A couple of weeks ago we took a road trip to Disneyland. It takes us over six hours to drive to California from Arizona. On our shorter trips when we go camping, we fill up water bottles, I throw some apples and granola bars in the kid’s organizer in the back seat and call it good. However, on longer trips, I try to be more prepared. We don’t want to have to make a lot of stops, plus eating on the road can get expensive. Today, I am going to share how I pack snacks for our longer road trips.

Road trip snack ideas for traveling with kids


To start with,  I gather up everything and place it in our large tote bag. I usually pack a mix of healthy snacks and some special treats. I make sure we have enough snacks for the trip there, the trip back, and some snacks for our destination. Since we were going to Disneyland, I wanted to have options for putting snacks in our backpack for each day.


It is cheaper and takes up less space to buy larger bags of snacks and divvy them up yourself. If you remove the items from their packaging, it can save even more space. I add in some small plastic Ziploc snack bags in the tote, so I can distribute more snacks when we get to our destination and for the trip home. 

Note: I am normally very conscious of using throw away items. At home, when I pack lunches, we use re-usable containers. I use glass dishes to store leftovers in. However, on trips like these, since they don’t happen all the time, I pack for convenience. We use plastic snack bags and throw away items. I don’t want to have to worry about washing out re-usable containers when we get to our destination.

This large tote I pack goes into the trunk of the car. So, once I have the tote bag packed for all the snacks I will need for the entire trip, I pack a smaller bag that fits in the back seat with just the snacks I will need for that portion of the trip. This helps to cut down on the mess during our ride. 

As I said, I like to have a mix of healthy items with some special treats. I pay special attention to items that hopefully won’t make too big of a mess. For example, you can do the cups of applesauce or fruit, but my kids tend to spill those in the moving car. Instead, we do the applesauce pouches. They don’t require a spoon and are hard to spill. Also, certain things I am including on this list have peanuts, but since my daughter is allergic, we don’t include them. Pack the items you know you and your children can and will eat.

Road Trip Snack Ideas:

  • Cheez-Its
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Beef jerky
  • Raisins
  • Squeezable applesauce pouches
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit snacks
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, etc.)
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit bars
  • Trail mix
  • Graham crackers
  • Gum
  • Candy
  • Tuna pouches or kits
  • Animal crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Yogurt covered pretzels
  • Dry cereal
  • Babybel cheese
  • Dried fruit
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Chips

I also pack a small cooler. I usually add some ice packs that we re-freeze once we get to the hotel. However, you can also just add ice from the freezer. It helps to put the ice in a gallon size Ziploc bag, so as it melts it doesn’t make all the food in the cooler soggy.


Road Trips Snacks for the Cooler:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Go-gurt
  • String cheese
  • Cuties or orange slices
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Salame or lunch meat

Before we leave, each of us fills up a water bottle. I keep a gallon of water in the trunk to refill bottles as we go. I will also include juice pouches for the kids and occasionally soda or tea for the adults.

What is your favorite road trip snack?

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