How to Create the Perfect Road Trip Meal Plan

Aug 3, 2020 | Blog, Meal Planning

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How to Create an Awesome family Road Trip Meal Plan

Even before we had kids, road trips were one of our favorite ways to travel because.. well, they were cheap.

Once we had kids, we figured that road trips would be our main mode of travel because we wouldn’t have as much money in our budget.

But once you add up paying for lodging, meals, gas, and entertainment, even road trips can become expensive if you aren’t careful.

So how can you go on a road trip without spending a fortune?

One of the best ways I’ve found is to plan out your meals ahead of time.

Meal planning for your road tip doesn’t mean that you never get to go out to eat, it just means that you eat out at the really awesome places and skip the fast food.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create the perfect Road Trip meal plan the easy way!

5 Steps to Creating a Road Trip Meal Plan

1) Create a Master List

One of the challenges with traditional Meal Planning is starting from square one every time.

Creating a master list will solve this problem!

If you are a spreadsheet junkie like I am, an excel spreadsheet or Google Spreadsheet works really well for keeping the list organized.

2) Write Down Your Go-To Meals

If you are using a spreadsheet, I like to have one column for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. Then I list my favorite, go-to meals in each column.


Our favorite road trip breakfasts are zucchini muffins, banana muffins, mini frittatas, pre-made pancakes, and cold cereal that we put into ziplock baggies or snack containers.

We like easy meals that the kids can eat on the road without making too much mess in the car.

One of the benefits of doing breakfast in the car is that our kids will often eat breakfast for a really long time. Allowing them to eat in the car enables us to get a good start on driving while the kids are doing something that they would have been sitting for anyway.


For lunches, we often take a break from driving and have a picnic, so our favorite lunches are picnic-type foods.

We like to have stuff for making sandwiches, veggies, fruit, and chips.

We try to find a park along our route and give the girls plenty of time to stretch their legs before getting back on the road.


We keep snacks handy that they can eat as we are driving.


We try to be at our home base for the night by dinner time.

Our dinner choices change depending on the trip. If we are staying with friends, sometimes we will eat dinner with them, if we are camping I will usually make something from our Camping Meal Plan, and if we are doing a VRBO or Airbnb, I will do something easy like pasta, burgers, or KLoaf.

I like to do a lot of easy-to-make, quick-cleanup meals… which means we end up making things that are more processed than we usually eat at home. But that’s part of the fun of a vacation, right? And Mamma need a vacation too!

Some of our favorite road trip dinners are burgers, hotdogs, KLoaf, haystacks, and pasta.

The Best Family Road Trip Meal Ideas

3) Pull From The Master List

Now when it’s time to plan your meals for your road trip, all you need to do is pull however many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from your master list!

4) Grocery Shopping

Normally I recommend only going to the grocery store once a week, but if you are keeping all of your food in a cooler, it won’t stay good for an entire week.

So I recommend getting what you need for the first two days, then going grocery shopping every couple of days for what you need. This will help you eat the food that you buy before going back to the store, and keep you from buying more than you need.

If You Are Going With Another Family…

5) Assign Meals

If you are going on a road trip with another family, assign meals that each family will be responsible for making.

You could let one family be in charge of lunches, one in charge of dinners, and have breakfasts on their own.

Or you could alternate days that each family will take care of the meals.

Once you know your assigned meals, simply pull from the Master List that you have already created!

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  • Create a Lunch Rotation
  • Create a Snack Rotation
  • Choose Theme Nights
  • Create Rotations for Each Theme Night
  • Fill in Your Meal Planning Calendar

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How to Create a Meal Plan for Your Family Road Trip

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You May Also Enjoy

How to Create the Perfect Camping Meal Plan

The Secret to Meal Planning for the Absolute Beginner

See you on the next one! Kassy
How to Create a Meal Plan for Your Family Road Trip
Meal Ideas for Your Family Road Trip
How to Create a Road trip Meal Plan When You're on a Tight Budget!