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Road Trip Breakfast Ideas and Snacks

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From make-ahead recipes to grab-and-go snack bars, road trip breakfast ideas are essential to keeping everyone’s energy levels up and preventing the kids (and drivers) from getting fussy!

Our family loves to travel but we equally love to eat healthy and save money. It is so easy to stop for fast food and potato chips from the nearest gas station when you’ve been driving for hours, so I’m sharing an easy-to-read list of road trip food ideas that are convenient, delicious, and easy to pack! 

Meal Planning for a Road Trip

When deciding what you are going to be packing on your next road trip, be sure to consider the best way to pack it. It takes a little planning, but it will be worth it! 

Large Cooler – Large coolers take up a lot of real estate in the car, but they are essential to making sure none of your food goes to waste. If you are on a long road trip, you’ll also want to have a smaller cooler with ice packs upfront with you. That way you can easily grab fruits or drinks without having to pull over. 

Essentials: Here are a few other things you’ll want to pack to make breakfast even easier! 

  • Paper Towels
  • Plates and bowls
  • Utensils – Forks, Spoons, Knives
  • Water bottles 
  • Cups or bowls to portion out snacks
  • Dish soap and a dish sponge
  • Small garbage bags – keep one in the car for the car ride and use the others in the hotel in case the trash can is too small. 
  • Pre-moistened cleaning wipes – Kids spill, so be prepared!
  • This back of the seat organizer isn’t required, but it is a lifesaver for us! Tuck water bottles and snacks into the different pockets. Then hang a plastic bag on it for the trash.
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Ultimate Road Trip Food List

Here are my favorite make ahead breakfast ideas:

Eggs

  • Hard-boiled eggs – Eggs are a fast grab-and-go breakfast idea. They make the best snacks because they are filling and a great source of protein! Remember to pack salt, if you need it. 
  • Breakfast burritos – When you are at home, scramble eggs with meat and vegetables of your choice. Let cool and then store in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat it, wrap the eggs in tortillas and enjoy!

Oatmeal

  • Overnight Oats – This is one of the easiest make-ahead breakfasts that you can make. Add the oats, milk, maple syrup, and toppings to individual mason jars and pack them upright in your cooler. When you are ready to eat it, enjoy it cold! Overnight oats can also be made in the hotel room the night before. Bring a box of nut milk (non-refrigerated), and sandwich bags with oatmeal and dried fruit or seeds. 
  • Oatmeal cups – Bake these the night before and bring them in a freezer bag. They do not need to be refrigerated, so they make a great option for any outdoor adventure. 
  • Breakfast Cookies – These are called breakfast cookies but they’re a great option any time of day.

Breads and Muffins

  • Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread – Make two loaves and wrap each one in plastic wrap and foil, or place in an airtight container. If it’s summertime or it is going to be hot, store it in the cooler. Once at the hotel, it can stay on the counter. Choose a dense bread. Something like zucchini bread is too soft and would not hold up well on a trip.  

Fresh Fruit

  • Berries, grapes, or melons – Wash and pre-cut the fruit to make it easier to eat while driving
  • Clementines – These are cheap and they are easy to peel in the car
  • Bananas

Sandwiches

  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Sub Sandwiches – If you use hoagies and make sub sandwiches with deli meats, they can be made ahead and they will hold up well, even with mayonnaise and mustard. 

Drinks

  • ​Water 
  • Box juice
  • Instant coffee or tea
  • Hydration drinks

Best Road Trip Breakfast Ideas and Snacks that You Can Pick Up at the Grocery Store:

  • Trail mix – Costco sells packets of trail mix with dried berries (these are the only ones my kids enjoy). These are great because they are preportioned and the healthy fats from the nuts will keep you satisfied. 
  • Granola Bars or Protein Bars – These do not need to be refrigerated so they’re a great snack to have on hand for the whole family. 
  • Beef Jerky and Meat Sticks – An excellent source of protein! 
  • Sunflower seeds – Sometimes the kids are just bored and sunflower seeds keep them busy!
  • Chips, Veggie Straws and Crackers 
  • Pretzels
  • Sweets – Candy or fruit snacks. For some reason, sweets taste better on long drives! Just make sure you stop at the next rest stop so they can burn off the sugar!

Final Tips on Healthy Road Trip Breakfast Ideas:

  • Let your kids pack a snack bag – Before you leave the house, give each kid a freezer bag and let them add any bagged snacks (you may need to put limits on what they can choose). They can keep the bag next to them on the trip and they will be able to grab snacks themselves on the long car ride. 
  • Have protein options – If your kids are like mine, they’ll only want fruit snacks and carb snacks. That’s fine, but it won’t make them full and they’ll eat through the snacks in no time. Be sure to have protein options on hand to help fill them up and keep them satisfied on the long ride.
  • Hot Breakfast – I choose not to bring hot breakfast options on the trip, just because it’s a pain to heat them up. To make up for this, I book hotels that offer free hot breakfast. Not only is it a free hot meal, but the hotels also tend to be more family-friendly with refrigerators in the room!

Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll incorporate it into the post for other readers! Happy road tripping!

By on September 16th, 2023

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