Easy and Out-of-the-Ordinary Sandwiches to Pack for Your Next Road Trip

Sandwiches in a cooler in a car

Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Sandwiches in a cooler in a car
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Pack and Go

When you're on a long road trip, sometimes the last thing you want to eat is another greasy burger from a fast-food chain. Keeping a supply of delicious, homemade sandwiches in the car is a safe bet, as long as you follow a couple of simple rules: Try to avoid greens that might wilt; invest in thick, hearty sandwich bread or rolls that can absorb dressing; and think long and hard if you want mayo-drenched seafood that's been sitting in a cooler for hours (tuna might be the exception to this rule).

With all that in mind, here are some reliable sandwiches that are ideal for eating on the open road.

Shooter's sandwich
Shooter's sandwich by Matt Perdeaux (CC BY-SA)

1. Turkey, Bacon, and Broccoli Rabe Shooter's-Style Sandwich

What is a shooter's sandwich, you might be wondering? So glad you asked. In its original form, the shooter's sandwich featured cook steak and mushrooms stuffed into a hollowed out loaf of bread. The bread was then weighed down (usually overnight), resulting in a compact, delicious sandwich that was perfect for taking on a hunting (shooter's) trip. This version features turkey, bacon, and broccoli rabe, and is just as portable as the original beef Wellington iteration.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Related: How Many of These Bucket-List Sandwiches Have You Tried?

Spanish serrano ham and tortilla bocadillo (small baguette)

2. Bocadillo de Tortilla

Consider this a more compact version of the egg sandwich. After making the tortilla, layer it in a fresh baguette with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. It can be eaten hot or cold, making it an ideal on-the-go meal for your next road trip, picnic, or flight.

Recipe: The Spanish Radish

Related: The World's Most Amazing Sandwiches

Muffuletta from Central Grocery & Deli
Dee G./Yelp

3. Slab Muffuletta

Making sandwiches for a group? This slab muffuletta sandwich is a great way to make a sheet pan's worth of sammies that can be packed up for your next outing. A variety of cold cuts, cheeses, and an umami-rich olive mixture form the basis of this crowd-pleaser.

Recipe: Food52

For more travel-friendly tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Vegan Delight

4. Vegan Hummus Avocado Wrap

Wraps are an easy way to transform your favorite sandwiches into a more transportable meal, and this one is perfect for vegan travelers. Stuff your favorite tortilla wrap with hummus, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and you're good to go.  

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Related: Legendary Breakfast Sandwiches From Every State

Peanut butter banana wrap
Peanut butter banana wrap by Personal Creations (CC BY)

5. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Granola Wrap

Hear us out: Not all peanut butter sandwiches need to be served on sliced bread. Once again, using a wrap makes this sandwich easy to transport for your next road trip. Plus, the combo of peanut butter, banana, and granola packs in plenty of fiber for a meal that appeals to both kids and adults. 

Recipe: The Kitchn

Related: The 10 Best Sandwich Chains, Ranked

Focus on One Half of a Monte Cristo Sandwich, with Black Forest Ham, Smoked Turkey Breast, Cheddar, and Swiss Cheese on a Wooden Cutting Board, Surrounded By Ingredients

6. Ham and Cheese Funeral Sandwiches

Don't be thrown off by the name. Funeral sandwiches — or party sandwiches, if you're feeling more optimistic — are named for their comfort factor and ability to be made in big batches. You can fill them with all kinds of ingredients, but this recipe calls for ham and cheese on Hawaiian sweet rolls. It's given an extra boost with a butter mixture featuring Worcestershire sauce, onions, and mustard.

Recipe: Southern Living

Related: 9 Restaurant Chains With the Best Club Sandwiches

turkey and cheese sandwich

7. Road Trip Sandwich

The aptly named Road Trip Sandwich from Joy the Baker includes a few basics — turkey or chicken, gouda, lettuce — along with some surprise ingredients like pepper jelly, candied jalapeños, and pickled banana peppers. Use a sturdy bread roll, wrap everything in parchment or wax paper, secure with a rubber band, and enjoy while you're on the road. 

Recipe: Joy the Baker

Tuna salad sandwich cut in half

8. Spicy Tuna Sandwich

A tuna melt isn't going to hold up on a hours-long trip, but you can still enjoy a twist on the classic tuna salad sandwich with this fiery recipe. The addition of jalapeño adds plenty of heat, while pickle relish and cheddar cheese crumbles really ramp up the flavor. 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Related: Easy Cooler-Ready Dinner Ideas to Pack for Busy Summer Nights

Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

9. Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwich

Is there a better sandwich combination than turkey and cheese? Throw in some apple slices for crunch, and you've got yourself an easy, cheap, and thoroughly delicious lunch. This recipe also includes dill pickle mustard from Trader Joe's, along with potato chips that can be added between slices for even more texture.

Recipe: A Paige of Positivity

Chickpea Salad
Chickpea Salad by ImpromptuKitchen (CC BY)

10. Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

You don't have to worry about chicken spoiling in the car with this chickpea salad sandwich. Instead, chickpeas provide the source of protein, accompanied by celery, apple, red onion, cranberries, and a few necessary spices. Slather it all onto your favorite sandwich bread and see how long you can hold out from breaking into the cooler.

Recipe: She Likes Food

Bacon Ham Pineapple Club

11. Tropical Beef Wrap

Pineapple cream cheese and sliced mango lend a tropical flair to this travel-friendly roast beef sandwich from Taste of Home. Is it a bit of an oddball? Sure. But it'll likely appeal to the kids in your car — and if you wrap it up in a tortilla, it's hard to make a mess.

Recipe: Taste of Home