6 Packable Snacks Perfect for Your Summer Road Trip

couple on a road trip snacking

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If you’re gearing up for a summer road trip, check out these bring-along snacks. It can be difficult to eat healthy when you don’t necessarily know what's ahead of you, so get in front of it! Make room in your tote bag for more than sunscreen and a beach book. Pack your own snacks, and roadside temptation won't stand a chance. Here are six of my favorite road-trip treats.

Grab-n-Go Meat Snacks

Meat. It’s not just for dinner. First, there was jerky, and now there are meat sticks galore! These pre-packaged snacks are perfectly portable and really filling because they're pretty much pure protein.

Look for savory snack sticks with 100 calories or less. Some of my favorites are the kinds by DiMario, Vermont Smoke & Cure, and Simply Snackin’. (These snacks also come in turkey, chicken, and pork varieties.) And red meat isn't necessarily linked to weight gain, so don't be concerned.

Apple & Nuts

Not all fruits are car-trip appropriate (you won't take a whole pomegranate with you, for example), but apples are welcome to come along! They don't require constant refrigeration and they're unlikely to get squished in your bag as a banana would.

For a perfect snack, pair an apple (Fuji and Gala are my favorite varieties) with a serving of nuts. Make portion control easy with 100-calorie packs, like the ones from Emerald and Blue Diamond. Emerald even has packs of cocoa-dusted almonds... That’s one way to handle a chocolate craving!

Freeze-Dried Fruit

If you crave this combo of sweet ’n crunchy, freeze-dried fruit is the perfect solution to back-seat hunger (or front seat… really, anywhere you sit in the car).

Unlike regular dried fruit, the freeze-dried kind is way lower in calories: only about 25 per 1/4-cup serving, versus the 100 calories or so in the same amount of dried fruit. Regular dried fruit is a bit of a food faker. And freeze-dried fruit typically has no added sugar (but, as always, check the ingredient list.) It’s sweet, crunchy, and easy to bring along on the road. It won’t melt or get sticky!

Some of my favorites are the kinds by Crunchies, Funky Monkey, and Karen’s Naturals (formerly known as Just Tomatoes).

Snack Bars With 200 Calories or Less

Snack bars were made for on-the-go types, but not all bars are created equal; make sure to flip them over and check out the nutritional stats. Aim for bars with 200 or fewer calories that contain a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat: the three big macronutrients you need.

Some bars have over 300 calories, and that’s when they enter the meal-replacement territory. Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of great options. Here are a few I'm a fan of Larabars, Luna Whole Nutrition Bars, Kashi Savory Crunchy Bars, Quest Protein Bars, Clif Bar Minis, Curate Bars... Okay, that’s more than a few!

Bags of Crunchy Snacks (Besides Potato Chips!)

There's so much variety in the world of health-ified crispy snacks these days. No greasy potato chips needed, just satisfying snacks to crunch on made from healthy ingredients. My top tip: Look for pre-portioned bags with less than 150 calories each. If a snack you like only comes in a multi-serving bag, portion it out in advance.

Some of the best new finds? Jicachips (made from jicama!), Biena Chickpea Snacks, Cassava Crunch Yuca Root Chips, and Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Crisps. Yum!

Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed snacks are all the rage this year! I'm obsessed with so many of them because they’re low in calories and full of flavor, perfect for volume eaters who tend to mindlessly munch. You can eat an entire pack for less than 50 calories—how great is that? I especially love the offerings from SeaSnax and Ocean’s Halo because they offer many flavors and varieties.

Rest-Stop Heads-Up

If you find yourself at a rest stop, look for some of the snacks I mentioned there. Find that you need something more substantial? Follow the ultimate fast-food survival guide.

Have a great trip, and remember that a road trip is no excuse to throw your smart-eating habits out the window! Enjoy everything in moderation, but remember to not overdo it just because you're on vacation, Especially when you've got rocking snacks like these.

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