Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids

The best parts of a road trip are the sights, the music, the car games, and above anything else, the snacks! The best road trip snacks for kids are ones that are self-contained and easy to eat on the go. This helps avoid the inevitable smashed snacks in your seats.

Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids:

These are my go-to road trip snack options that my kids love. My main focus is finding things individually wrapped that don’t make a huge mess.

For a long road trip, it is important to have a large variety of snacks. I find my kids get bored very easily in the car and having different items to choose from helps with that.

Also, I like to stick to simple snacks that are less likely to upset anyone’s tummy. I find the best road trip snacks for kids tend to be low on sugar and aren’t extra spicy.

Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids

Trail Mix

Trail mix is a great road trip snack for kids because it is the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. I love making this on your own versus purchasing a pre-made one because you can customize it to your favorite items.

I personally love this coconut flavored trail mix, which is made with only four ingredients.

Coconut Trail Mix


  • 4 cups popped popcorn made with coconut oil
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 1 can coconut almonds 6 oz.


  • Combine all ingredients in gallon size bag.
  • Shake to combine.

Explore More: Find more easy kid-approved recipes in my back to school recipes post.

Ham & cheese roll-ups

When we are trying to eat lunch on the go, our family almost always makes ham and cheese roll-ups. I find roll-ups are easier to eat with one hand while driving and don’t make the crumby mess that sandwiches can.

I tend to make these by hand using ham, cheese, and tortillas, but you can also buy pre-made roll-ups from the deli section of your grocery store.


Bananas are some of the best road trip snacks for kids because they are self contained with minimal mess.

Just make sure you throw away any banana peels when done! My kids have somehow found a way to lose a banana during a car trip where you can smell it for days after, but can’t find it.

Fruit snacks

Fruit snacks are a great special treat along the drive. These can make for a great reward incentive if your kiddos are behaving during your road trip.

Mini waters

Waters are a must for a road trip in order to keep everyone hydrated and in good spirits. I like having mini waters because kids tend to drink the whole bottle instead of only drinking half and then throwing it away.

Road Trip Must-Haves


Chips are some of the best road trip snacks for kids because they satisfy that crunchy and salty craving. I prefer to have individual bags so kids can enjoy whichever flavor they want.

String cheese

Mozzarella string cheese makes for a great source of calcium while on a road trip. These are tasty, individually packed, and make no mess, which make them some of the best road trip snacks for kids.

Beef jerky

I include this on the list because I know my husband and kids love this during a road trip. However, be prepared for it to stink up your entire car.

That being said, beef jerky is an excellent source of protein to keep your kids energized and less cranky during a long drive.


Goldfish are similar to chips as they come in little individual baggies that make for some of the best road trip snacks for kids. If your kids are like mine, then this helps ensure that everyone gets a “fair” amount and no one hogs too many.

I urge you to proceed with caution though if you have little kids. Goldfish are the number one snack I find hidden away and crushed under our seats when I eventually get around to deep cleaning my car.


Cheez-its are a favorite road snack for my husband and son. I always buy these in bulk, individual bags from Costco as they double as great school snacks as well.

Hershey miniatures

For the family members that have a sweet tooth (like me), I always like to travel with Hershey miniatures as a sweet treat. If you want to stay on the healthier side, get some of the dark chocolate with almonds.

My kids would probably agree that these are the best road trip snacks for kids hands down. The only thing that beats it is taking homemade chocolate chip cookies on the road.

Baby carrots

Baby carrots make for an alternative healthy road trip snack that don’t make a big mess. My favorite way to eat these on the road are dipped in the to go packs of peanut butter.


If you are taking a cooler on your road trip, grapes are another healthy snack option. You can make for easier road snacking by dividing grapes among individual plastic bags in advance.

MiO water flavoring

Sometimes kids get sick of water on the road, so MiO or other water flavorings are a great way to offer something different.

I prefer this to the alternative sodas or juices that have a lot of sugar in them. The last thing I want are my kids to have a sugar high while stuck with no where to go for hours.

How to Plan a Road Trip

Animal crackers

Animal crackers in my soup! These are just a personal favorite from when I was younger that make for great road trip snacks for kids. I love the classic Barnums animal crackers that come in the boxes with handles.

Fruit pouches

Fruit pouches are a great option for healthy road trip snacks for kids. The best part about these pouches are that you don’t need any spoons, which help keep the mess to a minimum.

Cereal cups

Cereal cups are great for when you have to hit the road early in the morning. I like to get a variety pack so it gives kids options from which to choose.

These are also helpful to have on hand for any trip you might be taking. I have found myself often picking up milk from the gas station and the kids having these for breakfast in the morning.

Juice boxes

Another alternative to water is a juice box which is great with the little kiddos. Speaking from experience, the only downside to juice boxes is they can make a mess if squeezed too hard.

I recommend getting a juice box container, which helps prevent against messy accidents.

Road Trip Snack Essentials:

One of the most important things to me when on a road trip is to keep the car as neat as possible. I always pack it and conveniently put everything at arms reach, only to find everything exploded by the time we stop at the first gas station.

These road trip snack essentials help to keep things neat while on the road. The last thing I want is to find food crushed all over the floor and on the seats.

Trash can

Trash is the biggest messy factor when we are on the road. Kids somehow just manage to put wrappers wherever they want, typically stuffed in the cupholders on the side of the door.

A trash can helps eliminate this mess and is a must for keeping your car clean on the road.

Snack containers

Snack spinners are a fun way to change up your snack game while in the car. It also helps to keep snacks contained so it keeps them close by and not on the floor.

Juice box containers

These are great for preventing kids from squeezing the juice box too hard and spilling on themselves. I loved these as a kid and now love them even more as a parent.

Activity tray

I absolutely love these trays for our kids in the car. My son is prone to get crumbs absolutely everywhere and having a small table helps him contain the mess.

These activity tables are great for more than just snacking though! They are useful for coloring, playing cards, or any other road trip activity.


I like to keep a cooler in the back seat on the floor between my kids. That way water is always close by and they don’t have to ask me to get it for them. It is also helpful for storing foods that need cooled such as fruits or vegetables.

What are the must have road trip snacks that your family always takes on a trip? Let me know in the comments below!

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