Navigating the snack and meal landscape on family vacations can be a challenge, so we’ve gathered eight specific tips from founders, CEOs, and other leaders to keep you well-fed and stress-free. From using meal and grocery delivery services to creating a family snack station, discover the strategies that can transform your family’s travel dining experience.

  • Use Meal and Grocery Delivery Services
  • Pack Homemade, Portable Snacks
  • Plan and Prep Meals in Advance
  • Choose Easy, On-the-Go Snacks
  • Prepare Individual Healthy Snack Portions
  • Create a Family Snack Station
  • Meal Prep for Savings and Convenience

Use Meal and Grocery Delivery Services

Take advantage of a meal delivery service or use a grocery delivery app.

Check to see if the place where you are traveling offers meal delivery or grocery delivery services before you go on your trip. Delivery is also usually available through services such as Instacart, Amazon Fresh, or your neighborhood grocery store. With a grocery list, snack order, or easy-meal ingredients, you can order when you land. It is time-saving, and you get your fresh items to last for at least a day without immediately running to the store.

When it comes to food, meal delivery services such as HelloFresh or Blue Apron offer pre-prepared meal kits for mealtime. They provide you with all the components and recipes to prepare a home-cooked meal, which is an easy way to eliminate meal plan stress and grocery shopping.

This means that not only do you have healthy or preferred food readily available, but you also do not need to worry or stress about figuring out where on earth you can (or even would) eat at (especially after a long day of travel or activities). Through the use of meal and grocery delivery services, you can spend more time enjoying your vacation and still maintain the right amount of control over your meals and snacks.

Alex CorniciAlex Cornici
Founder & CEO, The Traveler

Pack Homemade, Portable Snacks

A particular recommendation for effectively managing meals and snacks during family vacations is to proactively strategize and prepare portable, nourishing alternatives. It is advisable to pack an assortment of homemade refreshments that are suitable for travel, such as energy bars, trail mix, and cut fruits and vegetables. By having healthy alternatives easily accessible during travel, the likelihood of succumbing to less nutritious convenience foods is diminished. Furthermore, time and financial resources can be conserved by bringing pre-made sandwiches, wraps, and individual salad portions in containers, as opposed to ordering out for each meal. You can enjoy nutritious and delectable snacks and meals during your vacation without the hassle of constantly searching for dining options if you plan and prepare in advance.

Jessica SheeJessica Shee
Senior Tech and Marketing Manager, M3 Data Recovery

Plan and Prep Meals in Advance

Meal Plan: Plan for the whole day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks before the trip. This plan should consider the family’s preferences, dietary needs, and daily activities.

Pack Home-Prepared Meals: Keep an ice pack and cooler in the car or at work with easy-to-prepare items like sandwiches, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and granola bars. This method is cost-effective and provides healthier choices, as you’ll have options readily available. For instance, preparing an overnight breakfast in your accommodation can save time and reduce the morning rush.

Research Local Dining Options: Do some advance research to identify family-friendly restaurants that offer a variety of choices to suit everyone’s taste. Make reservations during peak dining times if possible to avoid long waits. This mix of home-prepared meals and dining out provides balance, convenience, and enjoyment for the entire family.

With a bit of foresight and by sticking to good meal-prep practices, everyone in the family can stay well-fed and happy, freeing up more time and energy for building fun memories together during the vacation.

Staci AndersonStaci Anderson
Director of Marketing, Raynor Garage Doors

Choose Easy, On-the-Go Snacks

Think on the go! Traveling light but traveling smart is the name of the game. Opt for easy, on-the-go snacks that can tag along with you no matter where your adventures take you. Whether it’s a quick hike, a beach day, or exploring a new city, having those handy snacks by your side ensures that energy levels stay up.

Diane HowardDiane Howard
Rn and Founder, Esthetic Finesse

Prepare Individual Healthy Snack Portions

My wife and I like to pack a variety of healthy snacks in individual portion sizes before we leave for our family vacation. This helps to prevent impulsive snacking on unhealthy options while on the road or at the destination. It also saves time and money by not having to stop for food as frequently.

Tom MolnarTom Molnar
Operations Manager, Fit Design

Create a Family Snack Station

One practical tip for managing meals and snacks on family vacations is to embrace the idea of a “snack station.” Set up a designated area in your vehicle or accommodation where you keep a variety of pre-packed snacks that are both nutritious and appealing to everyone in the family. Think of items like granola bars, trail mix, cheese sticks, and fresh fruit. This way, whenever someone gets hungry between meals, they can easily grab something from the snack station without interrupting your activities or plans. It’s also helpful to carry a small cooler with drinks and perishable snacks to keep everything fresh. This strategy not only keeps the family satisfied and energized but also helps you manage your food budget more effectively by reducing the need for impromptu, and often expensive, food stops.

Gabrielle YapGabrielle Yap
Senior Editor, Carnivore Style

Meal Prep for Savings and Convenience

Meal prepping is a strategy that has always been effective for us when organizing food for family trips. Before we go to our destination, we allot time to planning and preparing meals and snacks.

We begin by creating a comprehensive eating schedule for every day of our journey, taking into account both the days we’ll be traveling and the days we’ll be at our destination. For snacks, we choose a variety of nutritious options along with some crowd-pleasers to ensure satisfaction. It involves bringing along nuts, dried fruits, granola bars, and perishable goods such as fruits and vegetables, all stored in a compact cooler.

A personal story: During our journey to the Grand Canyon, we brought a mix of wraps and sandwiches that were simple to consume while traveling. This approach saved us time and money by cutting down on restaurant visits and helped us stick to a budget. The American Automobile Association (AAA) notes that the typical family spends about $80 daily on meals while on the move; preparing meals at home is an intelligent way to save money.

Additionally, we carry a compact stove or grill for convenient meal preparation at campsites or stops along the way. It guarantees we enjoy healthy food and transforms meal preparation into an enjoyable family pastime.

By getting ready ahead of time, we dodge the anxiety of scrambling for food while on the go, allowing us to concentrate on having a good time on our trip. This approach maintains our vitality and keeps our expenses under control.

Eliot VancilEliot Vancil
CEO, Fuel Logic

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