Plan your meals ahead of arriving at your vacation rental so that you can spend more time relaxing once you’re there!
Vacation rentals are a wonderful way to spend any holiday, as you have a home away from home where you can relax in your own space, and prepare your own meals. They even provide most of the necessities to prepare a Christmas dinner while away on vacation! But to maximize your rest and relaxation time while away on holiday, meal planning in advance can be a great idea. That way, once you arrive at your destination, you can do one grocery shop to gather everything you will need for your time away. If you’re not driving too far, you can even do your grocery shopping in advance!
Here are some of our best tips for meal planning to make for a fun- and food-filled vacation:
If you have a big group or are a family with grown-up children, you may want to pre-plan a meal schedule that will allocate certain days to certain chefs, so each is responsible for planning their own meals and bringing the necessary ingredients for each. Then find out what your vacation rental has available – does it have a BBQ? A full stove and oven? Microwave? Sounds straightforward, but it’s much easier to plan well when you know exactly what will be available to you.
It’s important to think about how many ingredients go into a meal, and how many of these ingredients may be used to double up and contribute to other meals through the week. This way you won’t feel like you’ve brought everything but the kitchen sink!
For example, you might want to make burritos one night and Asian fried rice another – two meals with a totally different taste, but each use rice, chicken, peppers and onions. Same goes for breakfast food. Bread and eggs can make french toast one morning, scrambled eggs on toast the next. An added bonus is that this strategy will also cut down on grocery shopping time.
Once you have thought of a few family favourite meals that share some common ingredients, it is a great idea to make a list. Write out all of the days you are going to be at your vacation rental property, and plan a dinner for each evening. If your family/friends likes a hot meal in the mornings, make a similar plan for breakfasts. You don’t want to have to start thinking about what you are going to cook when you are trying to enjoy your holiday… you want to relax and unwind.
As time spent enjoying yourself is key, try to think of meals that don’t require too much prep time, and that don’t use tons of pans (if you do have a fancier meal like this in mind, maybe check in advance your rental has a dishwasher!) One pot meals like chilli, tortilla soup, casseroles, pot roasts and baked pasta are delicious, packed with nutritious ingredients, and can be thrown together quickly and left to cook. If you are really hoping to spend the ultimate minimum time in the kitchen, you can even consider bringing a slow cooker – your rental might even have one. With slow cooker meals, you can put everything in there each morning, and come home to a perfectly pre-made meal each evening.
Another handy tip for cutting down on time spent in the kitchen on your holiday is the idea of DIY lunches. Buy a large turkey, chicken or ham, and roast in advance. With some buns, lettuce and mayo, this makes a delicious light lunch or healthy snack. Shredded on top of lettuce and croutons, you have an instant protein-packed salad. Or you can even just snack on the delicious meat alone. The best thing is that you can leave your roasted meat wrapped in foil in the fridge for a few days, allowing you to throw together lunches in a flash – or give your family or friends quick access to help themselves to something nutritious.
Small touches you may not think of – sea salt and black pepper, or good olive oil for cooking/drizzling – are also really handy items to remember to pack, as they can greatly enhance a meal’s flavour. Finally, make sure you are well stocked up on favourite drinks and snack foods. Holidays are for having a good time, so snack foods you enjoy and your most-loved tipple will be much appreciated when you are sitting on your balcony or patio relaxing after a wonderful day.
Now… sit back, relax, and enjoy a stress free time away!
Feel like going on a wonderful vacation rental getaway? Our experts would love to help you out! Give us a call on 1.877.902.1616 – we are available 7 days a week.