A few weeks ago, I shared that I’m moving far, far away.
Yes, I’m leaving the land of Teslas for the land of ATVs and I feel good about it. (I did get to drive a Tesla this week and cross that off my bucket list! When in LA, right?)
While we could have taken the easy route and flown up to our new home, we decided a road trip would be more fun.
Something tells me our journey up to Alaska will be just as adventurous as the final destination.
We’re packing up the car and hitting the road, but before we depart, I’m strategizing how we’ll stay well-fed along the way.
Most people think eating on the road means you rely on fast food and greasy spoon diners. And while I’ll be sure to sneak in one more visit to In ‘n’ Out before we venture past the California border, I won’t be living off hamburgers the entire time.
I’m packing up some real food snacks for our road trip and figured you might like to hear what I’m bringing along. This isn’t my first extended road trip, but this will be the longest and most remote (and it includes more than 3 days on a ferry without access to a fridge), so it presents a bit of a challenge.
If you’re planning any road trips this summer, these tips should come in super handy.
Real Food Road Trip Tips
If you’ll be in remote areas like me, stopping at a fast food joint isn’t an option, so be sure to think about what you might like to eat. Even if you’re not in a remote area, there’s no reason to subject yourself to a fast food hangover. I usually stock up on some non-perishables before a trip, so I’m never left hungry. When you’re on the road, hunger quickly turns into hanger and no one likes a hangry passenger (or driver for that matter). I always have a hearty breakfast to keep me even keel.
Shop health food stores and farmers’ markets along the way
I like to eat local whenever possible, so when planning a trip, I check farmers’ market listings online. If there happens to be one, I buy fruits, veggies, and pre-made items from local artisans. It’s a great way to get a taste of the area, literally. If farmers’ markets aren’t an option or are out of season, a local health food store is a good alternative. Buying small amounts of food along the way allows me to eat more fresh food and less packaged junk.
Bring a cooler
Real food goes bad. Fast. Unless a food is dried, smoked, or fermented, chances are it will spoil quickly. With a cooler, all you need is access to ice, which any gas station or convenience store can provide. Some coolers are good enough that they’ll keep ice frozen for days. Invest in this and you’ll never have to worry about rotten food again. If we’re camping, I can cook just about anything with my trusty cast iron skillet and 70’s era Coleman camping stove. Instant oatmeal and freeze dried meals are for backpacking. Car camping means you can continue to eat like a king.
Roll with the punches
It’s not always possible to eat clean, fresh food on the road. Do the best with what’s available. If I’m eating breakfast at a diner, I’ll order eggs over-easy or hard boiled, since scrambled eggs are often made with powdered eggs or with the addition of pancake batter (for fluffiness). If I have to stop at a gas station, I’ll buy some roasted nuts and a piece of fruit. I always check ingredients labels on packaged items I to avoid food additives. For me, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about keeping my body happy so I have the energy to enjoy the trip. If a town is known for its chocolate ice cream, you can bet I’ll order it.
15 Real Food Snacks For Road Trips
- Hard boiled eggs*
- Hard cheese*
- Cut-up vegetables*- cucumbers, carrots, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, radishes, etc
- Salami* (ideally from pastured pork)
- Homemade granola (I make mine grain-free)
- Nuts, trail mix, and nut butter
- Coconut chips
- Homemade KIND bars
- Paleo wraps – these are great spread with nut butter or as a replacement for a tortilla
- Kale chips
- Jerky – beef, salmon, turkey, etc (like salami, quality counts here)
- Dark chocolate (the darker, the better)
- Homemade cookies (I use the crust from this chocolate tart to make yummy grain-free cookies)
*keep on ice or consume during your first day or so on the road!
We’re counting down the days to departure and I’ll be keeping you updated right here on the blog. I’m not sure how much writing I’ll fit in, but at the very least, I’ll share some photos of the adventure with you!
I have some snacks planned already, but I can always use more ideas.
So in the comments below, tell me about your favorite real food snacks for road trips!
Until next week,