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Vacation Lunch Ideas for Families

One of the benefits of booking a vacation rental is having a full kitchen so that you can provide meals for your family. We’re sharing the best vacation lunch ideas that won’t have you spending your entire vacation in the kitchen. This lunch guide is great for big families or families with children. We will tell you exactly what to serve for lunch on family vacation so that you can relax.

Vacation Lunch Ideas Charcuterie Board

Key to Success #1 – Provide Plenty of Options for Lunch

Variety is the spice of life and it’s imperative when you are planning meals for a large family.

Planning a week’s worth of meals for a family does not have to be intimidating.

It all comes down to choosing meals where people can customize their own plate, serving several options, and having plenty of leftovers.

We have quite a lot of experience cooking for large families and one of our best tips is to serve small rolls, breads, etc., so that guests can grab a little bit of several things.

And also serve plenty of sides to go along with the main meal.

If you’re having sub sandwiches, you can serve a fruit plate, veggie tray, or a side salad along with them.

If you are serving tacos, try adding a nice selection of toppings so that everyone can make the meal their own.

Family Vacation Lunch - Tacos

Key to Success #2 – Minimal Cooking So That You Can Get On With Your Day

Most of the ideas on our list are zero cooking, but we included a few things that need to be heated up in the oven or the microwave.

A vacation lunch should not be a long, drawn out meal.

You want something you can eat in a relatively short amount of time and then get back to vacationing.

And little clean-up is an absolute must! Nobody wants to sit around scrubbing dishes when they should be relaxing.

We like to drag a good selection of items out of the fridge and pantry and then let each person construct their own lunch.

And I can’t stress enough the importance of designing dinner meals that make great leftovers.

You can make fried chicken tenders for dinner one night and then people can have chicken sandwiches or fried chicken on their salad or a chicken taco with very little additional work.

Deli sandwiches on croissants for family vacation lunch

Key to Success #3 – Schedule a Grocery Pick Up To Save Time

Before you depart for your trip, make a list of all the meals that you will have on your trip.

If you already have certain restaurant dinners planned or other plans that will keep you away from your vacation rental at meal times, mark those meals on your list.

Make a note of all the other meals that you will need to provide at your vacation rental and fill in any meals that you already know you want to prepare.

If you need some breakfast ideas, check out our list of 22 vacation breakfast ideas for families.

As you are planning your list, start adding things to your grocery pickup list.

If you will be on vacation for more than a few days, consider splitting up your shopping into two or more different trips.

You can add things for the first few days into your cart and save the other items for later.

About 1-2 days before your trip, go ahead and schedule your grocery pickup or delivery for a convenient time.

In areas with heavy vacation rental traffic, the grocery pick up time slots may be in short supply on the days that the vacation rentals typically have their check-ins and check-outs.

Chicken salad sandwiches for family vacation lunches

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.

If you have more questions, leave us a comment and we will help you out!

Save this Vacation Lunch Roundup to your Family Vacation board or your Easy Lunch Ideas board.

16+ Lunch Ideas for Family Vacation

Vacation Lunch Ideas for Families

Lunch is a great meal to serve in your vacation rental if you can choose options that are quick, require little cooking/heating, and are easy to clean up.

We're sharing lunch ideas that check all the boxes and get you back to enjoying your vacation in no time.


Leftovers can be a great option for lunches the next day.

When planning your menu, think through the dinner options that would be good for leftovers the following day and schedule those dinners earlier in your vacation.

On our vacations, we tend to eat a lot of the leftovers for lunch.

We made fried chicken tenders one night and some people had the leftovers the following day.

Pulled pork and spaghetti were two other dinners that made great leftovers.

Air Fryer Cheesy Dorito Bombs

Easy Oven Meatballs

Air Fryer Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread