After limiting travel for the past two years, people are now ready to satisfy their wanderlust. Whether it's travel by air, sea or land, the journey to the destination can be part of the adventure, and it's important to pack delicious foods to fuel you during your travels.
"Part of successfully traveling either alone or with kids means having the right foods to keep everyone satisfied and well-nourished," said registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S.
It can be a challenge to avoid unhealthy foods that make you feel sluggish or cause a sugar crash when there are convenience stores and vending machines everywhere. That's why packing your own snacks helps to keep your travel crew satisfied while ensuring everyone is eating nutrient-packed foods.
According to Kirkpatrick, travel snacks should be:
Beneficial Nutrient Profile
The most important factor is the nutrient profile of your snack. Opting for traditional car and plane foods like candies and chips can leave people unsatisfied and hungry for more, making it hard to control portions. You want to opt for snacks that have protein and fiber.
When most people think of typical travel snacks, foods that are crunchy, salty, or sweet come to mind. The satisfying snacks you choose should meet these criteria as long as they give you bang for your nutritional buck as well as to help keep you full and energized.
While a salad is great, it can be messy and not travel-friendly. Instead, go for options that are prepackaged and don't require kitchen cutlery or excess containers. Hard-boiled eggs and string cheese sticks are also some great grab-and-go options to top your salad.
There is limited room in travel bags and coolers when traveling with family, so choose foods that everyone can enjoy. Snacks you pack should be able to feed multiple people and conquer hunger pangs.
Smart travel snack ideas
It can be challenging to find travel-friendly snacks that meet these criteria. To help guide you, Kirkpatrick shares her favorite travel snacks.
Mini protein bars: Quest Protein Bars Minis are a favorite to keep stashed in the car or tucked in a backpack. They have 80 calories, 8 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams net carbs.
"Quest has something tasty for everyone. The Quest minis come in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookies and Cream, and both provide delicious protein to help keep you going," Kirkpatrick said.
Apples and nut butter: The healthy fats and fiber keep people satisfied which can help balance energy and mood. Make sure to choose options with no added sugar and keep the skin on those apples to get insoluble fiber as well!
"I cut my apples ahead of time and sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent browning," said Kirkpatrick. "Then I pair it with no-added-sugar peanut or almond butter for dipping."
String cheese and popcorn: These portable and satisfying snacks are great when traveling with kids.
"These snacks can easily be stored in a small cooler, but if traveling by plane, freeze the string cheese ahead of time or just pack popcorn. For a crunchy alternative, try Quest Protein Chips to get that crunchy, savory taste, without a ton of net carbs," said Kirkpatrick.
It's time to start making travel memories again. Whether it's a weekend road trip or a vacation overseas, these smart snack ideas will ensure everyone is satisfied on their journey. For more Quest snack products, as well as delicious recipes and more, visit QuestNutrition.com.