So… There’s not really a good way to put this, but I’ve never been on a road trip.
I mean, I’ve gone from A to B in a car, with other people, and it has usually involved snacks, but not like a proper road trip where you PLAN stuff on the journey. So snacks are usually pretty low-key, and usually in small enough quantities that they are all gone by the time we pull out of the driveway (yeah, I get really excited about travel snacks).
Despite being a road trip novice, I am getting close to snack expert status. I never go anywhere without a snack, and it didn’t take long for Ben to figure out that it was wise for him to bring emergency snacks for me.
The rules for travel snacks:
1. Items must be bite-sized or nibble-sized (so you can nibble away contentedly for hours, but not get so into it you can’t hold a conversation or stop mid-nibble to stretch your legs)
2. Packets must be larger than one or two servings (because two servings = one large serving = well I might as well just finish this bag off now, even though we haven’t gotten to the end of the street)
3. There must be a roughly equal balance of: sweet to salty/savoury; crispy to chewy to gooey; dry to wet.
4. No chocolate. I know, I know… It’s just that I always drop a bit and sit in it. Yes, always. Every time.
Let’s get the healthy stuff out of the way first:
- There will be carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and sticks of (bell) pepper. They are always better and more needed than you think they will be.
- Also grapes, berries if seasonal, and I guess it’s wise to chuck some apples in just in case. Bananas give me banana anxiety because they always end up trapped and squished under a heavy bag. Clementines/mandarins/satsumas are negotiable.
- Nuts and/or seeds of any kind, though if it were up to me I would pick up a packet or two of Waitrose Love Life Berry Seed Sprinkle, or the Cooperative Berry Mix (of which I have previously eaten an entire packet in a car journey, so consider it tried and tested).
- At least one bag of Urban Fruit Tremendously Tropical because it’s yummy and chewy and tangy with pineapple and rich with coconut, but not as sweet as other dried fruits.
Then the sweet:
- Cookies, obviously! I recommend your favourite oatmeal raisin cookie or the Banana Everything Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, because they are hearty and not too sweet, and they contain the otherwise banned substances chocolate and banana.
- Gummy sweets – for when you’re already too full but munching is still delicious. You can’t go wrong with any of the Goody Good Stuff range, but I have a soft spot for new-to-me Sugar Sin Sour Shots.
- Red licorice laces, because they’re fun and offer the opportunity of a group activity if the drive gets boring, in seeing who can tie the most knots in their lace.
- If we feel very upset about not having chocolate, I would recommend the Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, also from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, because they are intensely chocolatey but also chewy and spicy and will definitely hit any spot anywhere.
And the savoury:
- At the risk of stinking the car out, I’d love to bring some Wheaty Spacebars because they’re chewy and super savoury and just the perfect snack when you’re sweeted-out. I can wait til pee breaks to eat them outside.
- Primal Strips vegan jerky is an equally strong (and stinky) contender.
- Vegetable crisps, like these Tyrrells Beetroot, Carrot & Parsnip crisps, and if we’re doing the kale chip thing then I’d recommend Happy Kale chips because they’re WAY better than anything I could make.
- Salt and vinegar roast chickpeas, à la Oh She Glows, because too many chips make me feel gross but salt-and-vinegar something is a must.
- And obviously there have to be corn chips and home-made guacamole – with lots of lime and not too much garlic (just for the car journey, I promise).
We want to stay hydrated, especially with all that snacking, so we’ll have lots and lots of water (and lots and lots of pee breaks which is good for leg-stretching and fresh air) – we can infuse some bottles with citrus slices of cucumber if that’s our thing for this trip – but soft drinks are sticky and nasty. Also little cartons of strawberry soy milk because they’re delicious and fun and taste of childhood.
We won’t need any real food because this road trip will aim to pass via all the best vegan (or vegan-friendly) eateries so we’ll want to have room for those.
Now we’ve figured out the snacks, all we need is to figure out where we’re going!