Aah, the open road. Just you, the tarmac, some fellow vegan friends, a dog you picked up on the side of the road, and endless disputes over who gets to control Spotify.
The only thing missing from this fellowship is sustenance - something that vegans can find quite hard to come by on the side of the I-90. That's why the clever ones think ahead and pack their snacks.
For those unfamiliar with the art of picking and packing vegan snacks ahead of a road trip, this article is for you.
The Best Vegan Road Trip Snacks
So, here's our list of the best plant-based road trip snacks. Also, be sure to stick around to the end of the article, where we'll give you some handy extra info on the dos and don'ts of eating while on the road.
1. Veggies and Dip
Veggies and dips are one of the best vegan road foods.
They don't take up a lot of space. They're super healthy and delicious.
Plus, there are tons of different options. Cucumber, carrots, celery, asparagus… you get the idea.
As for the dips, my personal favorites are hummus and peanut butter.
Bonus tip: Here's how to determine if your peanut butter is vegan or not.
Pringles are the ultimate vegan gas station snacks.
Sadly, not all the flavors qualify for this status.
The chip itself is vegan, but it's in the flavors that they get you; some of the most popular options are off-limits, like Sour Cream and Onion.
Fortunately, we can confirm that Original and Paprika flavors are both plant-based snacks.
As you explore other flavors, be sure to check out the ingredients.
3. Vegan Jerky
Plant-based jerky is a thing now, and they're a fantastic vegan road trip snack.
They're wildly popular among vegans who still crave a "meaty" flavor and texture in their snacks.
Options and brands abound, so we're not gonna get into that.
Most decent food shops that have a vegan section should have these on the shelves.
4. Mixed Nuts
For vegan snacks to go, nothing beats the convenience of mixed nuts.
For decades they've been the go-to option for anyone looking for a quick snack while on the move.
A handful of these bad boys have seen many a hiker and driver through a long stretch without any sustenance.
They’re perfect snacks for road trips.
5. Dried Fruit
As far as vegan on the go meals is concerned, this is as ideal as it gets.
Mainly because of the variety and cost. Regular, unsweetened, vegan-friendly dried fruit is relatively inexpensive and offers a massive variety of flavors and textures.
In my experience, all of these are plant-based, and no product I'm aware of compromises this during the drying-out process.
The critical thing is that you steer clear of the sweetened variety. These are seldom, if ever, vegan friendly.
6. Ritz Crackers
Yup, you read it right, folks. America's favorite "edible plates" are fantastic vegan road trip snacks.
Just like Pringles, they do have somewhat of a reputation as the go-to snack for lazy stoners looking for something to munch on at 2 am.
Don't let this fool you into thinking they're not a feasible option for a vegan going on a road trip.
Again, be aware of flavorings. Regular Ritz crackers are absolutely vegan-friendly snacks.
7. Vegan Fruit and Nut Bars
Unsweetened fruit and nut bars are the ideal vegan travel snacks.
They’re convenient, delicious, and it’s not hard to find a gluten-free variety if you look.
My personal favorites are Nakd Bars. There’s a big selection of fun flavors like Bakewell Tart, Blueberry Muffin, and Lemon Drizzle.
On top of this, they’re also dairy-free and contain no wheat whatsoever. Stock up on a box or two of these before your road trip!
8. Fresh Fruit
This is one of my favorite road trip snacks because it’s so easy to find along the road.
No need to search for a store that stocks vegan snacks when apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries are all easy to pick up along the road.
All of the snacks we list here are good for you, but none are more healthy than fresh fruit.
9. Dark Chocolate
Dark vegan chocolate is an ideal road trip snack, especially if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth.
They’re not particularly easy to come by, though. Don’t expect to find a ton of vegan options among your local convenience store’s candy section.
Fortunately, there are several excellent brands you can buy online.
Check out Endangered Species’ impressive selection of healthy vegan dark chocolate bars.
10. Protein Bars
If you need an energy boost during a long stretch of driving during your road trip, a protein bar is just what you need.
There are some excellent options available online and at vegan-friendly grocery stores nowadays.
My recommendation is Everlasting Joy’s Organic Macrobar and Garden of Life's Performance Protein bars.
Both are packed with energy and taste great!
Vegan protein bars we recommend:
Popcorn is one of the best vegan snacks for road trips.
It’s super easy to make at home, convenient to pack, and very, very cheap.
If you opt for the microwaved variety, make sure that the product hasn’t been flavored with butter or any other non-vegan ingredient.
I’d also advise you to pop these bad boys just before you head out on your trip and also seal them properly in a container.
Popcorn goes stale pretty quickly, and the last thing you want is to snack on something that tastes like cardboard.
12. Tortilla Chips and Dip
Tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole are one of my favorite snacks, period. A great option for you can be Doritos, just buy the flavors which are suitable for vegans.
Whether I’m on a road trip or sitting on my sofa at home, I can’t get enough of these fantastic vegan snacks.
It’s unlikely to be an issue, but if you buy your chips from a restaurant, make sure they don’t use the oil that they fry any of their meat items in.
13. Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
As far as vegan road trip snacks go, none rival the decadence of Lily’s Chocolate peanut butter cups.
These stevia-sweetened goodies taste surprisingly similar to the real thing and are also gluten-free and totally organic.
Honestly, under the right circumstances, I could eat a bag of these myself; they are ridiculously moreish.
14. Bagels with Vegan Spread
Finding vegan bagels for your road trip shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Your basic bagel is made from only plant-based ingredients, but if you’re buying from a deli, it’s best to check with them if they used eggs, milk, or a natural sweetener like honey.
As far as healthy vegan spreads go, my favorites are hummus, avocado and salsa.
15. Homemade Sandwiches
Homemade vegan snacks are perfect for road trips because you get the satisfaction of preparing something yourself - like you’re bringing a piece of your kitchen with you on your trip.
Healthy vegan sandwich topping options are also in no short supply.
Get creative and whip up something special for your trip. Sure, slathering a layer of peanut butter or hummus on your bread may be the easiest option, but this is a special occasion!
Try high-quality fresh ingredients like heirloom tomato slices with tofu and soy sauce.
This combo is my current go-to sandwich topping.
16. Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are one of the most overlooked vegan snacks, whether you’re on a road trip or watching Netflix.
They’re delicious, good for you, and super convenient to pop into your mouth while driving. Making them is also very simple.
Just spread a can of cooked chickpeas out over a roasting sheet, drizzle with olive oil and some herbs, and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.
17. Trail Mix
Guess what! You don’t have to be hiking on an actual trail to enjoy the convenience of trail mix.
There are so many fantastic options on the market today, and many of them are vegan-friendly.
The most important ingredient to look out for is the sweetener. Some products will use honey for a bit of added sweetness, so beware.
My favorite brands include Emerald, Trader Joe’s, and Gerbs’ Crunchy Monkey.
18. Mary’s Gone Crackers
If you want a healthier, organic, gluten-free alternative to Ritz, get yourself a shipment of Mary’s Gone Crackers.
This wonderful brand of healthy snacks is also packed with Omega-3 fatty acids.
Find and order Mary’s Gone crackers online if your local grocery stores don’t stock them - they’re easy to pop into your mouth while driving, and they taste great!
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Can vegan snacks travel with you? You bet!
There are tons of options aside from the selection we mentioned here. Road Trips are fun and exciting.
There's no reason why your snacking can't also be just because you're vegan.