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The Ultimate List of Road Trip Food (+ free checklist)

The Ultimate List of Road Trip Food (+ free checklist)

Kapp’s Kitchen is headed out on the road in a couple of weeks. Road trips are one of our favorite types of vacations. Rockin’ out to a killer playlist, stopping to take pictures in front of some amazing roadside wonder, exploring national and state parks, hiking trails and geocaching, eating at local hangouts, and just general adventuring.

The Ultimate List of Road Trip Food (+ free checklist)Road trips can range from very budget-friendly to “my wallet is on fire” expensive. We try to stick to the more frugal travel. One of the fastest places money seems to slip through your fingers is in food. The temptation to grab a tasty snack or bag of candy at every gas station and eat at every restaurant can really start to add up.

One way to save a bit of money while traveling is to bring your own food. Trying all the awesome favorite local places for two foodies is a huge part of travel for us so we definitely make a plan to eat out at least once a day, often twice or get a special treat. When we do that, we also worry less about trying to keep our meals to the cheaper options on the menu. So we can have a really good meal at a great restaurant and not feel like we are breaking the bank.

Unless there is a breakfast place we are just dying to try, many hotels/motels offer breakfast as part of the stay. If we don’t take advantage of that or they don’t offer it, we will usually just have a protein bar and grab a cup of coffee somewhere. Typically, we will have a sandwich or other snacks we bring for one meal and eat out for one.

Here is our ultimate list of road trip snacks and food. We don’t take all of these items but we do choose from this list to pack our cooler and snack bag.

Here are a few other items I have found very helpful for snacking on the road:

  • The Ultimate List of Road Trip Food (+ free checklist)Old, plastic shopping bag for trash
  • Ziplock bags of various sizes. Great for portioning snacks and for sealing opened bags/packages. It is also a great way to fill your cooler with ice without the melted water filling the cooler.
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • paper plates/bowls
  • plastic knives/forks/spoons
  • at least one sharp knife
  • paper towels
  • washcloths/towels
  • Plastic wrap/foil
  • disposable cups (for sharing a drink between two people or portioning snacks)

We have created a free printable checklist of the items listed in this post. If you would like to download this checklist, use the box below to subscribe to our newsletter.


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  • Lexie Taylor Higgins

    This is a fun list. I’m glad that you apparently find snacks to be as important as I do. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing! #InspiremeMonday

  • Roseann Hampton

    With my food sensitivities I always feel like I’m taking half the pantry on our trips! Your “other items” list is very handy!

  • Just reading through this list makes me want to take a road trip — how fun! Thanks for sharing it in a checklist format as well.

    Marva | SunSparkleShine
    Visiting today from #TestimonyTuesday

  • Susan

    I’m visiting from Women With Intention. Hubs and my love language is ROAD TRIP!!! Love the list of ideas. THANKS.

  • How timely is this! I have a friend coming from across the country and we are taking a road trip to see the sites…I have been thinking about what to take and this is perfect!

  • What a great list! It seemed I was always looking for something like this for travel when the kids were younger. I love that so many of these can be purchased in the months leading up to the trip so it’s not so overwhelming.

  • Jamie

    I love this! I’m keeping it on hand for our trip coming up in a month or two.

  • I love that – ‘my wallet is on fire expensive’. I know that feeling! This is a great post. As well as being frugal, taking your own food can be a terrific way to stay healthier too. Pinned and shared on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page. Thank you so much for being a part of Hearth and Soul.

    • Yes, it can be much healthier. Riding in a car for several hours can lead to water retention, filling up on salty snacks or fast food can really exacerbate that problem. Filling up on water, fruit, jerky and such can really help keep you feeling good while traveling, too. And then there is the fiber from good, healthy snacks that can make travel…a bit easier. 😉

  • Jann Olson

    Hubby and I always pack road trip food as well. Our list would be very similar. We often stop at a cheese factory along the way and get some yummy cheese to go with our crackers. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Oh, that is a great idea! I may have to check our route. We are stopping at a pistachio farm but a dairy or cheese factory would be awesome!

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