Culinary History,  Food History,  Picnics,  Snacks,  Tourism,  Travel

Road Trip!

Of course everyone knows about the road trip! That trip you take with friends in the middle of the summer to parts unknown. It could be far or it could be near, but the value of the road trip is in seeing somewhere new and enjoying the journey!

Taking road trips became a pastime in the 1950s and 60s. Gas was cheap, cars and trucks were everywhere and affordable and Route 66 was the most often traveled destination. Americans gave into their wanderlust after the difficulties of the war years and explored their country. Sounds kind of familiar to today, right? 🙂

Cars use to be much more open, travel friendly and comfortable with no seatbelts. The average car was built very heavy and used a lot of gas. But the speed limits were slower too during those days and people more often took their time getting from place to place. And if you were traveling in the car, of course you had to have snacks. Especially if children were involved.

If you weren’t camping, you usually brought your food along and either ate it in the car or stopped and had a picnic in a convenient place. Mom was the one who had made and packed the food before you left home. I’ve read multiple mid-century accounts from kids who said their mothers would keep the picnic basket up front with her and when it was time, she would dole out the food as the family traveled along enjoying the sights and singing along to the radio.

Here is some vintage inspiration for road trip foods from the 1950s and 1960s:

  • Fried Chicken
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Turkey Sandwiches
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Marinated Cucumbers
  • Potato Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Jello
  • Homemade Cookies
  • Slices of Layer Cake
  • Lemonade

And while we are rolling along, here’s a vintage playlist to sing along to complete with vintage ads!


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