Every time my family goes on a trip, I set aside time to specifically plan our food for the road. Lunches on the road are a challenge, especially on long trips. You need something interesting, healthy, and delicious to keep everyone happy. Sandwiches get old so here are road trip lunch ideas you can’t pass up.
While it may be easy to just eat sandwiches on the road or order any fast food that you pass by, it gets old and unhealthy. There is a good feeling and satisfaction in knowing that you will be serving healthy and affordable lunches to your family.
Plus, anytime we are able to stop, the kids want to get out and run. No one wants to sit at a restaurant and mind their manners after hours in the car!
Even more of my best tips: 17 Tips for a Road Trip with Toddlers (By a Mom of 6)
We have prepared some yummy lunch ideas for your road trip that your family will surely love! Aside from making it yourself, which ensures hygienic preparation, you get to save more money. If you are on a tight budget and still want to explore places, then you could still enjoy the fun of roaming around with these recipes.
What Makes Good Road Trip Lunches?
Sometimes, it’s easy to just prepare what your family wants to eat, or just drive through the nearest fast food you pass by. However, I believe that planning everything, including food for a family trip does wonders.
Not only can I ensure that we are eating healthy, but we also save time from endless thinking and deciding about what to eat.
So let’s take a look at what road trip food should be.
- Road trip food should be easy to pack.
- Lunches should be easy to prepare or ready to eat.
- Anything in the car shouldn’t be messy when you eat it.
- Road trip food shouldn’t contain food that easily spoils.
35 Yummy Road Trip Lunch Ideas
So the destination is set! Are you ready to prepare your food? Remember we must opt for something light and easy to pack no-cook meals, and requires less clean up. Here is the list you can choose from to help you start ahead.
1. Classic Tuna Salad
This popular salad is one of the best as you can spread it on crackers, toss it with pasta, and may even be wrapped in lettuce and still taste great. Making these sandwiches requires putting this tuna salad in an airtight jar and inside the cooler. Bring some bread to match with it and voila! Your lunch is ready.
2. Salad in a Jar
It is a fantastic idea to have salad straight from the jar as we travel. Everything you need to make this light lunch is some mixed greens, veggies, and a dash of dressing. Keep it fresh inside the cooler. To prevent soggy veggies, put the sauce first at the jar’s bottom, followed by the veggies. Shake it up upon eating.
3. Pasta Salad
Give this salad a good mix and toss around the pasta with salami, parmesan cheese, and fresh veggies. Add it as a side dish to sandwiches or wraps, or simply eat it as it is. Put it in the cooler to keep it cold. Italian dressing can also be mixed with the classic meatless pasta salad to add flavor.
4. Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwich
With this ham and cheese slider recipe, you can take a regular ham sandwich to the next level. Add more flavor by putting in a special sauce and Hawaiian rolls. Cover in plastic wrap or foil after cooking and store them in a cooler. If you don’t like ham, any deli meat will suffice.
Pro Tip: prepare sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. The ingredients will stay fresher (and safer)
5. Bowl Meals
You can be more creative with this make-ahead, flexible, and convenient meal to go. Besides that, bowl meals are nutritious, which is good to keep everybody up during travel. Have any starchy food as the base, mix it up with protein and vegetables, and sauce. It helps you save more and satisfies your taste too.
6. Veggie Frittata
Frittatas are no longer reserved only for breakfast. It is simple to make, and you just need to mix the eggs with veggies and flavor. Eat it cold or hot, and the taste stays the same. A basic five-ingredient vegetable frittata is both inexpensive and vegetarian. If you are a meat lover, add in some diced ham.
7. Chicken Salad Sandwich
A chicken salad sandwich is an excellent meal for long road trips. Prepare this in the car just before lunch, and it’s easy to assemble! Keep all the ingredients inside a reusable bag and bring a can opener and a plate for the prepping. Put the chicken on the bread, top with tossed veggies, and spread your favorite condiments.
8. Chicken Tortilla with Caesar Dressing
This chicken tortilla is a classic wrap that’s easy to prepare and lasts a day and a half inside a cooler. Grab some pre-cooked chicken strips if you don’t have time to cook, but the meal must be prepared ahead of time. Follow this pattern: Lay out the tortilla – put in avocado, tomatoes, chicken strips, parmesan cheese, and kale. Finally, spread Caesar dressing to boost the flavor.
9. Avocado-Mozzarella Sandwich
It is a simple yet flavorful sandwich that your family will enjoy on the trip. Toast the bread first before leaving and wrap it in foil. Mix smashed avocado on bread, mozzarella cheese, pesto or basil, and tomato. Dash some salt and pepper before spreading on the bread. Enjoy your Mozzacado sandwich!
10. Banana Peanut Butter Wrap
A twist on the old PB&J! Peanut butter lunches could even be more flavorful by adding bananas for extra sweetness and granola for the crunch. Families and kids love peanut butter sandwiches. You’ll enjoy the ride with this make-ahead yummy wrap.
11. Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Muffins
These muffins can fill your stomach for the day-long road trip. They’re easy-to-carry, mess-free, and taste as good a few days later. The combination of pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon with streusel makes it oozing with flavor and enough sweetness. It’s healthy too!
12. Chicken Slaw
Toss the veggies and flavors, shredded chicken, season with condiments, and dig into this healthy salad to fill in your stomach. Put some avocado slices and basil to increase the delicious taste. Make it beforehand, and it still tastes delish for days in the cooler.
13. Thai Chicken Wraps
This crunchy wrap with a mix of chopped or shredded chicken, curry sauce, carrots, tortillas, and coleslaw this Thai chicken wrap is a winner. It is quick to prepare and can be enjoyed cold or not. Wrap with foil or plastic wrap, and they can be stored in the cooler for days.
14. Taco Bowl
Prepare this meal before consumption, and you’d have a road trip fiesta dining. It’s a bowl of mixed meat or canned meat, veggies on top of the rice, and some flavorings. Bring a can opener and keep the ingredients in a reusable bag. Just throw them all in a container and ta-dah! Dig in!
15. Hummus Wrap with Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Kale
Hummus wrap is a favorite when it comes to road trips. This meal exudes delicious flavor by combining ingredients such as sausage, sweet potato, kale, and avocado. Put in a moderate amount of hummus inside the tortilla, and taste the yummy texture of this wrap in your mouth!
16. Chicken Basil and Kale Salad
This salad can be done beforehand or assemble when it’s time for lunch but don’t mix the dressing! Toss the marinated chicken with kale, corn, cheese, peaches, and some walnuts for additional crunch. Another good way of eating this? Wrap it in a tortilla or stuff in pita pockets!
17. Pizza Pasta Salad
The taste of pizza toppings minus the pizza dough make up this salad. It contains vegetables, meat, pasta, and cheese that will fill your tummies. Keep the pasta in separate containers upon assembling. The best part is when you put on the Italian dressing. It finalizes this lunch meal’s overall taste.
18. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
With this easy to make roll-ups, your craving is satisfied. You only need five ingredients, including shredded chicken, cream cheese, sauce or hot sauce, green onions, and tortillas. You can be creative by adding additional ingredients like carrots or red pepper. Make it beforehand, put it in the fridge, then pull it out before the trip.
19. Sushi Salad
This Sushi salad has cooked crab, nori strips, brown rice, avocado or mango, and some veggies. Add vinaigrette to boost flavor and your energy level! Put in separate containers beforehand, and you’re good to go on your road trip.
20. Tuna Pasta
We also have this tuna pasta that you can prepare in 15 minutes! After cooking, put it in separate containers, cool it in the fridge, and bring it with your trip inside a cooler. It’s still good even if eaten cold.
21. BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Sandwich
The ever classic BLT sandwich keeps you full on the go. It is available in almost every shop on gasoline stations. However, we recommend making your own to ensure clean preparation. Aside from that, you could put your preferred additional ingredients to make it more delectable.
22. Egg Salad and Avocado Sandwiches
Egg sandwiches are good, but with this recipe? You’ll have a twist by adding avocado for extra creaminess, pickled celery, and sunflower seeds for some crunch. You can either make it ahead of time or pack the salad in containers with a splash of lime for freshness. Assemble it with bread on the side.
23. Roast Beef Sandwich
Add some watercress slaw to this roast beef sandwich to create a difference. The crusty baguettes, mayonnaise, and fresh veggies make up this delicious sandwich. Assemble in the car upon eating or earlier. The baguette’s crustiness prevents the mayo from soaking while you’re traveling.
24. Egg Salad with Bacon and Sriracha Sandwich
Egg salad is a classic, yet you can spice it up by adding yogurt, bacon, and hot sriracha. The spicy taste of sriracha gives this recipe a twist that will surely keep you eat more. Store the mixture in an airtight container and spread it on the bread when it’s time.
25. Turkey Wrap with Carrot Salad
Eating Turkey with Swiss cheese wrap is best partnered with carrot salad to fill our cravings during lunch. It contains Dijon mustard, lemon juice and its rind, mayonnaise, veggies, cheese, and of course, Turkey meat! Truly satisfying!
26. Couscous with the sides of your choice
It is lighter than rice, and you can choose your preferred sides for this starchy food like celery, avocado, and spring onions. Bring along some chicken or vegetable stock with your thermos flasks, pour in a bowl upon eating. Add the couscous and let it sit for 10 minutes, then it’s ready to enjoy!
27. PB & J Sandwich ( Peanut Butter and Jelly)
It is the all-time favorite lunch of families, especially the kids who love sweets. You can never go wrong with this one in the road trip as everyone enjoys the taste of peanut butter and jelly. Be more creative by adding bananas or strawberries to add some twist.
28. Pizza Scroll
Who doesn’t love pizza? Of course, almost everybody does! This pizza scroll’s dough is made of Greek yogurt and flour. The rest of the toppings is up to you – the sauce, meat, and cheese. Roll up this make-ahead pizza to form a log and cut to the desired size. Bake, and you’re ready to go!
29. Chicken Wraps with Parmesan Cheese
Give yourself a treat with these delectable chicken wraps. Mixed with Italian spices, basil, marinara sauce, and that melting cheese, you got yourself a perfect meal! After putting the mixture in the tortillas, wrap it up and sear. After 15 minutes, you have that yummy wrap for your road trip.
30. Deli turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich
It is easy to pack for your road travel. This recipe consists of smoked turkey and cheese on white bread. You can also try other deli meats such as ham, chicken, and beef. Actually, you can mix any condiment that you want, like mustard or different combos.
31. Bean and Cheese Burrito
It’s a classic meal good enough to make you complete with only a few ingredients to mix. With the combination of cheese, beans, and the tortilla to cover up the flavors, everything is set to have your hearty lunch for the trip.
32. Pita Pockets
With pita pockets, you can choose whatever filling you want to put in. It can be chicken, hummus, some veggies, or the meat of your choice. Just however you like it! Put the ingredients in a reusable bag and assemble them right before consumption.
33. Bagels and Cream Cheese
The simple bagels with a spread of cream cheese are pretty enough to satisfy hunger. But with additional fillings like bacon and other stuff comes a delicious lunch meal that everyone on the road trip will surely enjoy.
34. Beef Jerky and Veggies
The superb taste of beef with the mix of vegetables is definitely a knockout. It tastes different and satiates one’s tastebuds. However, it would be best to try making your own than the readily available ones in the market.
35. Mini turkey meatloaves muffins
These mini turkey muffins are stuffed with Italian flavor. They are easy to prepare since they are baked in a muffin pan. Lunches on the go just got a whole lot simpler and more delicious with this meal. The combination of meat and muffin makes this great for a go-to meal.
Final Thoughts on 35+ Yummy Road Trip Lunch Ideas
We all have our food choices, especially those we want to bring specifically for our road trip. Having a meal plan helps save your time thinking about the proper meal to pack.
Nothing beats lunch prepping on your own. It does not just save money, but it also saves time hopping from one restaurants to another. With many lists of recipes you could find on the web, we hope you found our list of road trip lunch ideas a great help in your planning.
For more resources about planning your trip, do check out our other blogs:
- Family Vacation Planner (+Free Printable Template)
- 15 Essential Tips for your First RV Family Camping Trip with a Toddler
- RV Packing List for Your Family Camping Trip (Printable Checklist)
- Must have Travel Packing List for a Perfect Family Trip
- 17 Practical Tips for a Road Trip with a Toddler (From a Mom of 6)
Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever. We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug! I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.
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