Road Trip

Chow down on these easy-to-eat road trip-friendly foods

Fast food and fast casual restaurants offer many options for road trip diners, who could also opt to BYO food from home.

Photo by Getty Images

Summer has come to a close, but road trip season is still in full swing as people journey to see their football teams take on rivals in towns near and far before then setting off to visit relatives for the holidays. Where to eat while you're on the road? AutomotiveMap has you covered.

Whataburger

Whataburger's honey butter chicken biscuit, fondly abbreviated "HBCB", is a perennial classic in the state of Texas. The fried chicken, flaky biscuit, and honey melt in your mouth. Enjoy a side of tater tots and wash it all down with coffee or orange juice.

For a car full of passengers, a tray of cinnamon rolls can make for an easy breakfast option. Heck, make it a tradition!

Note that the breakfast is only available from 11:00 pm-11:00 am though many Whataburgers are open 24/7.

If you're at Whataburger during non-breakfast hours we recommend the #14 combo – fried chicken, Texas toast, fries, and a drink.

Whataburger is currently only in southern states, but BDT Capital Partners (based in Chicago), recently bought a majority stake in the company. Might this mean expansion north? We can hope.

Houston hero J.J. Watt has another idea: "I say we all chip in and buy Whataburger back. Make honey butter chicken biscuits available all day, add kolaches to the menu and change nothing else. Especially not the ketchup."

Sonic

Located across the United States, Sonic offers a wide variety of menu items with a free side of nostalgic appeal. We recommend popcorn chicken, tater tots, and a limeade or strawberry slush. With its roller skating waitstaff and option to drive-in (vs. just drive through), Sonic is a unique on-the-go dining choice.

Buc-ee's

Buc-ee's is a modern-day general store. You can fill your vehicle with gas, use a very clean restroom (certainly not to be taken for granted when on a road trip), buy home dΓ©cor and clothing (some Bucee's-branded, some not), and choose from a plethora of food options.

Our picks? Kolaches and fudge (perhaps not together). Kolaches, a flavorful combination of meat, cheese, or other fillings wrapped in warm, puffy dough, are both delicious and a nod to Texas's past. Popularized by the Czech settlers in Texas in the 1800's, kolaches are still popular in the state today. Buc-ee's also has a wide variety of fudge flavors, ranging from classic chocolate, to peanut butter and chocolate, to nut-filled.

McDonald's

Many McDonald's restaurants (even in airports) allow you to order via their app. Get your family's order of nuggets (add dipping sauce at your own risk), milkshakes, and fries queued up so when you pull in, it's easy grab and go. Remember, kids can opt for apple slices instead of fries, but then you're trading greasy hands for sticky fingers. For a snack, grab an apple pie.

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Starbucks

Whether you opt for coffee or tea, you can enjoy a bite with your drink that will fill you up through lunch. Instead of opting for their hot sandwiches or eggs, try a piece of loaf or a small vanilla scone, both of which are easy to eat while behind the wheel. A meat and cheese tray from their prepared food section is also a good option.

In-N-Out

The glowing yellow arrow of the In-N-Out sign is iconic. Travelers often make this California-born chain their first and last stop when arriving in the state. Roadtrippers can find In-N-Outs scattered throughout California, from San Diego in the south to Redding in the north. In-N-Out continues to expand north and east with locations in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Texas.

For drivers, we recommend a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake. Passengers can order similarly but should get their fries "animal style" – smothered with a delicious secret sauce that's a little messy so make sure extra napkins are handy.

Taco Bell

There aren't many things on the Taco Bell menu that are easy to eat while behind the wheel. The quesadilla is one of them. You could choose be a hero and attempt a burrito, but you might want to spend some time constructing a napkin bid and thigh covering before you dig in.

Chick-fil-A

This bastion of fast food, which was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, has spread throughout much of the United States. Chick-fil-a is best known for its chicken sandwich, nuggets, waffles fries, and lemonade. On an especially hot day, the frosted lemonade makes for a very refreshing treat. If you prefer some spice in your life, Chick-fil-a's spicy chicken sandwich is a palate pleaser. Kid-sized cones of Ice Dream are a good choice for kids who deserve to be rewarded for their in-car behavior.

For quick service in the restaurant or when going through the drive thru, order via the company's app ahead of arriving at the restaurant.

Gluten Free Choices

Need to be gluten free? Most fast food comes fried and breaded, but consumers can make their meal mostly gluten-free with a bit of savvy ordering. At burger places, ask for your burger to be wrapped in lettuce rather than placed in a bun. At Chick-fil-A, order the grilled nuggets over the grilled chicken sandwich on a crumbly gluten free bun.

Bring Food From Home

Another option is to bring food from home. Sandwiches wrapped in foil make eating with one hand simple, especially when cut into smaller portions. Bite-size food, such as cheese, crackers, sliced meats, and chopped vegetables, work well too.

If all else fails? Stop at the nearest gas station and load up on classic road trip fare – chips, candy, and sugary drinks.

AutomotiveMap's team of writers has picked their favorite cars for road tripping.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

If you're one of the type who just can't wait to get on the road again, you know that there are some vehicles that are better than others for making travel great. While some may argue that cars with pointed steering and agile handling make the best road trip warriors, there's a strong voice among consumers that says it's better to be in a balanced ride with plush seats.

The vehicles that AutomotiveMap's writers have chosen walk the line between the two preferences. Take a look.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motors America

Sue Mead: The Hyundai Sonata has been updated for 2020. The family-friendly five-seater features a stunning exterior presence; premium and comfortable cabin; upgrades to body structure, safety, and technology; and smooth ride. its nifty remote parking assist feature maneuvers the vehcile in/out of parking spaces and garages to load passengers or luggage hands-free.

​2019 Volvo V60 T5 R Design

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars USA

Harvey Briggs: Long live the long roof! Wagons are the ultimate road trip cars, especially this one. Sedan-like handling and the room to take everything with you, including a few friends if you must. I love the 2019 Volvo V60's Scandinavian design ethos and the understated beauty of this car.

2020 Bentley Continental GT

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Chad Kirchner: Though the 2020 Bentley Continental GT eats the miles as quickly as it'll eat the fuel, it has more tech and features than a comparable Aston Martin or Rolls-Royce two-door.

2019 Mazda Mazda6

Photo courtesy of Mazda North America

Jesus Garcia: The 2019 Mazda Mazda6 offers trunk space that could rival a Lincoln Town Car, and a stylish interior that makes miles fly by without fatigue. The Mazda6 was one of the most comfortable vehicles ever I've driven across Texas, a route I take often.

2020 Nissan Altima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: Nissan's Zero Gravity seats stay comfortable for the duration of the drive, while the new variable-combustion turbo engine delivers great power and fuel efficiency in the 2020 Nissan Altima.

2020 Nissan Maxima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Nissan Maxima delivers a smooth ride and it has a comfortable interior. It's fun to drive and has good cargo room in its trunk.

2020 Porsche Panamera

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The Porsche Panamera is the best of both worlds - precise Porsche drivability and a high-tech cabin. It has a PHEV variant, which can save gas money on a trip. The Panamera also has plenty of passenger and cargo space in most grades.

Luxury LIfestyle

These 13 luxury RVs are really mobile mansions

The luxury RVs on this start just over $200,000 and top out at over $2 million.

Photo courtesy of Thor Motor Coach

America has a love affair with the RV and its inherent feeling of freedom β€” a few hours spent on any scenic byway will confirm this grand desire to hit the open road, but with all the comforts of home. And simply because summer has ended doesn't mean it's too late to enjoy the great outdoors with these mobile mansions that cost more than many houses. Take a look at some of the most comfortable and luxurious RVs on the road, perfect for enjoying the great outdoors β€” from the great indoors.

Airstream Atlas

Photo courtesy of Airstream

MSRP: $235,714

Airstream is well known for building high-quality luxurious RVs and trailers, and the new Atlas is no exception. This Class B+ RV gets built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis that gives it a smaller footprint than the big Class A motorhomes, making it easier to drive and maneuver. With its clean diesel powertrain the Atlas won't struggle for power, but can still achieve an estimated 18 mpg. For those who want to bring some toys along, the Atlas can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Like other Airstream models, the Atlas makes excellent use of interior space. Ideal for the empty nester, the Atlas can seat four but sleeps only two. The comfortable sofa features two power recliners and is positioned for a perfect view of the 40-inch LED smart TV that rises out of its cabinet via remote control. Driver and passenger seats swivel to provide two additional seats in the "living room." When it's time for sleep, rather than unfolding the couch into what is often an uncomfortable bed, the couch gets folded flat and a power slideout expands the space, lowering a Murphy bed over the sofa for a convenient, comfortable sleep.

The Atlas also features a full kitchen with a 2-burner gas stove, a convection microwave, a slideout pantry and refrigerator / freezer. One of the most attractive features of the Atlas is the bathroom, which spans the entire rear of the RV. With room to move around, the bath area has a mirrored vanity and sink, a proper shower with teak inlays, and a conveniently-located closet for easy dressing after a shower. The entire section has a single door for maximum privacy.

American Coach Dream

Photo courtesy of American Coach

MSRP: $576,288

Building luxury RVs for more than 25 years, American Coach prides itself on utilizing the latest technology and premium components built on their exclusive Freightliner custom chassis. The top-line Dream is available in 42- or 45-foot lengths and powered by a Cummins turbodiesel engine that produces as much as 605 horsepower and a staggering 1,950 lb-ft of torque. With this much power on tap, the Dream can pull just about any manner of vehicle or trailer thanks to its 20,000-pound towing capacity.

This not-so-small RV has three separate slideouts to create an even bigger interior. Entering the Dream, guests find a spacious living area with two couches β€” both of which can be transformed into beds. Behind one of the couches a hidden 50-inch 4K LED TV rises from its storage cabinet. There's also a full kitchen with a 23-cubic-foot residential refrigerator / freezer with icemaker, a 2-burner induction cooktop, a convection microwave, a double sink and a dishwasher. There's even a half bath across from the stackable washer / dryer.

Although this Dream has foldout couches for additional overnight guests, the primary sleep space is a bedroom housing a king-size bed, plenty of storage and a 43-inch LED TV. Beyond the bedroom is an additional bathroom replete with a full shower, a vanity and more closet space. For those who do like to spend some time outside but aren't all that entertained by nature (or campers in the adjacent site), there's an exterior entertainment center with a 48-inch Sony LED TV with JBL soundbar.

Coachmen Sportscoach RD

Photo courtesy of Coachmen

MSRP: $200,000 (est.)

Coachmen bills the Sportscoach RD (rear diesel) as one of the most affordable rear-diesel Class A motorhomes on the market. The Cummins 360-horsepower diesel powertrain generates 800 lb-ft of torque, which provides plenty of oomph as well as the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds. The 100-gallon fuel capacity will keep the Sportscoach on the road for a significant number of miles (or time) between fill-ups.

With a lower starting price than some other high-end recreational vehicles mentioned here, the 41-foot Sportscoach RD offers a beautiful living area. It features tile floors; hardwood cabinets; brushed nickel hardware; a large LED TV; a touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth; Wi-Fi; an available stackable washer / dryer; and a fireplace. Available theater seating and a chaise lounge add to the overall experience.

The kitchen in the Sportscoach RD features hardwood cabinets, large sink and a residential-style refrigerator with in-door ice and water dispenser. The master bedroom of the Sportscoach RD has a king-size bed, a 32-inch LED TV as well as plenty of storage. At the rear of the bedroom is a bathroom with shower. Another variant of the RD features available bunk beds with individual 13-inch LED TVs, as well as an additional full bathroom with a shower.

Entegra Cornerstone

Photo courtesy of Entegra

MSRP: $739,865

One of the more luxurious motorhomes on the market, the Entegra Cornerstone blends bold exterior styling with high-end materials throughout the cabin. Underneath that attractive skin is a seriously powerful vehicle. The Cummins X15 turbocharged diesel engine produces 605 horsepower and a plentiful 1,950 lb-ft of torque at a mere 1200 rpm for some serious grunt. The Cornerstone has an air-levelling suspension, a 150-gallon fuel tank and a 20,000-pound capacity hitch to bring along some big toys.

Inside, the Cornerstone has features and styling to rival any luxury home, including hand-laid porcelain tile flooring, Italian leather-trimmed furniture, LED recessed lighting, an electric fireplace, a 50-inch 4K smart TV with an HD Blu-ray player, as well as a Bose SoundTouch 300 system with wireless speakers. The kitchen has an induction cooktop as well as a dishwasher, microwave/convection oven and stainless steel residential refrigerator/freezer.

This Entegra's bedroom comes with a cedar-lined closet, a ceiling fan, a 32-inch TV with Blu-ray player and Bose Solo 5 sound bar. Beyond the bedroom, a bathroom has quartz countertops, integrated glass sinks, a porcelain-tiled shower with a glass door, a pivoting shower head and an available teakwood shower seat.

Fleetwood Discovery LXE

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood

MSRP: $373,393

A bit less costly than some of the other rolling condos on this list, the Discovery LXE resides at the top of the Fleetwood line. This Class A diesel motorhome is available in 40- or 44-foot lengths and boasts a towing capacity up to 15,000 pounds with its powerful Cummins diesel engine. Like a high-end automobile, the Discovery features pushbutton start, a digital dashboard, a 10.2-inch display screen, a backup camera, leather power seats and available collision mitigation. The Discovery LXE happens to have everybody's favorite feature β€” an air horn.

With three slideout sections, the Discovery LXE interior is quite spacious β€” even in the mere 40-foot version. The LXE features polished porcelain tile flooring with in-floor heating for chilly mornings or evenings. A large L-shaped sofa provides a comfortable lounge space, as do swiveling front seats and a freestanding dinette.

The LXE bedroom features a Serenity-Series king bed, a 32-inch LED TV and a full-length wardrobe. Depending on the model, additional sleeping space can be created via two bunk beds. The primary bathroom has available dual sinks as well as a tiled shower with glass doors. Without the bunk beds, there is enough space for an additional half bath.

Forest River Berkshire XLT 45CA

Photo courtesy of Forest River

MSRP: $300,000 (est.)

Forest River builds all kinds of RVs and camper trailers, but the Berkshire line sits at the peak of the brand's offerings. The 45-foot Class A motorhome is available in a number of configurations, all motivated by a 450-horsepower Cummins diesel engine that provides up to 15,000 pounds of towing capacity. For added maneuverability, the Berkshire features a tag axle with Ultrasteer β€” this third axle is designed for support and is not powered, but it can help with steering by decreasing the curb-to-curb turning radius.

While many of these Class A motorhomes are really designed for two, the new 45CA would work well for the whole family. Available with two sofas β€” one of which is a hide-a-bed β€” or with optional theater seating, the Berkshire also offers two bunk beds as well as a bed above the cockpit. And let's not forget the king bed in the master bedroom. Two bathrooms with showers should keep lines in the morning to a minimum.

The XLT 45CA has plenty to keep everyone entertained as well. Bunk beds each have their own LED TV, with a 32-inch TV in the bedroom and 49-inch in the living room. There's even a 43-inch LED TV mounted outside with Bluetooth radio and speakers. An available satellite setup ensures there's plenty to watch β€” for those who don't want to get too distracted by the great outdoors.

Holiday Rambler Endeavor

Photo courtesy of Holiday Rambler

MSRP: $336,837

It may not be the most expensive model on this list, but Holiday Rambler's Endeavor offers a lot for the money. The thoroughly modern cockpit features touchscreen displays with easy access to all controls. Seats are trimmed in Villa Ultraleather and can be swiveled and reclined. Build on its Power Bridge Chassis β€” created with Freightliner β€” the Endeavor is built for a smooth ride through solid construction. Underneath is bus-style pass-through storage with lighted compartments so you can take it all with you.

Multiple floorplans are available in this 38-foot motorhome, which can include a large L-shaped sofa, a standalone recliner, a built-in dinette, an electric fireplace, a pantry, a residential-style refrigerator, stainless steel appliances and a dishwasher. The dinette and sofas can convert to beds as needed β€” bunk beds are available, as is a loft bed above the cockpit. A large 49-inch LED TV will keep the family entertained.

The Endeavor's master suite includes a king-size memory foam mattress as well as a wardrobe and available walk-in closet. At the rear of the coach is the master bath with elegant fixtures, dual sinks and a spacious shower. A stackable washer / dryer is also available.

Monaco Coach Signature

Photo courtesy of Monaco Coach

MSRP: $487,088

Monaco Coach has been building luxury RVs for more than 50 years, and the Signature is the flagship of the Monaco line. With 40- or 44-foot variants, the Signature carries 150 gallons of fuel for its powerful Cummins diesel powertrain. The larger units have a 15,000-pound towing capacity.

With multiple slideouts, the Signature offers a spacious living area that can be equipped with a larger sofa with an air mattress, a freestanding dinette, a 49-inch LED TV, an additional 32-inch LED TV at the front, an electric fireplace as well as an extra bathroom. The pantry can be fitted with a stackable washer / dryer. Theater seating with recliners is also available, as are bunk beds on the longer models.

The master bedroom is at the rear, complete with nightstands and an additional LED TV. The Signature's master bath features a tile shower, wardrobe and a single-sink vanity. There's also an optional walk-in closet.

Newell Coach P50

Photo courtesy of Newell Coach

MSRP: $2.1 million

When it comes to high-end motorhomes, the Newell Coach P50 resides at another level. With styling courtesy of Porsche Design, the P50 includes polished aluminum wheels, chrome trim, LED running lights and HID headlights. Front seats offer heating, cooling and massage, while the driver adds air ride for even more comfort. The cockpit features multiple digital displays.

The P50's living space is quite large with an 89-inch high ceiling. Electric heat resides under the galley and bathroom, and the coach also has a continuous-flow hot-water system. To keep cool, there are at least three roof-mounted AC units β€” four on larger models. The kitchen is well equipped with a GE Monogram refrigerator/freezer, a two-burner electric cooktop, a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. The front salon has a Dolby 5.1 home theater system in with a large LED TV; an additional TV can be found in the master bedroom.

All materials and features can be custom requested β€” Newell designs and constructs its coaches one at a time for the ultimate in personalization. Some options include premium quartz countertops, marble flooring in the bathroom, a desk, a recliner, an ottoman / coffee table and much more. For added flexibility, the master bedroom can be outfitted with a Murphy bed to provide an additional living area during the day. A TV gets mounted to the bottom of the bed, across from the comfy sofa. A separate TV hangs on the opposite wall for viewing while in bed.

Photo courtesy of Nexus RV

MSRP: $313,000

While there's no relation to the luxury car brand, the Nexus Bentley still brings plenty of high-end appeal to the Class A motorcoach market. Built with a high strength low alloy steel cage for better safety and drivability, the 40-foot Bentley features a 400-horsepower Cummins diesel engine with a 100-gallon fuel tank and a 10,000-pound towing capability.

The Bentley can be equipped with a tri-fold sofa or dual recliners, a deluxe dinette booth and a 50-inch power-lifted LED TV. The kitchen boasts solid hardwood cabinets, a tile backsplash, an LG 3-door refrigerator, a 2-burner smooth induction cooktop, a large convection oven, a water filtration system and a residential-style faucet with sprayer. Exterior features include an electric patio awning with LED lights, an outdoor shower and an entry-door awning.

The floor plan of the Bentley Diamond is impressive: beyond the kitchen sits a couch with a bunk bed above, which is across from a bathroom with a shower. The master bedroom features an innerspring king mattress and a 32-inch LED TV. A second full bath is off the master bedroom.

Thor Tuscany 45MX

Photo courtesy of Thor Motor Coach

MSRP: $502,350

Thor makes a wide range of motorhomes ranging from Sprinter-based models to full Class A diesel rigs. The top line of these offerings is the Tuscany 45MX. Built on a Freightliner XC-R chassis, this 45-foot RV is powered by a large 8.9-liter Cummins diesel engine producing 450 horsepower and 1,250 lb-ft of torque. The Tuscany features an air-ride suspension, Sachs shocks, basement pass-thru storage and a 15,000-pound trailer towing capability.

The LED lighting, solid wood veneers, decorative ceiling treatments and polished porcelain tile floors create a feeling of elegance within the Tuscany 45MX interior. Reclining theater seats with footrests are the perfect place to enjoy the 55-inch television. A 92-inch sofa bed is standard; however, an optional configuration puts a recliner and a desk in the same space. The dinette across from the kitchen has easy access to a stainless-steel refrigerator, a stainless steel farmhouse sink, pull-out storage and a dishwasher.

The master bedroom of the Tuscany 45MX has a pillowtop king-size bed that features a "Tilt-a-View" inclining mechanism for better viewing of the 32-inch LED TV. The bedroom also contains an electric fireplace with remote as well as a ceiling fan. The attached master bath has a tile shower with a glass door and a skylight, as well as a dual sink and wardrobe.

Tiffin Zephyr

Photo courtesy of Tiffin

MSRP: $675,000 (est.)

Tiffin has been building motorhomes for more than 40 years, and Zephyr is the most luxurious model the company has ever built. With Cummins diesel power, this 45-foot Class A motorhome can tow up to 20,000 pounds. There's also space for 165 cubic feet of cargo in the basement storage, a slideout 12.5kW generator and extended-life battery pack.

With seven-foot ceilings in the living area and multiple slideout sections, the Zephyr interior feels incredibly spacious. The porcelain tile floor is heated throughout the coach, and there is a hydronic heating system with continuous hot water. Ultraleather trim covers two sofa beds and a dinette doubles as a computer workstation. Entertainment comes from the home theater surround sound system and retractable television.

A memory-foam king mattress is the center of the Zephyr master bedroom, with a view of the electric fireplace and TV. A vanity with built-in drawers and a ceiling fan are also included. The master bath includes a shower with inlaid tile and a glass door, as well as a skylight and LED light. A separate laundry room with a stacked washer / dryer, chest of drawers and hanging rod is located at the back of the motorhome

Winnebago Horizon

Photo courtesy of Winnebago

MSRP: $434,968

The name synonymous with motorhomes, Winnebago has come a long way from its beginnings more than 50 years ago, and the culmination of that experience is the Horizon flagship. This 43-foot Class A motorhome features an independent front air suspension, automatic hydraulic leveling jacks, a 15,000-pound towing capacity and a 10,000-watt diesel generator. As is the case with most of the RVs in this class, power comes from a Cummins diesel engine.

The Horizon living area is well executed with an extendable sectional sofa and swivel front seats β€” all covered in Ultraleather and all facing each other as well as the fireplace and 50-inch HDTV. The dining table can be moved forward or aft, depending on use. Next to the dining table begins the kitchen with Corian countertops, bamboo sink covers, a cold water filtration system, a pantry and a stainless-steel French-door refrigerator with an icemaker and bottom freezer drawer.

A queen-sized Eurotop Freedom air mattress with bedspread and pillow shams can be found in the Horizon's master bedroom, along with a ceiling fan, nightstands and 40-inch HDTV. A sliding door closes off the bedroom from the rest of the living area as well as the bathroom at the rear of the RV, which features a full shower, vanity, storage and optional washer/dryer.