Are you planning to go on a beach vacation? Then, you may need a meal plan. This seven-day meal plan will help you save time and money. It will take the guesswork out of what you can cook. The meal plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner to please all of your loved ones. Are you traveling with a couple of family members? This article has got you covered!
Why Do You Need a Beach Vacation Meal Plan?
Vacations should be relaxing, including leisurely days and lots of time with loved ones. Nobody wants to stand in front of the fridge and wonder what to cook for dinner. Therefore, a plan will make your vacation more enjoyable. You can also do most of the preparation ahead, so that you don’t have to cook something if you don’t want it.
You can expect to pay a lot more for groceries when you travel to beaches. So, cooking can also save you money than going out for dinner.
To put it simply, a meal plan for a beach vacation will help you save time and money.
But where do you start? You don’t have to be a pro at meal planning, but you should know what to do when you go on vacation.
How to Make a Beach Vacation Meal Plan
It is different to cook at the beach house than it is at home. The equipment is different, and you can cook lighter meals because of the warmer weather. These are just a few other things you should keep in mind:
- Take into account what you have in your kitchen rental. There is a list of standard kitchen items below. Moreover, ask ahead if there are barbecues.
- Simple breakfasts will allow you to get your feet in the sand quickly. However, you should plan to eat more substantial breakfasts like waffles and pancakes. If you haven’t had enough sun or rain, you may need to delay or sleep in.
- You should also prepare your lunch to be portable, so you can eat while you watch the waves. This doesn’t mean you have to eat sandwiches. Consider hearty grain salads, wraps, and leftovers.
- You want your dinners to be a crowd pleaser, but do not take you hours to prepare. This sounds impossible, right? But it is possible, and many meals can be prepared at home. You just need to reheat them.
- Make sure to bring snacks. Family favorites include popcorn, frozen grapes, mandarins, and fig bars.
- There is a complete beach meal plan for your beach vacation if all this seems overwhelming.
Beach Vacation Meal Plan Ideas for More Than One Family
Here are some things to remember if you have another family or two who will be joining you during the week.
- Share the cooking burden. Everyone is going on vacation, so everyone should share the cooking load. Every family can take turns in making dinners.
- Consider if one person can do all the grocery shopping, or if every family will do some.
- Notify everyone if someone has a food allergy, especially the kids who cannot communicate.
- It’s a good idea to prepare a backup meal that is kid-friendly for children. You can prepare frozen chicken nuggets, pasta with sauce or butter. Children who are hungry and angry are very unpleasant.
Ideas for Beach Vacation Meal
These are some suggestions for what you can cook.
- Before you leave, make a batch of oatmeal overnight oats. A large can of McCann’s Irish Oats costs $6, and will provide enough food for your entire family for one week. You can either heat the oats in the morning and add fruit, or serve it cold.
- You can make parfaits with yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola. These look fancy, but they are simple to make and customize.
- Plan a day or two for more substantial breakfasts. The make-ahead pancake board makes an impressive spread that’s easy to scale.
- Sandwiches! You can make some with peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, or any other ingredients. They can be carried around and customized.
- A Chickpea Tuna Salad is easy to make and very portable.
- You can make extra grilled chicken, or use leftovers from the pulled chicken in the meal plan. Then, wrap it up for lunch the next morning.
- Pulled Chicken Sandwiches: Make this chicken using your crock pot before you go on your vacation. It freezes well, and it can be used in many ways. You can use it in quesadillas, in cold chicken salads, or add protein to some simple greens.
- Spinach Lasagna Lasagna Roll-ups: Lasagna is definitely a crowd pleaser, but it takes a lot of work. These roll-ups allow you to enjoy the same flavor in half the time. You can add meat or leave it as a vegetarian option. This is another make-at-home meal, which freezes well, and you can easily scale it up.
- Chimichurri fish: This fish looks fantastic and easy to prepare. The sauce can be made a few days in advance, and the preparation time is minimal. Don’t like fish? This herb-based sauce works well on chicken, shrimp, and steak. It’s delicious served with rice and grilled veggies.
- Grilled Chicken with a Mediterranean Salad: This Mediterranean salad is quick and easy to make using mostly pantry ingredients. Then, add some grilled chicken to make a light and filling meal.
- Big Mac Salad: This recipe combines two seemingly unrelated things: a McDonald’s burger with a salad. It’s a fun twist to a classic. You can opt to omit the meat, and serve it with a regular hamburger. It’s great for lunch and dinner since it has ground beef.
- Enchiladas: These take a while to prepare, but so worth it. Double the batch and make them ahead. They also freeze well. Then, serve with lettuce, pico de gallo, yellow rice, and refried beans.
- Tortellini Salad: This dinner is ready in under 30 minutes. It is a perfect summer dish for dinner. It’s also delicious on its own, or as a side dish to other barbecue items.
Basic Utensils Available in a Beach House Kitchen
These are the essential kitchen items that you will find in most rental properties. Although most houses have a barbecue, it is best that you confirm this before you make your reservation.
- Large dinner plates
- Cereal bowls
- Coffee mugs and casual drink glasses
- A spaghetti pot and colander
- Skillet and saucepan
How to Pack Food for a Beach Vacation?
- If you are going to eat out for dinner for a night or two, make sure you still have an extra meal. Even if you are only packing frozen pizzas, it will let you change your plans in case of an emergency. It’s also a plus to have a backup in case everyone gets tired.
- When you’re working with spices, measure them and pack them in a baggie with the recipe name on a label. Preparing the spices ahead of time will eliminate the process of measuring them, and give you less stuff to pack.
- Make sure to read through every recipe so you know what ingredients are needed.
- Do not forget to bring your coffee, tea, lemonade or any other beverage (for adults, too) along with snacks.
- It is normal for knives to be dull. It is possible to bring one or two of your own knives. However, keep in mind that you should NOT take knives on board an airplane.
- Make sure to bring along ice packs and coolers so that you are mobile. The best meals are on the beach!