When you’re heading out on a trip, having food packed can save money and moods when hunger strikes. These tips for packing travel food (and travel snacks!) will cover what to pack—but also how to pack it to ensure that the food is safe and in good shape come mealtime.


We always pack food with us when we travel, whether on vacations or simply on day trips because it’s a great way to keep our travel budget in check.

It also allows me to make sure I have easy food ready for my family whenever we get hungry—so we don’t have to rely on whatever happens to be available at the closest rest stop.

This is especially helpful when you have a baby or toddler and need to make sure you have options that are easy for them to eat too.

That said, packing travel food can be a little daunting, so I’m going to share all of my best tips to make it easier for you to fuel your family while on the go!

Before you start packing food, you’ll want to keep these pointers in mind. These will help you to pack enough food and to think through what you actually put it in before you start.

  • How long is your trip and approximately how many meals do you need to provide?
  • Do you want to bring all of your meals and snacks or do you plan to purchase some?
  • What are the foods that your kids love to eat and will help to keep them happy while you’re getting where you’re going?
  • What sort of space do you have for food during your travel?

TIP: Eating while on the go is a temporary situation, so it’s okay if the kids don’t eat the same way or the same foods as they do at home!


To keep things contained and easy to access, I recommend packing a bento-style lunchbox for each family member. I like that these fit a meal and two snacks for younger kids and they are stackable when full and they easily nest and stack when empty.

This makes it possible to easily fit 3 boxes in a backpack, even if you have other things to tote. And they don’t take up much space once the food is gone but you still need to store them on your trip.