• Work With Jen
  • USA Bucket List
  • Follow Us On Instagram

Road Trip Food List: Easy to Pack Meals & Snacks

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy .

Are you looking for a road trip food list that includes the best road trip snacks and other food to bring on a road trip?

Road trips can range from being budget-friendly to out-of-this-world expensive if you do not plan ahead, especially when it comes to eating food.

The temptation to grab a snack at every gas station, as well as to eat out at restaurants or gorge on fast food, can really start to add up in terms of money and wasted time.

One way to save money and time while road tripping, however, is to bring your own food!

By making a road trip food list and packing fun road trip snacks, you’ll avoid having to stop and spend as much.

Our road trip food list includes easy road trip snacks, as well as portable breakfast, lunch, and dinner options – plus, a FREE Road Trip Food List printable to take with you to the grocery store.

The links on this page are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Road trip foods, yogurt parfait

Table of Contents

Road Trip Food List: Breakfast

One of our absolute best family road trip tips is to leave bright and early in the morning when starting a long road trip.

As the most important meal of the day, luckily, having breakfast on the road is the easiest meal to eat cold and on the go.

If you decide to hit the road early, or if your hotel en route doesn’t offer a free breakfast, plan ahead by bringing along these simple road trip breakfast foods.

Our tried-and-true road trip food list awaits!

Road Trip Breakfast Ideas

  • Yogurt tubes and granola bars
  • Muffins, donuts, and scones
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Squeezable applesauce
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Peanut butter, banana, and granola wrapped up in a tortilla
  • Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits

Additional planning tip: For added morning fun, use the category “breakfast foods”, “brands or cereal”, or “types of fruit” while you play a road trip word game .

Road trip food, colorful sandwich

Road Trip Food List: Lunch

When it comes to planning for lunch and beyond, your road trip packing list should always include a reliable portable cooler .

Whether you chill made-ahead sandwiches, salami & cheese, fruits, or veggies, there are so many awesome road trip food ideas when it comes to having lunch on the go.

What we love about these road tip lunch ideas is that they keep us out of congested cities and fast-food drive-thrus during the busy noon hour.

Road Trip Lunch Ideas

  • Premade sandwiches with deli meat and cheese (make them extra fun by using shaped sandwich cutters !)
  • Peanut butter sandwiches (skip the jelly to avoid sogginess)
  • Pita pocket with mozzarella, tomato, basil, turkey, cheese, hummus, cucumber, and/or tuna salad
  • Home-ade Lunchables with summer sausage, cheese, and crackers
  • Tortilla with cream cheese, sliced olives, and pepperoni
  • Veggies and single-serve packs of ranch dressing, hummus, or guacamole
  • Pre-assembled Salad In A Jar

Road Trip Food List: Dinner

If there is one meal that you choose to splurge on, I recommend stopping to have dinner at a roadside restaurant or cafe.

Though this may not be your final destination, experiencing another city in this way will help you check more places off of your family travel bucket list !

If you’re not keen on stopping, however, here are the road trip foods we enjoy that are tasty and hearty enough to serve as dinner.

Road trip salad

Road Trip Dinner Ideas

  • Cold rotisserie chicken, chunked and served with a garden salad (package in a disposable salad container )
  • Pre-made pasta salad, such as Pizza Pasta Salad
  • StarKist ready-to-eat tuna salad in an avocado half or on a bun
  • Chicken and pickled veggies in pitas
  • Hummus veggie wrap

Additional planning tip: If you’re road tripping in the winter when driving conditions are much more unpredictable, packing extra road trip food is an essential component of your winter road trip packing list .

The best Road Trip Food List from Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!

Road Trip Food List: Snacks

In my opinion, snacks   are the No. 1 way to keep everyone (including you!) happy on a family road trip.

Homemade snack mixes and individual pre-purchased snacks are also a great way to help cut costs associated with buying food on the road.

For this reason, I suggest assembling an entire tub filled with fun and appetizing snacks and surprises that you know your kids will love.

We use these  16-quart storage tubs from Sterilite  that are the perfect size, price, and durability!

Road Trip Snacks Ideas

  • Chips and pretzels
  • Animal crackers (Suprise them with Barnum’s Originals !)
  • Filled crackers (peanut butter, cheese)
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts)
  • String cheese, Babybel, Laughing Cow cheese wedges
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Healthy no-bake cookies
  • Candy and gummy candy

Be extra organized for your family road trip by clicking the following image to get your FREE family vacation packing list that is both customizable and printable!

Road Trip Food

Travel Snacks for Toddlers

Road tripping with toddlers presents its own set of challenges and requires additional thought when it comes to toddler-friendly road trip activities and food.

(It’s much harder to keep a close eye on them when they’re in the backseat, and you’re in the front.)

When considering toddler road trip foods, the most important thing is to avoid giving them anything to eat that could be deemed a choking hazard.

In addition, opt for healthy versus overly sweet options that may give them a tummy ache.

Our favorite healthy toddler car snacks and road trip foods include:

  • Graham crackers
  • Snap pea crisps
  • Applesauce and/or yogurt pouches
  • Cheese sticks
  • Soft mini muffins
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Bananas and/or this apple slices

Road trip sick bag essentials

9 Essential Tips For Traveling With Food

As seasoned travelers, we’ve assembled a list of tips for traveling with road trip foods and make-ahead hotel room meals.

  • Use up your most delicate fruit first when on long-haul road trips.

In other words, start by eating bananas and berries, then move on to more sturdy produce such as apples and oranges that don’t spoil as easily.

2. Every family needs an organized packing strategy !

When it comes to road trip food, tortillas, pitas, or other sturdy flatbreads work better to bring along than do loaves of bread. They take up a lot less room and do not risk getting smashed.

3. When packing a cooler with items that need to stay chilled, be sure to lay the ice on the top, versus the bottom of the cooler.

This is because cold air sinks and will, therefore, disperse itself more evenly if laid on top of the food.

4. Aim to open the cooler only 1 or 2 times a day in order to maintain its refrigeration and keep the ice from thawing.

5. Also, make all food, including snacks, easily accessible throughout the duration of your family road trip.

This prevents someone (likely mom or dad!) from having to constantly bend over the back seat or stop to open the trunk every time hunger or boredom hits.

6. Avoid bringing anything made of glass on your road trip, including glass food containers. Glass is heavy, bulky, and very dangerous when broken within the confines of your family vehicle.

7. Assemble and bring along a road trip kit with the following road trip essentials for spills, clean-ups, and car sickness:

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags
  • Ziplock bags
  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Saltine crackers and motion sickness medicine

8. Each time you stop while on a road trip, don’t forget to pitch any garbage that has accumulated.

This prevents build-up and smelliness.

9. Head to the grocery store with our FREE printable checklist and purchase all of your road trip food in one shopping trip!

Road tripping is one of our favorite family vacations!  Get our awesome road trip food list that includes ideas for meals and snacks on-the-go and a printable checklist to take to the grocery store!  #roadtripfoodlist #bestroadtripfoods #roadtripsnackideas #toddlerroadtripsnacks #healthyroadtripsnacks #roadtripmeals

If you enjoyed reading our best Road Trip Food List , click here to check out our Related Posts:

  • Top 10 Tips for Planning a Family Road Trip (And Enjoying it Too!)
  • 7 Road Trip Word Games to Play in the Car With Kids
  • 18 Amazing “Are We There Yet” Road Trip Activity Bags
  • Top 16 Tips for Flying With Kids & Ways to Keep them Calm
  • The Ultimate Guide for International Travel with Kids
  • 8 (Unexpected) Benefits of Traveling With Kids

*Before leaving, be sure to check our  Travel Resources Page  to find our exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

Pin it!

Jen Brommer is a family travel expert. She has been featured as an authority on several notable travel websites and is a member of the Family Travel Association (FTA), Midwest Travel Network, and TravMedia global media network.

A prominent content creator and influencer on Instagram, Jen has over 150K unique monthly blog readers from countries all over the world. She has spent the last 16 years planning fun, and hassle-free family vacations for her family of 5.

Similar Posts

9 Best Restaurants in Canal Park Duluth, MN Everyone Will Love!

9 Best Restaurants in Canal Park Duluth, MN Everyone Will Love!

7 Differences Between VRBO vs. Airbnb:  A Full Comparison

7 Differences Between VRBO vs. Airbnb: A Full Comparison

Our Ultimate Disney Packing List:  9 Things You Absolutely Can’t Forget to Bring

Our Ultimate Disney Packing List: 9 Things You Absolutely Can’t Forget to Bring

5 Exciting Northeast Winter Weekend Getaways for Epic Winter Fun

5 Exciting Northeast Winter Weekend Getaways for Epic Winter Fun

Our BIG List of Things to Bring to the Beach in 2024!

Our BIG List of Things to Bring to the Beach in 2024!

Disney Fastpass Secrets:  Best Tips and Strategies for Booking Disney Fastpasses

Disney Fastpass Secrets: Best Tips and Strategies for Booking Disney Fastpasses

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the road trip food list and travel tips.

You’re welcome! Was there something you saw that you hadn’t thought of before? Happy travels!!

This is a great list as we also big in road trip. Snacks is so important especially to keep them from asking are we there yet. Haha… I myself like peanuts to keep me awake when it’s my turn to drive.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your favorite road trip snack!!

This is such a comprehensive list and it is so helpful as I predict a lot of us will be going on more road trips once we can. Prepping these meals will definitely save some money and help the kids feel less bored. I know that my kids are usually pleased munching stuffs during road trips. I also like that it is more likely for the road trip snack to be more healthier than what you’ll buy elsewhere.

Thank you! Yes, the health factor of pre-packing is a big one, as is the enormous cost savings 🙂

I like to have a good mix of healthy (kids like apples, those are easy to eat) and snacky/salty. I am also very particular. about road trip drinks. Big coffees, la croix, iced tea!

I like your ideas! We’d be good road trip buddies!

Find Even More

Find your next vacation destination!

Connect on Instagram

Find out where we’re traveling now!

Jen and family sitting on couch smiling at each other.

Make the memories now

You don’t have to wait until your kids are more grown up or you have a ton of money saved to start traveling.

With a little planning and a lot of love, lifelong family vacation memories can be made at all ages, stages – and places both near and far.


  • Attractions
  • Girls’ Trips
  • U.S. Cities
  • All-Inclusive Resorts
  • Universal Orlando

Free Printable

Free packing list printable when you subscribe for the latest travel updates!

Travel With A Plan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Family Vacation Packing List!

Travel With A Plan

  • Privacy Overview
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.

Live A Wilder Life

THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP FOOD LIST: 50 Scrumptious Travel Snacks

Post Summary: The definitive road trip food list with 50 snack ideas and meals to keep you happy the entire car ride. Plus, tips for what else to bring and recommendations for the best road trip coolers.

Road trips are the classic adventure that everyone needs to do at least once in their life, whether you’re traveling solo, with your best buds, or packing in the whole family. What’s the secret to a great road trip? Besides having your maps already downloaded to your phone (travel must #1), it’s to have a collection of the best road trip food at your disposal. Being prepared with good travel food will ensure you don’t:

  • Kill your travel mates because you’re hangry.
  • Get killed by your travel mates because they’re hangry.
  • Get lured in by every gasoline stop and somehow end up with bright orange Cheetos and Slim Jims.
  • Waste your travel budget dining on Subway and Wendys road trip meals.

After road tripping with a toddler for half a year around the US, we’ve figured out the ultimate road trip food list so we can enjoy the journey together feeling nourished and happy. Our list includes road trip food ideas for adults and kids as well as healthy car snacks.

After the road trip food list, we’ve included non-food items you’ll want to bring and some tips on choosing the best road trip cooler.

Need More Road Trip Tips? Check out our other articles below:

The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: 41 Essentials For The Road 160 Fun, Deep, and Sometimes Silly Road Trip Questions 41 Fun and Challenging Road Trip Trivia Questions 17+ Fun Things To Do On A Road Trip How To Survive A Road Trip With A Toddler 40 Must Have Items To Have In Your Camper

*This road trip food list post may contain affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you purchase from them. This is at no extra cost to you! We only recommend products and services we genuinely think are helpful.

The Ultimate Road Trip Food List

prepared food on top of a map

Healthy snacks for a road trip

We’ll start with healthy snacks for the road. I don’t know about you, but when we go on road trips, we tend to fall back on fast food and junk food. In an effort to have a quasi healthy road trip we make sure to include some healthy options so we can at least feel like we’ve balanced out all our snickers bars and Wendy’s frosties. Here’s our list of the best road trip foods that won’t leave you feeling sluggish at the end of the day. We also added in a few recommendations of some of our favorite brands.

Healthy Snacks For Car Rides 1. Fruit: Bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, apples, oranges 2. Sliced veggies: carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, pickles, radishes 3. Cherry tomatoes 4. Olives (buy the pitted kinds) 5. Salsa 6. Deli sandwiches or wraps (already made from home or pre-purchased) 7. A simple charcuterie spread (summer sausage, pepperoni, sliced cheese, dried apricots, olives, crackers, etc.) 8. Popcorn 9. Yellow corn chips, blue corn chips, kale chips 10. Granola Bars and Energy Bars ( Munk Bars are our favorite! ) 11. Dried Fruit 12. Crackers (cheese crackers, saltines, whole wheat crackers, these almond crackers are my favorite!) 13. Pretzels 14. Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pecans) 15. Trail mix 16. Tuna (Get the kind that doesn’t need to be refrigerated! It can become a snack on crackers, a sandwich, or added to a salad) 17. Coconut chips ( Dang chips are our favorite. ) 18. Dark chocolate 19. Wasabi peas 20. Fruit leather 21. Whole-grain muffins 22. Bread (pretzel rolls, pita bread) 23. Water (Preferably in a water bottle like a Hydro Flask that will keep your water cold for hours.) *The following are all still healthy snacks for a road trip but will require a cooler. Skip them if you are going sans cooler. Further down, we’ll talk about the best road trip coolers. 23. Hard-boiled eggs 24. Small yogurt containers or drinkable yogurts 25. Humus 26. Guacamole 27. Pasta salad 28. Lentil salad 29. Grocery store salad kits (Can be eaten out of the bag! Just cut the top, pour in the salad dressing, and shake it away. You can also opt to do salads in a jar) 30. Cheese

Essential Road Trip Snacks

Pile of potato chips for a road trip

These road trip snacks might not be the healthiest, but look…you can’t always be perfect!

Road Trip Snack List 32. Beef Jerky 33. Chips 34. Fun candy (Any kind of candy that brings you joy for your road trip. Gummy bears, reeses pieces, airheads) 35. Ranch dip to go with your healthy veggies 36. Fun drinks (Just make sure the drink is able to be resealed or small enough that you’ll drink it all quickly. My favorite road trip drink is coconut water!) 37. Cookies

Road Trip Snacks For Kids And Toddlers

While we don’t put a distinction between road trip food for the adults and road trip food for kids, here are some fun ideas you can add in addition to the travel food listed above. We found that allowing for leniency with what we let our kid snack on will mean a more fun time for everyone in the car.

Road Trip Snacks For Toddlers and Kids 38. String Cheese or Babybels 39. Peanut butter pretzels 40. Clementines 41. Squeezable applesauce 42. Squeezable nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter) 43. Graham crackers 44. Goldfish 45. Fruit snacks 46. Fruit roll ups 47. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 48. Dry cereal 49. Nutella 50. Snap pea crisps ( I love the wasabi ones from Harvest Snaps . I can only get them online because my grocery store never has them!)

Essential Non Food Items

Utensils and napkins for a road trip

Now that you’ve got your travel food and made your road trip food list, let’s talk about non food items to have on your road trip packing list. We are both advocates for minimal waste living so we do advise using reusable items like real utensils, glass containers, and reusable straws rather than single-use items. I know it can feel like a nuisance, but once you get used to doing it, it’s easy to integrate it into your habits. We’ve provided links to different products, so you can check out some good options.

-Trash bags (old shopping bags work well) – Stackable glass or plastic containers (While glass may feel like a hazard, I find that most of them are built for endurance and would require some extreme throwing around to actually break. Either way, bringing containers rather than an entire bag of snacks is a great space saver.) -Reusable straws (we like this multipack option here ) -Bento boxes (another option is to make individual bento boxes with everyone’s preferred snacks put in. It’s essentially a healthier version of a Lunchable. Great option if you’re traveling with kids.) Check out these cute bento boxes here . -Utensils -Plates -Paper towels -Hand sanitizer -Ziplock bags -Wipes -Cups if you want to share drinks -Ice packs for the cooler (We prefer to use reusable ice packs like these , but frozen water bottles or ice cubes in a ziplock back will do the job as well.) -Reusable grocery bag to carry your non-perishable stuff -Plastic tub (If you’re going on a long road trip and will have lots of snacks, a good option is to pack all your non-perishable items in a tub like this .) -Cooler

Related : A Comprehensive Guide To the Best Toddler Carriers For Traveling

Best Road Trip Coolers

quick travel food

If you’re going on a long road trip, you’ll definitely want to bring a cooler so you can have more options for the journey. Things to consider when deciding what kind of road trip cooler to bring.

  • How much space will you have in your car?
  • How many days will you be driving and subsequently how much food will you need?
  • Cost of the cooler
  • If you road trip or camp a lot and will use a cooler several times a year.

Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, Tan

Our choice for the best road trip cooler is the Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler . It’s a mid-sized cooler that can fit a bottle of wine standing upright. We like its lightweight design and that its compact size can fit on the ground behind the passenger seat.

It has a mid-range price point, so if you are wanting something more economical, you’ll probably want our next pick.

Igloo MaxCold Cooler

Igloo Maxcold 40-100 Qt Commercially Insulated Coolers

If all you need is a no-frills cooler to keep your food cold, the Igloo Maxcold Cooler is a great option. The thin design also makes it a great choice for someone wanting to save room in the car.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler - 30 Can Zipperless Hardbody Cooler - Navy Blue with Deep Freeze Insulation, HardBody Liner, and SmartShelf

If you like a soft cooler, the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze consistently offers the best bang for your buck.

Yeti Tundra 45

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, Navy

Lastly, if you are wanting a high-end cooler that will be great for camping and can take the wear and tear of consistent use, the Yeti Tundra 45 is your best bet. Yeti is the reigning champion of coolers and you can’t go wrong with anything you purchase from them.

Before you head out on your epic road trip, we suggest packing the night before. Alleviating as much stress as possible on the day you leave, especially when you’re doing a road trip with a toddler , is key to enjoying the road trip journey. We find that the night before, it’s best to:

  • Wash, cut, and peel all vegetables and fruit.
  • Pack up all non perishable food and supplies.
  • Prepare any road trip sandwiches you plan to eat.

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure all your tasty road trip snacks are within reaching distance in the car.

We hope you enjoyed our complete road trip food list. Happy road tripping!

** For more road trip inspiration follow us on Instagram . We travel… a lot.

NEED SOME TRAVEL INSPIRATION? A Complete Guide To A Utah National Parks Road Trip How To Plan A Cross Country Road Trip + Fun Routes To Take 10 National Parks To Visit In The East 50 Family Bucket List Experiences In The US


quick travel food

Hi, we’re Christina and Brad, Idaho based writers and photographers who live to explore. We did a short stint of traveling full time with our two year old and discovered we're much happier as part time nomads. What does that mean? We travel a lot! And then we go home. We love helping fellow parents and everyday adventurers discover new places and experiences.

Similar Posts









A Family Guide to Shenandoah National Park With Kids

A Family Guide to Shenandoah National Park With Kids



Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Adventure: Get all my insider tips for motorhoming & road trips

Wandering Bird Motorhome travel vanlife & road trip logo

25 Easy Make-Ahead Road Trip Meal Ideas they’ll love!

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Planning a road trip? Looking for easy, make-ahead meal ideas, whether for a weekend break or a longer trip? Or maybe you want some easy recipes for meals on the road? Here are 25 great ideas for you!

*We work hard to make this the best motorhome travel blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own .

If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)


Easy Make-Ahead Road Trip Meals

I’ll be honest- planning meals for a road trip is one of the things I dislike most.

Don’t get me wrong- I like cooking and I DEFINITELY like eating … but I am not good at creating a meal plan.

I also have a daughter who has gone from eating whatever we give her to being more and more particular about what she likes- and she’d rather not eat at all than eat something she doesn’t love. At home, it’s pretty easy to cook separate meals, but in the van, it becomes a whole different issue- and it makes the process of meal planning a lot harder.

Why plan meals on a road trip at all??

Oh, I hear you. In an ideal world, we’d just head off into the unknown and see what we find. One of the things we enjoy most about travelling is sampling local foods and dishes and enjoying discovering new things.

Both Mr WB and myself are fairly easy to please and can make do with all sorts, but anyone with kids knows that it’s just not that easy. I also don’t want to spend my time on the road worrying about whether she’ll eat anything- so it makes MY life easier if I plan it out a little in advance.

Make planning your next road trip EASY (& fun!)

When you’re planning a road trip, keeping track & organising all your ideas is often the hardest part. Fix that TODAY with our printable pdf road trip planner. Grab yours FREE now

quick travel food

This form subscribes you to our mailing list. We share tips, itineraries, stupid mistakes and guides like this for road trippers and motorhomers.

We never spam (yuck) and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Road Trip Meal Planning

So, where do you even start with planning meals for a road trip??

For me, I break it down into 2/3 day intervals. Generally, we like to pop into a shop and buy fresh bread, fruit and other bits every 2/3 days. We don’t do MASSIVE week long shops when we travel- our fridge is nowhere near big enough to deal with that and there’s the worry about what happens if you lose power or gas? All that food will go to waste.

Of course, if you’re only going to a weekend, you can easily make-ahead several dishes and just heat them up- much easier.

TOP TIP for picky eaters- Make them choose some meals

One way I tackle our favourite picky eater is to get her to pick 5-7 dinners she will eat. (Annoyingly, this seems to change every week or so!) I also make her come shopping with me- I find if she chooses it, there’s a higher chance she’ll eat it.

While we’re on the subject of kids, here are some posts you might find useful:

  • 21 EPIC Children’s car games & road trip activities
  • 14 quiet time activities for kids, tweens and teenagers

Our Normal Road Trip Food shopping method

On a ‘normal’ two-week road trip to mainland Europe, this is my tried and trusted routine:

  • Buy stuff in UK which we struggle to get overseas (see below)
  • Make-ahead meals for first night or two
  • Buy things as you travel (at local markets, supermarkets or Lidl)
  • Do this every couple of days so we can buy fresh bread, fruit and croissants! Yum!!
  • Try to ignore jeans not doing up….!! 
  • Remember that people eat EVERYWHERE and try not to overbuy before you leave the UK.

This system has worked fairly well for us. It’s allowed us to discover new things, let Jade choose what she fancies and my stress levels don’t get too high trying to plan out a whole weeks worth of meals.

What about perishable foods?

We have a fridge which works both whilst we’re driving (battery) and when we’re parked up (gas). So we bring a small amount of perishable food with us- milk, cheese, ham, meat, yogurt, fruit, bacon.

We don’t buy too much in case there is a problem and the fridge breaks- it’s always been a little tempermental and is the part of the motorhome I trust the least!!

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Easy Road Trip Recipes

When I’m on a road trip, especially if it’s a holiday, I don’t want to spend hours of my time in the galley, prepping, washing, chopping, cooking and washing up!

Here are a few easy recipes we use and love. Most only use one pot and many can be made in advance if you prefer.

5 easy road trip Breakfast ideas

  • Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Muesli/ cereal
  • Scrambled eggs in a wrap or on toast (toast is HARD to cook on a gas hob though!)
  • Bacon/ sausage sandwich (bring your own bacon from the UK. Alternatively, look in European supermarkets- but it won’t look the same. It’s usually much thinner and cooks MUCH faster.)
  • One Pan English Breakfast 

Note how those went from fairly healthy to full-on delicious! I’m making myself hungry!

10 easy Lunch ideas for a road trip

We tend to do lunch as we travel- or if we’re exploring we’ll treat ourselves to a cheeky lunch out. Just don’t do that at Neuschwanstein Castle ! ( Jeez- you thought Norway was expensive!!!! )

  • Fresh crusty bread and… anything. Cheese, ham, tuna, butter, garlic cheese, crisps, chicken, leftover beef, fish fingers…
  • Salad. We try and add some fruit or salad in where possible- we’ll pretend to be healthy every once in a while! If we’re parked up I love to fry up some chicken and pop it onto a quick salad with avocado, tomatoes and peppers. Or try these delicious healthy salad recipes . TOP TIP- WASH your salad. Even the ones in bags. They don’t always wash it in Europe. It also doesn’t seem to last as long (that might be the heat) so don’t over buy.
  • Grilled Cheese (see below for recipe)
  • Couscous (see below)

I have still not found a decent way to make toast in the van. It’s an ongoing process that I will continue to work at! Still, Grilled Cheese sandwiches are a perfect snack:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Sliced Bread
  • Cheese (Cheddar and Mozzarella work well)

Butter bread thinly and put butter side down into hot frying pan (not too hot and use butter, not oil.) Add slices of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Add other slice of bread on top, butter side up. After a couple of minutes (when bottom slice is brown but not burnt), flip sandwich over. Grill for a couple of minutes. For an extra touch, transfer sandwich to oven tray and bake in oven at 170’c for 5-7 minutes until cheese is totally melted.

Burritos are basically large wraps, with beans and/ or rice added into the wrap. One of the easiest ones is the bean and cheese burrito, but you can easily add in meat, sauces and any leftovers you might have.


  • 1 whole-grain tortilla wrap
  • 1 medium-sized can of black beans (cook in advance if needed)
  • Cheese- sliced or grated

Simply spread ingredients over wrap, fold in all ends tightly and enjoy!

5 Easy Road Trip Sandwich ideas

Sometimes, simple is best. Here are some easy road trip sandwich ideas:

  • Sausage or Bacon Sandwich – great for breakfast or lunch!
  • Ham/Chicken/ Salami Sandwich – with or without cheese
  • Jam or Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Egg Mayo Sandwich
  • Tuna sandwich

Couscous is magical. Lighter than rice and so versatile. I make a big helping of this and it lasts for lunch and dinner quite happily.

The trick is to double the amount of liquid to cous cous. One cup couscous= 2 cups stock. I love to use chicken or vegetable stock. Nothing fancy; those little cubes in some boiling water are just fine. Stir until the cube disolves, then pour it over the couscous. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. The beauty of this is you can add whatever you like to it. We like lemon, mint, feta, avocado, red peppers, spring onions, celery… the list is endless. I generally make a bowl of plain couscous and we each add different fillings to it.

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

10 easy or make-ahead road trip meals for dinner

Ahhhh… now this is the fun part. Everyone’s been driving in the exact same motorhome for several hours… and as soon as you arrive somewhere and the van is parked up for the night, they all turn to you and ask ‘what’s for dinner?’…!

All of these recipes take no more than 30 minutes or you can make many of them ahead for the first few days of the trip.

TOP TIP- Be kind to yourself. Many people dislike ‘pre-made’ sauces, feeling that they’re ‘cheating’ if they don’t cook everything from scratch. But it’s your trip too, so don’t be judgemental about sauces from a jar. Yes, there might be a bit more sugar or salt- but it’s a heck of a lot better than a pizza or McDonalds. So be kind to yourself and make things easy.

Some easy or make-ahead meal ideas for dinners on the road:

  • 3-way mince (Bolognaise, Chilli, Savoury)- can be made in the slow cooker

Spanish Omelette

  • Easy make-ahead taco Bowl

Chicken Quinoa

  • Pea/ Pesto Pasta

Cheats Pizza

3-way mince: bolognese, chilli or savoury.

Here’s the recipe for 3 way mince bulk cooking. You can get savoury mince, bolognese and chilli from 1 pack of mince. It’s the perfect ‘make-ahead’ recipe and is very easy to heat up on the road.

1 pack of 500g mince makes 5 meals: 2 x savoury mince 2 x chilli 1 x bolognese

Start with chopped onion, pepper, garlic and grated carrot all in one large pan with a little oil (or butter) until softened.

Split the mix between 3 pans & add the mince. Cut it long ways in the packet before adding so it’s easier to break up in the pan.

You can add any vegetables at this point. Previously I’ve used courgette, mushrooms and aubergine, all finely chopped. You can get 6/7/8 kinds of vegetables in there!

Brown the mince on a low to medium heat so it doesn’t clump together, break it up with a spoon as it cooks.  Add the seasoning to the chilli pan (cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic powder and paprika) and garlic powder to the savoury mince & bolognese pans. 

Once browned, strain peas & sweetcorn (one small can of corn & 1 small can of peas and add to savoury mince pan.

Add one can of chopped tomatoes to the chilli pan & 1 to the bolognese, stir through. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add to the chilli. I used half a can of beans, I’ll save the rest for a salad.

Rinse the tomato cans out with a little water & add to the savoury mince pan. Stir in Bisto granules (or beef stock & maybe cornflour or thickener as needed). Add a little Worcestershire sauce & pepper to taste.

Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary.

Divide & eat, or store in the fridge until ready.

Many thanks to Phillippa from PhilyaBelly for the recipe – follow her on Instagram

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Serve with:

  • Spaghetti, rice or potatoes.
  • Garlic or crusty bread
  • Grated cheese
  • Side salad if your family will eat it.

I LOVE this Spanish Omelette. It’s so easy to make and only uses one pan.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Heat the oil in large frying pan. Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Put the slices in the pan with the onion & garlic. Cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender, turning them occasionally. Beat the eggs.

When the potato and onion mixture is cooked, add it to the eggs and mix together. Heat another spoon of oil in the pan, and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Pour the egg, onion & potato mixture into the pan.

The essence of this dish is slow cooking and it should take about 20 minutes. When there is no liquid left turn omelette over for 2 minutes. It’s now ready to serve and eat! Delicious- perfect with salad or french loaf.

Lamb Kebabs

Take 500g (4 people) of lean lamb mince and add spices (salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika… whatever you like!) Mould into balls or around a skewer and cook on BBQ or in oven until browned.

If using BBQ and wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes first.

Serve with Tzatziki- Greek yogurt, mint, lemon and cucumber

Easy make-ahead Taco bowl

  • 1 can of beef
  • ½ of a small jar of salsa
  • Bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 avocado/ guacamole

Warm beef and cook beans as directed on label. Mix and add on top of chips (can be warmed in oven) Add Salsa, avocado/ guacamole, sour cream and grated cheese as desired (we pop the whole thing in the oven to melt the cheese.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp. herb de Provence (or any herbs)
  • 1 cup. quinoa
  • 1/4 cup. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup. olive oil
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 cup. rocket/ lettuce/ salad
  • 2/3 cup. olives, quartered
  • 12 oz. tomatoes, halved
  • Season chicken breasts with herbs, salt and pepper. Grill 3 minutes per side on medium-high or until cooked through.
  • Cook quinoa as label directs.
  • Mix vinegar, olive oil, green onions, Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss half of the vinaigrette with cooked quinoa, salad/ rocket, tomatoes and olives. Serve chicken over quinoa with remaining vinaigrette.

Pea / Pesto Pasta

  • Pasta  
  • fresh or frozen peas
  • Chopped chives, for serving
  • Cook pasta. Drain and return pasta to pot. 
  • While pasta is cooking, roughly chop 1 cup peas. Add ricotta and lemon zest and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add ricotta mixture, remaining 1/2 cup peas, and pasta water; toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired.

Alternatively, cook pasta, add several large spoons of pesto and some grated cheese and mix well.

Salmon with rice and vegetables

We eat salmon a lot- it’s very good for you.

Grill (or use a low-wattage air fryer ) and serve with rice, couscous (see above) and vegetables.

Sure, you can make your own dough and add toppings- and if that works for you, then go for it. However, we cheat.

  • Grab 2 pitta breads per person and pop them under the grill
  • You want them warm, but not ‘crispy’
  • Turn over, and spread with pesto (green or red)
  • Add mozzarella cheese, ham, salami, mushrooms… whatever you like!
  • Grill until bubbling

If you’d like more inspiration, here are a couple of our favourite camping cookbooks:

The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 wheels, Cooking on 2 rings

Healthy Road Trip Snacks

We’ve done an entire post on 15 quick & healthy road trip snacks (many of them Keto friendly) but here are a couple more ideas for you:

  • 1 large can of tuna
  • ½ cup of cranberries
  • A packet of whole-grain crackers

First, take the tuna out from the can and empty it into a bowl. Next, mash a whole avocado and add it with the cranberries into the tuna. Use whole-grain crackers to dip into your tuna.

Apple Cookies

  • 2 green apples
  • Peanut butter
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Almond slices

Cut an apple into slices that resemble a cookie, then layer the rest of the ingredients in between two slices to make the snack look like an apple sandwich. The snack will stay fresh in an ice cooler for two days.

Barabrith – great snack for afternoon tea!

Other things:

Whilst we’re on the subject, don’t forget to bring:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Big scrubbing pad for BBQ if using
  • cleaning supplies
  • Kitchen roll
  • Bottle/ can opener
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Tea/ coffee/ sugar

How else can I help you today??

  • See the BEST Road Trip Journal to record your adventures!
  • Show me essential Road Trip Accessories
  • Get 100+ essential road trip songs (+ playlist)
  • Help me plan my road trip
  • See gift ideas for road trippers

Road Trip meals- quick and easy road trip meal ideas to pack and prep for adults, couples & families.

Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.

Find out how she went from stuck in the rat race to being a digital nomad and inspiring thousands of people to have their own epic adventures here.

If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.

Last update on 2024-04-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

15 Quick and Healthy road trip snacks to buy on the go (Keto approved!)

15 Quick and Healthy road trip snacks to buy on the go (Keto approved!)

3 Easy & Warming Winter Meals to Make in Your Camper

3 Easy & Warming Winter Meals to Make in Your Camper

10 ways to stay fit on a road trip

10 ways to stay fit on a road trip

Hi Kat I’ve not tried these yet but they get a good review on Amazon. As I’ve bought the barbecue you recommended in your blogs I thought I would try to keep my new BBQ clean as I absolutely hate scrubbing it after use. Just bought a pack to try on our trip to France in September BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 5 Beeway® Non Stick Barbecue Baking Mats for Charcoal, Gas or Electric Grill – Heat Resistant, Reusable and Easy to Clean, FDA Aproved – Bonus 12″ Just thought you may also find these useful

They look amazing- let me know how you find them 🙂

The https://wandering-bird.com website is one of the best we have found, and the 15 Easy Road Trip Meal Ideas article is very well written and useful! Thanks and kisses! 🙂

I recommend a ridge monkey for camper van cooking. You can cook chicken breasts, steaks, poach eggs, bake a cake, make an omelette, and it also makes great toast!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Let's Roam Explorer

41 No-Cook Meals for Your Next Travel Adventure

We’ve challenged ourselves to come up with the easiest dishes to prepare on a trip. You’ll love these no-cook meals for traveling!

quick travel food

Let’s be real … nobody wants to cook on their vacation. However, it isn’t economical to eat out every meal, and if you are off the grid camping, then you can’t anyway. Luckily, there are lots of great no-cook meals for traveling out there! They might take a bit of preparation beforehand, and you’ll definitely need a cooler or refrigerator of some sort, but it can be done! 

While the options for minimal-cook or prepare-before-hand meals are endless, we are going to challenge ourselves today. For this guide, we will only use only recipes that you need absolutely no heat source for, once you’re on the road.  That’s not to say, you couldn’t modify some of them to make even better meals cooked over a campfire or stove—like s’mores! 

App-Guided Travel Adventures

While you’re traveling, don’t forget to download our app and search for nearby scavenger hunts ! Each adventure is designed to help you get to know new places and learn fun facts. Search through hundreds of tours , pub crawls , art walks, and ghost hunts and find one perfect for you!

No-Cook Breakfast Meals for Traveling

​Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? It certainly is if you plan on taking a long hike or spending the day in one of the blazing hot national parks of the Western United States. While packaged doughnuts are totally an option, let’s what else we can find!

1. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a simple and nutritious way to start the day. All you need is something to keep them cold. There are a million ways to make overnight oats.  Most recipes call for milk of some sort, your favorite nut butter, and then embellishments. For a banana bread flavor, try oats, almond butter, milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Mix, and allow to sit in the refrigerator or cooler overnight. You want your mixture to be fluid and runny, as the oats will absorb the milk overnight. Add cut bananas in the morning and enjoy! Many people choose to add flax seeds, yogurt, or chia seeds for extra protein. There’s no wrong way to do it, whatever ingredients you have on hand will do!

2. Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Chilled peanut butter balls are not only an amazing-tasting snack but they’re also packed with protein and all the sugar you need for a long hike. You can make them before you leave the house, and just throw them in the cooler. Five easy ingredients of chocolate chips, ground flaxseed, peanut butter or other nut butter, honey, and oats are all it takes for this perfect camping trip power breakfast.

3. British Bean Bites

Sounds weird to Americans, but the brits eat cold beans and bread for breakfast all the time. Open a can of baked beans and served atop crunchy french or focaccia bread! The British version would be more akin to Showboat Pork and Beans than saucy baked beans. They’re usually in a thin, tomato sauce, not a sweet, thick BBQ sauce. 

4. Yogurt Parfaits

Low-sugar yogurt is packed with healthy protein. Add a little granola and fresh fruit for a complete breakfast. We love this one because the ingredients are available at pretty much any grocery store and can be used for other quick meals as well. A large can of rolled oats and a big tub of original Greek yogurt should be on everyone’s packing list for a road trip or camping trip. 

5. Boiled Eggs

This is the one cheater on the list. You’ll have to cook them before you leave, but boiled eggs are valuable to have around. You can at them on their own, or use them in several of the recipes on our list. Boil a batch of 12 before you leave the house, and they will keep for a few days in the cooler. Eggs will keep you full for a while, have healthy protein, and pack easily. Just peel and eat! Plus, you can use them for several of the other recipes on our list.

6. Bagels and Cream Cheese

Don’t know about you, but there’s nothing much better than an “everything bagel.” Pack a brick of cream cheese or goat cheese in your cooler, and you are good to go. You can top with blueberries for some extra anti-oxidants, or sprinkle with un-salted sunflower seeds for a little extra belly-filling protein. 

7. Banana and Peanut Butter

It’s simple, but it’s effective. Just beware with this one if you are sensitive to sugars. Bananas are a high sugar item, so you might consider pairing them with organic nut butter with no extra sugar added. Add a glass of your favorite milk, and you are good to go!

Better yet …

8. Banana Cereal

Nope, we don’t mean put bananas on your cereal, we mean make banana cereal. This was grandma’s specialty. We loved it, and your kids will love it, assuming they like bananas. Cut up the banana in thin slices, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and douse in milk. Eat up!

9. Avocado toast

There’s nothing you can’t do with the superfood avocado. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it will show up everywhere on this list. It’s easy to pack, easy to find in most stores, and works to eat by itself, as a garnish, or as a spread or dip. It truly is a superfood. Since you likely won’t have a toaster, and it’s not as good on untoasted bread, consider grabbing some English muffins from the store. Mash your avocado a bit, making it soft. Spread over your muffin. Shred some of your boiled egg over the top and add a few diced tomatoes or spicy salsa … breakfast of champs!

10. Muffins

One of our favorite road trip treats is Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chocolate Chip muffins. There is just something about them that screams wreckless vacation abandon! 

11. Chia Pudding

Like overnight oats, chia pudding can be made beforehand and kept in the refrigerator. A good chia pudding base only needs 3 ingredients: Chia seeds, milk, and something sweet. For a little extra flair, combine chia seeds, your favorite milk, pureed strawberries, or another berry, and a bit of yogurt. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and the chia seeds will suck up all the liquid, expand, and turn into a kind of gelatinous pudding. Top with almonds and coconut shreds or cacao nibs for the perfect treat! Add a bit of honey if you need some sweetness. 

12. Just be gross, you’re on vacation

When all else fails, Poptarts are tasty. It’s not ideal on the health front, but there is no shame in having some easy, premade stuff on your vacation. While you certainly don’t want to eat 5 Little Debbies a day (well, you might want to, but you probably shouldn’t) it never hurts to have one. There’s nothing better to celebrate conquering that beast of a hike than a Cosmic Brownie. You earned it. If you are absolutely against big-brand packaged foods and all their harmful grossness, there are some stellar organic options out there for granola bars, breakfast bars, and even brownies. 

No-Cook Lunchtime Meals for Traveling

Lunch on a trip needs to be quick, easy, and filling. If you are traveling alone, that’s super easy, but if you need to please a whole picky family, we don’t envy you. That job is much harder. Good luck to you! Hopefully, you’ll find something below that your clan will enjoy. 

13. Charcuterie board

You’ll be the fanciest road-trippers at the RV park with this one. Cold cuts, salami, fresh cucumbers, cubed cheese, an assortment of nuts, grapes, and some tomato slices, and you have a lunch that not only fuels your body but looks super pretty! We love charcuterie boards because they’re easy to feed a lot of people with, and littles can come by and pick up a healthy bite as they play. It can be stuck in the fridge and pulled out later too, so it just works great. 

14. Egg Salad Sandwiches

You still have those boiled eggs right? Turn them into yummy egg salad and slap it on a sandwich. Pair with some potato chips, and get back on the trail!

15. Good Old Peanut Butter and Jelly

Hey, don’t knock it. It’s an American classic, and it is tasty whether you are 3 or 93. 

16. Tuna salad

Tuna salad is another protein-packed option that is easy to carry on the road. Buy some packets or cans, or better yet fresh tuna if you live somewhere you can get it. Add your favorite fixings. This tuna salad recipe with red onion, dijon mustard, and celery is super tasty! Serve with crackers or as a sandwich. It doesn’t get much easier. Tuna is handy to have around, as you can also add it to pre-bought pasta salads for a little extra protein or make tuna-stuffed avocados for dinner (later). 

17. Chicken Caesar Wraps

Chicken Caesar wraps are one of the best backpacking recipes. Whether you choose to grab a rotisserie chicken at the store before you leave or go with canned chicken, either way, it makes for a delicious meal. This chicken Caesar recipe with whole wheat tortillas , parmesan cheese, and cherry tomatoes is simple and yummy! 

18. Crab Salad

The grainy mustard and sharp cheddar in this creamy crab salad recipe make it extra delicious! However, like tuna or chicken salad, you can pretty much throw everything but the kitchen sink in a crab salad or put nothing but mayo, and it will be just fine in a pinch. Plop it in a pita bread pocket, and pair it with some fresh veggies, and you have the perfect lunch.

19. Berry Salad

Add a little extra beauty to your boring salad with some colorful berries.  Romaine lettuce topped with strawberries, blueberries, shaved almonds, and feta cheese or goat cheese is a quick, healthy camper lunch. Throw on your favorite dressing, we love this Brianna’s blueberry balsamic vinaigrette . 

20. Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Pimento cheese is one of those things that we rarely eat unless we are traveling. Grab a tub at the store and use it on sandwiches, crackers, or as a spread for fresh veggies. It also makes a good addition to veggie tortilla wraps, lettuce wraps, or pinwheels.

21. Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Here’s where those ten cans of shredded chicken you bought are going to come in handy. Chicken salad can be very plain or really fancy. We love this cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe ! For a healthier option, omit the bread and serve as a lettuce wrap!

22. Smoked Salmon Stacks

A few packets of pre-cooked salmon are also nice to have around for fish tacos, to throw on your salad for a little extra filler, or to make this tasty lunch treat. This flatbread salmon stack is an easy option that requires just a bit of meal prep, so you might want to start the night before. If that is too much work, just load up some Ritz crackers with a bit of salmon, a slice of avocado, and a dash of salt and pepper for a quick and easy lunch. 

No-Cook Dinnertime Meals for Traveling

Dinner is probably the hardest category on the list, at least for Americans. We tend to save our largest meal for the end of the day, and we generally want something warm. So, a completely no-cook dinner is out of the normal for many of us (though sandwich or cereal night is certainly not unheard of in our house)! 

23. Greek Salad

A traditional Greek salad is not only healthy and tasty, but goodness it is pretty. While recipes vary all over the Mediterranean and the Balkans, they generally consist of fresh diced tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and sometimes bell peppers, red onions, and cucumbers. You can make it any way you want, with whatever you have. Toss in a little olive oil or vinaigrette and a pinch of salt. Magnifique!

24. Stuffed Avocados

This is one of our favorite no-cook camping meals. Split an avocado, and remove the pit. Fill the center with a plop of your favorite meat salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or paprika. You can use any of the meat you have, salmon, chicken, tuna. Use the leftover tuna salad from yesterday’s lunch. Another option is to make taco-stuffed avocados . All you need is a taco-seasoning packet to add to the meat and veg you already have on hand!

25. Crab Ceviche

Ceviche is a cold seafood dish, popular all over Central America. It is traditionally made with fresh fish, lime juice, peppers, red onion, and whatever else you have on hand at the time! You can use any of the packaged or prebought fish you have to create “ camping ceviche .” For a side dish, whip up some 7-layer dip and tortilla chips for a complete no-cook dinner!

26. Veggie Gyros

These vegetable gyros feature our favorite item-avocadoes, plus chickpeas and yummy tzatziki spread. Chickpeas are packed with protein and all these veggies will get you to your daily allotment of vitamins and fiber. For the meat lovers in the group, you can easily add chicken you have on hand! 

27. Mexican 3-bean salad with guacamole

… Oh, sorry! Just dreaming about this Mexican 3-bean salad ! It might be a favorite meal idea on this list. Hiking and exploring make you hungry, and all the beans in this baby give you the fiber you need for a good night’s sleep! Pair it with fresh guacamole for the ultimate easy camping meal.  

28. Layered Taco Salad

Take some of that chicken you brought and mix in some taco seasoning. In a large bowl, layer it with cheese, beans, lettuce, and crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos. Alternate your layers of each until the bowl is full. Let everyone choose their own toppings of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. 

Mexican food is the easiest no-cook dinner to make. Layer nachos with shredded canned meat, beans, and all the veggies and toppings you like! If you can warm your meat and beans, that’s great, but it is just as good cold!

Snack Ideas or Side Dishes

You’ll likely be more active on your vacation than you are in normal daily life. It seems most of us need a vacation from our vacation by the time we get home. So, you are going to need more fuel than usual. Plus, if you have kids in tow, then snacks are a primary food group (maybe the only food group)! Make sure you have some good ones on board!

30. Veggies and Hummus

Nothing super inventive here, but it’s easy and effective. Plus, you might get your picky ones to eat a carrot or bell pepper stick if it is slathered in yummy hummus or guacamole. You could make a big batch of homemade hummus before your trip, or make it easy on yourself and buy some tasty flavors at the store.

31. Trail Mix

No surprise here, trail mix is a great idea to have on hand. It fits easily in the backpack for long hikes. You can throw the bag at a kid in the backseat when needed, and it is filled with tummy-filling protein. Make your own trail mix , or snag a giant premade bag from Amazon before your trip!

32. Fresh-Fruit Salad

Nothing screams summer like a bowl of fresh fruit. This fruit salad with citrus dressing is delightful and is the perfect anecdote for that summer heat! You might even convince your kids to eat something healthy today. 

33. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky just belongs in a backpack. They go hand in hand. 

34. Pesto Pinwheels

Pinwheels are a classic party appetizer, but they also make a great one-bite snack. We love these pinwheels , but there are many great ones out there, so use what you have on hand! It does take a little bit of meal prep time as they need to sit in the refrigerator or cooler for several hours to set up. 

35. Deli Rolls

Don’t know about you, but to us, there isn’t anything better than a slice of your favorite cheese, rolled up inside of a piece of deli meat. Admit it, you have done it. You can make it fancy with a hummus spread or olive-decorated toothpick! It’s quick, easy, filling, and budget-friendly. We love it!

No-Cook Snacks for Traveling

36. s’mores.

Okay, so the best s’mores require a little smoking on a campfire, but technically you can make them with uncooked marshmallows. They’re still super tasty!

37. To-Go Banana Pudding

The banana version is the best, but you can try this treat with any premade pudding cup of your liking. Crush a bag of Vanilla wafers. Add it to your pudding cup. Slice up a banana for garnish and plop a dollop of Cool Whip on top. Yummm.

38. No-Bake Lemon Tarts

Lemon pudding snack packs can easily be turned into a tart. Line a small bowl, or just make a pile of finely crushed Graham crackers. Slather on a healthy slab of cold lemon pudding, and top with your favorite whipped topping. Sprinkle on nuts or coconut shavings to taste!

39. Cottage Cheese and Dried Fruit

This one won’t please everyone, but if you love it, you love it! Cottage cheese has healthy fat and is a good source of protein. It will keep you full, and if you top it with some sweet dried pineapple, it’s pretty tasty!

40. Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Topping

Strawberries topped with a little sugar take on a totally different flavor! If you don’t use granulated sugar, honey works just as well. Slice them up, add your honey or sugar, and allow them to sit in a cold environment for at least 4 hours. If you want a lush dessert, stock up on some pre-made angel food cakes or make one at home before your trip. The decadent strawberry mixture on top of some food cake with whipped topping is a fantastic dessert any day of the week!

41. Fruit Pizza

Pizza! Create this delectable treat with granola, nut butter, cinnamon, and chopped almonds. Combine together to make a delicious crust. You can add honey if you use unsweetened nut butter. Press into a pie pan or dish, or just press flat on parchment paper. Let chill in the refrigerator or ice chest for at least an hour. Cover in yogurt or softened cream cheese, then sprinkle with your favorite fresh fruits, cacao nibs, or drizzle with chocolate syrup!

Other Staples To Keep On Hand

If you tried to make everything on this list, your entire camper would be full of food and ingredients. Instead, try to group your choices by recipes that use and reuse a smaller number of ingredients. Remember you can always repurpose your leftovers from day 1 lunch for day 2 dinner. Get creative. With this sample shopping list, you’ll be able to create several dishes.

  • Canned or packed meats: tuna, salmon, and chicken
  • Canned beans of several varieties
  • Boiled eggs
  • Lots of fresh fruit and veggies
  • A tub of your favorite “crumbled” cheese – Feta or goat.
  • A jar of nut butter
  • A large bag of mixed nuts and seeds
  • Your favorite multi-purpose bread
  • Mayonnaise and brown mustard
  • Granola or oats
  • Olive oil and lemon juice or a vinaigrette dressing
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Closing Thoughts

Just because you don’t want to cook doesn’t mean you can’t eat like a king on your vacation. With a little forethought, some smart shopping, and perhaps a small amount of meal planning before you leave, you can ensure that you have everything you need to whip up fast, easy meals on the go. 

What are your go-to camping or travel meals? Let us know in the comments!

Going on a long hike? Here are a few more “ Healthy Travel Snack Ideas To Keep Your Belly Full. ” 

If you want an epic camping adventure this summer, check out our list of the “ 20 Best National Parks In The USA .”

Frequently Asked Questions

No one wants to cook on vacation. Some of the best no-cook traveling meals are not only filling but healthy too. While camping, try stuffed avocados, crab salad, or camping ceviche.

Travel food should be easy, and the ingredients versatile. Some of the best no-cook traveling meals can be made with bread, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and vegetables. And don’t knock canned ingredients!

It’s always best to seek travel advice from experts ! For starters, download travel apps to save on fares and an adventure app for fun. Also, plan some no-cook meals to fuel up between adventures.

Featured Products & Activities

Travel Tips and Trivia

Last Updated: February 21, 2024

50+ Tasty Road Trip Food Ideas and Tips [Ultimate Road trip Food List]

Wondering what food to pack for a road trip? Discover the best food for road trips in this comprehensive road trip food list (complete with my top travel food tips!).

' src=

Danny Newman

I hope this road trip food list helps you plan the perfect travel food for your upcoming trips!

I hope this road trip food list helps you plan the perfect travel food for your upcoming trips!

You’ve planned the route.

You’ve made your road trip playlist.

Now all that’s left to do is pack a trunk full of road trip food !

But what should you take?

With no fridge to keep things fresh nor kitchen to prep meals, deciding what to put on a road trip food list is tough.

Want help deciding what food to take on a road trip? Check out this comprehensive list.

Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.

Unsure what what road trip food to take on your upcoming trip? Here are 52 ideas that should go down a treat!

Unsure what what road trip food to take on your upcoming trip? Here are 50+ ideas that should go down a treat!

You might also like these:

  • 20 road trip games for couples
  • 50 funny road trip quotes
  • Quotes about roads in life
  • 85+ road trip trivia games and questions
  • Gifts for road trippers

Food for Road Trips: The Essentials

Just like the essentials you stock in your kitchen cupboards, the coming road trip food ideas are versatile, flavourful, and should mean you never go hungry.

If you don’t take any other food on your road trip, I recommend packing:

1. Peanut butter (100% peanuts)

Delicious, filling, and somewhat nutritious (full of protein and good fats), I eat an ungodly amount of peanut butter both in general and on the road.

Put it on crackers, in sandwiches, on your cereal (trust me), or consume straight off the spoon! You can’t beat it.

2. Bananas &/or apples

Bananas are another tasty, nutritious, and hunger-busting snack that also count as one of your 5-a-day.

I love bananas by themselves, sliced and put on top of almost everything (especially cereal, crackers, or toast) or mushed up and made into pancakes (mash the fruit and mix in some oats for an easy batter).

Same goes with apples! These have practical benefits too though.

For one thing, you get some refreshing fresh fruit into your system. For another, they’ll keep for longer and are at less risk of being squashed compared to softer fruit!

3. Oats/Oatmeal

I eat oats/oatmeal every single day for an unbeatable breakfast. They’re also ideal as a snack between meals (try oats, cinnamon, sliced banana, mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, and chopped dates with a spoonful of peanut butter on top).

They’re awesome for road trips (almost as awesome as these road trip questions to spark conversation in the car) for numerous reasons:

  • First, they’re healthy.
  • Second, they fill you up.
  • And third, they stay fresh (once opened) for ages.

Nuts are a perfect snack to take along in the car. Packed full of protein, good fats, and various vitamins and minerals, they’ll fill you up and fuel your body at the same time.

I eat them as road trip snacks, on my breakfast, and sometimes in salads too.

5. Pita bread, bagels, or tortilla wraps

I like having some sort of easy carb in the car for lunches and dinners (and an occasional extra meal if I’m particularly hungry).

Tortilla wraps are my go-to because they last for ages in the packet (make sure it’s re-sealable) and are less carb/calorie-dense.

They’re versatile too.

You can put whatever you want inside- regardless of the meal. My favourite?

Chickpeas (from the can), hummus, a sauce of some kind, avocado, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, and other salad stuff I have in the car/van.

It’s tasty, filling, and full of good, healthy stuff.

Even better, you can keep most of it in your vehicle/cool box for a while without it going off.

Pita bread, bagels, or even ordinary sliced bread could work as well. Just be prepared for these to go stale quicker.

Being stocked up on essentials is one of my number one road trip food ideas! Here are a few more basics that are sure to come in handy on the road…

Being stocked up on essentials is one of my number one road trip food ideas! Here are a few more basics that are sure to come in handy on the road…

6. Crackers

There’s no shortage of cracker varieties out there! Pick your favourite and stick it in the car for a super quick and easy snack to eat on the road.

I tend to get flavoured rice crackers, which are relatively tasty by themselves, but even better with toppings (think avocado and hummus, peanut butter and banana, and so on).

7. Tinned legumes/pulses

Legumes/pulses of one form or another are an ideal travel food too.

Full of protein and unlikely to ever go off (when you buy them in cans/tins), they’re a great meat-substitute to put in your meals.

You can’t go wrong with chickpeas. But I also like to take kidney beans, black beans, and cannelloni beans on occasion too.

Tins of pre-cooked lentils are great as well.

You can stick them in things like veggie pasta for a quick protein boosting addition.

Tip: if you do buy tins/cans of legumes, make sure you have a sharp knife or a can opener too- just in case they don’t come with a ring pull!

8. Spices, herbs, salt & pepper

Going on a long road trip (AKA a week or more)? I recommend taking something to flavour your travel food with.

Even if it’s just salt and pepper, you’ll be grateful for the added taste at the end of a long day on the road.

I always pack:

Salt and pepper, dried cinnamon (for my breakfast), dried cumin, dried coriander, dried turmeric, dried chilli flakes, dried smoked paprika, dried mixed herbs.

9. Plant-based milk

Switching from cow’s milk to plant-based milk (such as soy, almond, oat, or rice milk) might not be on your agenda. But it would make a difference on long road trips! Why?

Because unopened, you don’t have to store these types of milk in the cold.

They stay fresh until you open them, which means you save some all-important space in the cooler. Simply pop your plant-based milk with everything else until you need it for your cereal/tea!

10. Sauces (ketchup, mustard, BBQ…)

Sauces serve the same purpose as the herbs and spices.

It might seem a little bit ‘extra’, but having your favourite sauces in the car can turn an average meal into something far more enjoyable.

11. Olive/coconut oil

Aside from adding extra flavour to things, having olive or coconut oil in your pots and pans should stop them becoming a nightmare to wash-up.

Having travel food in the car is perfect for when you want/need to pull over. You can stop, eat a snack, and get back behind the wheel feeling refreshed.

Having travel food in the car is perfect for when you want/need to pull over. You can stop, eat a snack, and get back behind the wheel feeling refreshed.

Love road trips? You might enjoy these blog posts too:

  • 40 Things to Do On a Road Trip
  • 125 Road Trip Questions to Spark Conversation in the Car
  • 25 Fun RV Accessories
  • The Advantages & Disadvantages of Travelling By Car
  • Expert Tips for Full-Time RV Living

Road trip foods for Breakfast

With the staples sorted, it’s time to move onto the main meals. Here’s a selection of quick-fire ideas for what to take/eat for breakfast when you’re on a road trip:

(Be sure to refer back to the ‘Essentials’ section above for specific ideas on how to use/consume them.)

12. Oats (whole or rolled)

13. Dry cereal

14. Peanut butter (& banana) bagel/crackers

15. Sliced bread + topping of choice

16. Fresh fruit

17. Nuts and seeds (eat alone or with cereal)

18. Breakfast burrito (hard boil the eggs and keep any meat/cheese in the cooler!)

19. Sweet/savoury muffins

20. Tea/Coffee (not strictly food, I know, but you can’t miss your morning cup of Joe when you’re driving and having to concentrate all day long!

Love coffee? Check out these travel French presses for ideas on how to brew it up and take it away.

With lots of ground to cover, being well stocked up on food for road trips is all-important! Here’s what I’d take for lunch:

With lots of ground to cover, being well stocked up on food for road trips is all-important! Here’s what I’d take for lunch:

Best Lunchtime Food for Road Trips

With breakfast down, let’s move on to lunch. Here are some top travelling food ideas for what to eat on a road trip at lunch:

21. Leftovers!

Leftovers are literally my go-to meal of choice for lunchtime on the road.

I cook up a big meal in the evenings and make sure I have enough to eat for an easy and filling lunch the next day.

Pop the leftovers in a container/sealable bag, stick them in the cooler, and voila- lunch is served whenever you want it the next day.

22. Pita pockets/tortilla wraps

Your choice of filling! Meats, cheeses, legumes, salad…It’s all good in a pita pocket or wrap.

23. Filled sandwiches/bagels

As above, sandwiches and bagels (filled with whatever you have in the car/feel like eating) are a quick and easy meal to eat on a road trip.

You can either prepare them the night before or pull over and prep them at a pit-stop.

24. Premade falafel & salad

I love falafel! It’s healthy, filling and packed full of protein- a winning combo in my eyes.

However, it can be a hassle to make from scratch when you’re on the move. That’s why I recommend buying it pre-made from the store to eat in wraps and with salads (just remember to store in the cooler!).

25. Mixed salad

Most salad stuff goes bad quite quickly when it’s left out of the fridge/cooler.

Nevertheless, I still recommend taking it (in small quantities) on a road trip because it’s nice to have something fresh and nutritious to eat.

Eat it alone or in sandwiches/wraps, but be sure to keep it in the cooler when not in use.

26. Hard-boiled eggs

Alas, taking ordinary eggs in the car is a recipe for mess. That’s why (if you want some eggs for lunch) you should always try to hard-boil them ahead of time. Put them in a salad, stick them in a wrap, or eat alone for a quick protein fix in the middle of the day.

27. Veg & dips

Looking for something quick, no-nonsense, and really good for you? Chop up some peppers, carrots, and celery and pair with whatever dips you want!

Whether you make or buy them, guacamole, hummus, and spicy tomato salsa always go down well.

Road trip foods for dinner can be particularly hard to choose. Here are a few ideas that should provide an easy, filling, and nutritious meal in the evenings:

Road trip foods for dinner can be particularly hard to choose. Here are a few ideas that should provide an easy, filling, and nutritious meal in the evenings:

Food to Pack for a Road Trip: Dinnertime

Last but not least: dinner! It isn’t just your car that needs refuelling.

After a long day of driving, you need something that’ll both fill you up and provide all the nutrients you need to feel replenished and energized. At the same time, you don’t want to spend forever preparing it, cooking it, and cleaning up!

The following meals should tick all of those boxes- simple, healthy, and hearty:

28. Chicken salad

If you eat meat and can keep it fresh in the car, then there’s no reason not to buy it for your road trip!

Fry up some chicken with a basic marinade, combine it with a simple salad (think lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, etc…), and away you go.

29. Lentil Dahl

If you don’t eat meat or don’t want the hassle/risk of transporting it in a hot car, then try cooking up a lentil dahl.

Simple, and nutritious, you can make it in one pot, boil up some rice in another, and bob’s your uncle! A delicious and nutritious meal.

However, you will need some spices to make it taste like anything other than lentils and rice…

30. Lentil Bolognese/Pasta

Prefer pasta? Use those lentils in a pasta sauce instead.

31. Veggie Curry

Veggie curry is one of my favourite travel meals.

Super cheap, you can buy a bunch of veg (I like combining onion, garlic, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and spinach), pop in some spices, legumes (chickpeas work well) and tinned tomatoes, and let it cook away for 30 mins or so.

Eat with rice for another hearty, healthy meal.

32. Stuffed Tortilla/Pita Bread

Remember the essentials I talked about before? It’s time to break them out for a super quick and easy meal with minimal prep or cleanup required.

Stuff your wraps/pita bread with anything you want/have in the car. Legumes, meat, refried beans, cheese, eggs, salad, sauces, leftovers from the night before…You name it, and it’d (probably) go well inside.

33. Bean Burrito

Bean burritos are another personal favourite road trip food of mine.

I’ll cook up some black/kidney beans (with onions, garlic, tinned tomatoes, cumin and paprika) and put them inside a tortilla wrap with rice, avocado, lettuce, and hummus. It hits the spot every time.

Don’t want a burrito? Do everything the same as above but without the wrap. Instead, break open a bag of chips and serve yourself a hearty plate of nachos.

Top tip: take it up a notch and serve with guacamole and a tin of sweetcorn.

36. Stir Fry

Slice up an assortment of veg and fry it up with chicken (or chickpeas if you’re veggie).

Add a packet of pre-bought stir-fry sauce and away you go- another quick, delicious and nutritious meal. You could also buy a packet of pre-steamed rice to pad it out a bit.

Want to make it even quicker?

Prep everything in advance (chop the veggies etc) and place it in a container/re-sealable bag so you can put it straight into the pan at dinner time.

36. Burger & Salad

It doesn’t matter whether it’s veggie or meat-based, you could fry up a patty (or two) that you’ve been keeping in the cooler, pop it between some bread (or inside a pita), slather over some sauce and eat with a side salad!

37. Cold Pizza

Whether you made or purchased pizza the night before, eating it cold for dinner on the drive makes for a fast, filling, and tasty meal on the move.

38. Eat Out!

If you’re not on a budget, then you could always eat out for dinner as well.

Pull over, explore a new town, and find somewhere with good reviews that serves nice food at a reasonable price.

Aside from eating restaurant-quality meals, you save the hassle of cooking and cleaning up after yourself too.

The best food for road trips is usually quick and easy to make! These quick-fire road trip food ideas tick both boxes:

The best food for road trips is usually quick and easy to make! These quick-fire road trip food ideas tick both boxes:

Quick & Easy Road Trip Food Ideas

Cooking might be the last thing on your mind at the end of a long day’s driving. Looking for road trip food ideas you can prep and eat in a hurry?

These five options should help:

39. Avocado (sliced or smashed) on crackers/bagels/bread (with hummus)

40. Peanut butter & jelly/banana sandwiches

41. Hummus & chopped veggies (in a wrap, with salad, or by themselves)

42. Pita bread/tortillas wraps with varied fillings

43. Eat your leftovers

Good Road Trip Food for Snack Time!

If you’re anything like me, then you’re sure to get hungry outside of meal times too. Want some good road trip food ideas to eat as snacks as you drive?

Check these out:

44. Dried Fruit

Dates, raisins, apricots, banana chips, cranberries…Dried fruit’s a firm personal favourite when I’m on a road trip. It doesn’t matter which fruit you go for either- delicious, healthy, and long-lasting, they’re ideal for the road.

45. Fresh Fruit

Harder to carry and quicker to go off, fresh fruit isn’t always ideal from a practical perspective. However, the all-important vitamins contained inside justify its place in the car!

I tend to go for hardier fruit (such as apples, bananas and pears) because they’re usually less messy.

Tasty, nutritious, & filling, nuts are an ideal snack for any road trip. They’re also easy to eat when you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road and will last for ages without going bad/off.

47. Trail Mix

Whether you put it together yourself or buy it ‘ready-made’, you’ll have a tasty and nutritious snack that’s sure to stave off hunger on your road trip.

48. Potato Chips

Not the healthiest of road trip snacks, but potato chips are definitely a tasty treat to munch on when driving! Just be wary of crumbs…

49. Dark Chocolate

Another not-so-healthy option, but I love having a bar of dark chocolate with me on the road. It’s perfect when you need a pick-me-up on a long drive.

Road trips should be fun, and there’s nothing more fun (especially if you’re a child) than having some candy to chew on as you go!

Pop some family favourites in the car for a sugar kick when you need it.

51. Granola/Protein Bars

You can’t go wrong with granola bars. Sweet and filling, they’re great for keeping the wolves at bay until your next stop/meal.

Just be wary of the sugar content, which can be crazily high (even in supposedly healthy options!).

52. Beef Jerky

Look no further than beef jerky if you’re looking for a carnivorous, protein-filled snack that won’t go bad for days/weeks.

Now you know the food to pack for a road trip, it’s time to think about how you actually pack and keep it fresh in the car…

Now you know the food to pack for a road trip, it’s time to think about how you actually pack and keep it fresh in the car…

Tips for Packing Road Trip Food

You’ve got the food and the gear. Now it’s time to get it all packed up into the car. Unfortunately, this is another task that can be easier said than done.

How do you pack your road trip food so that it:

  • Can be accessed easily, and
  • Won’t go off too soon…or roll/slide around in the back…or get squished…or (my personal pet peeve) jiggle and jingle annoyingly as you drive?

If you’re asking yourself those kinds of questions, then this next set of ‘packing food for road trips’ travel tips should help:

i) Use a cooler

Taking a cooler (or two, if you’re feeding lots of people) isn’t just a handy way to keep your food fresh. It should help you keep everything that’s inside it organized and in one spot as well.

Pack the cooler up (remembering the ice/ice packs), sandwich the whole thing in place inside the trunk to stop it sliding around or falling over, and away you go.

Oh, and avoid cramming too much other stuff around and on top of it- you want to be able to get inside with minimal fuss at the end of the day!

Try putting frozen gel ice packs around the inside of the cooler instead of putting actual ice in there. It’ll:

  • Keep everything cold without ice melting and making a watery mess
  • Prevent food from being ruined by said water (more on this next), and
  • Mean you can re-use the ice packs on the homeward journey

ii) Make sure packages are watertight

The last thing you want is ice-cold water from the cooler getting into your bag of sandwiches!

If you’re packing food into a cooler and putting plain old ice inside, then make sure nothing could be ruined by the meltwater.

iii) Separate meals before you go

Want things to be nice and organized in advance? You could plan your meals before you leave and separate everything into individual containers or zip-lock bags.

Imagine having a chicken salad for dinner.

You could take sliced, pre-cooked chicken and pop it into a re-sealable bag with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, and so on; then put it into the cooler.

At dinner time, you’ve got everything ready-made to put onto a plate and eat. This saves time, reduces clean up, and means you’ve got less to worry about all-around.

iv) Take the right food

Packing your road trip food will be a thousand times easier if you take the right food in the first place!

Make sure everything will keep (aka remain edible) without spoiling, breaking, moving around too much, and so on.

Quick tip? Anything canned (be it baked beans or entire meals) or pre-made (such as falafel burgers) will usually work well.

v) Separate your stuff into different boxes/bags

When I was travelling around Australia in my van, I had boxes in the back that were full of particular things:

One had my dried food (rice, pasta, tortilla wraps etc) and spices. Another had my breakfast stuff and teas/coffee. And then I had two more that were full of my pots, pans, and cutlery.

Oh, and then I had my mini-fridge with all my fresh stuff.

This worked well for me for two main reasons:

First, I knew where everything was at any given time, which made prepping meals more efficient. Second, the boxes kept it all in place and meant I didn’t have food flying everywhere as I drove!

You could try doing something similar in your car/truck to enjoy the same advantages.

Food for travelling can get tricky when you’re on the road! These tips should make life a little easier:

Food for travelling can get tricky when you’re on the road! These tips should make life a little easier:

Road trip Food Tips & Ideas

Last but not least, here’s a bunch of my best travel food tips that might prove useful on your road trip:

1. Use free water refill stations whenever possible

It isn’t just food you need to think about when road-tripping! Staying hydrated will be just as important.

Sure, you could fill the car up with water bottles.

But for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective choice, try taking advantage of the free water refill stations that you’ll come across along the way.

State parks, rest stops, and water fountains in cities are all useful sources of water.

2. Collect & stash napkins in the glovebox

Eating in the car can be a messy business! Having some napkins to hand at all times can be a life-saver when you’ve got ketchup all over your hands and face…

Want my advice? Get into the habit of grabbing a handful whenever you go to a cafe or rest stop! Nobody will bat an eyelid and you’ll never be short of napkin when you need it.

3. Keep the essentials in reach! (cooler, snacks…)

Life on the road is always easier when you keep things organised. With that in mind, try keeping the most important food and drinks close-by and easily accessible!

You won’t be digging around at the bottom of the cool box for a beer, rifling around the backseats for a snack, and so on.

4. Don’t open the cooler too much

Having a cooler is great. But it can’t do its job if you keep opening it every few minutes!

Warm air gets in every time, which jeopardises the temperature of whatever you have inside; fresh food won’t stay fresh for as long as it could have done.

Do yourself a favour and only open the cooler when you have to.

5. Cook double quantities at dinner

Leftovers always make for the quickest and easiest of travel meals. That’s why I always try to cook up double portions at dinner.

Do the same, and you’ll have lunch ready and waiting for you whenever you want it! You won’t have to stop and go through the hassle of preparing (and cleaning up) yet another meal.

Food for Road Trips: Gear Ideas

Stocking up your car or truck with road trip food is one thing. But it’s also important to think about how you’ll store, cook, and keep things fresh on the move.

That’s where having the right gear comes into play.

From prepping dinner and storing leftovers to keeping the beers cold, taking a few simple pieces of equipment on a road trip can make an almighty difference to your culinary experience.

With that in mind, I thought I’d begin with a few key culinary items that I recommend anybody takes on a road trip (especially long-distance ones):

1. Cooler/Coolbox

quick travel food

Of all the gear to take on your road trip, having a cool box is arguably the most important!

Without the fridge-freezer you’re used to at home, you need something to keep any fresh food, well, fresh (…and the beers ice cold!).

The easiest way to do it? Grab yourself a cool box (or two), pop some bags of ice and/or ice packs inside, and away you go.

–> Check out this Yeti Cooler on Amazon!

2. Cooking Equipment

quick travel food

Whether or not you decide to cook on the road is up to personal preference and the type of road trip you’re going on.

For example, someone going on a day-long (or even two-day) drive might not need or want the bother of cooking on the go; stopping in at restaurants or cafes could be preferable instead.

But if you’re driving huge distances over days and weeks, then being able to cook can:

  • Help you save money, and
  • Provide greater control over your diet as you travel.

That’s where having a camping cooker or something similar can come in handy. Without it, you’ll be stuck eating cold meals or eating out for the duration of your trip.

…Using a gas cooker? Don’t forget to take a lighter or some matches too!

–> Check out this Coleman cooker on Amazon!

3. Plates, bowls, cutlery…

quick travel food

There’s a good chance you’ll need some plates/bowls on which to serve the meals you prepare and some cutlery with which to eat it too.

Keep the porcelain at home though! Too brittle for the rigours of the road, you’re far better off with some unbreakable camping crockery instead.

Check out these mess kits if you’d like some further ideas on what you could take.

–> Check out this camping crockery set on Amazon!

4. Insulated Flask (Growler)

quick travel food

Having a high-quality insulated flask isn’t essential for the road, but it does make a difference.

For instance, you can brew up your tea/coffee in the morning and keep it hot all day long, keep your soup hot overnight to eat as a quick and easy lunch the next day, or stop your water from going warm to quench your thirst on long, hot driving days.

–> Check out this Stanley growler on Amazon!

5. Food storage containers/bags

quick travel food

Leftovers from the night before are a lifesaver when you’ve got miles of road to cover (and can’t be bothered to cook/prepare anything new up).

That’s where food storage containers or re-sealable bags come into play.

You can put your leftovers inside and stow them in the cool box for whenever you next get the munchies.

Of course, they’re also ideal for storing anything that might otherwise spill/leak in your car, as well as any food you might want to keep fresh as you travel.

–> Check these Rubbermaid tupperware containers out on Amazon!

6. Mini-Fridge

quick travel food

When I travelled around Australia in a campervan last year, there was one bit of kit that made all the difference to the experience (aside from the camping shower !):

A mini-fridge.

Sure, a cool box could have sufficed. But I would have had to buy ice from supermarkets as I went, which would have been both expensive and inconvenient.

Instead, powered by the van’s cigarette lighter, I could plug in the fridge and drive for days in sweltering heat without having to worry about my fresh food going bad.

It was a game-changer on that trip and I fully recommend anyone does the same if they’re going on an extended road trip!

–> Click here to see this AstroAI fridge on Amazon!

Don’t Forget This Road Trip Food List!

Planning a road trip? Well, taking the perfect road trip food is sure to add to the experience.

You’ll stave off pesky hunger pangs, stay in better control of your diet, and save money. Alas, not all food is made equal when you’re travelling in a car!

Hopefully, though, the road trip food list above has helped out.

Keep it in mind (along with the food for traveling tips), and you should be a step closer to packing the perfect road trip food for your upcoming trip.

Unsure what to listen to in the car? Check out these top adventure songs next!

packed for life logo

50+ Easy, Healthy Road Trip Snack Recipes: Road Trip Foods

Packed for Life contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my Disclosure policy for more info.

Planning a road trip? It’s important to keep up your energy, and avoid the lows of sugar crashes by bringing along some easy to pack road trip foods and snacks. We’ve rounded up the best healthy road trip snack recipes to make your trip planning a breeze. 

From energy balls and granola bars, to cookies, muffins, salty mixes, and heartier savoury snack foods we’ve got it all. Making our own road trip snacks are a family tradition for all our road trips. These are all kid and adult approved travel snacks.

Satisfy all your travel companions cravings (and your own). A lot of these homemade road trip snack recipes also have gluten free, vegan, or low carb options . So no matter what your dietary requirements are, there’s something specially for you.

Are you ready for some quick, healthy road trip snacks to make? Grab your car cooler and Let’s go!

Table of Contents

How to Eat Healthy on Road Trips

First things first is to plan out your travel snacks and meals.

The times we’ve not prepped ahead, inevitably we’d end up starving in the middle of nowhere, with only a gas station for food. And end up feeling low energy or tired afterward.

Bring a cooler and shop at your local market / grocery store.

When driving long distance you should bring and eat a combination of proteins, fats, fibre, textures and tastes . As well as nutrient dense whole foods to curb your cravings, and satisfy your hunger.

Delicious and healthy homemade road trip snacks will help make sure you and your family stay nourished and energized.  Use our free Road trip templates to make things easier.

Some of the best road trip snacks include:

  • Granola Bars
  • Energy Balls / Energy Bites
  • Sweet and Savoury Muffins
  • Salty or sweet  crunchy snacks: Roasted Chickpeas, Kale Chips, Dried Fruit
  • Dips / Spreads & Veggies, Crackers or Pretzels
  • Veggie Fritters
  • Fresh Spring Rolls
  • Chicken Kabobs or Poppers

quick travel food

Easy, Healthy Road Trip Snack Recipes

Prepping your road trip snacks, and meals is just as important as finding a great deal on your car rental , and booking your accommodations.

We’ve gathered easy & tasty recipes together to make this easier for you.

Homemade Road Trip Snacks 

While it may take a bit of extra time, bringing homemade road trip snacks can save you time, and money on your journey with family or friends.

We’ve broken these DIY road trip snacks into the following categories:

  • Energy Balls / Bites  and Protein Bites Recipes

Healthy Snack Bar Recipes

  • Healthy Cookie Recipes
  • Sweet and Salty Road Trip Snack Recipes
  • Dried Fruit and Veggie Chips
  • Roasted Chickpea Recipes
  • Road Trip Muffin Recipes – Sweet and Savoury
  • Granola and Overnight Oats Recipes
  • Savoury Make Ahead Road Trip Snacks

We’ve rounded up some delicious, healthy and easy to make recipes for you to try. Let us know which ones are your favourites!

Please note : All the photos you see in this post belong to the website / bloggers the recipes are from.

Grab your Free Road Trip & Meal Planner HERE :

Free Road Trip Planner fanned over paved road through barren hills and sunset

More road trip snack ideas here.

Quick Road Trip Snack Recipes: Energy Balls, Energy Bites, Protein Bites

Whether you call them energy balls, bites, bliss balls or protein bites , they all have something in common.  They are super quick and easy to make, nutritious and versatile enough to fit all your travel companions road trip snack preferences and dietary needs. 

Plus they are no-bake and can be made in under 15 minutes. 

Sweet, salty, protein filled bites of goodness, these one bite wonders are easy to pack and store in your cooler. The perfect quick road trip snack recipes for busy parents.

quick travel food

1. Coconut Date Balls | Healy Eats Real

Easy No Bake Coconut Date Balls have only three ingredients, and are a naturally sweet paleo and vegan snack. Crunchy coconut taste on the outside combined with creamy, soft inside = bliss in one bite. Plus no nuts!

Road Trip Snack Ideas Balls of dried fruit Ladoo on a plate.

2. Dried Fruits Ladoo – Easy Energy Balls | Dassana’s Veg Recipes

Dry Fruits Laddu is an easy, nutritious recipe of energy balls that are healthy and tasty. Packed with nutrients, good fats and fibre, these energy balls are made with dates, figs and various nuts. An ideal long road trip snack.

quick travel food

3. Lemon Coconut Chia Balls | Cathy’s Gluten Free

Lemon Coconut Chia balls are a refreshing and sweet snack. With only 5 nutrient packed ingredients, they are easy to make and bring along for the day.

If you want a little more protein, check out this similar recipe for Coconut Protein Balls

quick travel food

4. Pumpkin Energy Balls | Plant Powered Cooking

Looking for a unique energy ball recipe? You’ve found it. Pumpkin Energy balls are made with inexpensive chickpeas, lots of spices, and are gently sweetened with dates. Pumpkin pie in  hand held form.

quick travel food

5. Pistachio Energy Balls | Hoorah to Health

Pistachio energy balls are great for road trips, as they don’t need to be refrigerated and provide a nice energy boost so your travelers don’t get too cranky!

10 different road trip snacks; energy balls, cookies, overnight oats, pretzels, corn fritters, roasted chickpeas and granola bars. Text overlay  50+ Easy to amke recipes. Road trip snacks kids and adults will love.

6. Low Carb Peanut Butter Balls | Cassidy’s Craveable Creations

Looking for an alternative to eating cookie dough straight from the bowl? This recipe has got you covered. These sweet, peanut butter cookie dough flavoured balls will satisfy your cravings and hunger. 

quick travel food

7. Salted Caramel Bliss Balls | It’s Not Complicated

With just 5 ingredients, these delicious Salted Caramel Bliss Balls are so easy to make. A perfectly healthy sweet road trip snack or treat, they are vegan, gluten and refined sugar free.

quick travel food

8. Vanilla Coconut Bliss Balls | My Plantiful Cooking

Vanilla coconut bliss balls are a wonderful, healthy sweet treat to have on hand. Naturally sweetened with dates, they are perfect for a midday pick-me-up after a long hike or drive.

🚙 You may also like Simple Ways to Save Money on Road Trips

quick travel food

9. Apple Pie Oat Bliss Balls | Kidgredients

Yummy and portable, these apple pie bliss balls are the perfect road trip snack. Plus they are super kid-friendly, nut free, and no bake. When you are craving the apple pie taste, without all the work, or mess on the road, these will satisfy.

These healthy snack bar recipes are easy to make, with minimal ingredients, so you can spend more time enjoying your trip, than preparing for it. Add these to your list of healthy snacks for road trips.

quick travel food

10. Low Carb Granola Bars | Wholesome Yum

These homemade Kind Bar copycats are the easiest low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free granola bars you can make at home. Plus they take only about 10 minutes to make, so you are ready to head out on your adventures in no time at all.

quick travel food

11. Coconut Candy Bars | A Sweet Alternative

If you are looking for an alternative to store bought chocolate bars, and love coconut, then you have found the right recipe!

These coconut candy bars are refined sugar free (sweetened with maple syrup, YES!) and made from simple, nutritious ingredients. They’re easy to make and so satisfying. 

quick travel food

12. Homemade Protein Bars  | Masala Herb

Homemade protein bars without protein powder are enriched with nuts and dried fruits. Know what’s in your protein bars!

quick travel food

13. Vegan Raspberry Rhubarb Bars | By The Forkful

Raspberry Rhubarb Bars are my dream breakfast snack on the go. Quick and easy to make, portable, and filled with fresh summery fruit. What more would you want?

quick travel food

14. No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars  | Vegan Huggs

Five ingredients + fifteen minutes  = No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars. A cross between a Rice Krispie treat and Nutty Buddy bars this portable snack is perfect for indulging any time of day.

🎒 Check out this Road Trip Packing List & tips too

quick travel food

15. Healthy Carrot Cake Protein Bars | Any Reasons Vegan

Carrot Cake Protein Bars are a perfect road trip snack made of carrots, dates and pistachios, a no bake dream. These nutritious bars are full of protein, vitamins and iron, but shhhhhh don’t tell the kids they’re healthy.

quick travel food

16. Peanut Butter, Banana Oatmeal Bars | My Plantiful Cooking

Peanut Butter, Banana, Oatmeal Bars have only three ingredients, are vegan and a wonderful on the go snack. Whether you are looking for breakfast to go, or a snack mid day these chewy moist bars will satisfy.

quick travel food

17. Two Ingredient Nutella Brownies  | Momma Lew

Two ingredient fudgy, rich nutella brownies will satisfy your sweet tooth. Cooked in a muffin tin, they are easy to transport wherever you travel. Sometimes you just need to indulge a little.

quick travel food

18. Homemade Granola Bars | Ottawa Mommy Club

Homemade granola bar recipe is slightly different as it does not contain any oats. It is also a great snack for when you are hungry, but want an alternative to store bought bars.

quick travel food

19. Oat and Honey Granola Bars | Healthy Life Trainer

Chewy No-bake Oat and Honey Granola Bars are quick and easy to prepare in under 15 minutes. They are loaded with wholesome ingredients such as oats, almond, honey, butter, and cranberries.

Homemade Road Trip Snacks – Cookies

Cookies! Now who can resist a delicious cookie especially homemade ones. They are portable, easy to make and pack, and can be full of nutritious and delicious add ins, so are ideal for road trips.

quick travel food

20. Anzac Biscuits | Mama Loves To Cook

Tap into a  tradition from Australia and New Zealand with some buttery, caramel flavoured Anzac Biscuits. These coconut oat cookies are quick and easy to make, travel well and last for ages.

quick travel food

21. Best Road Trip Breakfast Cookies | Boulder Locavore

The name says it all, but don’t be fooled by the title. You don’t have to be on a road trip or only eat them for breakfast. As the name suggests they are a great source of nutrition in a few bites without a crazy amount of sugar and processed ingredients. They pack a great amount of protein, fiber and essential fats into their two-bite form as well.

Two round Besan Ladoo cookies topped with nuts.

22. Besan Ladoo – Chickpea Flour Sweet Cookies | So Yummy Recipes

Make these chickpea flour  sweet treat balls for your next trip and enjoy them as your scrumptious sweets that offer an energy and protein boost.

quick travel food

23. Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies | Just As Tasty

Combining two of my favourite things into one is heavenly. Carrot Cake Breakfast cookies are soft, bursting with flavour, and can be eaten as a snack any time of the day.

quick travel food

24. Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies | Living Healthy With Chocolate

Amazing flourless,  gooey and  soft cookies, filled with chocolate chips that are super easy to make (and eat). This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo with Keto and Vegan options.

Road Trip Snack Ideas – Sweet and Salty Recipes

If you are looking for healthier, homemade road trip snack ideas to replace the frequent stops at gas stations, and grabbing a bag of chips and pop, then this section is for you. 

Trail mix is a must bring travel snack for all our road trips, camping trips and adventures. Kids love it when you add a bit of smarties & gummy bears.

quick travel food

25. Smoky Trail Mix | Boulder Locavore

Snackers unite! Trail Mix is a perfect snack when on the go or for traveling. This version takes it up a flavor notch with smoked almonds as the central ingredient. The mix to sweet, salty and crunchy can’t be beat. If not a lover of the smoky almonds, regular almonds may be substituted.

quick travel food

26. Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighbor Food

Curb your crunch craving with this sweet and salty trail mix. The beauty of homemade trail mix is you can mix and match your favourite nuts, seeds, dried fruits and extras to your liking.

quick travel food

27. Instant Pot Popcorn | Nourish Plate

This recipe just blew my mind. Popcorn in an instant pot is a brilliant idea. Cheap, easy to make, popcorn travels well and is a tasty snack, with many seasoning choices to try.

quick travel food

28. 3 Ingredient Popcorn Balls | Crave The Good

Delicious 3 ingredient popcorn balls are a sweet addition to your day. Technically the base recipe is 2 main ingredients, with customizable options. Popcorn + Honey + Seasonings = endless options for hand held snacks.

quick travel food

29. 5 Minute Cheese Snack Mix | Recipes From A Pantry

Need a quick last minute snack before heading out on your road trip? This 5 minute cheese snack mix will save the day. Plus it can also be used as last minute snacks for guests, holiday gifts, potlucks, so it’s a good one to keep in your back pocket. 

quick travel food

30. Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies | The Short Order Cook

Chex sweet treat meets Snickerdoodle taste equals an addictive road trip snack. Plus it’s no bake, which is a bonus for prepping in the summer months.

quick travel food

31. Seasoned Ranch Pretzels  | Budget Delicious

Nothing says road trips more than a pack of pretzels. Take your snacking up a notch with ranch seasoned pretzels. If you aren’t a fan of ranch, not to worry there are many other variations you can try as well.

quick travel food

32. Slow Cooker Candied Nuts | Casserole Chrissy

Poppable, sweet and crunchy, these candied nuts make the perfect on-the-go snack, any time of year.  You can choose any combination of nuts that you like for a unique blend each time.

Need road trip ideas? Check out this One Day in Zion National Park or this 4 Day Itinerary in Acadia National Park , both are family friendly .

Easy Road Trip Snack Recipes: Dried Fruit & Veggie Chips

One of the simplest, whole food ways to prepare foods is by dehydrating. Dried fruit and veggie snacks make for some delicious crunchy, sweet and salty road trip snack ideas.

quick travel food

33. Easy Homemade Fruit Rollups | Amanda’s Cookin’

Plum fruit rollups have just 3 ingredients and are a fun and healthy snack that the whole family will love. Plus they’re easy to pack and carry around for all your family vacations.

quick travel food

34. Crispy Air Fryer Apple Chips | Recipes From A Pantry

Addictive, crunchy and healthy,  cinnamon apple chips are the next best thing to add to your road trip snack list. Using an air fryer cuts down dehydrating time to a fraction of what you need for the oven so makes this snack even easier.

quick travel food

35. Chewy Dried Bananas | Healthy Green Savy

Sometimes you just want something a little sweet with a chewier texture. Dried bananas do just this. It’s a great way to use up those fast ripening bananas on your counter, and have an easy road trip snack to bring with you. 

quick travel food

36. Dried Mango  | Masala Herb

Dehydrated mangoes can turn into a food obsession. They are super good and ridiculously easy to make from scratch.

quick travel food

37. Dehydrated Pears | Emily Fabulous

Dehydrated pears are so easy to make and are a healthy snack, that’s perfect for kids, adults anytime, anywhere. 

quick travel food

38. Oven Baked Beet Chips | Pink Fortitude

Crispy, curled beet chips, are a slightly sweet and salty chip alternative, that adds a little colour to your palate. Plus beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, protein, folate, and manganese, so you’re getting your vitamins and satisfying your crunchy salty tooth.

39. Baked Kale Chips | Healthy Green Savy

Kale chips are a delicious new fad, that I hope doesn’t go outta style. Kale chips are a great way to get your kids, or partners in to travel to eat more veggies. Easy to make and very addictive, they help curb your  salty-crunchy cravings. The only problem is trying not to eat them all right away. They may not make it into your car for the road trip.

Roasted Chickpea Snacks 

Roasted chickpeas are a crunchy, salty alternative to too many potato chips on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my salt n’ vinegar chips, but sometimes  you need something a little heartier that packs a protein punch.

Not to mention roasted chickpea snacks are vegan, full of fibre, iron and folate. 

quick travel food

40. Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas | Little Sunny Kitchen

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas are spicy, crunchy, and packed with plant protein.  Using an Air Fryer makes sure that every single chickpea is perfectly crunchy.

41. Curried Air Fryer Chickpeas | That Girl Cooks Healthy

This easy to make recipe is packed with protein and flavour from herbs and spices. Plus they are easy to make in large batches, right in your air-fryer. The hard part will be not eating them all before you pack them away for your road trip.

42. Healthy Roasted Chickpeas with Seasonings | Amy Gorin Nutrition

If you don’t have an air fryer try this general roasted chickpea recipe  with over 10 seasoning options. Packed with all the tips you’ll need on how to make a grab-and-go chickpea snack that keeps it’s crunchy texture. 

Healthy Snacks for Road Trips: Muffin Recipes

I have a confession to make. Muffins are not my favourite. There I said it, don’t judge me too harshly. Mostly because I find commercially they are made too sweet, and taste more like cake. 

But muffins are super handy to have on hand for long (or short road trips), especially with kids. Which is why I often tend to make and pack savoury muffins or lean towards recipes that use alternatives to white sugar. 

We’ve rounded up some yummy, healthier road trip ideas with these muffin recipes to expand your snack offerings. My favourite “sweet” recipe is below:

43. Packed for Life’s Kid Favourite Muffin Recipe – The Best Banana Muffin Recipe

This is my favourite muffin recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie. I make it 2-3 times a month, and everyone I’ve fed them to have loved them.  So if you are looking for an easy recipe, you can’t go wrong with this one. 

Sweetened only with ripe bananas, easy to make, they are kid-friendly and delicious. To make them gluten-free I use GF oat flour, plus add my own spin by adding  ½ tsp to 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, and  ginger and about  ¼ tsp of ground cardamom. 

I am excited to add some of these next sweet and savoury muffin recipes below to my regular muffin rotation.

Savoury Road Trip Muffin Recipes

quick travel food

44. Broccoli and Cheese Breakfast Muffins | End Of The Fork

Savoury muffins filled with broccoli and cheesy goodness. These muffins are delicious warmed up at breakfast time or for an on-the go road trip snack. Light, fluffy, fits in your hand and so easy to make, your kids can help you.  

quick travel food

45. Greek Breakfast Egg Muffin | Always Use Butter

Not just for breakfast, these greek egg muffins are packed with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. Savoury goodness in a couple of bites, to fill your belly on the road.

quick travel food

46. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls | Crave The Good

Ok, so these are not technically a muffin, but air fryer pizza rolls would be soooooo good for a road trip snack, or an afternoon snack, or breakfast, or anytime really. Stretch, gooey mozzarella cheese, and delicious tomato sauce wrapped in pizza dough cooked to perfection in an air fryer, can’t be beat.

Road Trip Snack Ideas: Sweet Muffin Recipes

quick travel food

47. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins | Wholesome Family Living

Peanut Butter and Banana muffins are versatile, packed with protein, and are delicious any time of day. Plus this recipe makes a big batch, so whether you’re road tripping with hungry kids or friends, there will be more than enough to share.

quick travel food

48. Vegan Blueberry Lemon Muffins | Get Set Vegan

Not just for vegans! These Blueberry Lemon Muffins combine the best things, fresh berries and lemon for a moist, delicious portable snack.

quick travel food

49. Banana Pear Muffins  | Mrs. Jones’s Kitchen

Banana Pear Muffins will be  well loved by the kids in your life, big and small. With no added sugar, they are  naturally sweetened with banana and pear, and travel really well.

Healthy Road Trip Snacks: Granola & Overnight Oats Recipes

quick travel food

50. Cocoa Fig Granola | Healy Eats Real

Cocoa Fig homemade granola is a flavour explosion filled with crunchy clusters of chocolatey goodness.  Sugar free, paleo and vegan,  pack this granola snack for the road and don’t look back. It’s ok if you don’t want to share.

quick travel food

51. Cinnamon Vanilla Granola | Brooklyn Active Mama

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola is so full of dried cranberries, chia, flax seeds, nuts, and yummy goodness, this will quickly become your favourite on the go snack.

quick travel food

52. Chunky Peanut Butter Banana Protein Granola | My Plantiful Cooking

Peanut Butter and Banana is such a classic taste combo.This high protein granola is chunky, crispy & utterly delicious. Happens to also  be naturally vegan & gluten-free. A portable snack to have on hand. Grab a handful whenever you are feeling snacky.

quick travel food

53. Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola | Aspen On Main

Chocolate and cherry are such a classic taste combination, that this granola is sure to please even the crankiest of road trip companions. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and includes other healthy ingredients like oats and flax seed, making it a great on the go snack with or without yogurt.

quick travel food

54. Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats | Plant Powered Cooking

These banana cinnamon overnight oats are a  well-balanced, easy to pack and eat  breakfast that tastes like banana bread!

What I love about overnight oats are: 

  • They are easy to make even while on the road, as long as you have a few simple ingredients and a container. 
  • Versatile – don’t like bananas, switch them out for applesauce, or berries.
  • Can be eaten any time of day, not just for breakfast.
  • One of the best road trip snacks for kids as they can combine good fats, proteins, and other nutrients.

Road Trip Foods: Savoury Make Ahead Road Trip Snack Recipes

Sometimes you just want something a little more substantial than an energy bite, or a handful of trail mix. Take a look at these delicious, savoury make ahead road trip snack receipes. Easy to grab and eat as snacks on your next adventures.

quick travel food

55. Chicken Seekh Kabob | So Yummy Recipes

These succulent chicken seekh kebabs are delicious to have as they are. But you can have them rolled in tortilla wraps, naan bread, flatbread or just in hot dog buns. Making them easy to take with you for a quick snack or meal on the road.

quick travel food

56. Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken | Budget Delicious

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken is the perfect recipe for making an appetizer or a road trip snack that will be well  loved by the whole family. 

quick travel food

57. Cheesy Smashed Chickpea Spread | Veeg

Looking for a protein packed, delicious spread to dip your veggies, pretzels, or crackers on the road? This cheesy smashed chickpea spread is just the ticket and it’s kid approved. 

quick travel food

58. Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls | Happy Kitchen

Fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce are a family favourite while being a healthy mess-free portable snack. Mix and match your favourite veggies, add in some tofu or tempeh if desired roll em’ up and away you go. 

If you are wanting a non-vegan version we usually add cooked prawns/shrimp to ours.  

quick travel food

59. Vegan Zucchini Corn Fritters | Happy Kitchen

Crispy, delicious and full of veggies such as zucchini and corn, these fritters are a perfect addition to your family road trip snack list.

quick travel food

60. Vegan Pinwheels | Get Set Vegan

If you are trying to avoid dairy, or just want to expand your recipe horizons, these vegan pinwheels are a great addition to your road trip. Full of beans, beets, avocado and veggies, these pinwheels  will provide a delicious on the go snack or lunch.

Six free road trip planner pages fanned out over colored background. Awesome road trips await. Never eat bad gas station food again. Check off all your bucket list goals. Be prepared so you can focus on what's important - having fun!. Grab it heree.

Conclusion: Road Trip Foods: 50+ Easy, Healthy Road Trip Snack Recipes

Whether you are heading out for a day trip or an epic week long family road trip up Vancouver Island, there are 50+ easy, healthy road trip snack recipes to inspire your vacation planning and taste buds.

Enjoy the journey while munching on these scrumptious yet nutritious bites that’ll keep your energy levels high and your taste buds satisfied.

So, buckle up, hit the road, and let these wholesome goodies fuel your wanderlust. Don’t forget to bring a cooler, and share your favorites with friends and fellow travelers. Because great snacks and epic road trips are always better together!

Happy snacking, explorers!

What’s your favourite road trip snack recipe? Let us know in the comments below, or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.


Here are our favourite resources we use to research and book our trips. They offer competitive deals, and good customer service. Plus itineraries and more travel ideas for Acadia area: Bryce Canyon in One Day Tips for Zion National Park with Kids Road Trip Meals Ideas Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary Boston to Acadia: New England Road Trip —- 150 Car Conversation starters to beat boredom Essential road trip packing list Easy Toddler & Kid Road Trip Activities Simple ways to have a budget road trip RV Travel gift ideas Booking.com – Book your accomodations here. Excellent booking site for lowest lodging rates. VRBO – Book family friendly accommodations here, but no cleaning! Viator – Find & book even more experiences, tours & lessons world wide. Discover Cars – Make finding the cheapest or best car for your trip easy (worldwide) Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) – Find cheaper flights Anything else? Check out our Family Travel Resources & Tips page

Packed for Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.ca.

' src=

Donna Garrison is the founder of Packed for Life, an ever curious traveler with a passion for making memories with her family. With a unique perspective on travelling on a budget gathered over 30 years, 20 countries and 5 continents she gives families the tools & resources they need to experience the joys of travelling more for less through practical solutions. She helps over 20,000 families a month plan & take the family travel, camping and road trip adventures of their dreams in Canada, the USA and around the world. Contact her at: Donna [at] packedforlife.com

Similar Posts

75+ Easy Road Trip Snacks To Pack, Grab & Go

75+ Easy Road Trip Snacks To Pack, Grab & Go

Road trips are fantastic adventures to take with friends, family…

35+ Easy Make Ahead Camping Meals The Whole Family Will Love

35+ Easy Make Ahead Camping Meals The Whole Family Will Love

Heading out on a family camping adventure and want to…

10 Tasty Dutch Oven Camping Recipes for Breakfast You’ll Love

10 Tasty Dutch Oven Camping Recipes for Breakfast You’ll Love

Looking for delicious Dutch Oven Breakfast Recipes for camping? We…

25 Easy Camping Breakfast Ideas To Kickstart Your Day

25 Easy Camping Breakfast Ideas To Kickstart Your Day

Camping season is here, which means it’s the perfect time…

45 Easy Make Ahead Foil Packet Recipes For Camping: By Grill or Campfire

45 Easy Make Ahead Foil Packet Recipes For Camping: By Grill or Campfire

Camping with family and friends can be so much fun,…

Vacation Meal Plan for Families: 7 Day Plan & Expert Tips

Vacation Meal Plan for Families: 7 Day Plan & Expert Tips

When heading out on a family trip, creating a vacation…

One Comment

Thanks for some tasty options! I am really looking forward to being able to travel again one of these days! Pinning for later 🙂

Comments are closed.

Privacy Overview

Sharing is caring.

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

40 Simple And Easy Travel Food Ideas

Corn Kabab

We know you are in full vacation mode now, all thanks to the ease of COVID restrictions and EID . So let’s look at simple and easy travel food ideas.

Some of you have planned for long trips, and some have planned for picnics. We reach our travel destination & forget something back home in our excitement. But we request you not to forget your daily love- Food.

We care for you and have curated 1o simple & easy travel foods for you to pack in your backpack & enjoy the homemade fresh taste.

These foods will become your instant hunger killing tools. Your road journey will be so much amazing. Doing fun with your family, listen to fantastic music, and eat some quick finger foods.

We thought to bring you joy whoever you go through food. Because food makes our life more exciting. Are we right?

Get paper plates in hand because we are serving you some excellent dishes.

You can also check our 15 Fascinating Farsan Ideas For Diwali .

Download our Free Recipe Cookbook

Drinks to keep you refreshed during travelling, fresh raw mango juice.

Lemon Mint Juice Recipe

lemon mint juice

Variyali Sharbat – Saunf / Fennel Seeds Sharbat

variyali sharbat

Lemon Drop Shots Recipe (Without Alcohol)

lemon drop shots

Refreshing Virgin Mojito Recipe – Perfect Mojito At Home

Virgin Mojito

Snacks To Carry While Travelling

Crispy corn kabab recipe.

Singapuri Rice – Singapore Fried Rice

Singapuri Rice

Bombay Veg Sandwich

bombay veg sandwich

Fruit Chaat Recipe – Karachi Fruit Chaat

Fruit Chaat

Kuzhi Paniyaram Recipe – How to prepare Kuzhi Paniyaram

kuzhi paniyaram

Poha Cutlet | Quick and Easy Cutlet

poha cutlet

Paneer Nuggets | Cottage Cheese Nuggets

Paneer Nuggets

Cheese Stuffed Potato Cheese Balls

quick travel food

Rice Flour Nachos (Indian Style)

Rice Flour Nachos

Leftover Roti Veg Quesadilla

Veg Quesadilla

Maggi Bhajiya Evening Snacks

maggi bhajiya

Soya Chunks Manchurian (Dry)

soya manchurian

How To Make Corn Fritters – Corn Bhajiya


Easy Corn Cutlet

corn cutlet

Paneer Bread Ravioli | Paneer Bread Pakoda

Tandoori Paneer Pakodas

Crispy Onion Rings

Crispy Onion Rings

Cheesy Mince Tortilla Pie – Bakes Kheema Roti Pie

Cheesy Mince Tortilla Pie

Elephant Foot Yam Recipe – Karunai Kilangu Shallow Fry

quick travel food

Pocket Pizza – Pocket Pizza with Ready Pizza Base

Pocket Pizza

Spring Rolls Recipe – Chinese Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

Aloo Manchurian – Street Food Taste at Home

Aloo Manchurian

Main Course Recipes To Eat

Aloo egg curry | anda curry.

Stuffed Karela or Bharwa Karela

Stuffed Karela

Sabudana Khichdi or Sago Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi

Turiya Patra Gujarati Shaak

turiya patra

Besan Gatte Ki Sabzi | Besan Gatta Curry

Besan gatte

Sweet Corn Pulav Recipe

sweet corn pulav

Arbi / Chamadumpa Pulusu (Taro Root) Masala Curry

arbi masala curry

Baingan Masala Dhaba Style | Brinjal Masala

baingan masala

Sweets You Can Carry While Travelling

Orange burfi with milk powder.

Urad Dal Mesub – Winter Special Dhoraji Style

Urad Dal Mesub

Crushed Peanut Chikki

Crushed Peanut Chikki

Cocoa Dip Protein Bars

Cocoa Dip Protein Bars

Mango Cupcakes Burfi (Aam Fudge) at Home

mango cupcakes barfi

You are here: Home » Recipe Collections » 40 Simple And Easy Travel Food Ideas

quick travel food

25 Best Travel Snacks For Your Next Trip

These picks are approved by our registered dietitians and taste testers for your next adventure.

best travel snacks

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Our top picks:

Grass Fed Original Beef Jerky Snack Sticks

CHOMPS Grass Fed Original Beef Jerky Snack Sticks

Blueberry Walnut Superfood Oatmeal

Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Walnut Superfood Oatmeal

Classic Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Justin's Classic Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Double Filled Energy Balls (6 Pack)

Frooze Balls Double Filled Energy Balls (6 Pack)

Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn (24 Pack)

LesserEvil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn (24 Pack)

Probiotic Prunes (4 Pack)

Mariani Probiotic Prunes (4 Pack)

Protein Bar Variety Pack (12 Pack)

UNiTE Protein Bar Variety Pack (12 Pack)

Breakfast Biscuits, Cinnamon Sugar (30 Count)

Sweet Loren's Breakfast Biscuits, Cinnamon Sugar (30 Count)

Baked Cheese Bites (12 Pack)

Whisps Baked Cheese Bites (12 Pack)

Pop Mmms (3 Pack)

Simple Mills Pop Mmms (3 Pack)

Ideal snacks for travel include ones that will keep in your backpack, purse or carry-on without melting or falling apart. If you're traveling by plane, you'll want to make sure the snacks are TSA-compliant , so no liquid or gel food items over 3.4 ounces. Most importantly, the best snacks should have a combination of protein and fiber to keep you fueled and satisfied. Try to aim for about four grams each of protein and fiber, and keep added sugar to a minimum (under eight grams is ideal per snack, which is the equivalent of two teaspoons). Always prioritize fresh produce when possible, since they offer a great combination of fiber and antioxidants to keep you feeling your best during your travels.

Fruits and vegetables also are packed with water, a smart way to stay hydrated during your trip. Hydration in general is the key to savvy travel — especially for long plane rides, so don't forget to bring an empty water bottle with you to fill after you go through security at the airport. Since the altitude is dehydrating, and turbulence/delays can make beverage service unpredictable, it’s worth the investment to buy a second, unsweetened drink at the airport. Pair that with these nutrient-dense snacks and you'll be sure to have a great vacation.

Made from sustainably sourced proteins, these convenient jerky sticks are a notch above from what you'll find at a traditional convenience store en route to your travel destination. The beef and venison varieties are 100% grass-fed and finished, and turkey options are free-range. Every CHOMPS option is hormone-free, antibiotic-free and has lower sodium counts than other options on the market.

Per serving (one stick): 90 calories, 6g total fat, 2.5g sat fat, 25mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 0g total carb, 0g fiber, 0g total sugars, 9g protein

Oats are an easy base for when you're at a hotel or during any travel experience. Ones that come in a convenient cup like this from Purely Elizabeth just require a bit of hot water that you can ask for on the airplane. While oats can be a great source of fiber and whole grains, flavored varieties tend to be very high in added sugar and void of any protein. That's why these cups are a top pick for us since they only have six grams of added sugar and pack in nine grams of protein from collagen, creating a well-balanced choice.

Per serving (one container): 230 calories, 5g total fat, 0.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 37g total carb, 5g fiber, 9g total sugars, 6g added sugars, 9g protein

Nut or seed butter packs offer a great dose of healthy fats and you can add them to crackers, cereal, oatmeal, fruit or other snacks you've packed (or simply enjoy them on their own). Bonus: Packs smaller than 3 ounces, like these ones, get the thumbs-up from TSA . They even pack in seven grams of protein too.

Per serving (one pack): 210 calories, 18g total fat, 3.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 6g total carb, 1g fiber, 2g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 7g protein

These energy balls are the perfect bite to stash in your purse or backpack for your trip. Made from dates, nuts and fruit, each bite has two freshly made fillings inside and is seriously satisfying. Flavors include caramel chocolate peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut, dulce de leche, lemon, peanut butter and jelly, raspberry dark chocolate and triple chocolate fudge. The tiny packs are great for travel.

Per serving (two balls, peanut butter and jelly): 126 calories, 6g total fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 32mg sodium, 16g total carb, 2g fiber, 12g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 3g protein

Popcorn is a great volume-rich snack, meaning you can eat quite a bit of it for very little calories. It is also considered a whole grain and good source of fiber. Skip the movie theatre popcorn dripping in butter, and opt for air-popped or lightly oil-popped varieties. The convenient mini bags from LesserEvil are great to stash in your carry-on and are made with organic extra-virgin coconut oil.

Per serving (one bag): 50 calories, 3g total fat, 2.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 7g total carb, 2g fiber, 0g total sugars, <1g protein

Between lengthy travel plans and a new environment, keeping things regular can be a challenge. That's why our dietitians suggest having some prunes on hand during any trip. Prunes have a slew of health benefits , and research suggests that prunes are as effective as over-the-counter products to help with constipation. We especially love these prunes from Mariani that add in probiotics for additional gut health and immune support to keep you healthy during your trip and beyond.

Per serving (five to six prunes): 100 calories, 0g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 26g total carb, 3g fiber, 16g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 1g protein

Protein bars can make for an easy travel snack, but not all of them are created equal (some mimic the nutrition facts of a candy bar more than anything else). We like these gluten-free bars from UNiTE that are nutrient-dense and made with dates, nut butters and whey protein. The churro flavor was a tester favorite and packs in 10 grams of protein and five grams of fiber at under 200 calories.

Per serving (one bar, churro): 190 calories, 9g total fat, 1g sat fat, 35mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 19g carb, 5g fiber, 9g total sugars, 7g added sugars, 11g protein

We can't get enough of these sweet breakfasts biscuits that come in convenient packets of three and are made with better ingredients than others on the market. One serving makes for a light breakfast on-the-go or a layover snack, and is packed with 19 grams of whole grains, 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and five B vitamins. Plus, the biscuits are gluten-free and come in blueberry, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate flavors.

Per serving (one pack): 200 calories, 8g total fat, 3g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 32g carb, 3g fiber, 11g total sugars, 11g added sugars, 4g protein

Bringing perishable foods like yogurts and cheese sticks might not be possible during your travels, but you'll get the best of both worlds with these baked cheese bites from Whisps that are shelf-stable. Whisps first ingredient is protein-packed cheese and each bite is super crispy and satisfying with a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving. They come in a few fun flavors as well and were a family-friendly hit in taste tests.

Per serving (23 crisps, parmesan): 150 calories, 10g total fat, 7g sat fat, 30mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 0g total sugars, 13g protein

Looking for something to crunch on mid-flight? These bite-sized popped crackers are baked and made with 1/3 cup of vegetables per serving like organic butternut squash. They have a cheesy flavor and are light and airy. Throw some in a handy reusable snack bag that you can refill all trip long.

Per serving (44 crackers): 140 calories, 5g total fat, 1g sat fat, 5mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 21g carb, 1g fiber, 1g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 2g protein

Natural Delights Medjool Date Strips with Tajin

Medjool Date Strips with Tajin

Who knew that fresh Medjool dates and Tajin chili lime seasoning would pair so well together? This snack offers a unique flavor profile for sweet and spicy lovers, and the simple ingredient list is one to rave about. "Loved the spicy flavor. A flavorful snack and good for on the go," one tester said.

Per serving (one pouch, six pieces): 100 calories, 0.5g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 22g carb, 3g fiber, 19g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 1g protein

Prevail. Grass Fed Beef Jerky (4 Pack)

Grass Fed Beef Jerky (4 Pack)

Our dietitians are fans of this jerky from Prevail since it is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef jerky and is free from fillers and additives. Taste testers appreciated its tender texture and balanced flavor since it is cherrywood smoked and seasoned with organic spices. Most importantly, it has lower sodium and sugar counts than competitors, so you won't get bogged down on your trip. And with 12 grams of protein per serving, it's perfect to keep you fueled on those long rides in the car.

Per serving (one ounce, original): 70 calories, 1.5g total fat, 0g sat fat, 30mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 5g total carb, 0g fiber, 4g total sugars, 12g protein

Jackson's Sweet Potato Chips (15 Pack)

Sweet Potato Chips (15 Pack)

A top performer in our potato chips taste test , these sweet potato chips from Jackson's come in perfectly sized snack packs for travel. They are made with premium avocado oil and cooked low and slow to maintain the stability and integrity of the oil's healthy fats. The brand uses non-GMO heirloom sweet potatoes , and while the sea salt is the healthiest options, the flavored choices are truly delicious.

Per serving (one ounce): 150 calories, 9g total fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 16g total carb, 2g fiber, 3g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 1g protein

Junkless Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip (24 Bars)

Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip (24 Bars)

An upgraded version of your favorite chewy granola bar, this snack is actually significantly lower in sugar than other brands and is free from high-fructose corn syrup or sugar alcohols. Made from simple ingredients, we love the soft and chewy texture of the bar and that it has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. "Nice and chewy with just the right amount of chocolate chips to peanut butter," one taste tester said.

Per serving (one bar): 130 calories, 3.5g total fat, 0.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 22g total carb, 2g fiber, 5g total sugars, 3g protein

Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt (10 Pack)

Roasted Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt (10 Pack)

Crispy chickpeas are the perfect protein-packed snack to keep in your carry-on that won't crumble or fall apart. Of course you can make them on your own , but a pre-made pack like this is extra convenient for travel. We love that each portable pouch offers a filling combination of eight grams of both fiber and protein per serving.

Per serving (one pouch): 140 calories, 3.5g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 20g total carb, 8g fiber, 1g total sugars, 8g protein

Sweet Nothings Nut Butter Bites (6 Pack)

Nut Butter Bites (6 Pack)

Wholesome and delicious, these disc-shaped, organic bites feature a chewy outer shell of dates, oats and flaxseed wrapped around a nut butter filling with all-organic, no-added-sugar ingredients. Free from gums, stabilizers, preservatives or artificial flavors, each package offers up to four grams of plant-based protein. The bite size treat is perfect for tiding you over at the end of your flight.

Per serving (one package, oatmeal raisin): 145 calories, 5g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 23g total carb, 3.5g fiber, 15g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 4g protein

Siete Grain-Free Mexican Shortbread Cookies

Grain-Free Mexican Shortbread Cookies

Skip the oversized cookies at the airport and pack a few of these seriously delicious Mexican Shortbread cookies from Siete. Made with a lightly sweetened blend of almond flour and pecan pieces with a dash of cinnamon, testers couldn't believe that each cookie only has one gram of sugar. The grain-free treat has a crispy texture and won't fall apart in transit either.

Per serving (five cookies): 150 calories, 9g total fat, 5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 17g total carb, 1g fiber, 5g total sugars, 5g added sugars, 1g protein

Second Nature Antioxidant+ Protein Smart Snack Mix (12 Pack)

Antioxidant+ Protein Smart Snack Mix (12 Pack)

Trail mix is a favorite travel snack since it always keeps well and is also resistant to crumbling in your bag. These portion-controlled packets from Second Nature are great for stashing for a road trip or flight. We especially love the flavor combination in the antioxidant mix, and the filling fiber and protein makes this a smart choice. Plus, it doesn't have any chocolate chips like many other mixes which may melt in your bag in transit.

Per serving (one package): 250 calories, 17g total fat, 2.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 21g total carb, 4g fiber, 13g total sugars, 5g added sugars, 8g protein

RIND Snacks Straw-Peary Skin-On Dried Fruit (3 Pack)

Straw-Peary Skin-On Dried Fruit (3 Pack)

This chewy whole fruit medley is packed with dried strawberries bursting with jammy flavor, bosc pears and sweet fuji apples. Our dietitians love that RIND maximizes nutrition and minimizes waste by taking upcycled fruit that would otherwise go to waste, retaining their nutrient-rich peels and gently drying them into snackable slices. Plus, dried fruit like this keeps really well when traveling.

Per serving (1/2 cup): 140 calories, 0g total fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 33g total carb, 5g fiber, 15g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 1g protein

RXBAR Chocolate Lovers' Protein Bars Box (10 Bars)

Chocolate Lovers' Protein Bars Box (10 Bars)

When it comes to simple ingredient lists, it doesn't get much better than RXBAR. These tasty bars come in a wide variety of flavors and are loaded with 12 grams of protein thanks to nutrient-dense egg whites. Plus, they are a good source of fiber too — the combo of protein and fiber can help keep you full for longer on those lengthy road trips and train rides. Our registered dietitians point out that these delicious bars are sweetened with dates for binding purposes and contain no added sugar.

Per serving (one bar): 210 cal, 9g total fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 23g carb, 5g fiber, 13g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 12g protein

preview for Toaster Time Machine

@media(max-width: 64rem){.css-o9j0dn:before{margin-bottom:0.5rem;margin-right:0.625rem;color:#ffffff;width:1.25rem;bottom:-0.2rem;height:1.25rem;content:'_';display:inline-block;position:relative;line-height:1;background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}} Product Reviews

best hepa vacuum cleaners, according to cleaning and allergy experts

The Best Luggage Brands

stack of mattresses

The Best Mattresses

online mattresses

The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Online

pasta pattern on a green background top view

12 Best Low-Carb Noodles of 2024

best head shavers

The Best Head Shavers

best bath towels

The Best Towels to Upgrade Your Bathroom

best patio outdoor furniture at walmart

Walmart Has Some Amazing Outdoor Furniture Deals

best cloud couch dupes

The Best Cloud Couch Dupes

best tinted sunscreens

The Best Tinted Sunscreens

an adjustable bed base on a blue background

9 Best Adjustable Beds of 2024

stick vacuums

The Best Stick Vacuums

This DIY Life

Travel Recipes: 20+ Meals to Make in a Hotel Room Microwave or Kitchenette

Categories Travel , Quick Meal , Recipes , Roundup

Save & Share!

We may earn a commission on purchases made after clicking links on this page.

easy hotel meals

For our next family trip, we need easy hotel kitchenette meals!  That’s what this post is all about: healthy microwave recipes (and other adaptable ideas for hotel travel recipes) for money-saving family travel.

hotel travel recipes

We are less than three weeks away from our next family vacation: a week in San Francisco! As architecture, science, aquarium, Star Wars and nature nerds – it’s the perfect vacation spot for us.

Our planning is coming together well:

  • We were able to get a great deal on flights. We’re flying out of a neighbouring state which was much cheaper than flying from the airport closest to us.
  • We’ve got our CityPasses – so we will have a few days of unlimited trollies, a boat tour and other transit and our choice of a few museums and aquariums. City Passes are a great deal and you can find them for lots of touristy cities!
  • We’ve booked our tickets for our Alcatraz At Night tour.  You need to book these months ahead!

Our favourite way to travel is to rent an apartment or a home for a week. Then we explore the area from our comfy home-like base.  We often do this through AirBNB or VRBO .  There are lots of great reasons to do this:

  • more space!
  • separate bedrooms for night owls and early risers!
  • but the real money saver is the ability to cook our own meals.  Eating in restaurants for an entire week adds up for a family! (Even if you ate fast food, it would likely be over a thousand dollars for four people at three meals a day.)

Usually, our travel meal planning is pretty straightforward. We pretty much make the easiest recipes from our master list of meals .  Then we splurge on a handful of special meals in restaurants.  We pack food or eat at “home” for the rest of the time.

This time around, however, we’ve got more of a challenge: our apartment doesn’t have an oven or a stovetop!  THAT limits our usual cooking options.

Accommodation in San Francisco is EXTREMELY expensive – so the best budget rental we could find has a tiny kitchenette – basically a microwave, kettle and coffee maker. (It’s in a beautiful old Victorian house in a great neighbourhood and has a wonderfully reviewed host who will pick us up and drop us off at the airport!  This tiny kitchen was a trade-off we were willing to make.)

But, as our travel dates approach, I’m left wondering what exactly we’re going to make with our limited kitchen.

We’ve been searching and brainstorming and have some great ideas to share – I think we will eat very well and stay on budget. Plus, these recipes will be great for family road trips! Here are our ideas…

easy hotel meals

Travel Recipes: Easy Hotel Kitchenette Meals

1. keep meals and snacks simple..

  • We each bring a refillable water bottle in our carry-ons. Then we fill it each morning before touring.
  • Note to the wise: don’t be as daft as me. Be sure to fill these water bottles AFTER you’ve cleared airport security. On one trip, I lost all sense and filled all four of ours at home.  Then I had to dump them all ~ in a garbage pail of all places ~ while hundreds of other impatient travellers in line glared at me and surely commented about how stupid I am. Yeah – that felt awesome.
  • oatmeal, cereal, milk, fruit, toast and microwaved eggs will be our menu.
  • fruit, veggies, granola bars, etc. 
  • This helps stave off temptation for expensive snack bar junk.
  • Some museums and amusement parks don’t allow outside food – grrrrr – if they do pack and save!

2. Travel with your Instant Pot?

  • I think this would be especially genius for a road trip: bring your Instant Pot !  You can saute (like a stovetop!) and bake (like an oven!). It gives you so many more options for meals.
  • If you do pack your pressure cooker – these Instant Pot Dump Recipes would be perfect! Super low prep, fast and delicious.
  • Note: Ed’s concerned that the steam could set off the hotel smoke detector! That would suck. It might be best to vent out a window or on a balcony to be safest.

3. A microwave rice cooker might be useful to pack. Or maybe – one of our favourites – a Griddler ?

4. cooking in the coffee pot.

  • In looking for food ideas for our trip I kept seeing ideas to cook soup or noodles and other foods in the hotel coffee pot.
  • It’s a kinda cute idea – but YUCK.  I can’t help but think that coffee from that machine will forever taste terrible.  We won’t be doing this one out of our deep respect for coffee.

5. Cooking with the iron (using aluminum foil):

  • Iron paninis
  • Iron grilled cheese
  • Iron quesadillas

6. Easy Healthy Microwave Meals: easy hotel kitchenette meals

  • We’re going to use our microwave more than we ever have on this trip.  What follows are some really delicious looking ideas…

5 Minute Easy Rice and Beans

Fun & Free Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printable

fun road trip activities and games

25+ Family Fun Road Trip Activities and Games to Make the Hours Fly By!

quick travel food

14 Signs Your Family Vacation Plans are TOO Cheap

road trip printables

25+ Free Road Trip Printables for a Truly Fun Family Car Trip

road trip activities for kids

Family Trip Survival Guide – 13 Road Trip Activities for Kids

Friday 25th of August 2023

Great ideas! Many thanks for sharing - will definitely bookmark for our upcoming road trip of New Zealand :) (If you are interested in demographics of your readers - we are a retired Aussie couple in our 70's about to drive around NZ for a month and 'eating in' will help our travel dollars stretch.)

Robin & Ed Hicken

Saturday 26th of August 2023

I love that! Can I say we're jealous - your trip to New Zealand is at the top of our list of dream trips! Have so much fun!

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Here's an idea for you: we just travel with a portable electric element, a sauce pan and a frying pan. You can cook just about anything with that, and don't have to worry about e.g. the steam from an instant pot setting off the smoke alarm! We also sometimes take a rice cooker with that, which doesn't emit steam the way an instant pot does.


Thursday 31st of March 2022

These are great ideas, Sherry! Thanks for sharing. :)

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

def bookmarking this blog post because it will come in handy once the covid is over and i can travel to all parts of the world.

Southern Eats & Goodies

These Southern recipes are mouth watering, easy to make, and sure to get you recognized as a Southern cook.

family enjoying their beach dinners on vacation

Easy Vacation Dinners

These easy vacation meals will be a breeze to make in your beach house, rental house, or anywhere really that you need to feed the family. For the nights you don’t want to go to a restaurant but still want a yummy dining experience, keep this recipe list at your fingertips.

Depending on where you go on vacation and how much your eating out budget is, you will likely want some easy meals to make yourself. (But if you’re just looking for snack ideas for a day at the beach, head over to our Beach Food Ideas post!)

Whether you are in an VRBO, AirBnb, a townhouse, or a hotel with a kitchenette, you usually will have a few key appliances and ingredients to make these vacation meals.

I’m focusing this post on recipes that don’t require tons of spices, specialty appliances, or less common herbs you simply won’t have on hand.

Watch How to Make Ham and Cheese Casserole

Here’s an easy ham casserole that won’t drag you down with carbs. It’s keto and great for a vacation meal. This dish works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Easy dinners to make on vacation

When you’re out of town and want to feed our family without having to go out to eat every night (and without sticking them with peanut butter sandwiches) try these easy vacation dinners. They are simple enough and you don’t need tons of ingredients. You also don’t lots of spices or tricky cookware you don’t have.

They’re simple, inexpensive, and satisfying. Of course, while you’re on vacation you’ll want to eat some meals out in restaurants. But for the other nights, try these dishes.

These meals are easy to make on vacation without all your normal spices, tools, appliances, and cookware. Simple and easy to make to fill your family if you want to save money while away on vacation.

quick travel food

Super Easy Spaghetti Recipe (Done in 15 Minutes!)

This easy spaghetti doesn't require hours of cooking (who wants that when you're busy on vacation having fun?) and is tasty.

quick travel food

Caprese Chicken (5 Ingredient)

This is a five ingredient chicken dinner dish. If you need to fill up with some healthy protein, this is a healthy vacation dinner option.

quick travel food

Chicken Feta Pasta (5 Ingredient)

This chicken feta pasta is tasty, cheesy, and healthy. It will be filling and easy to make in an evening after a long day.

quick travel food

Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese 

With 5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper, of course) is filling and quick and easy. It won't leave you with a lot of food or ingredients that go bad.

quick travel food

Taco Casserole (5 Ingredient)

This taco casserole blends quite a few spices, still with only a few ingredients. It's inexpensive and super tasty.

quick travel food

Chili Dog Pizza

Now, if you're going for broke and want to cook something that's a crowd pleaser you wouldn't ordinarily eat at home... this is it.

quick travel food

Pasta With Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic

This is another super easy tasty pasta dish that'll fill you up after a long day of sightseeing.

quick travel food

Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This is a sheet pan dinner (meaning, throw everything on a sheet pan and bake it, voila, SO QUICK AND EASY!) and only requires

quick travel food

Ground Beef Teriyaki Ramen

Ramen is the KING of easy dinners. This 5 ingredient meal throws in some veggies and takes the ramen up a notch.

quick travel food

Chicken Enchilada Bake

This chicken enchilada bake is easy to make, super tasty, and only has a few ingredients.

quick travel food

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

This cheeseburger and fry casserole is comforting, filling, and uses frozen or canned ingredients.. read: super easy and inexpensive.

quick travel food

Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups

These pizza chicken roll ups combine two beloved dinner staples... pizza and chicken. Put them together with a side of a roasted veggie and voila, easy dinner.

quick travel food

Best Grilled Cheese Recipe 

These yummy grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect dinners, serve it up with some roasted veggies or a nice salad and you'll be filled up and ready to sight see again tomorrow.

quick travel food

Best Buttered Noodles Recipe

Talk about only using a few ingredients... this one is simple, inexpensive, and still super delicious.

quick travel food

Easy Crescent Taco Bake

This is one of our family's personal favorites. Easy to find ingredients, quick, filling, and a crowd pleaser on those late vacation nights.

quick travel food

Smothered Chicken Bake (5 ingredient)

This is beautiful, rich, creamy, and a great way to make an inexpensive vacation dinner with baked chicken.

quick travel food

Chicken And Broccoli Pasta (Instant Pot)

Chicken and broccoli pasta is a family dinnertime staple for many. Use the instant pot and make it tasty and quick for a 30-minute meal.

Beach vacation meal planning

Now, we’ve already talked about beach food ideas , which are easy foods for a day in the sand. But this list is about great foods to cook during your beach vacation in your beach rental house.

Tasty, light, fresh, and great off the grill; these are quick ways to whip up an amazing meal.

Idea for Beach Dinners

These are great meals that are beach inspired, you can get easy seafood, or foods you can cook with your grill, and easy beach dinners that you can either eat on the beach or in your beach vacation rental.

quick travel food

Easy Shrimp Pappardelle (5 ingredients!) 

Got some fresh shrimp? Here's a great and super simple 5 ingredient garlic shrimp pasta recipe.

quick travel food

Best Oven-Baked Tilapia Recipe

If you've caught some fresh fish and want to cook it up, this uses the oven (so you don't have to spend an hour on a charcoal grill!) and the result is amazing.

quick travel food

Best Crab Cake Recipe - How to Make Crab Cakes

These can be a little more difficult to make, but if you've been crabbing and want to try and whip up some yummy crab cakes, this recipe is simple and easy to follow.

quick travel food

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Embrace the seafood side with this easy to make and delicious glazed salmon.

quick travel food

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Spinach

Gone scalloping? Here are some easy recipes to cook a delicious meal with scallops that are wrapped in prosciutto... which is always a winner.

quick travel food

Express Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

Get some sausage with that shrimp and make an awesome cajun jambalaya one evening.

quick travel food

No-Frills Shrimp Boil Recipe

New to the shrimp boil? This is a no frills shrimp boil that you can make as long as you have a pot, shrimp, potatoes, and corn. This is one of our favorite beach house dinners because it's so easy and delicious.

quick travel food

Fried Whole Fish with Tomatillo Sauce Recipe

Ever wanted to try your hand at cooking a WHOLE FISH? Now's your chance to be the chef of this dish. Plus, you know the kids would think it's fun.

quick travel food

Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay and Aioli Recipe

This shrimp dish is another one of our favorite evening meal recipes for when you're on vacation and want to whip up something quickly. It looks fancy but is super easy to pull off.

quick travel food

Tilapia with Corn Salsa

This tilapia with corn salsa will please even the pickiest of seafood eaters. Plus it's simple and can be baked.

family enjoying their beach dinners on vacation

25+ Easy Vacation & Beach Meal Recipes

Ingredients   .

  • 15-Minute Spaghetti https://www.averiecooks.com/easy-15-minute-spaghetti/
  • 5-Ingredient Caprese Salad https://www.seasonalcravings.com/five-ingredient-caprese-chicken/
  • Chicken Feta Pasta https://www.wellplated.com/chicken-feta-pasta/
  • Instant Pot Chicken & Broccoli with Penne https://southerneatsandgoodies.com/instant-pot-chicken-broccoli-pasta/
  • Broccoli Mac and Cheese https://audrasappetite.com/broccoli-chicken-mac-and-cheese/
  • Taco Casserole https://www.theseasonedmom.com/lightened-up-taco-crescent-casserole/
  • Chili Dog Pizza https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chili-dog-pizza/
  • Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, & Garlic https://cupofjo.com/2014/07/pasta-with-tomatoes-basil-and-garlic/
  • Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken https://neighborfoodblog.com/sheet-pan-pesto-chicken-and-vegetables/
  • Ground Beef Teriyaki Ramen https://dinnerthendessert.com/ground-beef-teriyaki-ramen/
  • Chicken Enchilada Bake https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-enchilada-bake/
  • Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheeseburger-and-fries-casserole/
  • Pizza Chicken Rollups https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pizza-chicken-roll-ups/
  • Best Grilled Cheese https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19610233/how-to-make-best-grilled-cheese/
  • Best Buttered Noodles https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25636049/buttered-noodles-recipe/
  • Easy Crescent Taco Bake https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/easy-crescent-taco-bake/9c2bd5f7-63f7-4a6c-afa3-56baeedbc35a

Dinners Perfect for the Beach

  • Garlicky Shrimp Pasta https://www.cookingforkeeps.com/5-ingredient-garlicky-shrimp-pasta/
  • Oven Baked Tilapia https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19665918/oven-baked-tilapia-recipe/
  • Crab Cakes https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a58704/best-crab-cakes-recipe/
  • Balsamic Glazed Salmon https://www.cookingclassy.com/balsamic-glazed-salmon/
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249554/prosciutto-wrapped-scallops-with-spinach/
  • Express Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252103/express-shrimp-sausage-jambalaya/
  • No Frills Shrimp Boil https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/no-frills-shrimp-boil
  • Fried Whole Fish with Tomatillo Sauce https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fried-whole-fish-with-tomatillo-sauce
  • Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay and Aioli https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-shrimp-with-old-bay-and-aioli
  • Tilapia with Corn Salsa https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tilapia-with-corn-salsa/


  • Select meal from list above.
  • Follow link provided for the recipe.
  • Prepare and enjoy!

Other posts you’ll enjoy!

  • BBQ Menu Ideas
  • Family Backyard Picnic Ideas
  • Beach Food Ideas
  • 25+ Champagne Cocktails
  • 50+ Easy Southern Pie Recipes
  • 30+ Awesome Pound Cakes

' src=

Rachel Norman

Rachel is a southern born and bred mother of 5 and founder of Southern Eats & Goodies. She's an entrepreneur, country girl, and world traveler who speaks 3 languages and loves Southern food.

quick travel food

One Comment

' src=

Leave a Comment Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email Address

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

 Subscribe to Newsletter

Click to buy the amazing Instant Pot!

instant pot

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Howdy it’s nice to meet you..

Sign up to receive awesome recipes in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.

Popular Hits

  • 15 KONG Fillers 279401 views
  • Quickest Easiest Beach Food Ideas 63043 views
  • Easy Vacation Dinners 58120 views
  • Pickled Cucumbers 47417 views
  • 35+ Homemade Dog Food Recipes (Vet Approved!) 45924 views

Latest Content

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, chocolate ganache, how to make cold brew coffee, our favorite recipes with apples, easter brunch ideas.

Food Drink Life

Food Drink Life

17 Quick Dinners For Busy Bees Fast, Tasty, Simple

Posted: April 3, 2024 | Last updated: April 3, 2024

<p>Enjoy this super quick and easy TikTok Viral Baked Feta Pasta with palmini noodles made in a few minutes. Fully low carb, gluten-free, and grain-free keto dinner made with pasta alternative you are going to love.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/keto-baked-feta-pasta/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Palmini Baked Fetta Pasta</a></p>

For those always on the move, finding time to cook can be a challenge, but this collection of 17 quick dinners changes the game. Each recipe is designed for speed and simplicity, ensuring that a delicious meal can be on the table in no time. These dishes range from hearty pastas to comforting meals that pack a punch of flavor. They prove that fast food doesn’t have to come from a drive-thru, and tasty doesn’t mean hours in the kitchen.

Looking to shake up your weeknight dinner routine? These weeknight grilling recipes are packed with flavor and are sure to impress your family and friends (and make the neighbors jealous!)

Juicy and Guilt-Free Portobello Mushroom Burger

Who needs beef when you can have a burger that’s just as satisfying and packed with flavor? The Portobello Mushroom Burger fits perfectly into your hands and is juicy enough to require extra napkins, making every bite a guilt-free delight. It’s the kind of dinner that’ll have you looking forward to Meatless Monday. Get the Recipe: Juicy and Guilt-Free Portobello Mushroom Burger

<p>This healthy, simple and easy to make Asparagus Keto Quiche with fathead dough and camembert is a great casserole dish, that can be made well in advance. Have it for breakfast, dinner, brunch or any other occasion. It will always be a winner on the table.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/asparagus-keto-quiche/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Asparagus Keto Quiche</a></p>

Asparagus Fathead Quiche

For a low-carb twist on a classic, the Asparagus Fathead Quiche is surprisingly filling and packed with flavor. This dish combines tender asparagus and a cheesy, creamy filling, all wrapped up in a low-carb crust that’ll have you forgetting about traditional quiche pastry. It’s a quick, nutritious meal that’s perfect for any time of the day. Get the Recipe: Asparagus Fathead Quiche

<p>Whisk yourself away to the culinary wonderland of our Instant Pot Best Beef Stew Recipe. This Hungarian-inspired goulash transforms into a rich, hearty masterpiece that’s soft, juicy, and ready to delight in under 30 minutes. Savor the tender meat and robust flavors of this low-carb beef stew, perfect for those times when you’re craving comfort but don’t want to compromise on taste or time. Your loved ones won’t stop asking for seconds of this speedy sensation.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/keto-beef-stew-goulash/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Beef Stew Goulash Instant Pot</a></p>

Beef Stew Goulash Instant Pot

With the help of an Instant Pot, Beef Stew Goulash becomes a fuss-free dinner option that doesn’t skimp on taste. It’s hearty, warming, and filled with tender pieces of beef and veggies. This dish is ideal for those evenings when you need something comforting but don’t have hours to spend cooking. Get the Recipe: Beef Stew Goulash Instant Pot

Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken

Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken is a simple yet delicious way to get dinner on the table fast. Juicy chicken breasts are topped with ripe tomatoes and melted mozzarella, creating a dish that’s bursting with flavor. It’s a foolproof meal that’s sure to please everyone at the table. Get the Recipe: Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken

<p>This Rainbow Fathead Pizza Recipe is not only beautiful from outside, but filled with veggies and healthiness, even your kids would approve. It is super yummy, delicious, scrumptious and magnificent all at the same time.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/rainbow-keto-pizza-recipe/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Rainbow Fathead Pizza Recipe</a></p>

Rainbow Fathead Pizza

When you’re in the mood for pizza but watching your carbs, Rainbow Fathead Pizza comes to the rescue. This colorful pizza is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the taste buds, with a low-carb crust that’s surprisingly easy to make. It’s a fun, quick dinner option that’ll satisfy your pizza cravings. Get the Recipe: Rainbow Fathead Pizza

<p>Delight in the harmonious union of flavors in our Sauerkraut Symphony Chicken, a dish that pairs tender chicken with the zesty tang of homemade sauerkraut. Amplify your taste experience with a dollop of homemade Greek yogurt, all while reveling in the absence of excessive carbs. A quick and wholesome masterpiece that will transform your dinner table into a stage for culinary virtuosity.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/low-carb-sauerkraut-chicken/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Sauerkraut Symphony Chicken</a></p>

Low Carb Sauerkraut Chicken

For a meal that combines tangy sauerkraut with tender chicken in a way that’s unexpectedly delicious, give Low Carb Sauerkraut Chicken a try. It’s a dish that brings a pop of flavor to your dinner table, without all the carbs. Plus, it’s so easy to make, it’ll become a go-to for busy weeknights. Get the Recipe: Low Carb Sauerkraut Chicken

<p>Transport your taste buds to Italy with the Best Pasta Carbonara, a captivating family dinner option. Crafted with love, this Italian classic boasts homemade low carb noodles and irresistible crispy bacon bits, making it an instant favorite among your loved ones. Gluten-free, low carb, and grain-free, this culinary masterpiece promises to turn your dinner table into a realm of Italian comfort that’s both wholesome and satisfying.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/keto-pasta-carbonara/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Low Carb Pasta Carbonara</a></p>

Low Carb Pasta Carbonara

Imagine enjoying a creamy, dreamy Pasta Carbonara without worrying about the carbs. This Low Carb version of the classic Italian dish proves that you can have your pasta and eat it too, even on a low-carb diet. It’s perfect for those nights when only comfort food will do. Get the Recipe: Low Carb Pasta Carbonara

<p>Those Brussel Sprouts Cups with bacon and cheese are super quick and easy low carb cups, perfect for a comforting weekend breakfast, dinner, or a brunch. Fully gluten-free, grain-free, filled with all of the goodies from roasted brussel sprouts, crispy bacon, and melted cheese, this dish will become one of your favorites to turn to.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/keto-brussel-sprouts-cups/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Brussel Sprouts Cups</a></p>

Brussel Sprouts Cups

If you’re looking for a creative way to serve up veggies, Brussel Sprouts Cups are the answer. These little cups are fun to eat and packed with flavor, making them a great side or a light meal on their own. It’s a dish that might just turn the whole family into Brussels sprouts fans. Get the Recipe: Brussel Sprouts Cups

<p>Dive into the flavors of Stuffed Pepper Casserole, a colorful creation combining ground beef, rice, and tomato sauce, offering a hearty and visually appealing meal. Delight in the vibrant Stuffed Pepper Casserole, where ground beef meets rice and tomato sauce for a comforting meal.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/stuffed-peppers-with-low-carb-rice/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Rainbow Stuffed Peppers</a></p>

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Pepper is a classic dish that’s both nutritious and filling, making it a perfect quick dinner option. Filled with a savory mixture, each pepper is a self-contained meal that’s as colorful as it is delicious. It’s a versatile recipe that can be adapted to fit any taste preference. Get the Recipe: Stuffed Pepper

Palmini Baked Fetta Pasta

There’s something about Palmini Baked Fetta Pasta that makes it irresistible. Maybe it’s the creamy feta or the low-carb palmini noodles, but whatever it is, this dish is a game-changer. It’s quick, easy, and so tasty, you’ll forget it’s good for you. Get the Recipe: Palmini Baked Fetta Pasta

<p>Savor the flavors of homecooked goodness with a meatloaf that’s made extra special with the addition of cheesy leek delight. This dish is a tribute to the classics, where the heartwarming flavors of meatloaf meet the creamy charm of cheese and the subtle allure of leeks. Dive into a world of satisfaction.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/low-carb-cheese-meatloaf/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Cheesy Leek Delight Meatloaf</a></p>

Low Carb Meatloaf with Cheese and Leeks

Who knew that a Low Carb Meatloaf with Cheese and Leeks could be this flavorful? It’s the perfect comfort food, with a cheesy twist that makes every bite melt in your mouth. This dish is proof that going low-carb doesn’t mean giving up on your favorites. Get the Recipe: Low Carb Meatloaf with Cheese and Leeks

Low Carb Friendly Sushi Rolls Recipe. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Low Carb Sushi Rolls

With Low Carb Sushi Rolls, you can enjoy all the flavors of your favorite sushi without the rice. They’re fresh, satisfying, and perfect for a light dinner or a fancy snack. Plus, they’re so fun to make, you’ll want to have sushi night every week. Get the Recipe: Low Carb Sushi Rolls

<p>Our Chicken Stir Fry Shirataki Noodles recipe using guilt-free shirataki noodles with 0 Carbs and 0 calories that absorb all of the flavors will be a staple in your house. This fully low carb, gluten-free, grain-free, and diabetic friendly stir fry is a perfect mixture of deliciousness and healthiness in your life.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/shirataki-chicken-noodles/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Chicken Stir Fry Shirataki Noodles</a></p>

Chicken Stir Fry Shirataki Noodles

If you’re in the mood for something quick, easy, and bursting with flavor, Chicken Stir Fry Shirataki Noodles is the way to go. This dish brings together tender chicken and veggies in a savory sauce, served over low-carb shirataki noodles. It’s a weeknight meal that’s both satisfying and healthy. Get the Recipe: Chicken Stir Fry Shirataki Noodles

Bacon Fathead <a>Pizza</a> Dough. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Bacon Fathead Pizza Dough

When you’re craving pizza but don’t want to cheat on your diet, Bacon Fathead Pizza Dough comes to the rescue. Topped with crispy bacon and your favorite toppings, this pizza is so good, you won’t believe it’s low carb. It’s the perfect dish for pizza night, without any of the guilt. Get the Recipe: Bacon Fathead Pizza Dough

<p>Looking for an easy, low carb delicious chicken dinner? Try this delicious Hasselback chicken recipe, which features juicy chicken breast stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella. This hasselback chicken is an easy meal don in no time. <br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/stuffed-caprese-chicken-hasselback/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Stuffed Caprese Chicken Hasselback</a></p>

Stuffed Caprese Chicken Hasselback

There’s nothing quite like Stuffed Caprese Chicken Hasselback to make a dinner feel special. This dish takes the classic flavors of Caprese salad—tomato, mozzarella, and basil—and stuffs them into juicy chicken breasts. It’s a delicious way to bring a touch of elegance to your weeknight meals. Get the Recipe: Stuffed Caprese Chicken Hasselback

<p>Capture the essence of fall with Pumpkin Meatballs Casserole, a quick and aromatic ensemble that fills your kitchen with the warm embrace of rosemary-infused goodness. Celebrate fall with Pumpkin Meatballs Casserole, a quick and aromatic creation that captures the essence of the season in every bite.<br><strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/keto-pumpkin-meatballs/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Pumpkin Rosemary Bites</a></p>

Pumpkin Meatballs

Adding pumpkin to meatballs might sound unusual, but Pumpkin Meatballs are a delightful surprise. They’re savory with just a hint of sweetness, making them a hit with kids and adults alike. This dish is a fun twist on a classic, perfect for when you’re looking to shake things up. Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Meatballs

<p>This delicious Bunless Bacon Keto Burger is a great way to enjoy grilling season. The burger is full of flavor, and the added bacon makes it extra tasty – perfect for an August barbecue!<strong>Get the Recipe: </strong><a href="https://www.lowcarb-nocarb.com/bunless-bacon-keto-burger/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Bunless Bacon Burger</a></p>

Bunless Bacon Burger

For a meal that’s all about the flavor, the Bunless Bacon Burger wraps everything you love about burgers in strips of bacon instead of a bun. It’s a keto-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on taste, proving that sometimes, the best meals are the simplest. This dish is a carnivore’s dream, making dinner time something to really look forward to. Get the Recipe: Bunless Bacon Burger

The post 17 quick dinners for busy bees fast, tasty, simple appeared first on Food Drink Life .

More for You

popcorn ceiling with light fixture

Say Goodbye To Popcorn Ceilings Without Removing Them Thanks To This DIY

They made the notoriously bumpy transition look seamless.

32 Child Stars Who Became Successful Adult Actors

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom's Restaurant Offers $16 Hourly Wage To Employee

UNITED STATES - MARCH 7: From left, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, arrive for President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images)

Top Democrats Hope Sotomayor Learns Lesson From Ginsburg's Death: Report

Aubrey Plaza's Previous Marvel Role Proved She's Perfect for Agatha: Darkhold Diaries

Aubrey Plaza's Previous Marvel Role Proved She's Perfect for Agatha: Darkhold Diaries

To Contain China, the U.S. Bets on a 40-Year-Old Ship

To Contain China, the U.S. Bets on a 40-Year-Old Ship

Emma Flint smiling

I'm abrosexual - it took me 30 years to realise


Where to Get Free Food on National Burrito Day

30 famous slang terms and phrases popularized by movies and TV shows

30 slang words you may not realize came from TV and movies

What Americans Lost When They Stopped Going to Church

The True Cost of the Churchgoing Bust

Stephen King's It, Better Call Saul Stars Join Dave Bautista in New Thriller

Stephen King's It, Better Call Saul Stars Join Dave Bautista in New Thriller


Lululemon releases a first-of-its-kind product

I moved from the US to Ireland. Here are 11 things that surprised me most.

I moved from the US to Ireland. Here are 11 things that surprised me most.

Wyoming Governor Vetoes Concealed Carry Bill, Sparking Heated Debate

Wyoming Governor Vetoes Concealed Carry Bill, Sparking Heated Debate

20 facts you might not know about 'Beetlejuice'

20 facts you might not know about 'Beetlejuice'

5 dogs reunited with Indiana soldiers who helped rescue them

5 dogs reunited with Indiana soldiers who helped rescue them


The Good Doctor kills off main character in final season

Female construction worker

More Gen Z are choosing trade schools over college to become welders and carpenters because ‘it’s a straight path to a six-figure job’

Russia's adapting air defenses means Ukraine's new F-16s are an example of weapons that are 'no longer relevant:' senior Ukrainian officer

Russia's adapting air defenses means Ukraine's new F-16s are an example of weapons that are 'no longer relevant:' senior Ukrainian officer

100 best movies of all time

The 100 best movies of all time, based on data

  • Share full article


Supported by

‘Winners and Losers’ as $20 Fast-Food Wage Nears in California

The nation’s highest state minimum wage for fast-food workers takes effect on Monday. Owners and employees are sizing up the potential impact.

Jamie Bynum, in a work uniform, slices meet on a restaurant counter.

By Kurtis Lee

Reporting from Lancaster, Calif.

A decade ago, Jamie Bynum poured his life savings into a barbecue restaurant now tucked between a Thai eatery and a nutrition store in a Southern California strip mall.

As a franchise owner of a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Mr. Bynum is pridefully particular about the details of his establishment — the size of the hickory wood pile on display near the entrance, the positioning of paper towel rolls on each table, the careful calibration it takes to keep his restaurant staffed 10 hours a day with a small crew.

The staffing, he said, has become harder in recent years, as the state’s minimum wage has steadily increased since 2017, often rising by a dollar per year. Today, it’s $16 an hour.

But on Monday, it will jump to $20 an hour for most fast-food workers in California, propelling them to the top of what minimum-wage earners make anywhere in the country. (Only Tukwila, Wash., a small city outside Seattle, sets the bar higher, with a minimum wage of $20.29 for many employees.)

The ambitious law, which supporters hope to see replicated nationwide, has been characterized by opposing sides in stark terms. To backers, it is a step toward fair compensation for low-wage workers who faced significant risk during the pandemic. To opponents, it is a cataclysmic move that will raise food prices, lead to job losses and force some franchisees to consider closing.

“People don’t understand that when wages rise, so do the prices,” Mr. Bynum said.

Mr. Bynum has, in recent years, raised prices to try to maintain profit margins — and each time, he said, he has noticed a drop in customers. That, in turn, forced painful decisions about cutting staffing and trimming hours.

The new minimum wage will add $3,000 to $4,000 to his monthly expenses, he said, and while he hopes to keep all eight of his employees, he doesn’t know if he can make the numbers add up.

One employee, Josue Reyes, has worked at the restaurant on and off over the past decade.

He works the evening shift, often taking the bus and then riding his hybrid bike the rest of the way to the restaurant. Mr. Reyes, 35, said the consistent pay raises through the years — he now makes $16 an hour — had helped him significantly. He puts much of his paycheck toward assisting his mother pay the rent at their trailer park and tries to save where he can.

While another pay increase will help him, Mr. Reyes, who has worked in fast food for much of his life, said he feared that before long, jobs would become more competitive and harder to keep.

“There can be job losses because restaurants close,” he said on a recent weekday, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt for his shift. “No one wants that, but it seems very possible.”

The potential ripple effects of the law weighed by Mr. Bynum and Mr. Reyes at this fast-food restaurant in Lancaster, a high desert city at the northern edge of Los Angeles County, mirror conversations that will play out across the state as owners and employees — and eventually consumers — adjust to the new reality.

Championed by powerful labor organizations, including the Service Employees International Union, the law will lift pay for more than half a million California employees who work for fast-food chains with 60 or more locations nationwide. It also creates a council comprising, among others, workers, franchise owners and union representatives who will oversee future increases to the minimum wage and devise workplace standards.

In an interview, Mary Kay Henry, president of the S.E.I.U., said the law was long overdue. “We are talking about a billion-dollar industry that can and should afford this raise,” she said, noting that most workers are Black and Latino. “Raising pay improves employers’ ability to hire and retain workers.”

The potential beneficiaries include Anna Velazquez-Cruz, who has worked at a Papa Johns in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles for a year.

Ms. Velazquez-Cruz, 19, lives with relatives in an apartment a short walk from the shop, where she makes around $18 an hour. “The internet bills, the rent, it gets higher,” she said on a recent evening.

But Matt Haller, president of the International Franchise Association, said he expected the new law to significantly harm many small businesses.

“Local restaurants will face hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased operating costs,” Mr. Haller said. “Customers will face higher food prices, and restaurant owners will have to cut costs to keep their doors open.”

Economists are divided over the merits and pitfalls.

Ismael Cid-Martinez, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank partly funded by labor unions, said the law would help lift wages for workers in other low-paying industries in the state.

“These workers are also consumers,” he said. “Any increase in earnings for them means additional resources that they use to feed their families, bolster small businesses and strengthen their state economy.”

David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine, said the impact would be more nuanced. “A higher minimum wage creates winners and losers,” he said.

The winners will be workers who keep their jobs and at most have a modest reduction in hours, he said, while the losers will be those whose hours are substantially cut or who lose their jobs — along with smaller franchise owners who were already struggling to make much of a profit.

“They make more than minimum-wage workers,” he said. “But lots of them are not high-income.”

That is the case for Mr. Bynum, whose path to franchise ownership started with a career change 10 years ago.

He and his wife, Liza, who both then worked in the information technology sector, noticed a dearth of barbecue restaurants near their home in Lancaster and used all of their $150,000 in savings to open a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.

quick travel food

The chain, based in Dallas, operates more than 400 restaurants, and Mr. Bynum said he pays 9 percent in royalties to the headquarters. He has cut his staff by half over the past decade and trimmed hours. He has raised prices: A loaded baked potato cost $8 when he opened; now it’s almost $20 when ordering at the restaurant.

That’s a significant increase for his customers in Lancaster, a city 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles where about 15 percent of residents live at or below the poverty line — and where higher pay and higher costs will both be keenly felt.

Most days in recent years, Mr. Bynum and his wife have run the restaurant with help from their two adult children.

“What started as a dream has slowly faded,” Mr. Bynum said.

Joe Marques is another owner wondering how to navigate the months ahead.

He became the owner of a Wienerschnitzel restaurant in San Jose, Calif., in the early 1990s and now has two other locations in the area. He employs around 45 people at the three stores combined. As an owner, he said, he is surviving week to week and has little money for capital improvements, such as repaving parking lots and painting.

“There is a lot of perception that we are a big corporation simply because of the name,” he said. “In reality, I am essentially an independent small-business owner.”

At current staffing levels — 60 percent of his employees work full time, the others part time — it will cost him an additional $4,500 to $5,000 a month per store to remain open, he said. Mr. Marques, 64, had wanted to permanently hand his businesses over to his son. That hope, he said, seems more and more fleeting these days.

“It’s not like we are getting rich on this,” he said. “We are trying to make a living.”

For Mr. Reyes, the longtime Dickey’s employee, his job has given a sense of stability that he worries may soon shatter.

He likes that the job is close to home, Mr. Reyes said, so someone in his family can pick him up and he can avoid taking a late-night bus. While welcoming the higher pay that the law will mandate, he expressed sympathy about the financial strain on Mr. Bynum.

“There has been a type of companionship,” he said. “He’s given me consistent work.”

What Mr. Bynum sees on the horizon concerns him. For months, he and his wife have thought about what they might do next — perhaps, he said, go back to I.T. — but he fears his options would be limited. At 51, he’s not sure who would hire him. He worries, too, about what would happen to Mr. Reyes and his other employees.

“We’re all in this as a team,” he said. “I care about my people and have given people a lot of opportunities over the years.”

And singling out the fast-food industry for a higher minimum wage, Mr. Bynum said, “all just seems targeted and like an attack.”

“I am a small-business owner at the end of the day,” he added, “just scraping along.”

Kurtis Lee is an economics correspondent based in Los Angeles who focuses on the lives and livelihoods of everyday Americans. He has written about income inequality for nearly a decade. More about Kurtis Lee

More From Forbes

5 travel apps every traveler should download.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

Downloading the best travel apps can be the key to a successful trip

Have apps, will travel. We rely on apps for pretty much every facet of life, and when you’re on the road, having a few travel apps queued up can help save stress, time and money, and make your trip so much better in very simple ways.

Beyond your standard airline, railroad, hotel chain and fast food apps, here are five travel-specific apps every traveler should download on their smartphone before heading out.

Top 5 Travel Apps

Google maps.

If you’re not using Google Maps to do more than navigate your trip, you’re not using it right. Google Maps is an essential part of any trip in 2024, for so many reasons. Firstly, you can download offline maps before you go, an extremely helpful resource if you don’t have service and need to find your way (you know, since no one has paper maps anymore). Google Maps can also help you plan a route with multiple stops, add starred and flagged places your network recommends and use AI to help with travel searches. Google Maps can help you find your parked car, find gas stations and so much more. Free to download in Apple App Store and Google Play.

Hikers, this one’s for you. Hikers of all levels can find hiking routes, long walks and camping sites via AllTrails , which offers peer-rated reviews of each spot, rankings and a level of easy, moderate or hard. Depending on your activity preference, AllTrails can also recommend spots for mountain bikers, wheelchair users, runners, hikers with dogs and more. A free version is comprehensive, but avid hikers may want to sign up for a subscription to AllTrails+, which offers even more details about your outdoor activity, including air quality, satellite weather, pollen, light pollution and user heatmaps. Free to download in Apple App Store and Google Play.

A smartphone can be an essential hiking tool, especially when you're out of town.

There s Some Good News For 3 Body Problem Season 2

Trump media (djt) investors are now at risk, the 5 most common dreams and their hidden meanings from a psychologist, hotel tonight.

Spontaneous travelers should download Hotel Tonight for last-minute bookings, often at a discount. The hotel app offers flash deals, as well as the ability to book stays in advance or for multiple nights and it’s perfect for procrastinators who just need a place to crash. It’s also great for flight delays, unexpected stop overs or road trips with no specific route in mind. Planners can also favorite specific properties before they travel to check nightly deals. Regular users will earn perks and steeper discounts after multiple bookings. Free to download in Apple App Store and Google Play.

If you’re traveling with your dog in tow, the BringFido app is a must have. The user-sourced and ranked database offers listings of accomodations, restaurants, events, activities and more that are dog-friendly in towns and cities across the United States and beyond. The app is great for playing a dog-friendly itinerary or finding a dog-friendly brewery or fenced in park on the go. Users can also post their favorite spots and leave tips for other dog visitors and their owners. Free to download in Apple App Store and Google Play.

Travel is so much better with a dog, especially when you know where to take your four legged travel ... [+] buddy.

Itinerary lovers, this one’s for you. TripIt is perfect for those organizing a major getaway or organizing a bunch of small trips that you just can’t possibly remember all the details for (flights, hotels, car rental, etc.) The free app aggregates all the plans in your email, stores confirmation numbers and will send alerts to remind you to leave for the airport, check in to your next accomodation, head to your dinner reservation and more. It’s like a personal assistant in your pocket, that can also track your rewards points, help with flight compensation and more. A free version is sufficient, but $49 for a year of TripIt Pro earns you extra benefits like airport navigation, baggage claim info and potential reimbursement, and the ability to upload 25 documents. Free to download in Apple App Store and Google Play.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions

Breaking News

Your guide to California’s new $20-an-hour minimum wage for fast food workers

A view of McDonald's on Crenshaw Boulevard in south Los Angeles.

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!

California’s mandatory minimum wage for fast-food workers took effect Monday, with $20 an hour now in place.

Here is what we know from the pages of The Times:

The pay increase established b y Assembly Bill 1228 applies t o California fast food workers employed by any chain with more than 60 locations nationwide and covers corporate-owned and franchised locations. The state has more than 540,000 fast food workers, about 195,000 of them in Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the latest May 2022 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An employee prepares a burrito bowl at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on February 6. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Starbucks, Chipotle, McDonald’s: Who’s raising prices as California fast-food law starts today

Fast-food chains are looking to hike the cost of menu items because they’re required to pay their employees $20 an hour starting Monday.

April 1, 2024

The previous minimum wage in California, regardless of industry, was $16 an hour — meaning many cashiers, line and prep cooks, counter attendants and baristas will see as much as a 25% raise overnight. Here is an overview.

Los Angeles, CA - March 29: An aerial view of fast food restaurants on Crenshaw Blvd including Taco Bell, McDonald's, Yoshinoya, Subway, El Pollo Loco, Little Caesers, Panda Express,Taco Bell, and Smart & Final grocery store. Photo taken in south Los Angeles Friday, March 29, 2024. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

With fewer options, South L.A. braces for bigger bills at fast-food restaurants

Fast-food chains plan to raise prices in response to the state’s $20 minimum wage for their workers, potentially affecting a swath of L.A. that relies on the eateries.

March 29, 2024

Rising prices?

Some fast food operators said they plan to raise prices — or are considering doing so. While Chipotle has not yet announced a final decision on new pricing, many other chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Jack in the Box say they are planning to push the wage increase onto consumers or change their operations. Here is a look at what other changes chains have in mind.

New council

Along with the higher minimum wage, the new law established a Fast Food Council — composed of business and labor representatives — that has the authority to set future pay increases (at a maximum of 3.5% a year) and develop standards on working conditions and employee safety and training.

Fast food chains plan to raise menu prices as California’s mandatory minimum wage for fast-food workers jumps to $20 an hour

Higher prices on the menu as fast-food chains brace for California’s big minimum wage jump

With the state’s mandatory minimum wage for fast-food workers set to increase to $20 an hour, many restaurant chains are preparing to raise prices.

March 27, 2024

More reading

‘I feel duped’: Inside the fast-food industry’s push to dismantle a new California labor law

California fast-food workers form an unusual union in a bid for higher wages, better working conditions

Labor, business reach deal to raise fast-food wages and end California ballot fight

Minimum-wage workers in these California cities are getting a raise in 2024

Higher wages are coming for California’s fast-food workers. Here’s what to know about the new law

More to Read

Los Angeles, CA, Monday, April 1, 2024 - McDonalds located on Santa Monica Blvd. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Letters to the Editor: Upset over California’s $20 wage? Wait until you see what fast-food CEOs make

April 4, 2024

Los Angeles, CA - March 29: A view of McDonald's, on Crenshaw Blvd. in south Los Angeles Friday, March 29, 2024. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Fast-food wage hike puts Democrats on defense as Californians worry about cost of living

April 3, 2024

Los Angeles, CA - March 06: Anneisha Williams, third right, Imelda, second right, and Laura Posos, right, chant in support of a three-day strike to protest ongoing wage theft, including the denial of meal breaks, overtime and paid sick leave at Pizza Hut's 2542 W. Temple Street location on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. The workers have filed a complaint with the state labor commissioner seeking over $80,000 in back pay and penalties. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Pizza Hut workers in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown go on 3-day strike, alleging wage theft

March 7, 2024

Start your day right

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

More From the Los Angeles Times

Huntington Beach, CA - FasTrak express lanes are open on the San Diego (405) Freeway from Costa Mesa to the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. The $2.16 billion project, which began in 2018, added one new lane in each direction as well as express lanes between state Route 73 and the San Gabriel River Freeway. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Electric and hybrid vehicles could lose carpool access. What you need to know

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) throws to first base for an out during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Anthony Rendon is hitless with questionable motivation. Should Angels fans cheer him?

A firefighter inspects a vehicle that went over the side of a canyon in Malibu on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

1 dead after car crashes, tumbling into Malibu Canyon

 Overall, shows LAPD Headquarters on 1st St. in downtown Los Angeles

In one of L.A.’s largest cash heists, burglars steal as much as $30 million in elaborate operation

THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Tolyatti

Restaurants in tolyatti, establishment type, traveler rating, dietary restrictions, restaurant features.

quick travel food

  • Vosmaya Milya
  • Redkaya Ptitsa
  • Handmade cafe DROVA
  • Vedro Gvozdey

Baltimore Port: What impact will bridge collapse have on shipping?

U.S. President Joe Biden visits the Port of Baltimore


Current status of cargo ships inside port, cruise ships, london metal exchange warehouses, bunker fuel.

Get weekly news and analysis on the U.S. elections and how it matters to the world with the newsletter On the Campaign Trail. Sign up here.

Reporting by Josephine Mason, Nick Carey, Helen Reid, Jonathan Saul, Nigel Hunt, Marwa Rashad, Scott DiSavino, Shariq Khan and Eric Onstad; Compiled by Josephine Mason and Nina Chestney; Editing by Nick Macfie and Nick Zieminski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. , opens new tab

Biden delivers remarks on lowering healthcare costs in Washington

Canadian aid worker killed in Gaza strike had young son, says family

Jacob Flickinger, the Canadian aid worker killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza this week, was a former soldier who had an 18-month-old son, his parents told CBC.

75th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, in Brussels

Read the Latest on Page Six

  • Weird But True
  • Sex & Relationships
  • Viral Trends
  • Human Interest
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Drink

trending now in Lifestyle

Tourists stunned after getting $100 bill for two hamburgers, fries and a soda at Swiss hotel

Tourists stunned after getting $100 bill for two hamburgers,...

12-year-old girl who married high priest, 63, taken into police protection: reports

12-year-old girl who married high priest, 63, taken into police...

National Burrito Day deals are here — how to eat for cheap or free at Chipotle, Taco Bell and more

National Burrito Day deals are here — how to eat for cheap or...

I’m 6'10 and have the world’s longest legs — here's how I date and shop for clothes

I’m 6'10 and have the world’s longest legs — here's how I...

Americans believe they need this much to retire, but actually have far less stashed away: study

Americans believe they need this much to retire, but actually...

Airplane window shades should be open during takeoff and landing — here's why

Airplane window shades should be open during takeoff and landing...

Here's how to guarantee you're getting a 'good' workout — according to fitness experts

Here's how to guarantee you're getting a 'good' workout —...

Dear Abby: My wife left me 'to find herself'

Dear Abby: My wife left me 'to find herself'

National burrito day deals are here — how to eat for cheap or free at chipotle, taco bell and more.

  • View Author Archive
  • Email the Author
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Get author RSS feed

Contact The Author

Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission.

Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission.

These deals are un-burrito-ble.

National Burrito Day is today, Thursday, April 4 — and fast food restaurants are celebrating with offers for their customers.

The foodie holiday is a highlight of what’s known among the faithful as “burrito season,” which reportedly lasts from March through May and is the busiest time of the year for Mexican food consumption, Chipotle previously told Business Insider .

Beef burrito on a plate

A spokesperson for the fresh fast casual brand told BI they see their highest sales volume in the spring thanks to “weather and daylight.” The burrito-specific reason this phenomenon doesn’t continue into summer is because the many chain restaurants near colleges and universities don’t do as well when the academic year is over.

But for now, with the season at its height, take some time to enjoy this year’s National Burrito Day deals.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Moes Southwest Grill

Moe’s is offering BOGO burritos or bowls for the national holiday.

Customers can buy one burrito or bowl and receive a burrito or bowl “of equal or lesser value” for free.

Add-ons, extras, premium proteins, taxes, fees and catering are excluded, the restaurant clarified .

Also, Moe’s will be hosting a giveaway where 100 winners will get a free burrito each week for 52 weeks.

To win, check in on your Moe’s Rewards account starting at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday by scanning to earn or redeem, placing an order in the app or scanning a receipt. Non-reward members can also enter on Instagram or Facebook.

baja fresh

Customers who order online or through the Baja Fresh app can get BOGO burritos.

The deal is for rewards members, so anyone with a Club Baja Rewards account can use coupon code BURRITO2024 at checkout for the offer.

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Qdoba’s Burrito Day deal is also exclusive to rewards members, and the fast-food restaurant wants you to “have a flavor-packed celebration with a BFF (Burrito For FREE).”

Those who purchase an entrée and a drink either in-restaurant or online will receive a free burrito.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell has a wide range of deals for National Burrito Day.

Exclusive to the Taco Bell app, buy a burrito and get 50% off a burrito of equal or lesser value.

The fast-food chain is offering deals through delivery apps, too. You can get $5 off DoorDash delivery orders of $20+ when you buy a burrito. Additionally, get a free burrito on orders for delivery of $22+ on Grubhub.

On Uber Eats or Postmates, customers can buy a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito and get one free on delivery orders.


For National Burrito Day, Chipotle is offering a $0 delivery fee to all Chipotle Rewards members ordering online or through the Chipotle app with code DELIVER.

Prior to the foodie holiday, on April 2 and 3, Chipotle launched a new interactive game called Burrito Vault that gave away 100,000 BOGO free entrée codes to be redeemed exclusively on National Burrito Day.

If you were one of the lucky 50,000 fans to successfully decipher the Burrito Vault code, your code is redeemable today only.

Additionally, anyone who played and correctly guessed the code was automatically entered into Chipotle’s National Burrito Day sweepstakes, where 53 fans will be randomly selected to win free burritos for a year, according to a news release .

Dos Toros Taqueria

Dos Toros Taqueria is celebrating National Burrito Day by offering $5 burritos when customers sign into their rewards account via the Dos Toros app or on the Dos Toros website .

Also, customers can get a 15% off of a burrito box for guests catering needs by using the code BURRITOBOX at checkout before April 6.

Bubbakoo’s Burritos

Bubbakoo’s Burritos is offering loyalty membes a BOGO burrito deal at all locations nationwide only on April 4 for National Burrito Day — but the second burrito is to be saved for later.

Once the burrito fan purchases a regular full-price burrito, a coupon will be automatically delivered to the customer’s loyal count to redeem a free burrito at a later date.

Share this article:

Beef burrito on a plate


quick travel food

  • Skip to main content
  • Keyboard shortcuts for audio player

Half a million California workers will get $20 minimum wage, starting today

Alina Selyukh 2016

Alina Selyukh

Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo

quick travel food

Fast-food workers rally for health and safety protections near a McDonald's in Los Angeles, in 2021. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

Fast-food workers rally for health and safety protections near a McDonald's in Los Angeles, in 2021.

Some half a million workers in California are getting a big bump up in pay.

The state's minimum wage for fast-food employees jumps to $20 an hour on Monday, giving many a raise of 25% from just last week. The law affects some of the biggest restaurant chains — McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway, Starbucks — and local franchisees have raised alarms about the increase in labor costs.

Fast-food jobs are among the lowest-paying in the U.S. economy, where wages have been growing in recent years, after stagnating for decades. The workers are often women, immigrants and people of color; many live below the poverty line.

McDonald's worker Jaylene Loubett from Los Angeles points out that California is among the most expensive states in the country, and her city is one of the priciest in the state. Plus, inflation has meant higher cost of food and bills.

Retail Jobs Are Treated As A Temporary Bridge To Something Better. But Why?

Help Wanted: Where Are The Workers?

Retail jobs are treated as a temporary bridge to something better. but why.

"Even though it's a big help, people need to realize that $20 compared to the cost of living in Los Angeles, it's still not enough to feel secure," says Loubett, 25, who's worked at McDonald's for six years.

She shares a one-bedroom apartment with her parents, who deal with medical issues. Ideally, Loubett hopes to use her raise to start saving toward a bigger home – or at least lessen the stress over expenses.

"It gives me a little bit more of a wiggle room," she says.

California's minimum wage for jobs outside fast food remains $16 an hour, though it's higher in some cities and counties. Employers paying under $20 an hour will likely face stiffer competition for workers.

Delivery drivers lose jobs and smoothies are pricier

California restaurant chain owners and franchisees say that higher labor costs will force them to raise prices, add automation, cut workers' hours or even close shop.

In December, Pizza Hut franchisees laid off hundreds of delivery drivers ahead of the wage hike and switched to apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash, which pushes more delivery fees onto customers.

Chains including Jack in the Box, Starbucks, McDonald's and Chipotle say they plan to raise prices more than they have already. The cost of eating out has stubbornly inched higher in the U.S. even as inflation has cooled elsewhere .

California fast-food workers will get $20 minimum wage, starting Monday

What's at stake for California's $20 minimum fast-food wage

Brian Hom, who runs two franchise locations of Vitality Bowls, says the price of smoothies, salads and other items on his menu will increase 5% to 10% this week to offset the higher wages for his 30-some employees. Before Monday's raise, the minimum wage at his stores was $17.55.

"I'm happy that my employees are going to make more," Hom says. "But the impacts to the business are the concern... Will I be able to sustain the business?"

Other restaurant owners expect workers will be working fewer hours. That was the main side-effect of a minimum-wage hike in Seattle a decade ago, research suggests , with workers overall not losing jobs, but losing hours, though still generally earning more.

The rule applies to fast-food chains with at least 60 locations

California's pay hike is a result of a contentious deal struck by labor leaders, including the large Service Employees International Union, and fast-food companies.

The new wage law applies to fast-food chains with at least 60 locations nationwide, with exemptions for some bakeries and smaller outposts inside grocery stores, airports and other venues.

'Gives Me Hope': How Low-Paid Workers Rose Up Against Stagnant Wages

'Gives Me Hope': How Low-Paid Workers Rose Up Against Stagnant Wages

Under the new law, a new Fast Food Council was formed as part of the state's industrial relations department. The council, which includes both restaurant workers and owners, will develop standards, rules and regulations for the fast-food industry.

Broadly, California often sets the bar for many business decisions that other states later follow. Advocates hope something similar will happen with fast-food pay – spreading to other industries in the state and across the country.

In recent years, the battle for higher minimum wages has increasingly played out at the city, county and state levels as the federal minimum languishes at $7.25 an hour .

KQED's Farida Jhabvala Romero contributed to this report.

  • fast food workers
  • minimum wage


  1. 15 Healthy Road Trip Food

    quick travel food

  2. 10 Easy Meals to Take on Long Car Rides

    quick travel food

  3. 50+ Road Trip Food Ideas- Easy Meals On the Go!

    quick travel food

  4. Best Road Trip Snacks! in 2020

    quick travel food

  5. Road Trip Meal Plan {Healthy Travel Food Ideas}

    quick travel food

  6. Ultimate Road Trip Food: 105+ Easy Road Trip Meals & Snacks Ideas

    quick travel food


  1. $10 Street Food Challenge Indonesia 🇮🇩

  2. Potato Samosa @Rural_Cuisine

  3. Travel Like a Pro

  4. Recipes from Russia. So few people cook, but in vain! Dinner in a hurry. Very Easy No Problems

  5. Quick salad while camping 🏕️ #livinglife #survive #asmrfood #cookingvideo #outdoors #camp #campfire

  6. Fast Worker! Popular Malaysian Chicken Roti


  1. Road Trip Food List: Easy To Pack Meals & Snacks

    Fruit. Squeezable applesauce. Hard-boiled eggs. Peanut butter, banana, and granola wrapped up in a tortilla. Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits. Additional planning tip: For added morning fun, use the category "breakfast foods", "brands or cereal", or "types of fruit" while you play a road trip word game.

  2. 105+ Easy Road Trip Meals & Snacks: Best Road Trip Food

    Easy Non-Refrigerated Road Trip Lunch Ideas. Canned Tuna & crackers - The mini pull tab tins come in many flavours. Protein Bars, Energy Bars. Sardines or Mackerel canned with avocado, crackers or bread. Snacks for lunch: Beef Jerky, Trail Mix, Smoothie Pouches, Nut Butter Pouches.

  3. THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP FOOD LIST: 50 Scrumptious Travel Snacks

    20. Fruit leather. 21. Whole-grain muffins. 22. Bread (pretzel rolls, pita bread) 23. Water (Preferably in a water bottle like a Hydro Flask that will keep your water cold for hours.) *The following are all still healthy snacks for a road trip but will require a cooler.

  4. The Best Road Trip Food: 101+ Easy Meal & Snack Ideas You'll Love!

    Planning your food ideas for the road ahead can save money and time. And healthy road trip foods can ensure that you have the energy to continue the journey and eat well on the road. These 101+ ideas for the best road trip foods and my list of healthy snacks and meals give you many ideas to keep you full and fed on the road.

  5. 25 Easy Make-Ahead Road Trip Meal Ideas they'll love!

    5 easy road trip Breakfast ideas. Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit. Muesli/ cereal. Scrambled eggs in a wrap or on toast (toast is HARD to cook on a gas hob though!) Bacon/ sausage sandwich (bring your own bacon from the UK. Alternatively, look in European supermarkets- but it won't look the same.

  6. 40+ No-Cook Meals for Traveling

    5. Boiled Eggs. This is the one cheater on the list. You'll have to cook them before you leave, but boiled eggs are valuable to have around. You can at them on their own, or use them in several of the recipes on our list. Boil a batch of 12 before you leave the house, and they will keep for a few days in the cooler.

  7. 50+ Tasty Road Trip Food Ideas and Tips [Ultimate Road trip Food List

    Stuff your wraps/pita bread with anything you want/have in the car. Legumes, meat, refried beans, cheese, eggs, salad, sauces, leftovers from the night before…You name it, and it'd (probably) go well inside. 33. Bean Burrito. Bean burritos are another personal favourite road trip food of mine.

  8. The Best Road Trip Food Ideas & Meals With Free Meal Planner

    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.

  9. 34 Healthy Road Trip Foods

    This healthy road trip foods list highlights easy storage, no mess, and quick clean up. These dietitian-approved road trip foods are perfect for kids, teens, and adults. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I am always looking for healthy food options that not only make you feel good but taste good, too! After a recent 14 hour road trip, I've came up with the best healthy road trip tips and ...

  10. 50+ Easy, Healthy Road Trip Snack Recipes: Road Trip Foods

    Quick Road Trip Snack Recipes: Energy Balls, Energy Bites, Protein Bites. Whether you call them energy balls, bites, bliss balls or protein bites, they all have something in common.They are super quick and easy to make, nutritious and versatile enough to fit all your travel companions road trip snack preferences and dietary needs.

  11. Homemade Snack Recipes for Road Trips

    This list of packable, snackable recipes includes bites like smoked almond snack bars, ham and cheddar muffins, and brownie brittle. Most of these stay fresh in an airtight container, but some need to be stashed in your cooler or hotel fridge . Snack Recipes with 6 Ingredients or Less. Savory Snack Recipes. Classic Snack Recipes.

  12. 40 Simple And Easy Travel Food Ideas

    Cheesy Mince Tortilla Pie - Bakes Kheema Roti Pie. Cheesy Mince Tortilla Pie or the Kheema Tortilla Pie is satisfying and complete dish made with mutton mince, cheese, and ready-to-use spring roll sheets. Prep Time: 15min; Cook time: 1h; ( 2 votes, average: 5.00) Get The Recipe.

  13. 25 Best Travel Snacks For Your Next Trip

    LesserEvil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn (24 Pack) $17 at Amazon. Popcorn is a great volume-rich snack, meaning you can eat quite a bit of it for very little calories. It is also considered a whole ...

  14. Road Trip Snacks: The Best Healthy Snacks on the Go

    Low-fat Greek yogurt. Hummus with veggies. Fruit cups made with fresh fruit. Pre-cut veggies. Oatmeal. The prices at the airport can be sky high, though, and you may be on the run to make a ...

  15. The 38 Best Road Trip Snacks You Can Pack

    Chia Seed Protein Bites. This recipe has no gluten, eggs, dairy or corn, so it's the perfect road trip snack for those with certain food allergies. They're also no-bake, so even the littlest hands can help make these protein-packed treats! Go to Recipe. 21 / 38.

  16. Travel Recipes: 20+ Meals To Make In A Hotel Room Microwave Or

    Microwave Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce from The Wooden Spoon Effect. Microwave Migas in a Mug from Just Microwave It. Spaghetti Squash with Sage Brown Butter & Toasted Walnuts from Two Healthy Kitchens. Spinach Ricotta Lasagna in a Mug from Healthy Nibbles & Bits. Sriracha Salmon from Savory Sweet Life.

  17. 25 delicious travel snacks for road trips and long flights

    Justin's peanut butter is naturally delicious, and each squeeze pack is gluten-free with 7 grams of protein. Each pack weighs 1.15 ounces, which means they're also a solid option for taking ...

  18. 30+ Easy RV Meals to Whip Up on Your Road Trip

    Easy RV Meals: Beef. 17. Spanish Rice with Ground Beef. "This Spanish Rice recipe is made with ground beef for a main dish meal! Ready in less than 30 minutes!". - Add a Pinch. 18. Easy Barbecue Steak Bites. "Become the master of the grill this summer with this easy, flavor-packed Barbecue Steak Bites Recipe!".

  19. 25+ Easy Vacation Dinners (With Only A Few Ingredients!)

    Depending on where you go on vacation and how much your eating out budget is, you will likely want some easy meals to make yourself. (But if you're just looking for snack ideas for a day at the beach, head over to our Beach Food Ideas post!). Whether you are in an VRBO, AirBnb, a townhouse, or a hotel with a kitchenette, you usually will have a few key appliances and ingredients to make ...

  20. 17 Quick Dinners For Busy Bees Fast, Tasty, Simple

    Palmini Baked Fetta Pasta. Photo credit: Low Carb - No Carb. For those always on the move, finding time to cook can be a challenge, but this collection of 17 quick dinners changes the game. Each ...

  21. 'Winners and Losers' as $20 Fast-Food Wage Nears in California

    But on Monday, it will jump to $20 an hour for most fast-food workers in California, propelling them to the top of what minimum-wage earners make anywhere in the country. (Only Tukwila, Wash., a ...

  22. 5 Travel Apps Every Traveler Should Download

    Beyond your standard airline, railroad, hotel chain and fast food apps, here are five travel-specific apps every traveler should download on their smartphone before heading out. Top 5 Travel Apps ...

  23. Half a million California fast food workers will now earn $20 per ...

    CNN —. As of Monday, about half a million fast food workers in California are making at least $20 per hour, $4 higher than the overall state minimum wage. The new rate applies to restaurant ...

  24. California's minimum wage for fast food workers is now $20 an hour

    McDonald's is among various fast food chains that will be paying their workers the new $20-an-hour minimum wage. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times) By Times staff. April 1, 2024 9:55 AM PT ...

  25. THE BEST Korean Food in Tolyatti (Updated 2023)

    Best Korean Food in Tolyatti: See Tripadvisor traveller reviews of Korean Restaurants in Tolyatti.

  26. THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Tolyatti (Updated March 2024)

    2. Vedro Gvozdey. 171 reviews Open Now. Bar, European $$ - $$$. One of the best restaurants in Togliatti. Classic English or Irish pub... Hungry - go there. 3. 20 Frankov.

  27. Fast food restaurants are imposing time limits on dining in: 'These

    Fast food just got even faster. It seems that an increasing number of fast food outlets are imposing limits on how long patrons have to gobble their burgers and fries. Recently, a Reddit post ...

  28. Baltimore Port: What impact will bridge collapse have on shipping?

    A major bridge collapsed in the U.S. port of Baltimore in the early hours of Tuesday after being struck by a container ship, plunging cars into the river below.

  29. National Burrito Day Deals: Chipotle, Taco Bell and more

    Exclusive to the Taco Bell app, buy a burrito and get 50% off a burrito of equal or lesser value. The fast-food chain is offering deals through delivery apps, too. You can get $5 off DoorDash ...

  30. Half a million California workers will get $20 minimum wage, starting

    Some half a million workers in California are getting a big bump up in pay. The state's minimum wage for fast-food employees jumps to $20 an hour on Monday, giving many a raise of 25% from just ...