Make a Successful Road-Trip Food List With These 5 Tips | AD

*This is a collaborative guest post

Going on a road trip is one of those childhood memories that always sticks out – for better or worse. Whether it was the joy-filled games or your brother getting sick all journey, we all remember those long holiday car trips. 

When you want to give your kids this great experience, one thing you need to remember is to write your road-trip food list. 

I know, you’ve already got a bazillion things to organize, but making sure your food supply for the road is sorted will make things a whole bunch easier. 

We’ve put together our top five tips for planning your road-trip food list, so you’ve got one less thing to remember!

Tip 1: Get the kids involved

Food can be a great way to keep your kids occupied on a road trip, so make sure they know what’s coming. Talk with them about their recent favorite snacks – we all know how fickle kids can be with their munchies of choice – and what they want to put on your road trip food list. 

Take the kids shopping with you, armed with their own list of what they want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

When you’re packing up, get the kids involved again.

If you’ve ever played “guess what’s in the generic wrapper” on a road trip, you’ll want to have your kids help label things. Have them draw pictures of what’s getting wrapped up so you all can remember what’s inside. 

Tip 2: Make it playful

Using snacks on your road-trip food list can really engage your kids and stop them from arguing/moaning/getting bored. 

Invest in a crafting box, toolbox, or vanity case, so snacks can be kept separate or mixed and matched without rustling through a load of different packets and wrappers. 

Having foods that can be stacked, like crackers or lunchable-style items also helps your kids spend time deciding different combinations rather than telling you they’re bored. Again. 

Tip 3: Keep it healthy

It can be really tempting to grab road-trip snacks from the gas station or stop at diners along the way. As well as being bad for the budget, it’s harsh on young tummies. 

The greasy foods and new flavors can be upsetting for the guts of your kids. This could mean more toilet breaks and generally grumpy younguns which is a recipe for disaster. 

Have plenty of water, and avoid sodas and juices. These are going to make the kids want to go to the bathroom even more and disrupt your schedule. 

Tip 4: Have entertainment

You don’t want your road-trip food list to be the only thing keeping the kids entertained. Give your kids other distractions like screen time and play some classic road trip games as well. 

Make sure you have a VPN on any of their connected devices. It’ll keep their browsing secure when they connect to public rest-area connections and also prevents your family location from being tracked. 

Some road-trip games you’ll remember from a kid include:

  • Eye spy;
  • I’m going on a picnic;
  • 20 questions;
  • Would you rather…

Tip 5: Have lots of containers

Items like cups and plates are going to help keep your car clean – to an extent! Cups can be used to portion out items like nuts, pretzels, and chips, for example. 

You’re going to accumulate a lot of trash as well. From candy or protein bar wrappers to the snack your kids decided they hate after one bite, there will be plenty that needs to get thrown. 

Have trash bags and a place to store your empty storage containers, so they don’t overwhelm your space. 

What should be on my road-trip food list? 

Every family is different, so there’s going to be lots that will be up for debate here, but here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • Deli meats;
  • Cheese slices;
  • Bread;
  • Crackers;
  • Sliced olives;
  • Jars of pickles;
  • Almonds;
  • Peanuts;
  • Pumpkin seeds;
  • Popcorn;
  • Gogurts;
  • Jellos.

Snacks for an awesome family road trip

You’ll keep your kids happy and entertained when you have a strong road-trip food list. A range of healthy snacks that are well thought-through will make your cross-state journey go down without a hitch. 

Avoid sugaring them up and go for slow-release energy from nuts and seeds – your ears and sanity will thank you for it! Having your kids help plan your food list will also reduce the chances of snacks going to waste. 


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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