Snacks are as synonymous with road trips as the phrase, "Are we there yet?"
While any food can be a road trip snack if you put your mind to it, certain options fare better than others. To assist you in your packing, we have assembled a list of the best road trip snacks of all time.
Here they are from good to great.
16. Leftovers There are right and wrong leftovers to take on a trip. For example, your grandma's famous stew may be fantastic the next day, but do you want to slurp chunky broth through a straw? Instead, think of handheld leftover options, which are not limited to: a tightly wrapped burrito, sliced pizza, kimbap, empanadas and onigiri.
15. A sandwich This is for a long-haul ride when little bites just won't do. Like leftovers, the smartest road trip sandwich is no muss, no fuss. Think PB&J, not meatball sub.
14. Candy The dessert of your road trip eating, candy speaks to your sweet tooth. Candy that comes in little pieces will last you longer than something in bar form, so we lean toward options such as Haribo Z!ng Sour S'ghetti, peanut M&M's or Swedish Fish.
13. Nutella & Go! This little dipper snack pack is well-suited for road trips. Pop the single-serve container into your cup holder, peel back the foil top and dip the mini breadsticks into the creamy Nutella to your heart's desire. Hardcore Nutella fans also can pack a jar of the spread to eat on its own. This option is extreme, but we would respect it.
12. Popcorn This is the ultimate mindless snack. We shovel it in while watching movies, and we can shovel it in while driving, too.
11. Corn nuts The most fun way to eat corn in the car, it's corn with some razzle dazzle, far more interesting in terms of flavor and texture than popcorn. Crunching into a handful is as satisfying as plugging a USB cord into your computer the right way on the first try.
10. Pocky Pocky wasn't specifically invented for road trips, but it might as well have been. The Japanese biscuit sticks are dipped in delicious sweet-but-not-too-sweet coatings, including milk chocolate, strawberry and cookies and cream. They make for a very tidy car snack.
9. String cheese Beloved by toddlers and their parents alike, this is a crowd-pleaser and a wholesome option to junk food. According to the internet, you shouldn't leave string cheese out at room temperature for more than three to four hours for food safety reasons. Either get peeling early or pack the cheese sticks in a cooler.
8. Protein bars They are there when you're hungry but don't want to stop for a proper meal. For the most part, protein bars aren't very messy, which is great for your lap and car seats.
7. Designer snacks The 2010s ushered in a new era of designer snacks. They're marketed as being better for us because of higher-quality ingredients or fewer chemical additives, so they're usually more expensive than the packaged gas station snacks. Highlights include BarkThins, Popchips and Chrissy Teigen-approved Dang sticky-rice chips.
6. Meat snacks A lot of meat is ill-suited for eating in the car; pork chops come to mind. Dried and cured meats are an exception. Options are aplenty, from classic Jack Link's and Slim Jim jerky to more artisanal Portland-made Olympia Provisions pepperettes.
5. Pringles These are the white noise of chips. They're flavorful, but subtle enough to eat on repeat without getting overwhelmed by any particular note. They're an easy kind of crunchy that shatter into a soft mosaic on your tongue.
4. Fruit and veggies The road trip snack voted most likely to make your mother proud. Some of the top options are sliced apples, celery sticks, baby carrots, bananas, cherries and grapes.
3. Other chips While Pringles are technically a potato chip, they're not the only chip worth packing on a road trip. Chips are easy to grab with whatever hand isn't on the wheel, bite-size in portion, and come in so many flavors it may be impossible to count all of the options, including Plantain. Potato. Pretzel. Sun. There's a chip for everyone in the car.
2. Trail mix or nuts This is the responsible choice. Healthy and satiating, this pick is getting you from A to B with fat, fiber, vitamins and protein. Or you can cut out the extra stuff and simply go with nuts. But keep in mind that eating nuts on the road can pose a hazard, particularly if you're going with a shelled option. Watch out for your teeth if you're prone to cracking straight into a pistachio shell with your chompers. They're also sneakily messy. You and your car will be covered in flakes of pistachio innards by the end of your trip, guaranteed.
1. Combos No question — Combos Stuffed Snacks are the greatest road trip snack of all time. The baked and filled snack can be found at pretty much any gas station, which makes it easily accessible to the road tripper.
Combos are like catnip to road trippers. There's an intoxicating umami in their artificial and natural flavors that lures us in and hooks us. Plus, there's minimal mess eating them. While people on the Combos train have differing opinions on what flavor is their favorite (many of still mourn the discontinued bacon, egg and cheese flavor), any option will do as a road trip companion.