Food Expert Reveals the Best Snacks to Pack for Road Trip This Half Term

With more than 10 million pupils across the country taking a well-earned break this month, half-term is the perfect opportunity for parents to map out a family road trip to remember.

One of the best ways to keep all passengers smiling en route is to pack tasty treats that can make the long drive more enjoyable.

When it comes to the nation’s favourite snacks, 66% of Brits admit regularly munching on crisps, with other popular options including cookies (63%) and chocolate bars (60%). But what is the best food to support your immune system and keep your stomach full on the road?

Sam Sheehan, motoring editor at cinch, the faff-free way to buy a car online, said: “Before setting off on a family road trip in your used VW or BMW, don’t forget to pack a variety of healthy snacks for the drive ahead.

“Eating and snacking during a long road trip is a good idea as it helps you maintain energy levels, prevent mood swings and frustrations, and preserve your digestive health. Skipping meals could lead to feelings of discomfort such as bloating, which can put a dent in your driving experience.”

With the help of an expert nutritionist, cinch has explored which are the perfect snacks to pack for your next family driving adventure, so you can make sure your travels are memorable for all the right reasons.

Carrot and cucumber sticks

Vegetables are a delicious low-calorie option to keep you and your fellow passengers energised on the road. Carrots and cucumbers are two great veggie choices to satisfy your crunch cravings.

Rebecca Balmer, health coach at RJ Holistic Health, explained: “Carrot and cucumber sticks with a hummus dip can act as a perfect savoury snack, as all these components contribute to nourishing the beneficial bacteria in our gut.

“Bear in mind that we should try and get at least 30 portions of plant foods in our diet each week, and this specific snack will add to the tally.

“They’re a good source of plant-based proteins, with carrots also contributing towards good eye health and support for the immune system.”


If you’re planning to hit the road with your partner and kids, consider taking a portable cool box to prevent food spillages and expand the snack options you can take on your adventures.

For example, yoghurt is a solid choice for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack when you don’t have much time to spare at a service station or parking lay-by.

As well as being creamy and tasty, yoghurts have the appealing benefit of being rich in protein, which can help keep your stomach full as you clock up the miles. They also come in different flavours, so there’s something for everyone.

Oat or rice cakes

Another excellent snack to keep you and your fellow travellers energised is oat or rice cakes topped with cashew, peanut or other nut butters.

“Oat and rice cakes are a great protein source, which is essential for growing children,” Rebecca added. “When doing pre-trip shopping, look for oat and rice cakes containing minimal ingredients and additives as they are less processed.

“What’s more, toppings such as nut butters are high in calcium, a nutrient that plays an important role in strengthening bones and teeth.

“You may also want to consider pairing your oat and rice cakes with lots of fruit to get all the different ‘colours of the rainbow’ in your food.”

Dark chocolate

Craving some sweet goodness after several miles behind the wheel? Many drivers might be tempted to stop at a service station and stock up on baked delicacies, sugary beverages and sweets. If you’re after a healthier, more nutritious option, however, dark chocolate can certainly do the trick.

Dark chocolate is a tasty treat loaded with minerals and antioxidants to keep your energy levels up and help the body tick as it should. For example, it can improve blood flow and circulation by sending signals to the arteries to relax. This is particularly handy as you’re likely to be sitting down for hours in your vehicle.

Dark chocolate also has bioactive compounds that protect your skin from the sun, increasing both hydration and skin density.

Seeded flapjacks

If you’re not a huge fan of dark chocolate, you could treat your taste buds to some seeded flapjacks instead.

Rebecca said: “As well as providing you with a mood-boosting sweet kick, the oats in flapjacks are supposed to keep you full throughout the journey as they release energy slowly into the body.

“Coupled with the seeds, they reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes as the body takes longer to digest them, maintaining that feeling of satiety.

“Seeds also contain large amounts of magnesium, which helps with more than 300 processes in the body, including promoting restful sleep. And after a long day in the car, there is nothing better than a relaxing snooze to recharge.”


Before heading off on an adventure, remember to make room in the car for some nutritious travel food.

From carrot and cucumber sticks to rice cakes, yoghurt and dark chocolate, there are plenty of snacks that will keep your family full and happy on the road.