When it comes to the classic Australian road trip, there are a few constants: scorching hot dashboards, one person who wants to listen to the cricket versus one person who has curated a playlist specifically timed to the drive, dusty wheels and questionable roadside coffees.
You may not be able to control whether the air con holds out or not, but you can control the quality of your snacks. A trip can be borderline unbearable without a good feed, especially when you’re ages away from the next pit stop. But you don’t have to rely on packets of sickly sweet snakes or sleeves of dry crackers – think bigger.
So to impress your friends and loved ones, particularly in a time when road trips are the best chance of a holiday we’ve got, we’ve put together this handy list of semi-fancy snacks that are easy to pack for your next long drive – some are sweet, others salty, but all are delicious.
Hey Tiger chocolates
This one may be controversial, as chocolate can get very melt-y on a long drive. But chuck it in a cooler and you’ll be the saviour of the trip.
One thing that makes Hey Tiger chocolates road trip-friendly is the packaging – they come as tightly packed bars, which means you won’t accidentally spill it everywhere when you drive over a speed bump. Bonus: these choccies are ethically sourced, fund development projects in Ghana and are handmade (there are also some vegan bars on offer). Our pick is the extra Sprinkles and Glitter, a bar designed in collaboration with the multi-hyphenate DJ and media personality Flex Mami.
Hector’s Deli has a range of takeaway sandwiches that will do nicely on a road trip – with some delicious vegetarian options. Try the Fried Mushroom (Crumbed mushroom, tarragon butter, green oak lettuce and ‘hectic sauce’ on a steamed potato bun) or the Mushroom Melt (Mustard pickled mushrooms, mozzarella and provolone cheese on toasted light rye).
Stopping for coffee on the road can be time-consuming and isn’t always the tastiest experience. And yet a coffee on a long drive can be one of the all-time great mood-boosters. In anticipation of this, why not think ahead and pack yourself the necessities?
Bring some bottles of cold drip and iced coffees to keep you refreshed and pack some extras in an Esky with ice. Avoid the really sugary iced coffees that will make you more car sick than alert, and pick up something a little fancier.
Melbourne brewers First Press sell mixed packs of their original cold drip and cold drip with Australian almond milk and oat milk added. They even have a mocha blend for the mate who prefers their coffee on the chocolate-y side. The coffees are also additive and refined sugar free. You can find it at indie grocers or at Woolworths.
This may seem like something you’d pack in a lunchbox, but that’s kind of what makes veggie chips good. Getting something with a bit of crunch is a good afternoon snack when everyone’s energy is flagging a bit.
Go to your local health food store before your holiday and see what they’ve got on offer – something like this mix of vacuum-fried sweet potato, squash and carrot will hit the spot without making you feel too full.
Sure, you can buy them from the supermarket, but making your own gives you more control over the flavours and balance you want. Plus, it’ll always taste better than store-bought.
It might be a tad bit more time-consuming than just roasting nuts in the oven and coating them in salt, but we reckon this is worth the effort.
This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with First Press Coffee. You can find First Press Coffee at Woolworths, independent grocers and health food stores. For a limited time use code ’BROADSHEET20’ for a 20 per cent discount here.