Most vacation rental homes have a full kitchen so that you can prepare meals for your family while you are on vacation. We’re sharing the best vacation dinner ideas that will get dinner on the table in a hurry. We will tell you exactly what to serve for dinner on family vacation so that you can relax. This dinner guide is great for big families or families with children.
Key to Success #1 – Choose Dishes that Cook Quickly
An important point to consider when choosing dinner recipes for your vacation is how quickly the food will cook.
When you are on vacation, you are not going to want to stand around in the kitchen cooking a bunch of food.
Dinners that cook in about 30 minutes are a great option to serve while on vacation.
Another consideration is what cooking supplies are available at your vacation rental.
If the owner or management company does not make clear what is available in the description online, be sure to inquire so that you will have a good idea of what type of pots and pans will be available.
A few of the recipes on our list can be made in a Crock Pot or an Instant Pot, but they can all be made in the oven or on the stove top.
If you have room in your vehicle, you can bring a small appliance to assist in your meal prep but that is not required for any of these recipes.
On our last trip, I brought my Instant Pot and made Pulled Pork in it and also a small batch of BBQ chicken breasts.
It worked great because both meals cooked much quicker in the Instant Pot.
Key to Success #2 – Choose Dinners that Have Few Ingredients
Another thing to consider is how many ingredients are needed to make your dish.
You will have to bring all the ingredients with you or purchase them near your vacation rental home.
Save money, time, and space by choosing meals that don’t require a lot of ingredients.
If you have a dish that requires certain spices for a rub or a marinade, you can place all the ingredients into a zip-top plastic baggie at home and then label it and pack it in one of your bags for the trip.
We did this with the pulled pork. I put the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper into a baggie then spread it over the pork when it was time to cook.
Speaking of spices, make sure you carry salt and pepper shakers with you to your beach rental.
You can use an unbreakable shaker set or you can often find disposable picnic sets at the local grocery store.
Also consider which ingredients can serve double-duty in your menu.
For example, you can buy tomatoes that can be sliced for hamburgers, but the leftovers can also be diced for tacos.
Key to Success #3 – Use Grocery Pick Up or Delivery
A few weeks before your trip, make a list of all the meals that you will need to eat while on your vacation.
If you have certain nights that will have you away from your vacation home during mealtime, make those on your list.
The remaining meals are what you will need to plan for before you leave for your trip.
As you start choosing meals, add the necessary grocery items to your grocery shopping app on your phone.
If you are going to be on vacation for more than a few days, consider splitting up your grocery pickup into two or more trips.
Add the items that you will need the first few days of your vacation to your cart. Save the other grocery items for later.
About 1-2 days before you leave for vacation, go ahead and schedule a grocery pickup or delivery at a convenient time.
The grocery stores near many popular tourist destinations will be very busy during the typical check-in times for the vacation rentals.
Let Us Help You Plan Your Vacation Menu
Having trouble coming up with a menu for your family vacation?
We can help!
Our blog posts about vacation meal planning are a great place to start.
- Vacation Breakfast Ideas for Families
- Vacation Lunch Ideas for Families
- Vacation Dinner Ideas for Families
- Vacation Dessert Ideas for Families
If you have more questions, leave us a comment and we will help you out!