Not all camping food is consumed at the campsite! These delicious travel food recipes include simple snacks and make-ahead meals that will keep you happily driving as you cruise down the highway to your next camping adventure.
You’ll never have to eat from fast food restaurants or those not-so-appetizing gas station “food” counters out of desperation again!
Make-Ahead Meals For A Road Trip
If our camping destination is only a few hours from home, I am all about packing healthy road trip snacks, but, if we are going to be driving for the better part of a day, or even multiple days, I make sure we have the best road trip food possible so we are not ravenous by the time we arrive at our campsite. Here are some of my favorite main course road trip meals.
Wraps and sandwiches
Hand-held foods are my favorite dinner ideas because they are so easy to eat in the car.
These wraps are filled with veggies and are vegan-friendly. I like using a few slices of red onion, cucumber, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, black beans and red bell peppers but any combination will work. I use hummus for the “glue” and the tasty flavor. Sunflower seeds add an extra crunch. You can swap out any of the ingredients and even add a few slices of deli meat, turkey is a great choice, if you need a more substantial meal.
This fruit and nut wrap is so easy you can make it while cruising down the highway! And, it is packed with protein and makes a super healthy breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert! You can substitute almond butter or any other nut butter if someone in your vehicle is allergic to peanuts. Check out all of our no cook camping meals.
It is easy to pack (and eat) a lunchmeat sandwich BUT making a more substantial sandwich with slightly gourmet ingredients turns this road trip food item into a meal! The prosciutto has a nice savory flavor, the mozzarella has a luscious creamy texture and the basil adds notes of freshness. A simple homemade dressing is made with extra-virgin olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.
When we cook bacon for breakfast we make extra slices so it’s ready for other meals. You can get all your prep work done assembling, then, wrap tightly in a plastic wrap and store in a refrigerator or cooler for eating during your travels. I recommend eating this meal within about 12 hours of making it otherwise the tortilla may get soggy.
Wraps are one of my favorite road trip food ideas because they are so easy to eat in a vehicle! The key to making them a neat little package (that is easily eaten with one hand) is to NOT OVER-STUFF them and wrap them tightly, then, snugly wrap them in plastic food wrap and put them in the refrigerator for a bit as they “set” in shape.
I like stuffing salads into a tortilla for road trip meals. Tuna salad and chicken salad are also great options, just make sure you add some nice leafy greens too. Even the kids will love eating salad that way!
Check out all of my amazing camping sandwich ideas. Including these awesome cold options:
- Bacon Basil Tomato Ciabatta Sandwich
- Chicken Parmesan Wraps
- Pesto Tomato Wraps
If your day begins really early, you may want some travel breakfast ideas for your drive. My family loves eggs for breakfast but they need to be served warm (unless they are just simple hard-boiled eggs.) I love make-ahead recipes that can be easily transported and served at room temperature.
This quiche is a great breakfast or lunch road trip food option because you can make it several days in advance of your trip, and, it does not require utensils to eat it. Slice it before packing and simply eat it like a piece of pizza. Oh, one more thing … you can make this quiche in any type of oven (home, RV, solar or camp Dutch oven) too!
Coffee cake is a sweet treat for road trips. It makes a perfect breakfast with a nice warm cup of coffee or cold glass of milk but it is also a yummy dessert snack. Instead of bringing muffins, cookies and candy, I only pack one sweet treat that satisfies the tastes of everyone in the car. I serve the healthy snacks first then save the not-so-healthy alternative for later in the journey.
Different types of salads are great to pack into disposable cups with lids. Just pop the top and eat when you get hungry. The best options are salads that actually taste better after the flavors have time to marry for a day or two.
This salad is the perfect vegan option that can be served as a side or main. If you want to add a little protein, toss in some tofu, cooked chicken or shrimp.
My entire family loves this salad. It’s a little salty and a little sweet. The broccoli and bacon are the stars of the show. Raisins add a slight sweetness and sunflower seeds add a savory crunch.
I absolutely love my Southwest Camping Salad Recipe because it is sooooooo versatile! It is served cold, and can be served as a side salad, or, add a little cubed grilled chicken and it becomes a refreshing main dish that you can eat with a fork or stuff in a tortilla to make a hearty wrap! The cumin and cayenne pepper spices give it a little kick. The combination of protein and fiber make it a satisfying road trip food option.
Pasta salads make the best road trip food because you can make them a few days in advance and just pack them when you are ready to begin travelling. This particular salad should be served cold but because it has a vinegar and oil based dressing and uses no meat, it is not as temperature sensitive as mayo-based dressings.
Recipes For The Best Road Trip Snacks
If you are willing to make a few homemade goodies before you travel, there are some fun options for yummy road trip snacks.
Mixed nuts are good road trip snacks and readily available in their original form but if you want to take this roadtrip food to the next level, try these rosemary spiced nuts that are a tad spicy and a touch sweet.
If you like a little extra heat, try these easy spiced mixed nuts.
So many road trips happen during the summer months and seasonal fresh fruit always makes great road trip snack ideas. If you have a small cooler, you can cut your favorite fruit for a refreshing treat. This recipe is packed with flavor that is over-the-top and the secret is the syrup!
Prepared Healthy Road Trip Snacks
Not everything you eat while you travel for your camping trips needs to be big meals. In fact, healthy road trip snacks can be very satisfying and a great way to “graze” across the miles. The best road trip snacks are easy to eat without creating a mess and don’t require utensils. Here are some ideas our family likes:
- Dried fruit and nut mix (without added sugar)
- Fresh fruit (that is easy to eat and store)
- Fresh vegetables (that are easy to eat and store)
- Baby carrots
- Broccoli florets
- Cauliflower florets
- Snap peas
- Celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mixed nuts
- Chips made from sweet potatoes or kale (so much healthier than potato chips)
- Granola bars
- Trail mix made with healthy oats, cereal, fruit and healthy fats
- Cheese (especially string cheese)
- Rice cakes with spreadable flavored cream cheese
- Beef jerky
- Roasted chickpeas
- Greek yogurt with mixins’ like dark chocolate chips and fresh fruit
- Cured meats like salami
How To Pack Food For A Road Trip
I recommend using the FILO method when packing your road trip food.
I bury the non-refrigerated food and snacks we will be eating later in the trip at the bottom of my reusable shopping bags. Then I work backwards so the food at the top of the bag is what we’ll be eating first.
For my refrigerated food items, I pack them in some sort of cooler with freeze packs so I don’t have to deal with melting ice. I try to carry minimal perishable items so I’m not messing with too much cold storage space. For this group I pack the sturdiest items at the bottom of the cooler and place the more delicate items on top. It’s a good idea to purchase a Collapsible Cooler Bag and a few reusable Freeze Packs for traveling.
You may even invest in an Electric Cooler Bag if you’ll be going really long distances and you have access to power inside your vehicle.
I also carry a few small plastic grocery bags to collect the trash as we drive. Then, it’s easy to dispose of it at our fuel stops.
Road Trip Food Supplies And Drinks
Road Trip Food Tip: Don’t forget the forks, knives and spoons if your road trip foods require utensils.
Depending on which road trip snacks and food you decide to take on your trip, you may need to pack a few supplies like these:
- Hand Sanitizer/Wipes
- Utensils (forks, knives, spoons): You can use standard Disposable Plastic Cutlery or you can use a green alternative like this Compostable Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery.
- Paper towels
- Trash Container
- Bottled water and juice (individual servings): Stay hydrated with lots of water and all natural, sugar-free juices
Car Games For Your Road Trip
Road trip food is not the only thing you may need to make it pleasant to drive along a highway … especially if you are on a route without much to see out the window! Check out our Road Trip Games To Play In The Car for ideas to keep the miles filled with fun and laughter.
FREE Printable Camping Trip Planner
Don’t hit the road before you plan your adventure.
Make your next trip stress-free with a little pre-planning. Get your copy of our FREE printable camping trip planner template!