Easy Family Meals for Picnics and Road Trips

Caitlin Houston
4 min readJul 10


What kind of food do you pack for a family picnic or day trip? Here are my favorite Easy Family Meals for Picnics and Road Trips.

Easy Family Meals for Picnics and Road Trips

Easy Family Meals for Road Trips and Picnics

Dining out as a family while on the road can be expensive and complicated. It’s especially difficult if you have food allergies or picky eaters. To save money (and your sanity), plan your family’s meals for a day trip or picnic ahead of time!

Whether it’s a day trip to the beach or the neighborhood pool, I enjoy packing lunch or dinner to-go for my family during the summer. What kind of food do you pack for a day trip? We prefer mess-free meals that don’t require any type of heating. Sandwiches, wraps, salad or cold pasta, are easy to make and eat. Prepackaged or mini snack bags of chips, pretzels, goldfish are universally loved. Don’t forget: cut fruit and vegetables with dip are easy to eat too!

Easy Picnic Sandwiches and Wraps

A sandwich is the easiest meal to pack for a picnic or day trip on the road. They are small and compact, so they don’t take up a lot of room in a cooler. Sandwiches and wraps eliminate the need for utensils as you eat them with your hands! Make sure to store sandwiches/wraps in a reusable sandwich wrap or tin foil so it stays together until it’s time to eat.

  • Nut butter and jelly
  • Chicken Salad
  • Egg Salad
  • Tuna Salad
  • Deli meat + cheese, vegetables + condiments
  • Pinwheel sandwiches
  • BLAT (Bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato)
  • Vegetables and hummus wrap
  • Cold grilled chicken + vegetables + condiments on a hard roll
  • Burrito — use your wrap to make a cold burrito (leftover chicken, lettuce, salsa, etc. — it’s so good!)

Check out this list of easy to make sandwiches (that you can eat while pregnant!).

Salad in a Mason Jar or Container

I love the idea of salad in a mason jar. There are endless mason jar salad recipes that it’s impossible to not find one your family will enjoy. Plus, salad lasts up to 5 days in a mason jar! Protein, vegetables, grains and dressing — that’s all you need for a great salad in a mason jar. Make sure to store the jar salad in a cooler and don’t forget to pack a fork.

Pasta salad tastes great in a mason jar too! This Spinach Pasta Salad in a Jar sounds kid-friendly and tasty! All pasta salads must be prepared in advance to allow for proper cooling or the pasta will become mushy

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Mini Frittata or Crustless Quiche

Egg muffins aren’t just a breakfast meal! Mini frittatas and mini crustless quiches can be enjoyed hot or cold at any time during the day. They are easy to eat with your hands too! Prepare your muffin tin egg dish ahead of time so it can cook and cool before packing it. My go-to muffin tin frittatas are spinach and red peppers or ham and cheese. Store the mini egg cups in a reusable container or snack bags in your cooler.


Not everyone is a fan of cold pizza, but it’s actually delicious when prepared correctly. These picnic pizza rolls are easy to eat and can be made with a variety of ingredients. This veggie picnic pizza or summertime veggie pizza is made to be eaten cold! Have leftover pizza in your fridge? Pack if for your picnic — but make sure to store the pizza correctly to avoid soggy crust.

Bento Box Meals

Packing for a day trip or picnic can feel a lot like packing my kid’s lunch for school. Why not use a bento box for each family member? These 13 Easy Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Work or School are perfect for any occasion and do not require any reheating.

Supplies for Meals on a Road Trip or Picnic

Supplies for Meals on a Road Trip or Picnic



Caitlin Houston

Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.