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When we travel, I almost always bring a few meals with me. It saves time and money and makes life a lot easier for us! We just spent two nights at a resort in Myrtle Beach and I made sure that our resort had a full kitchen equipped with dishes and cooking implements. Here’s what we ate!
- Coffee/Orange Juice/Milk
- Cinnamon Rolls/Turkey Sausage Links/Peaches
- Peach Tea/Ginger Ale
- Chicken Caesar Salads (pre-packaged ones I brought from Aldi)
- Turkey & Provolone Sandwiches/Chips/Watermelon
- Little Caesars Pizza
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce/Tossed Salad Kit/Garlic Bread
- Sloppy Joes/Chips/Watermelon
- Ice Cream (out)
- Peaches & Watermelon
- Peanut Butter Cookies
I wasn’t focused on making the meals as well rounded and nutritious as I would at home. I was going for easy, filling meals that shared ingredients.
For the spaghetti, I brought cooked ground turkey that I added to jarred sauce. All I had to do was heat it up and cook the pasta. I used pre-made garlic bread that just had to be heated in the oven for a few minutes and served a salad kit that came with dressing, cheese and croutons.
I made sloppy joes about a week before our trip, so I doubled the recipe and put half in the freezer. I heated the meat and served it on buns (that we also used for sandwiches).
Canned cinnamon rolls, small containers of yogurt and pre-cooked turkey sausage made breakfast really easy. I put orange juice and milk into large drink containers from Dollar Tree so that I didn’t have to make room for big cartons in the cooler!
I picked up road trip snacks at Dollar Tree to cut down on impulse purchases at the gas station! We always travel with our iceless cooler (here’s a similar one) that’s basically a portable refrigerator. I love not having to mess with ice!
Other than paying for our resort and gas, our only expenses were ice cream and an $8 pizza from Little Caesars! We spent every second of our vacation only steps from the beach and never had to decide on/find a place to eat.
I’ve found that it’s so much better to travel with lunches when we’re on roads we’ve never driven before, especially when the only exit for the next 30 miles has a McDonalds and a Truck Stop. Yuck.
If you want to see my process for planning out meals like this and how I pack everything so that I don’t forget ingredients, you can watch this video where I walk you through the process!
Do you travel with meals and snacks? What’s your favorite road trip snack?
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10 thoughts on “Eat-In Vacation Meal Plan”
I try to take food whenever we travel. Even if we stay at a motel without a kitchen, we try to stay at one with complimentary breakfast and then I pack lunch meat, bread, mustard packs, chips, fruit, etc. so we don’t have to pay to eat out later. It’s great when we’ve stayed at a places with a kitchen, and I bring meals along to make. And, like you, we usually eat out a few times (so I don’t feel as if I don’t get a break from cooking on my vacation). Usually, we are tired by end of the day of exploring and it’s nice to eat something casual while relaxing at our vacation “home.” Many times I’ve taken bananas and YES they get overripe and nasty. . . Duh! I could have easily swapped them out for easier fruits. Never thought of that. And Yes, I am impressed by your ability to save money. Smile!
I agree with you, Carrie! Sometimes going out to eat isn’t relaxing and I’d just prefer to eat in, even if I have to fix it myself. When my whole family vacations in Pigeon Forge, we find that we’re able to have much better conversations over a meal in our condo versus a noisy restaurant. 🙂
Sound like I would like to try a few meals on our next vacation. Thanks for the advice.
It really helps! Thanks, Geri!
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I have never really taken meals with me on vacation…but you make it sound so easy. And so much tastier (than fast food, etc.!) I’m going to rethink our trips in the future!
It does require work on the front end as well as the work of making the meals – but I’m always glad I did it! When we do Disney, we don’t take any meals and just enjoy all the restaurants – but that’s the only time we do that.
Yum! I enjoy packing easy meals for the car so we don’t have to worry about finding fast food that everyone enjoys. My kids are usually thrilled to see their favorite foods show up on the road trip menu. It looks like you planned everything out perfectly for all of your meals.
Exactly! Finding the right spot to stop for meals on the road is always a headache.
We like to take road trips and we have two iceless coolers that I purchased at Aldi. We love them. Always take our lunch, snacks and beverages. Saves so much money.
Awesome that you found your coolers at Aldi!