Happily Ever Answers: Junk Food Edition!

Junk in the Trunk

Happily Ever Answers: Junk Food Edition

Summer road trips allow us the perfect excuse to develop diet amnesia.

It’s fun to snack on foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce that typically turn your fingers a different color.

I asked some of my favorite authors –

On long road trips, do you snack on convenience store junk food and if so, what are some of your favorites?
Kristen Bell GIF

Max Monroe:

Monroe: [grins] Oh, man. Junk food?

Max: As in snack food??

Monroe: As in sweet treats???

Max: Lisa is speaking our love language!

Monroe: [laughs] It’s almost like she’s trying to court us or something.

Max: Right? [snorts] We are the connoisseurs of all things snacky! Every two or three months, on our road trips together to write and catch up and work on Max Monroe stuff, we always have one priority before we can get started.

Monroe: A trip to the grocery store to gather all of the necessary things!

Max: Walmart, here we come!

Monroe: M&Ms and Doritos…

Max: And Coca-Cola and chips and cheese dip…

Monroe: And cookies.

Max: Yes. Yes. All of the good and snacky things.

Emma Chase: Strawberry Twizzlers, Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips and Blue Raspberry Slushies are my road trip favorites. I try and include all the major food groups 😉  

Rachel Van Dyken: Oh man, I’m such a Pringles and M&M’s girl…I also love “having” no choice but to stop at McDonalds and eat my weight in chicken nuggets and fries. I usually grab some beef jerky, a Coke Zero, and nuts to go along with the chips 😉 

Vi Keeland: I don’t trust people who don’t eat junk food on a long road trip!  Swedish fish, Pringles, and Starbucks at every stop.

Adriana Locke: Do people not snack on junk food on road trips? I really like peppered beef jerky, especially Old Trapper’s brand. The jerky can’t look all weird—it has to look like pieces of meat. (Oh my gosh, that sounds gross! LOL) I also enjoy pepperoni flavored Combos on occasion. That’s salty-crunchy goodness is great. If it’s early morning, I love the little crumb cakes in the Little Debbie section! And I don’t care if this is weird—gas stations sometimes have the best pizza. It’s true.

Jessica Day GIF

L.J. Shen: YES YES YES. I just got back from a week in SoCal and pondered the internal question of why do I always do this to my body? I have the tendency to find the most remote, greasiest, dustiest, oldest gas stations in the country and choose THEM to buy my snacks for the road. Everything is always super stale but somehow tastes so good because it’s a trip and I’m high on the adrenaline. Things I really love to snack on during my travels include beef jerky, Snyder’s honey pretzels, and Oreos. I also love the raspberry slushies that come in cups taller than me. Also, I absolutely loathe Goldfish, but I always end up eating them, anyway, because my son is obsessed with them and he likes to feed them to me on the road.

Penelope Ward: I love road trips, because I give myself a license to eat whatever I want if I am stuck in the car. My family and I get milkshakes from Sonic or Steak N Shake often when driving down to Florida yearly. I also love to snack on Pringles and fruit snacks in the car. And I have to stop for coffee frequently; that’s my favorite drink in the world.

Staci Hart: So I’m the worst—I actually don’t love road trips!! I get car sick, and when I’m stuck in one place (plane, car, the line at DMV), I get super antsy. BUT I love snacks. I’m a salty girl, so I’d be stocking up on Combos, trail mix, and nacho cheese Doritos.

Drink: 42oz. Slushie. Dessert: powdered donuts and a Heath bar.

R.K. Lilley: We go crazy on road trips.  We let ourselves eat all the junk we never get to eat in our normal lives.  For some reason, we always have to have Taco Bell Spicy Dorito Tacos with Dr. Pepper.  It’s the strangest thing, and I’d never think of having it anytime but on a long road trip. 

Lucy Score: Mr. Lucy and I have been known to buy $40 worth of garbagey convenience store junk food for a four-hour car ride. He’s really into trail mix and M&Ms. I prefer to perpetuate the illusion of healthiness and end up going for some kind of sodium-laden turkey jerky and black coffee. But I also get car sick, so sometimes I’m snagging a bottle of Coke or Ginger Ale for the tummy region.

L.M. Halloran: Sour Patch Kids all the way! The sourness, the sweetness… they’re creepy, delicious euphemisms for life.

Devney Perry: Totally! Long trips are an excellent excuse for me to snack on junk. Swedish Fish. Doritos. Diet Coke. Skittles. Pretzels. Those are my favorites.

Lauren Layne: What I always want to get is chips—they’re my weakness in all forms: potato chips, sun chips, Doritos, Cheetos. However, I know that I have no “off” button on the chips, so instead, I’ll try to go for almonds. I like the smokey, super salty ones!

K. Webster: Yessss. Snacking is what makes road trips worthwhile.  My kids and I con the hubs into stopping every hour at least for goodies.  We raid the candy aisle at gas stations between our frequent Starbucks stops.  I love Mounds, M&Ms, Twizzlers, Raisenets, Milky Way, Snickers…pretty much anything chocolate.

M. Robinson: Diet Coke, water, monster, potato chips, M&M’s. Bossman always picks on me because when we take road trips I have to stop every 2 hours. My ADD kicks in and I need to walk around. It could be as simple as a rest stop, I just need out of the car. 

Claire Contreras: I love Peanut M&Ms. 

Melissa Foster: I am the worst road trip eater. I turn into a twelve-year-old wanting everything at once. I will start a road trip with snacks like nuts and berries, but by the end, I’m scarfing chips, Twizzlers, and whatever else the kids have on hand. Luckily, it’s a few hours of losing my mind and only once a year 🙂 

Kim Holden: Nuts are always a good road trip snack. Almonds and cashews are my favorite.

Giana Darling: I went on a three month road trip around the United States a few years ago, and we basically lived on beef jerky! We are a package a day basically, and I can’t think of the stuff now without feeling nauseated. 

Natasha Anders: Pastries are my weakness. And I can run on chocolate fuel for hours!

Corinne Michaels: I usually bring my own snacks with me. I love popcorn.

Marni Mann: Twizzlers are a must—whether I’m in the car or on a plane, you can always find them in my purse when I travel. I also eat an obscene amount of white cheddar popcorn. And Diet Dr. Pepper. I hardly ever drink soda but having it in the car with crushed ice is kind of everything.

Emma Louise: Does the twenty minute drive to my office count as a long road trip? I’m a junk food whore, and I don’t need the excuse of a road trip to eat it.  If it’s full of carbs or sugar, I’ll probably eat it. While we were vacationing in the US last year, I discovered Ruffles, the original flavour ones. We don’t get them in shops here in the UK, and I have to say I’m glad because my ass would never forgive me. Give me those and a Baby Ruth, and I’ll be set. 

J. Daniels: YES. Candy is my go-to. Twizzlers, or anything sour. Maybe some Popchips. I love those. 

Lila Monroe: Is it weird I like healthy trail mix? I snack on almonds and cashews all day long. But if it’s a long road trip, I’ll need some sugary soda to make it through. 

Tracey Garvis Graves: I’m not much of a road-tripper, but when I fly I always buy nuts and chocolate in case I don’t have time to eat. And then I end up eating both no matter what. 

Robinne Lee: I don’t do a lot of long road trips these days. Living in LA is being in your car almost all the time, so road trips have lost the appeal for me. But, if I know I’m going to be at the wheel for a longer haul than normal, I’ll make certain to get a Starbucks venti unsweetened iced green tea for the journey.

Ginger Scott: For sure I do! We usually stop at the closest one to load up before we go, and everyone picks their favorite things. I like a good Slim Jim, just in case, and some cinnamon Teddy Grahams (my go-to sweet treat). I also prefer things like Skittles or Starburst to chocolate because our road trips are usually warm, and I don’t like the melt. We’re also a big Nutter Butter family! Oh…and Twizzlers!

B.B. Easton: I don’t love the way junk food makes me feel, so I tend to snack on granola bars or nuts or fruit, but when I really want something crunchy, I crave Cheez-Its or white cheddar popcorn. 🙂 

Giana Gabriela: I think I try to have as many snacks as possible. Sour patches, Doritos, Gatorade, are my top picks. But then also Chinese food haha. 

Kelsie Rae: I’m a huge snacker on road trips. It may or may not be a problem. Lately, our favorite thing to do is buy bubblegum (Bubblicious, Double Bubble, etc.) and have bubble-blowing contests. I’m proud to admit I’m undefeated. 

T. Gephart: Road trips = Twizzlers. Not those nasty cherry ones, but the raspberry ones. Lord, I think I ate so many Twizzlers road tripping in the USA that I’m sure I changed my molecular makeup. Sadly, they’re harder to come by here in the Land Down Under, so I substitute them for red gummy frogs. Sensing a theme here… 

Leylah Attar: Not a big snacker, but take away my breakfast, lunch or dinner, and you’ll unleash a very hangry monster.

Jessica Hawkins: That would be a resounding yes. I love chocolate everything! My tops faves would have to be M&Ms, Three Musketeers, and Milano cookies (double chocolate—I don’t mess around). For road trips, sour-cream-and-onion Pringles always hit the spot, but I rarely eat them otherwise!

Elle Kennedy: I’m generally the driver, so it’s harder for me to snack, but I’ll always take a cold Coke and a Kit-Kat!


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