5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. Unlike lunchmeat sandwiches that have to be kept in a cooler, these are durable. They won’t go soggy or spoil quickly, and are more filling than a snack. Also, kids love them and these will help tide them over between meals. For bonus points, toast the bread first for extra structural integrity.
4. Nuts. There are so many good things to say about nuts. They’re not only crunchy and tasty, but a good source of protein with good fats. That said, they are high in calories, so watch those portion sizes.
3. Portable Caffeine. It’s hard to believe but no, there’s not actually a Starbucks everywhere. (Serious coffee drinkers hopefully have carefully mapped their trip according to the best coffeehouses, anyway.) For the long, caffeine-free stretches of a journey, an insulated carafe of actual good coffee comes in handy. Short of that, packaged iced coffee or espresso will do — and tastes so much better than an energy drink with odd ingredients.
2. Beef Jerky and Dried Sausages. These are not only the gods of road food, they are worth planning ahead for. Going through El Campo? A stop at Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse is required. North of Austin is Robertson’s Hams. Dotted around the state are various Texas Best Smokehouse locations. If the trip doesn’t route through one of those towns, well, there’s always Buc-ee’s.
1. Water. The importance of carrying water on a road trip cannot be overstated. There’s no telling what will happen. Cars can and do break down in the middle of nowhere. Really, carrying water in a vehicle at all times, just in case of emergency, is a good practice. Besides: The sweet and salty road trip snacks tend to make people thirsty. Want to be a road trip superstar? Help save the environment and bottle your own.