Travel Tips

Travel Tip Tuesday: Road trip snacks

Every Tuesday, we’ll chat with experienced family-travel bloggers to discover cool tips and tricks. I’d love to hear your opinions and suggestions as well.

Question for this week:

Which kid-friendly snacks do you bring on a road trip to fight low blood sugar and growling bellies? Are there any snacks that you avoid at all costs (the problematic snacks cause messes, crazy behavior, and general nuttiness)?


So the snacks changed as my kid got older, but really they fall under three categories crunchy (crackers, pretzels, chips), protein (nuts and cheese), and the occasional cookie, granola bar or chocolate bar.

I prefer water as the drink of choice because I hate the way those juice boxes spill all over the car. We keep the coolers and snacks in the back seat within easy reach, and if I’m really organized my kid gets his own snacks all packed up in his own container.

Now, the very best snacks are those that you pick up at roadside stops along the way. They bring in a bit of the local flavor to your trip. I love to check out small local markets whenever we get the chance. And I’m not opposed to pulling in to the drive-thru for some fries with our shakes.

— Carolina at Kids Go West: Tales of family travel in the Western U.S.

Related post: Waimea Canyon with a Side of Chip.


We have a few tried and true car snacks (the criteria being: they can’t melt, they have to last a long time, and SOME of them have to be healthy!).

Our favorites are Babybel cheeses (the kind that comes in wax), because they’re fun, playful, and don’t melt everywhere; Jelly Belly jelly beans, because picking out flavor combinations is both a snack AND an activity; and cored apples stuffed with peanut butter (healthy, quick protein, and not messy!).

— Amy from Pit Stops for Kids: Find kid-friendly stops by airport, state or Interstate Highway.

Related post: Road Trips! (tips, including a section on snacks).


When we’re on road trips, I come well-armed with snacks for the kids. Crackers, cereal, and raisins are our standby items, as they’re easy to pack and portion out.

Cheez-its are favorites of the kids, as well as fun cereals like Froot Loops. I put it into containers or small bags, or sometimes buy the individual portions at Sam’s Club. And, while not healthy in any way, a large bag of Tootsie Pops can buy us a lot of happiness in the car!

Our food choices while on the road are more restrictive than some travelers’ because we have a child with food allergies. We try not to let it slow us down, however!

— Linda from Travels with Children by Minnemom: Finding fun with four kids.

Related post: Traveling with Kids with Food Allergies


Can you suggest any great snacks for road trips?

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.

One Comment

  • Kristina

    We also have a kid with allergies so we have to be picky about what we bring.
    One of our favorites is mini bagels with hummus. If the cooler is close enough the kids can reach it and unpack it themselves.