Packing for a bus trip, be it long or short, usually requires food. Most buses make stops at restaurants and truck stops, but all of the food they offer is greasy, not very good for you and expensive. If you want to save money and eat healthier, it's easy to pack your own food as long as you know what to bring.
Carry ice packs in a insulated bag. While a full-sized cooler won't fit in the limited amount of space you have on a bus, a small backpack will. Fill the backpack full of food you want to keep cold. The ice packs should be the kind used to ship food so they won't melt as fast.
Bring water and juice. Dehydration can be a problem on trips, especially in the summer, and water and juice should keep you all right. Avoid soda--it will only make you more thirsty.
Fruit and Nuts
Dried or fresh, fruit is great to bring on a bus trip because it is easy to eat and good for you. Bring fruit that isn't overly messy. Berries and apples are good choices.
Nuts are also easy to eat as long as the are already shelled. Munching on a few is a good snack.
If you want to avoid the messiness of individual pieces of fruit and nuts, buy fruit-and-nut granola bars.
Cut up some vegetables and pack them in a little container. Baby carrots, celery, cucumbers and bell peppers travel well as long as you keep them cool. Not only are they good for you, they're fun to munch on.
A staple traveling food, the sandwich is easy to bring anywhere. Be creative. You don't have to settle for peanut butter and jelly or baloney all the time. Pack the slices of bread and filling separately to avoid soggy bread and make your sandwich taste better. If you want condiments, pack those separately, too.
A thermos full of soup is a great meal, as long as the weather calls for it. Make sure the soup is thin enough to drink on its own--spooning it will be difficult on a bus. Tomato or any sort of cream soup qualifies.
Bean or cold noodle salads are both easy to pack and eat on a bus trip, and they're good for you. Avoid lettuce--it wilts easily. But salads made from a variety of other ingredients should work well.