Because you can do better than the drive-thru. 

Recipe: Orange BarsRecipe: Lime BarsRecipe: Grapefruit BarsYou know there will be a plate of brownies and chocolate chip cookies at the potluck, so brighten up the spread with colorful citrus bars.
Hector Manuel Sanchez

When you're on a road trip, the call of the fast food chicken biscuit or cheeseburger calls like a siren from the rocks, but leaves you feeling less than energized for the miles ahead.

That's where a well-packed road trip cooler can not only save you precious time, it can also provide the nutritious sustenance any of your picky partners, younger passengers, or vegetarian accomplices need when when they well, need, it. And if you want to take a break from the drive, you can kick it old-school by pulling out your pre-packed goods on a picnic table at a rest stop.

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If you are the type of family/individual/professional who finds themselves on the road frequently, it's time to invest in a cooler than can go the distance. The Yeti Hopper Flip series might have a steep price tag, it will more than pay off in its ability to keep food cold for seemingly ever. Plus, it's so lightweight you won't need to have someone who can bench press 200 lbs. Lug it around.

Other essentials: a roll of paper towels; bamboo forks and spoons; and jars or individual size Gladware.

Get started with these five ideas.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches: A crowd-pleasing choice that packs the protein factor to keep cranky backseat drivers full. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe sandwich baggie to keep them fresh. Try tuna or egg salad for pescatarians and veggie-focused friends.

Black Eyed Pea Hummus: Use this recipe and pack into individual cups. It helps boost the snack attack-conquering power of tortilla chips.

Fruit Salad: While this may not be a unique dish to the South, we excel at putting them together. Fill wide mouth jars with a mixture of whatever's in season like figs, cherries, and peaches with a spritz of lemon juice and a little flaky slat for a summer salad.

Pimiento Cheese Roll-Ups: Cut tortillas in half or into strips depending on how bite-size you want this pick-me-up to be. Spread with pimento cheese and roll them up into portable rewards for when you're almost there.

Lemon Bars: Nothing perks up a car full of beleaguered souls like the sweet-tart brightness of a chilled lemon bar.

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