This Sandwich Hack Using Hawaiian Rolls Works Great for Road Trips!

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Check out this smart travel hack to remake a bunch of individual sandwiches using Hawaiian rolls.

premade Hawaiian sandwiches hack

Hit the road with some easy Hawaiian roll sandwiches for your cooler!

Last year I went on a long road trip and tried this genius prep-ahead sandwich hack that worked so great and was easy to do, so I had to share! This smart tip basically involves compiling one huge sandwich using King’s Hawaiian rolls, adding sandwich fixings, cutting up each sandwich, and then placing them back in the bag.

prepping for a day trip with hawaiian rolls sandwiches

Well over the past year, this is now how I prep for just about all of our softball and baseball tournaments as well as day trips! It really has helped us not eat as much fast food, and I love these yummy sandwiches so much. I feel like they are the perfect size for kids and are so easy to make.

I tend to pair these sandwiches with this homemade zesty pasta salad for a delicious lunch on the go!

prep ahead sandwiches road trip using hawaiian rolls

Put the sandwiches on top of a cooler and then when you’re hungry, each person can grab a couple of mini sandwiches for lunch and it’s all packed nicely together. So easy and smart!

hawaiian rolls sandwich hack

How great is this idea for traveling, camping, the beach or lake days?!

These Hawaiian roll sandwiches were easy for everyone in my family to quickly grab a small individual sandwich in the car when hungry. I absolutely love this convenient idea and will be using it again for sure. It saved us from stopping to grab fast food, and tasted great!

making mini sandwiches using hawaiian rolls

As far as what goes in your sandwich, that’s up to you!

The best part is you can customize this idea to taste. On this trip, I made a lunch meat and cheese version and also yummy fluffernutter sandwiches using peanut butter and marshmallow cream!

cutting hawaiian roll sandwiches

ham and cheese hawaiian rolls

putting sandwiches back in hawaiian roll bag

Hawaiian roll sandwiches on top of the cooler

Steps for making Hawaiian roll sandwiches on the go:

1. Carefully slice the entire loaf of Hawaiian rolls horizontally.

2. Open and place sandwich fixings such as lunch meat and cheese on one side and lightly spread a little mustard and mayonnaise on the other side.

3. Put the top of the rolls back on, and then place it on top of the white cardboard packaging. Cut the individual sandwiches using a knife.

4. Carefully place the sandwiches back in the plastic bag and secure it with the tie.

5. Put the sandwiches on top in a cooler with ice or ice packs and then when you’re hungry each person can grab a couple of mini sandwiches for lunch and it’s all packed nicely together.

woman eating a sandwich on road trip

Now you’re all prepped and ready to roll!

I love little life tips like this that are convenient and easy to pull off. You can even make a few different sets of sandwiches for a larger crowd very easily. One of our readers even says she uses this exact method to prep ahead her kid’s school lunches for the week — SO smart!


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About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 67

  1. D Lynn

    Pita pockets are our travel bread that we use. They help (if the seam holds together well) to hold chicken or tuna salad in without the ingredients falling out.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing 👍👏💕

  2. cathy

    Aldi has their own version of Hawaiian rolls which are so much less expensive.

    • Deb

      Love Aldi’s version. They are about 1/3 the price of the King’s.

    • jat54979

      I tried the Aldi version but didn’t care for them. I thought it tasted weird so I looked at the ingredients and it has artificial sugar in it. I should have looked at the ingredients before I bought them because I can’t tolerate artificial sugars. They give me an awful headache. I’ll stick with the more expensive kind. It’s a shame though because the Aldi version is so much cheaper.

      • Mary

        Thanks so much for posting this. I wouldn’t have thought to check the ingredients for artificial sugar . I don’t tolerate them either so will stick to the name brand too.

      • John

        I have a bag right here of Aldi brand and there is no artificial sweeteners in there, just sugar. Ingredients almost the same as Kings and kids love them and can’t tell the difference.

      • D. Smith

        ???.. Have been using the Aldi’s version forever. Hubby CANNOT tolerate artificial sweeteners and gags if there is any in any food or drinks. Never had a problem.

    • Lynda

      I just saw these yesterday and was wondering how they compared!

      • Erin

        I didn’t notice a difference but I hate all those weird sugar substitutes so I’m going to take a look at the ingredients next time I go.

    • MommySpendsLess

      Trader Joe’s had some the last time I was there. They were only about a dollar cheaper than the name brand but we’re just as good in my opinion.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Thanks for sharing!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip Cathy!

    • Chrissy Goff

      I love Aldi. I can only shop there when I visit my mom in Germany or when I visit family in the states as we do not have an Aldi in Central Arkansas. It is a 5 hour round trip to the closest Aldi. They are just 5 minutes from family so we stock up when we visit them. LOL

  3. No

    We are on a road trip now, but unfortunately broken down. Gonna try this when we get back on the road. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Lo

      Hope you’re able to get on the road again soon! Though it’s stressful now, don’t let it ruin your trip. Just one more memory to look back on.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh no safe travels and hope your vehicle gets fixed soon!

    • KKStanley

      My parents had 4 mouths to feed and our mom was a stay at home mom, so she always had the most amazing ideas to save a dime. She would make our sandwiches on rolls even back then.(1965-1975) Our family trips were never boring and almost always had some major event that seemed so terrible at the time. But we would all keep one another entertained and as a result those are still the most memorable moments of my childhood. Like the time we were camping in our big tent and there was a windstorm. The entire tent came down on top of us! At first, we were scared to death and as we were trying to crawl out we got the giggles. BTW….Mom just turned 90 and all of us kids still reminisce about those crazy family expeditions. Dad is looking down and laughing with us.😂🙏🏻 Although it’s an inconvenience now I will bet that you all remember these special family moments! It sounds like you have a great attitude in spite of your break down. Have a safe trip🙏🏻

      • Pat Goff

        I agree road trip memories are awesome. We had a camper when we were stationed in Germany and my dad drove all over Europe doing his genealogy research. So many memories of playing on playgrounds in the bigger cemeteries and meeting long lost relatives on our trips. Who knew we had family that owned a dairy farm in Germany and were related to the Chief of Police in Luxembourg. We even drove to Lichtenstein. Stayed in a Holiday Inn in Switzerland for some reason too. Memories of our childhood rock.

      • Lana

        I grew up in the same time period and loved the roadside picnics most of all on trips. Dad would stop at produce stands a long the way for fresh fruit and tomatoes and we would have the most delicious lunches from the cooler making what ever we wanted to eat. Those roadside tables are long gone now. We had a camping experience with a huge monsoon rain and the water rose in our tent to creek height. We had an old army tent without a floor so our cots were sinking in the mud and Dad rescued us all to higher ground. Road trips were so much fun back then when no one had a lot of money and relied on homemade meals and campouts in tents. We own a vacation house now and our kids grew up going there so they missed out on what we had.

  4. Dee

    Sandwiches made on bagels or mini bagels tend to hold up better in backpacks and lunch containers, esp. in amusement parks and zoos.

  5. Errrr

    Lina, you always have the best “how to/life-hack” posts! They are always super-practical and highly creative. You are my favorite contributor on this site.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awww that made my day! Thanks for the sweet comment and feedback! I love our h2s community here 👏🥰

    • KKStanley

      I agree! Thank you Lina🙏🏻 Love the tip with the shower caddies. Awesome idea for any age👍👍

  6. Nicole

    I love these posts!! Keep the good ideas coming!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay thank you Nicole!

  7. Amy

    We do this for school lunches! Make and stick back into the sleeve – then each kid (or me for work) grab 1-2 add their condiments and throw in a lunch container! Makes hectic mornings a little less hectic.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh how smart!! Thanks for sharing Amy 🙌💕

  8. Tammy S.

    We do this for our RV trips! We bring chicken salad in a cooler and I make them when we get hungry so we don’t have to stop. Easy and clean!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great idea! I love chicken salad 🙌💕👏

  9. Liz Curtis

    Ty h2s we already use them for our sandwiches ! My daughter had this ideal a while back & we love them ! No more boring bread sandwiches for us. Tks. for your tip though.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Nice! Thanks Liz!

  10. tqueenbee

    I use Hawaiian Bread for my kids school sandwiches, baseball games, Road trips. They love them and Aldi is the best place to get the bread so much cheaper.

  11. tonyabojo

    We always make these for when we go camping to have ready for when we arrive at the campsite. My boys can grab one or two when as they get hungry while setting up the tent and I don’t have to stop what I am doing to make them. Works out great!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh i love that system you have! So smart – thanks for sharing 👏

  12. Mama6

    What a great idea! My family loves these rolls. Thank you for posting this 🙂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! Enjoy!

  13. je

    I used to like king’s rolls, but then one summer, we went on a trip and forgot a bag of it on top of our microwave for over a month and no mold! Yah… we stopped buying it after that.

    • Kim

      Wow, that’s weird! I have actually had to return a bag of them because they were moldy when I brought them home! Mine always mold if I don’t use them fast enough and I don’t even live in a humid environment or anything!

      • Wren

        Mine have molded as well! 😆 Gotta eat them while they’re fresh!

    • Dee

      I once lost a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread in a Ziploc in my car. When I found it under the seat a few weeks later, there wasn’t any mold. In the warm but dry conditions of my car in the summer, it just dried out. The “no mold” test isn’t all that. Foods will mold/not mold based on the conditions that surround it. Organic cotton clothing will grow mold under the right conditions.

  14. Heather

    That photo! Heading north on 1-5 there??

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Heading north on the 1-17 near Flagstaff, AZ from PHX. 😀

  15. Sarah

    I bet I could do this with Martin’s potato rolls here (in the East) too! We leave on a two week road trip in a week, thanks fir the idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! Enjoy your trip!

    • Princess’Mom

      Yes! We use the potato rolls (slider size) instead of sweet rolls. I was just going to add it as a suggestion 😊

  16. beanie

    Beach food! 😍

  17. Sallys

    I love this idea, and love all your contributions, Lina! I am still going to make the (superbowl idea?) baked ham and cheese version of this, and now will put this on my idea list for our next trip to the beach or camping. Such a simple idea that people like me that overthink everything miss. McDondalds is not cheap anymore now that my kids have grown and dollar menu does not cut it, and healthy options that I prefer on the go were never cheap. I like inexpensive options! Thank you.

    • Lo

      You should check out mason jar salads

      • Chrissy Goff

        I love salads but my gang won’t touch them. LOL

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much! I agree about the fast food. I love this tip and just made it again for softball today 🙌👍

  18. Niki

    I’m so glad I saw this post rhr other week – it was perfect for a weekend baseball tourney for my son. Loaded up ingredients and placed them in the hotel mini fridge and packed into the cooler during the days of the games. It was 👌

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay awesome! We just did this again for softball tourney too. I’m glad it worked out!

  19. Denise Paporello

    Great idea! You can do so much with this idea! We are going on a 1500 mile road trip in August and this will come in handy! Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh wow! Enjoy your trip!

  20. Marcella

    Thank you for sharing this excellent idea! And also showing how exactly it was cut and placed back in. It’s a wonderful idea for family picnics!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      YAY! So happy to hear you loved this idea. Enjoy those picnics, Marcella! 💕

  21. Karina

    Yeah great idea…I just saw that on TikTok!

  22. angela-39

    I do that, and do the same by cooking hot dogs ahead of times, or brats,and bringing them in the boat.

  23. browniesmomma

    That’s a great idea for cold sammies. I’ve seen where chefs have made some like that, then put them in a casserole dish to warm up in the oven for hot sammies for parties. Both ideas are great!

  24. cici

    I did this hack about a month ago on our beach trip. It worked out great and everyone, including my super picky 7-year-old, loved them! We put the pack in the sandwich rack of the Yeti every morning before we went out to the beach and then popped them out to eat at lunch. Quick and easy beach lunch!

  25. Adrianne

    I just did this but with their new mini pretzel buns. Did one ham and swiss and one turkey and provolone. So good!

    • Chelsey (Hip Sidekick)

      That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing, Adrianne!

  26. Becca

    We do these with baked, seasoned thin boneless cuts of chicken since neither of us is a big lunch meat person and I dress them with various sauces

    The most recent round was bbq chicken tenderloin sliders but I’ve done plant based or cheese ones before

    Lightly toasting the cut edges of the Hawaiian rolls in a big pan helps the rolls hold up better over time in my experience because sauces won’t make them soggy as fast

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