Packing a few snacks for the ride can help everyone get through the journey a little bit easier. Let’s face it, hungry kids can get pretty cranky! The same holds true for parents and grandparents so make sure you pack a few snacks for the adults as well. Of course you can purchase food and snacks at the airport, but that could put a dent into your pocketbook before you even take off on your family vacation!

Colleen Kelly at an airport

Bring a nice variety including their reliable favorites in addition to a few choices that you might splurge on such as cashews or macadamia nuts. Snacks for the kids could include dry cereal, dried fruit, goldfish, pretzels, graham crackers, string cheese and granola bars. Carrot sticks, celery and frozen grapes are some of my go to items that everyone likes. I also like to pack a sweet treat too like yogurt covered pretzels or chocolate covered raisins. Depending on the time of our flight, I will also pack sandwiches or wraps for that extra protein. When it comes to packing the snacks, I like to use the small Ziploc bags so each one of the kids can have their own portion. If they spill one small bag at least there are others as a back up plan. I have also recycled small plastic containers, such as the ones that are used for gum, for packing small snacks. They have easy to open (and close) tops that are just the right size for the kids to hold. Just remove the label! You can even have the kids decorate the containers with stickers and mark them with their names so everyone knows which one belongs to the right person.

Small red cooler featured in Family Travel with Colleen Kelly

You’ll want to pack more than you think you will need just in case you have a layover. Another packing tip is to use a small, collapsible cooler as one of the carryon bags. Not only is it handy for the trip itself, but it is great during the course of the vacation to keep sandwiches, juice boxes and sodas cold while sightseeing or at the beach. Throw in a few napkins and plastic wear in a larger Ziploc to keep them dry. It comes in handy on the plane if there is a spill. Don’t forget the baggy of wet wipes for those sticky hands! Keep in mind that the planes will have snacks to purchase, but they don’t accept cash, only credit cards. If your older child is flying alone, say to visit relatives in another state, you will want to equip them with a credit card not only for snacks, but for other emergencies that may arise.

Juice Fruit

Airplanes tend to get dry, so before the drink cart makes its way down the aisle, equip yourself with some back up lollipops and gum which are also good to help relieve ear pressure. Staying on the ear pressure topic, if you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, try to feed the baby during takeoff and landing. This will help release the ear pressure and the baby will be more comfortable. And if you are doing a LOT of feeding, make sure you have enough diapers and a change of clothes for you and baby just in case the diaper explodes!

Related articles:

Don’t Let Your Vacation Sabotage Your Healthy Habits

7 Packing Tips for a Better Vacation

Healthy Dining on a Family Vacation…Is it Possible?

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Updated 10/15/23.

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