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18 Snacks That Every Road Trip Needs

Behind every great road trip, there is a carload of delicious snacks. Hit the road with the Discover it® chrome for Students card, so you'll never have to go hungry when you’re on the road.

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1. Licorice Ropes

Chris / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: cedwardmoran

Why they fit the bill: Delicious, long-lasting, and low-maintenance — licorice ropes are a handsfree treat, so you're basically obligated to eat them. You know, for safety.

2. Trail Mix


Why it fits the bill: It's easy to blindly scoop into your mouth, mildly healthy (although you know you're getting one with chocolate in it), and always heavy-handed on nuts, which are in themselves a perfect snack.

3. Sour Gummy Worms

Why they fit the bill: They taste really, really good and pack enough of a little punch to keep you alert at the wheel.

4. Coffee and Coffee-based Drinks

Getty Images/iStockphoto Sandra Minarik / Via

Why they fit the bill: Not technically a food, but a vital part of road trip nutrition. Coffee will keep you both awake and sane on those long stretches. Cold is obviously the better choice (because nobody wants a lap full of steamy espresso), and the canned ones are a gift from above.

7. Slushies

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Why they fit the bill: The nostalgic, summery feelings that come with drinking a slushy will make you super excited about your road trip. Or wait, actually, that might just be the sugar high.

8. Actual Fruit

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Why it fits the bill: Road trips are glorious, but road trips will end, and you're going to wish you opted for at least some good foods. Fruit packs a lot of natural sugars and is juicy enough to keep you hydrated. Yum!

9. Sunflower Seeds

Alan Levine / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: cogdog

Why they fit the bill: They come in bags of about 3 million, so you'll stay occupied while you're in the middle of nowhere. Plus, they're healthy and free of sugar, so you won't (metaphorically) crash later.

11. Pickles

liz west / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: calliope

Why they fit the bill: Hear us out: Nobody can deny that pickles are good. Not only do they taste great, but they're big enough to satisfy you, and they're not totally bad for you. Also, you can buy them in individual bags at gas stations, sooo...

12. Chips of Any Kind

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Why they fit the bill: The jury is out on whether kettle, ridged, or even corn chips are the top choice, but one thing is for sure: You need chips. Their salty brilliance will make the long drives easier, but make sure you have a beverage on hand, or you're going to be parched.

13. Pre-Made Sandwiches

Taric Alani / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: taric25

Why they fit the bill: Sometimes you just want a sandwich. And sometimes, the only sandwich within 100 miles is wrapped in plastic at a gas station. We've all been there; there is no shame. (Let's face it — they're always surprisingly awesome.)

14. Popcorn

DijutalTim / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: dijutaltim

Why it fits the bill: Whether you're watching a film, watching the road, or watching the back of a semi-trailer you just can't overtake, popcorn is a solid snack that is perfect for the grab-without-even-looking-and-dump-in-mouth move. It also never fails to last forever.

17. Chewing Gum

OlegDoroshin / Via

Why it fits the bill: Not as exciting as other snacks, true, but chewing gum is the silent hero of the road trip. There will be stretches when you need to keep busy but can't bear to eat any more chips. In these moments, chewing gum will be your white knight.

18. And, of Course, Beef Jerky

ryan.dowd / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: rdowd

Why it fits the bill: It tastes amazing, it's bulletproof (aka: can be left in your glove compartment for a while), and it will give you all the protein you could possibly need for hours of sitting around and doing next to nothing. Thank you, beef jerky. Thank you.

The Discover it® chrome for Students card gets you 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchased at restaurants and gas stations each quarter — no sign-ups needed, so you can buy all the road trip snacks you need (and more) without ever feeling guilty.