with yogurt and sandwich with fruit

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