OPINION: The best snacks for your holiday road trip


Tate Henderson, Staff Writer

During the holidays many people are taking road trips to see family and friends or go on vacation. While you may be lucky enough to fly, others will be stuck in the car. On painful road trips with your family, buying the right snack could make a big difference, so I’ve ranked the best ones for your next adventure.

I used my own ranking system that is based on five factors. First is taste, which has the biggest impact on my ratings. The second is quantity because when you get snacks on a road trip, you want your candy to last. Third is the texture: it needs to be unique so you do not get bored with it during the trip. Fourth is longevity, which measures how long each individual piece lasts in your mouth. Last but not least is variety because no one wants to get tired of the same flavors on repeat. 

Here are my official rankings of the top five candies and snacks.


In first place are the well-rounded Gobstoppers as they earn almost a perfect rating with 9.5/10. Their long-lasting flavor and durability are key for long road trips. The five flavors, (watermelon, cherry, lemon, grape, and orange,) encompass a perfectly-sized bite after it has been in your mouth for a few minutes. There’s also flavor layers below the top on, so the longer you enjoy the treat, the more flavors you can enjoy. 

Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers get an overall rating of 9.2/10 and are similar to Starbursts in that they last a long time. Jolly Ranchers, though, are a hard candy, so a single piece can stay in your mouth for quite a while. Jolly Ranchers come in packs of 24, so you’ve got plenty to last you as you listen to music and stare out the window on a long car ride. Jolly Rancher Chews are also an alternative if you’re looking for the same great candy with a different texture. 


Coming in at #3 and earning an impressive 9/10 are Starbursts. One of the most common candies on this list. Starbursts offer bright colors with their four iconic flavors (red, pink, orange, and yellow). They come in packs of 12, and it’s very difficult to eat all of them in one sitting. At times they can also be very annoying to chew, which holds them back from being higher on the list. Starbursts also knows that orange and yellow are most people’s least favorite flavors, so they even sell packages with just the reds  and pinks. For those looking for a twist on the original flavors, they also offer flavor themes such as Tropical, FaveREDS, and Duos.


Yoo-hoo is the only drink in this list, but it definitely earns its spot with a rating of 8.5/10. The classic chocolate milk never fails to quench your thirst while satisfying your taste buds. It is the perfect amount of chocolate because some of the chocolate milks are too rich, but Yoo-hoo has mastered the right balance. 

Sour Patch Kids

Number 5 on the list with a score of 8/10 is Sour Patch Kids. These sour gummies hit the spot every time and are the best bite-sized snack on the list. Offering flavors such as lemon, lime, blue raspberry, strawberry, and orange, they are unlike other candies because each and every flavor is enjoyable. They also offer just the right amount of sourness so your taste buds don’t get overwhelmed. 

Beef Jerky

Last on my list of road trip snacks is beef jerky. At its best, I give it a rating of 7.5/10, but it’s also known to be very hit-or-miss.  If the jerky is cooked correctly then it’s got the proper amount of toughness and chewiness, making it the perfect snack for a long drive. If it’s not, though, you may as well toss it out the window. Jerky has a very unique peppery flavor unlike the sweetness of the candies on this list, so it’s a nice option if you’re looking for something salty. It also comes in a wide variety of flavors, such as my all-time favorite teriyaki. One of the best-selling brands, Jack Link’s, just recently joined forces with Sweet Baby Ray’s to make a BBQ flavored beef jerky. Look for it the next time you’re at a gas station. 

No matter where you’re headed this holiday break, make sure to pack these road trip snacks to help you pass the time and keep you sane with you family.