We are right in the middle of the summer which means many of you are going on vacation! And for many of us, vacation means car rides! Whether it’s a day trip to a museum a few hours away, or 12+ hours to the beach, logging time in the car can present it’s challenges especially in regards to eating. This doesn’t mean that you have to forgo all the hard work and discipline that you have had through the year in regards to your health though! Smart snacking is totally doable! It just takes a little planning!

Car-Friendly "Clean" Snacks : www.claresmith.me

Before I get into some clean snacks, I’d like to mention a few things:

– Decide your goals for vacation/trip.

Do you want to throw all caution to the wind? Would you like to keep your normal routine? Maybe mix it up with some indulgences and your normal? I’ve found that defining this goal at the beginning of vacation keeps me on track. It’s not for me to decide what you should do! Just remember that just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that your calories are! Personally, I indulge a little bit but try to keep in line as much as possible.

– Try to get a workout (even if it’s a quick one) the morning before you leave in the car, or once you hit your destination.

All that sitting can take a toll on a body that’s used to moving! If you can’t get one in, then use your restroom stops to stretch, do some jumping jacks and push-ups, just to get the blood flowing! Plus, I just feel like it sets the tone for the trip!

– My general rule of thumb? When you can eat well, do it. When you can’t, do the best you can.

There will be times for both on vacation! (Generally more for eating terrible!)


My family just took a trip to DC/Maryland, so here is a glimpse into what I packed!

Car-Friendly "Clean" Snacks : www.claresmith.me

First of all–get a travel cooler bag! I bought this cute one at the grocery store for $6.99 before we left town. There are smaller and bigger ones, so get what works for your family. I like these smaller bags as the coolers (which I’ve travelled with before) take up so much room and are never convenient to get into!


– Cut up mini cucumbers, red and yellow peppers, celery, strawberries, and frozen blueberries

– Hard Boiled Eggs

– Individual Cottage Cheese Packages

– Packages of sliced apples and grapes

– Cheese Sticks

I also had another bag (not pictured) filled with things that didn’t need to be kept cold:

– Granola or Protein Bars (homemade or bought)

– Packets of almond/nut butter

– Almonds

– Nut-thins (my favorite “cracker”)

Here are some other great options for vacation/travel friendly snacks that I’ve taken in the past:

– Protein powder in ziploc baggie with a “to-go” container of almond milk/water and shaker bottle

– Individual servings of hummus

– Homemade Trail/Snack Mix (Here is one to try!)

And of course–lots and lots of water! It’s easy to make up your calories with drinks on trips, so try and keep a water bottle with you at all times!

I have 2 kids, ages 6 and 4, so I have to keep them in mind too. They do eat some of what I do, but of course, want things like fruit snacks and graham crackers! I add a few things in especially for them as a treat for our trip!

Keep in mind the refrigeration once you hit your destination. I went a little overboard on what I packed and didn’t have the appropriate way to keep it cold so ended up throwing a lot away. 🙁 And in case you are wondering–YES–I do throw in some guilty pleasure driving snacks for trips! (Twizzlers..Peanut M&M’s, anyone??) I just have to take caution with these as I will end up binging on them due to car boredom!

P.S. Don’t forget to pack plastic silverware, a bag for disposing trash while in the car, and napkins/wet wipes!

I’d love to get some ideas from you all! What are some car-friendly “clean” snacks that you take with you, either on vacation or in every day life?! (All of the snacks above are actually my “every day” snacks!)