We have road tripped tens of thousands of miles over the last couple decades. Our first few years of road tripping included many stops at fast food joints for meals, which not only increased trip costs but also inevitably left us feeling pretty gross. Check out these super simple DIY protein boxes that we enjoyed during our last trip. These meals were tasty, filling, and didn’t have the grease factor that the fast food did.
Okay, let me just preface this post by saying: I cannot believe I am actually going to write a post on this. But when I tell you that this lunch was the food highlight of our recent drive from Florida to Pennsylvania, I am not exaggerating!
The Typical RV Rest Stop Experience
Whenever friends ask me why I love RVing, I typically reply, “I love my camper because we pull our bathroom behind us.” And honestly? That’s not too far from the truth! I do LOVE the fact that when we road trip with the camper, we are never far from our OWN bathroom. A quick pull over at a rest stop (or parking lot) and we can all use the bathroom without traipsing into a building in search of public toilets.
A few years ago we were driving to Yellowstone and it dawned on us that we could pop into the camper around lunch or dinner time and in just minutes flat, whip up sandwiches for the family to eat. These easy, budget-friendly lunches not only eliminated the need to buy food as we drove, but it also usually saved us time. The sandwiches that we made were also generally a little healthier and a lot less greasy than say, a fast food joint.
Stretch, Bathroom, Food, Back on the Road
A typical stop for us during an RV road trip usually occurs when we need to fill up the gas tank. We make our way off the highway and find the nearest gas station that has an open pump that our rig will fit into. After the tank is full, we will pull up along a curb or somewhere out of the way in the parking lot.
We hop into the camper and use the bathroom, plus grab any snacks or drinks that we want to consume on the next leg of our journey.
If we are at an actual rest stop, and stopping for a bit to stretch or take a driving break, we might actually drop the jacks and put the slide out out for our stop, just to have even more room to sprawl.
The Protein Box Road Trip Snack
A few years ago, we grabbed our first Starbucks protein box. Just like the name suggests, these boxes are typically packed full of foods that contain protein and other better-for-you items. We immediately loved these boxes because they contained foods that were delicious but that also cut out the grease and indigestion we might experience if we stopped at the burger drive-thru instead.
The protein boxes weren’t super cheap, so we decided to make up our own budget-friendly version.
We hardboiled a dozen eggs before leaving home. We also added several individually wrapped cheeses, some crackers, veggies, hummus and pickles to our vacation grocery order.
The finger foods are easy to eat while driving and everyone could choose their favorite foods to add to their boxes.
Box, Bowl, Plate, Whatever!
I know that I am calling these snacks “protein BOXES” and that’s because this is what restaurants and convenience stores typically call them. The actual vessel that you use to hold your food does not matter at all. You might toss them into reusable compartmented food containers or maybe you will throw everything into a bowl. We have done both and both work well!
Make it easy – use whatever you have on hand. If you happen to have those food containers on hand, you could pack up your protein boxes before you hit the road, making these a true NO PREP, grab-and-go meal.
Ideas for Protein Packed Lunches
Here are some ideas for what you can add to your protein boxes:
- Veggie Straws
- Hardboiled Eggs
- Cheddar Cheese Sticks
- Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
- Babybel Cheese
- Pickles (we used Sweet Gherkins)
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Nut Butter
- Almonds or other nuts
- Dried fruit
- Snap Peas
- Trail Mix
I would love to hear if you have tried quick protein packed lunches or snacks on your own road trips! What food items do you include? What are some of your other go-to road trip snacks and meals? Drop us a comment and tell us about them!