Roadtrip Ready Snacks

I may have mentioned a time or thirty that we travel as a family A LOT. Even when we’re not moving cross-country, we travel to visit family by car.  From Wisconsin, that means either an 18-hour or 14-hour drive. In one car. With three kids. Good times.

Our kids, while actually very good travelers by car or plane, are still kids, and get bored. When they’ve played all the games of Bingo and ABC Signs they (and we) can stand, and they’ve spent their iPad time, and they don’t want to just read a book, they often decide they’re hungry. I know it’s mostly boredom, but can relate, especially if they’re watching a movie in the car. What’s a movie without snacks, after all?

For our last move, two summers ago, I assembled individual snack boxes for each of them. They can eat what they want, when they want, but there are no refills, at least for a couple of days of driving. We also took these along to Disney and they worked great for the travel portion of our trip.


I bought small craft organizers for a couple of bucks each, then found the wood cutouts at the craft store for about 60 cents each. You could also just use Sharpies to draw a design or name on them, but that rubs off after a while. I used my favorite E6000 to adhere the cutouts to the boxes.

Inside, I just put a mix of salty and sweet snacks, and sometimes I even add an “Unreal” candy as a treat.  They also love to find a WHOLE PACK OF GUM OF THEIR VERY OWN tucked in there, especially on planes.

I like this idea because I’m generally “Keeper of the Snacks” in the car, and I’ve spend entirely too much of my life listing all their choices while balancing the snack bag on my lap or rummaging through for the last fruit strip. Now they can be in charge of their own snacking.  And….wait for it….everyone starts out with the same amount, so there is no excuse for yelling, “That’s not fair.” It totally is.


8 thoughts on “Roadtrip Ready Snacks

  1. I love the organizer boxes. I happened across the idea of giving all the snacks at the beginning of the trip a while back. It sure does make my job easier and you’re right, there isn’t any arguing about who got more because it’s all right there in front of each of them. Do you have any great travel games? We’re gearing up for a big road trip to visit family in a couple weeks.

    • I bought a deck of cards…52 Things to Do in the Car or something like that…that I’m looking forward to breaking out as we travel this year. I also printed and laminated some travel Bingo games last year that they use with dry-erase markers. And then we try to find the letters of the alphabet on signs, and see how many different license plates we can find. We also listen to a lot of books on CD…mostly Junie B Jones or Geronimo Stilton. I think we may try Harry Potter on this move!

  2. Harry Potter and also the Percy Jackson books are great to listen to while driving. The Rick Riordan books even have the Cane Chronicles (The Red Pyramid) which has a girl and a boy in the book. Percy Jackson is based on Greek Mythology and The Cane Chronicles is based on Egyptian Mythology. Great stories for the kids.

  3. Great idea!! I love the idea of putting them in the storage case. Perfect for kids and helpful for moms!! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. great idea! The only concern I would have is having unpackaged food in the container. Some of these plastic craft organizers are NOT made of food-safe plastic.

    • Christie, thanks so much for this comment…although I’ve been in a panic ever since! I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that those boxes might not be foodsafe. I’m always super diligent about checking water bottles and other things to make sure they’re BPA free. Anyway, I can’t verify whether my boxes are or not (they’re Darice brand, made in the USA), so here are a couple of options…place cupcake liners in the cubbies then fill or use the Ziploc divided lunch boxes with cupcake liners (paper or silicon). I’d be reluctant to use all prepackaged snacks, since one of the reasons I did this was to save money by buying a box, not individual portions. Again, thanks for pointing out the flaw! Really!

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