Favorite snacks to bring on board ... your car

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MARC Rider

Apr 5, 2011
There's a thread over in the Amtrak discussion about favorite snacks to take on board a train, but what about those who are taking road trips? It's true that this is a little less of a problem, as those traveling by auto usually have a wide choice of food sources along the the road where they can stop. In fact, some of us need to stop hourly or so to use the restroom, and most restrooms along America's highways are associated with convenience stores (Wawa, Royal Farms, Sheetz, etc.) where the discerning traveler can find all sorts of tolerable food and snacks, most guaranteed to drive a dietitian crazy, but edible nonetheless. And if one needs a meal, the American motorist has a wide choice of dining available, from fast food to 4-star white tablecloth.

Nonetheless, there are reasons why a motorist might want to bring their own food. Some motorists want to reach their destination quickly, and thus don't want to waste time with food stops. Other motorists might be driving through sparsely settled places with few or no sources of food, or national parks, wilderness areas, the Alaska Highway, etc., where it would make sense to have some food on board. Of course, with a car, you have more flexibility for carrying food. You can use a traditional hard-sided cooler with a drain, so you can refill your chill by purchasing ice along the way. This allow you to bring a wider assortment of goodies than one can bring when riding on public transportation.

Me, I prefer to stop and purchase food, rather than have to manage a cooler and pack picnic supplies, etc., However, I have taken road trips where I've packed my own. These are usually multi-day trips where we'll be away from towns at meal time, or I just want to save money on restaurant food. Typically, I stick the cooler with good quality deli (corned beef, pastrami, smoked turkey), condiments, fruit, and drinks (non-alcoholic for lunch; possibly some beer or cider for sipping in front of the motel room in the evening.) Another bag has quality sandwich bread, chips/pretzels, cookies, etc. The snacks can be removed and consumed while driving. We still stop for coffee, but then, we'll have to stop anyway for fueling and bathroom breaks.

So the question, what do other members of the forum pack and eat when they hit the road?


OBS Chief
Jul 15, 2019
I try to avoid the cooler if I can. I do take a large thermal mug so I can have something cold to drink for hours at a time without having to stop. I also like to have some Jerky and some Cheese Puffs. Since I have to stop for gas anyway, I just get some "real food" when I stop instead of bringing it with me - you know, like Krystal, Chick-fil-a and a few other such places.

I guess if I had the time and energy before I "hit the road" I would make some Scottish Eggs to take along.

Dakota 400

Mar 5, 2014
Probably will have some hard candy available or some M&M's. Always will have a few cans of 7-Up and a bottle of CC for Happy Hour when I get to wherever for the day. Maybe a bag of chips as well.

If I am going to have to buy my breakfast the next morning in the hotel's restaurant, I will probably have a box of donuts to eat with me. A couple of donuts and a cup of coffee that the room's coffee machine produces is quite enough for me at that time.