Road trips—whether you’re traveling cross-country or across town to grandma’s house—can be a lot of fun. There’s nothing as adorable as when your kid hears a song they love on the radio and starts singing along to it—except when it happens over and over again. Unfortunately, besides the adorable singing, the most common road trip phrase to come from the “backseat gang” isn’t as cutesy. It’s “Mom, I’m HUNGRY!” Those words can usually be heard about five seconds after pulling out of the driveway…and then about every 30 minutes.
To fill those hungry tummies, there are actually much better snack options on the roads these days.
Fast food places are offering up healthier menus and some of those super-sized gas stations have much more than jerky and coffee. There are all sorts of gourmet nuts and fresh fruits to check out while you fill up the tank. But here’s the thing…those options can be super expensive! And not only that, but who wants to get in line at the drive-thru or drag the kiddos inside a gourmet mart every time they’re bellies rumble? Wasted money and wasted time!
The ultimate road-trip-tip: PLAN AHEAD!
To help you and your family enjoy your time together on your travels, we’ve created a checklist of kid-approved snacks to make the road traveled a lot less bumpy.
4. Chewy bars
6. Juice boxes (TIP: freeze them the night before so they stay nice and chilled)
We also love to make our own trail mix for road trips. In a sandwich bag, add a handful of pretzels, nuts, cereal and crunch dried fruit, and shake it up. You can also get the kids to help prepare for their road adventure by letting them create their own trail mix: put out bowls of ingredients and have them select the ingredients they like most.
And make sure your kids are part of the planning process. Let them help pack their lunch boxes, backpacks and coolers. If they’re part of the pre-trip fun, they’re much more likely to understand and embrace the actual road trip. Plus, you can just see the sense of pride in their little face when you say, “Hey everybody, Becky made trail mix for this leg of the trip!”
Julia Blanter is head of content at Boxed and a proud aunty who’s been taking her niece and nephew on road trips since they could say ‘play the Wiggles again!’