Best Road Trip Picnic Food Ideas in 2024

What comes to your mind when you think about your ideal summer plan? Is it a road trip that allows you to spend quality time with your family? Or do you enjoy picnic ideas just as much? Well, you can combine the two to have an unpretentious road trip picnic.

picnic food ideas

Picnic road trips are all about enjoying the scenery and pleasant weather with good company. Not to forget, picnic escapades are incomplete without comforting and satisfying foods. Continue reading this piece to learn how to level up your road trips with simple and easy picnic food ideas.

Why You Need Great Road Trip Food Ideas

While you can plan where to stop, eating fast food every day while traveling is not recommended. Moreover, gas station food like beef sticks, salty munchies, and greasy hot dogs can make you feel bloated. And this may be even more challenging if you eat gluten-free, vegan, or struggle with dietary allergies or limitations.

Eating this way for several days is not only expensive, but it is also not good for your health. For that reason, you need to discover healthy, light, and budget-friendly picnic foods.

Road Trip Packing List (Things to take on Road Trip)

best picnic snacks

Let us look at what your road trip packing list should look like.

Water: While it sounds obvious, water leaves no room for forgetfulness. It is critical for fighting fatigue and staying hydrated.

Nuts: Nuts, especially salted nuts, are healthy because of their high good fats and protein content.

Cooked fish/ meats: Pre-cook some fish or meat to prepare healthy meals on the go.

Fruits and veggies: Chop your fruits and vegetables, so they are easy to use on the road trip.

Jerky/ dried meats: Jerky does not require refrigeration, which makes it perfect for picnic food.

Protein bars/ crackers: Crackers and protein bars are healthy snacks to satisfy your cravings mid-trip.

Road Trip Breakfast Ideas

Here are the best picnic food ideas to try for breakfast.

  1. Croissants with bananas, jam, dark chocolate, and peanut butter for a nutty flavor
  2. Toast with crusty bread, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, syrup, and apple
  3. Seeded bagels with crispy bacon, avocado, and smoked salmon
  4. Bagel with feta cheese, deli meat, and some fresh fruit

    Apart from the above-mentioned options, have some foods in your picnic basket that slowly release energy, such as hard-boiled eggs and pork patty. Such foods can help keep you energized during long car travel.

    road trip picnic ideas

    Useful Products For Your Road Trip Food

    When you have everything you need for a picnic, you can quickly prepare food and go outside for a spontaneous outdoor lunch whenever the whim strikes. Here are some essentials that will ensure you have the best picnic food.

    Picnic Knife: Picnic knives come in handy to slice your egg salad sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, etc.

    Cutting Board: A lightweight, portable cutting board can make outdoor meal adventures much easier.

    Cooler: A sturdy and easy-to-carry cooler will ensure your food is served cold and fresh, such as the fresh veggies you might carry for creating a refreshing salad or pico de gallo. Your fresh spinach, leafy greens, and meats like sausage rolls will stay all fresh.

    Food Storage: You need food storage products like Tupperware containers to keep your picnic recipes fresh and ready to go.

    Picnic Blanket: Picnic blankets offer a spot to enjoy your picnic food while on the go. It can also keep you dry while dining on wet grass. It also allows you to conduct food styling to flatter your picnic guests.

    Healthy Road Trip Snacks

    road trip picnic ideas

    Besides keeping you busy between road trip picnic activities, snacks will also keep you full until you find a spot to eat. Here are some top picks:

    Deviled Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are among the top easy picnic food ideas, as they only take a few minutes to prepare and are easy to carry and store.

    Hummus and Celery: A protein-packed snacking option, hummus can keep you full for a long, whereas celery sticks with high water content pair perfectly with hummus.

    Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is another great source of protein to keep you full during your road trip picnic travel. You can top it with pine nuts for added energy.

    Tuna and Crackers: Pack some crackers with tuna melt to get a healthy dose of complex carbs and omega-3s.

    Pocket tomato sandwich: The classic recipe of a tomato sandwich is easy to put together and serves as a great small lunch. Everyone on the trip will surely love some mini tomato sandwiches on the go.

    Club sandwich: Add your fried chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh herbs to your toasted bread to give your club sandwich a delicious flavor.

    Picnic finger foods: Some finger foods to add to your picnic basket include rolled sausages, cheeses like goat cheese and feta cheese, pickles like pickled onions, buffalo chicken dipping sauce, picnic spread, tortilla chips, spicy peanut sauce, ranch dressing, store-bought pesto, hot sauce, or another dipping sauce.

    Cold pasta salads: Cold pasta salad contains rotisserie chicken, olive oil, cayenne pepper, creamy avocado, or pesto cause. The best part about a pasta salad or macaroni salad is that it does not need to be served hot.


    What Should You Avoid Eating on a Road Trip?

    It is critical to be careful of your food choices on long car rides. After all, you do not want to feel bloated and sluggish on your road trip. Make sure your picnic lunch does not consist of greasy fast food, citrus, juicy tomatoes, milkshakes, tea/ coffee, and salty snack mix.

    How Can I Eat Cheap on a Road Trip?

    Snacks make road trips better, but they can be costly. Whether you want to feed a vehicle full of kids or just yourself, prepping your picnic food is best. You can pack your favorite recipe on your road trip as long as it is healthy and non-greasy.

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