How to Meal Prep While Traveling

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Have you ever been on a long road trip where there are no stops for miles, and your stomach feels like it’s going to explode? If this sounds like you, Meal Prep is going to become your best friend. Meal prepping is a fancy way of making food beforehand so you have ample amounts of meals and snacks for your travels. I just started meal prepping while traveling with my family. Let me tell you, it’s a lifesaver. You never have to think about stopping for food and it’s very budget-friendly. Not only that, you can make healthy snacks and meals the whole family will enjoy while taking in the beautiful scenery!

Here are my top tips on How to Meal Prep While Traveling:

Keep It Simple

You may love a good fancy Italian dish, but let’s face it, you’re not going to eat that on the road. It’s too complicated and it won’t stay good for very long. Plus, you want things that don’t need microwaving so you’re not left with soggy, cold mush. Pack things like cold turkey wraps, grapes, crackers, and cheese for simple balanced meals. You can also prep meals like cold chicken and rice, fruit salad with a tuna salad sandwich, or steak tacos with tortilla shells and salsa. Easy meals require fewer ingredients which makes it easier for you and saves you money! You also won’t need to spend a long time prepping these snacks, which will give you more time to plan fun activities!

Make Quick and Easy Snacks with Meal Prep

Snacking is one of those things that can get unhealthy quickly. Instead of packing bags of chips or PopTarts, try meal prepping healthy snacks. For example, you can make veggies and dip, homemade trail mix, homemade granola bars, or bring prepackaged foods like yogurt and cheese sticks. This way, you’ll hit all the food groups, keep your kids full, and give them healthy, nutritious snacks!

One thing I like to do to help me prep snacks is to pick one thing from each food group to throw together. For example, I like to pack nuts or nut butter for fat, fruit or popcorn for carbs, and yogurt or a cheese stick for protein. This is such a simple hack that I do that guarantees my kids and I stay full and get all our nutrients in!

Plan Your Meal Prep Ahead

You don’t want to be caught at the last-minute throwing a bunch of random food in a cooler. A couple of days before your trip, make a list of snacks and meals your family likes. Then, figure out how you can turn these items into simple, quick meal prep ideas!

For example, my family loves oatmeal. So, what I like to do is prep a few jars of overnight oats with nuts, berries, and some maple syrup, and they can eat it for breakfast! I also like to prep salads ahead of time as well to keep things healthy. Grab a large container or mason jar, and stuff lettuce, veggies, a source of protein, and some salad dressing on the side. All you have to do is shake and you’re ready to go!

Keep Things Bite-Sized

You don’t want to be lugging around coolers and coolers of food on your trip. It’s just not practical. Try to keep your food small and bite-sized so there’s no cleanup. Something I like to do is pack foods like nuts, berries, crackers, and veggies, and put them all in separate containers. When my kids want a snack, I’ll pull out each container and throw a few things of each into a separate container for them. No-fuss and no mess! 

Mix and Match Foods

When meal prepping for a long road trip, it’s important to bring foods that pair well together so you can mix and match them. For example, packing things like fruits, veggies, yogurt, chicken, bread, hard-boiled eggs, and pretzels can easily be intertwined to make different snacks. One example of this could be combining fruits like berries with yogurt and making a parfait. Another example could be making a chicken sandwich with either a bagel or a couple of slices of bread! As long as you have a variety of protein, carbs, and fat, you can make a ton of yummy food combinations!

Keep Your Perishable Items Cold

If you’re bringing yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs, chicken, etc., you’re going to need a cooler to keep these food items chilled. If you’re prepping food for a long trip and have a lot of meals, they need to stay cold if you want to eat them for a couple of days. Keep in mind, meats like steak and chicken are only good for 3 days at the most. You may have to pack alternative forms of protein as the days go on like dairy or hard-boiled eggs, so they will last the whole trip.


Following these simple meal prep tips will not only make your vacation run smoother but also save you money while traveling! Let me know if you tried these tips and if I should add any more to the list!

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