Luggage? Check. Tunes? Cued up. GPS? Ready to roll. Snacks? Who’s in charge of snacks for this road trip? Nobody’s going anywhere until I see snacks!
Food is a must for road trips, but we are absolutely not stopping at every drive-through or convenience store along the way. We are gonna DIY this gig.
The first step to putting together a road-trip-worthy snack collection is understanding what types of munchies you should consider and why. Options fall into four basic groups – and notice that the categories overlap, and several items are perfectly comfortable in more than one group.
Protein – keeps you fueled up, which is important when you’re counting road signs. Examples include:
Complex carbs – keep you feeling full longer and help level out blood sugar. They can also satisfy that urge for something salty and crunchy. For instance:
Healthy – ok, this one is self-explanatory, kids. You need vitamins and minerals. You can’t just eat junk on this trip, OK?
Sweet – because you just need a sweet treat when you’re on the go. No, it’s not all junk food, and don’t eat so much you ruin your dinner.
Fancy Noms – If you’ve got a car full of grownups instead, consider adding possibilities that appeal to more developed palates. Some suggestions:
Now that you’ve identified your yummies, the next challenge is how to get them into the vehicle. Throwing bags of stuff in the back seat is so passe. And messy. And no one can find what they want while the vehicle is moving and OMG, did you eat the Doritos?
The best, most efficient, most effective, least messy way to bring everything for your trip is to make a snackle box.
So what’s a snackle box? Originally it was basically a (washed and sanitized!) tackle box filled with snacks instead of fishing gear. Tackle boxes have small compartments ideal for keeping the celery from touching the Oreos.
The idea has evolved (though you still get points if your snacks can fit in an actual tackle box) and snackle boxes are available on Amazon and from a variety of major retailers.
Or you can make your own. All you need is a food-safe plastic container with compartments. “Food-safe” is the operative term here. Do not try to repurpose your dad’s actual tackle box, no matter how this trend started out.
So how do you put it together? That’s up to you. Containers with adjustable compartments make the task easy and customizable. You can make a large box for the family to share. Or you can put all the salty stuff in one, all the sweets in another. Or prepare a small box for each kid with a mix of our four categories of snacks. No trading!
Whatever you decide, pack it up and prepare to hit the road.
Oh, one more thing: keep some wipes handy to prevent salty and sticky stuff from getting all over the seats.
Now we’re finally ready for this road trip. Let’s go!