To me, trail mix is a necessary part of any road trip. Whether you're embarking on an hour drive to a nearby hiking spot or you're about to head out on a cross-country adventure, trail mix will make your experience that much better. You can be a fan of salty or sweet, crunchy or chewy; no matter what, these guidelines for the perfect road trip trail mix will be sure to satisfy. 

1. Crunchy

Kimberly Kao

Having a crunchy ingredient in your road trip trail mix ensures that you get a mix of textures every time you take a bite. You can use grain-based snacks (wheat thins, animal crackers, dry cereal, or granola) or the healthier option of nuts and seeds (pistachios, almonds, pepitas, or walnuts) to add some bite to your mix. Those that are super adventurous can try ingredients like bagel thins, coconut chips, or these homemade cheddar owl crackers

2. Fruity

Kimberly Kao

Dried fruit is an excellent addition to any road trip trail mix combination. You can choose the more traditional raisins or dried cranberries, or you can switch it up with some dried apples or dried strawberries. You can even make your own dried fruit using just an oven with this recipe. Either way, a fruity flavored snack will add a slight sweetness to your trail mix while still adding nutritional benefits in the form of fiber and necessary vitamins. 

3. Sweet

chocolate, sweetmeat, sweet, candy
Kimberly Kao

Choosing to include dried fruit will already have added some sweetness to your road trip trail mix, but I've never made trail mix without including some form of chocolate. M&Ms, chocolate chips, or chocolate covered espresso beans are all great options for chocolate lovers. Even if you're not the biggest chocolate fan, you can add yoghurt-covered raisins, mini marshmallows, or gummy candies. 

4. Salty/Savory

sweet, caramel, butter, salt, kettle corn, cereal, corn, popcorn
Kimberly Kao

To make your trail mix all the more interesting, a salty snack would not be remiss. You can add things like pretzels, wasabi peas, or salted popcorn. To complete the different textures and variety of tastes in your trail mix, make sure to add something from this category.

pizza, beer, cake
Maddy Stroder

Sure, it can seem a lot easier to go out and buy ready-made trail mix from the grocery store, but with this easy-to-follow formula, making your own road trip trail mix will be a breeze. You will no longer be confined to the traditional salted peanuts and raisins, but instead can branch out in any direction you prefer.

If you want a tropical mix try using cashews, dried pineapple, shredded coconut, and plantain chips. If you love peanut butter and jelly try using peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, and bagel thins. You can create themed mixes using single ingredients like this sweet and salty peppermint bark popcorn. The possibilities are endless, so have fun finding out your own favorite combinations for the perfect road trip trail mix.