Traveling with kids is challenging enough without having to deal with hunger meltdowns—and I don’t just mean the kids. Whether you’re flying or road tripping, we’ve always preached that having an arsenal of snacks on hand is key to smooth travels. These homemade vacation snacks are delicious, healthy, portable and will even help you save money on the road. Now that’s travel planning I can get down with.
1. Fresh baked muffins
You always need a healthy, handheld snack on the road and muffins are my go-to. My kids love these Oatmeal Berry Muffins, which is fine by me since they are packed with fruit, yogurt and whole oats. They are great as an on-the-road breakfast or snack, and can be made ahead of time. Bonus: if you hop onto my site for the recipe, you’ll also find a video with even more Vacation snack ideas.
2. Homemade granola or cereal bars
Granola bars are another favorite go-to road trip snack. We recently rounded up our favorite homemade granola bar recipes featuring a granola bar for every taste, from nut-free fruit and seed bars to no-bake Biscoff Granola Bars (pictured in the top collage). I warn you: it’s not easy to choose. Since I’m all about the early departure, the breakfasty Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Bars from Half Baked Harvest (pictured here) are on the top of my list.
3. Homemade trail mix
Trail mix is a perfect vacation snack and with good reason, since it was originally made to sustain hikers who were on the trail in a serious way. Though my trips rarely take me through the wilderness, I always pack a homemade trail mix like this one pictured from the now-defunct With Style and Grace blog. It’s inevitably healthier and fresher than anything I can get on the road, and I can control the ingredients and ratios. Lots of chocolate and dried cherries for me, thank you very much.
4. Homemade fruit and veggie gummy snacks
If you have a sweet tooth, instead of grabbing a candy bar or fruit snacks with tons of added sugar, make your own Fruit and Veggie Gummy Snacks like these from Modern Parents Messy Kids. There’s a simple master recipe and tons of smart ways to flavor and color your gummies with natural fruit juice. These are easy to whip up and can be made up to 3 weeks ahead of your trip.
5. Corn on the cob, to go. Really.
You can also get basic. Like, no recipe basic. Some of the best vacation snacks are hearty fruits and veggies that can last without refrigeration and won’t get smashed. Natasha’s Kitchen has 15 healthy road trip snack ideas that fit the bill, including what I think is a genius idea of packing corn on the cob. Makes perfect sense since it’s delicious cold and super sturdy. Just skip the butter, add salt and pepper, and you’re good to go. Literally.
6. Peanut butter and veggies
If your kids aren’t big on plain crudite, pair fruit and veggies with dip. Creamy dips made with yogurt or other dairy are always delicious, but only work on short trips because they need to be kept cold. Peanut butter dip, like this one from my site One Hungry Mama, lasts longer and goes perfectly with crisp apple slices, carrots, or stalks of celery.
Plus, you can conveniently pack up a dip or really, any peanut butter alternative in an empty jar, an idea we picked up from Thrive–and just one of our favorite no-recipe DIY vacation snack ideas that we recently found around the wonderful web. Seriously, visit that post – there are fantastic ideas there.
7. Fruit and cheese skewers
Worried about dip on the car upholstery? Skip it and make fruit (or veggie!) and cheese kabobs like these Cheese and Fruit Skewers from Pizzazzerie, also shown at very top. Could these be any more adorable? (Answer: No.) They are a fun way to get the kids to eat fruit with protein-packed cheese while on the road. Plus, kids can make these themselves, which gets them to work while you take care of all the other stuff on your travel prep list. Of course you can use regular skewers or toothpicks; these are adorable, but you can go less fussy for road trips.
8. Homemade flavored popcorn
Popcorn is another great snack for the road, whether plain or as part of a trail mix. It’s nice and light, which is great for folks who tend to eat out of boredom (ahem), because we all know there can be a whole lot of boredom on long travel days. I love this Sea Salt and Coconut Popcorn recipe from AVE Styles. It sounds deliciously different and perfect for mixing with chocolate chips. (Just a few. And clearly I have chocolate chips on the brain today.) Just make sure your kids are old enough to eat it safely in the back seat!