Help! What kind of snacks can I bring while traveling?? If you have any dietary restrictions, packing nutritious snacks for travel is a priority. Even the best planned road trips or vacations can have unexpected delays and events. So, my criteria for choosing which snack food to pack depends on a number of considerations;
- Length of trip,
- refrigeration availability,
- the type of activities,
- and method of travel, whether it be by car, plane, or boat.
I like to say I’m packing foods that the kids will like, but the truth is I want snacks that are appealing to me! The goal is to pack snacks that have a high nutrition value. Inevitably we always aim to pack at least one snack that involves chocolate.
Plan for Delays
When you travel you know their are so many variables. All it takes is one family member who is low on energy and suddenly everyone has less patience. One unexpected delay is sitting in a traffic jam! They can last anywhere from a free minutes to hours. The longest we were in non moving traffic was 4 hours! So we were thankful for extra water bottles, great snacks and Little House on the Prairie DVD’s.
Packing snacks for flying is important as well. We have all experienced a delay or two while traveling by plane.
Note: All the snack suggestions listed in this post are tree nut free. Organic tree nuts are a good source of protein. However, we have a family member with a tree nut allergy. So, we find alternative protein sources, such as Epic jerky and boiled eggs.
Fresh Food Snack Ideas
The first list of snack foods will have perishable items. The vegetables will remain fresh if they are kept cool with a small ice pack.
- carrot sticks or whole carrots
- celery with peanut butter
- cucumber slices (with packable salt shaker)
- broccoli and cherry tomatoes
- kale chips
- boiled egg
- grain-free / tree-nut free protein bars
- summer sausage, Organic Prairie
- organic grapes
- sweet pepper sticks with hommus
- homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Trail Bars
Small snack bags work great for placing a “sandwich size” ice pack & a few perishable snacks.
Packing non-perishable snacks is especially important when going long distances, flying or hiking. On our Wyoming vacation we traveled from Michigan to Wyoming by plane and rental car. We first flew into Denver, CO and then rented a vehicle for the remaining travel. Since we did not want to rely on airport food, we packed apples, jerky, trail mix, and veggie-go’s in our carry on bag.
It was easy to pack these items in our carry-on and in our checked luggage. We had food available to us regardless of the time of day. Our snacks also worked well for long day trips and hiking trips.
In order to save a few dollars I bought items when they were on sale through Vitacost. Epic jerky could be ordered by the box through our local health food co-op, where I got an additional discount.
- Epic Jerky (read the labels, some varieties have tree-nuts)
- Veggie-Go’s vegetable and fruit strips
- Super Seedz salted pumpkin seeds
- Rhythm Kale chips
- Go Raw products
- Homemade trail mixture (see recipe below)
- Gluten-Free Granola
- Organic meat sticks
I find shopping through Vitacost gives me the best prices! Many of these products have no sugar or under 5 g. of sugar. Go Raw Choco Chunk & Go Raw Tangy Lime coconut strips each have 1g. of sugar. Packing snacks that are low in sugar is important to me. I want to keep our immune systems working strong, especially during travel.
Printable Homemade Trail Mixture Recipe (Nut-free)
Homemade Trail Mix
Tree nut & Dairy Free
- 1 c. organic peanuts, salted
- 1 c. freeze dried fruit
- 1 c. coconut strips
- 4 T. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips
Set out four, one cup size glass canning jars. (Jelly jars work great!)
Place a 1/4 c. of peanuts in each jar. Next add 1/4 c. of freeze dried fruit. (Freeze dried strawberries, bananas, mangoes, or blueberries)
Add 1/4 c. coconut strips. Top with 1 T. of dark chocolate chips.
Use an appropriate size lid to make mixture airtight. The white storage canning lids fit nicely & can be labeled for each family member.
This very simple trail mixture will make happy hikers! Please note that the sugars are a bit higher due to the freeze dried fruit and chocolate chips. There is approximately 5 g of sugar for 1 T of Enjoy life dark chocolate chips. If you and your kids like dark chocolate, try adding in cocao nips. They are sugar-fre and have numerous health benefits. However, some people can find them a bit bitter, so it is personal preference. Freeze dried fruit is simply made and naturally sweet. Strawberries and blueberries that are freeze dried are super anti-oxidants and make a wonderful addition to a trail mix.
Our family likes to use the re-usable snack bags when possible. About four years ago, my daughters and I got on a kick where we turned scraps of fabric into useful bags. They are each lined with nylon to make it easier to clean. It is convenient for bringing along clean fruit. Local health food stores often carry a variety of re-usable bags for sale. Canning jars come in a variety of sizes & travel well.
Epic brand Jerky is softer then most store bought jerky. It contains real ingredients without the added sugars & preservatives. Our family each has their personal favorites. I buy them on sale and store in my refrigerator until our next road trip.
What snacks do you find the most nutritious? Do you have a favorite that is not on my list? Please share, I delight in hearing from you!