Heading out on vacation can be so exciting! You can’t wait for the sand under your feet and the sunshine to hit your face. But, let’s be honest here, the packing can be stressful. Especially since many of us have been home for some time, we may be a little rusty. Clothes can be challenging enough, but what about if you are heading to a vacation rental. You will need to pack food, too. No need to fret; we’ve got everything you need including a complete vacation food packing list. Want to learn how do you pack food for a beach vacation?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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Why You Need A Meal Plan For A Beach Vacation
Going on vacation should be a relaxing experience consisting of leisurely days and lots of time spent with loved ones. No one wants to stand in front of the refrigerator and wonder what to make for dinner. Going in with a plan and a vacation food packing list helps to make your vacation easy. You can do most prep in advance, so you aren’t cooking too much. If you have never done it before, check out our Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning to learn.
Simply put, having a meal plan for a beach vacation will save you time and money.
What Food Should I Bring On Vacation? A Complete Vacation Food Packing List
That said, you need to pack breakfast, lunch, and dinners, and don’t forget snacks! Sounds like a lot, right? No need to worry! Here is a complete list of what to pack for a beach vacation based on our 7-day beach vacation meal plan.
Roasted Red Peppers
Wine, Beer, Juice
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Vacation Packing List Printable PDF
Click the image below for a free printable PDF of this packing list.
Meals Made Ahead
Kitchen Items For Your Vacation Food Packing List
Most rental kitchens have the essentials—cutlery, plates, pots, and pans. There is enough to make a proper meal. Here are a few non-food kitchen items to pack.
- Knives – Cutting with a dull knife is torture. It takes twice as long and does a terrible job. Pack your sharpened knives to make any prep work a breeze. Here is a great way to safely pack knives.
- Coolers – Most likely, you will pack your food in a cooler but make sure you use one that is a good size for the beach, too. Soft-sided ones are great because they fold down when not in use, leaving trunk space for any souvenirs.
- Lunch Boxes – This is key if you have kids. Bring their lunch boxes. Then, just like for school, pack an individual lunch for each child. This hack will save you from having to grab snacks all the time.
- Corkscrew – If you plan on drinking wine, pack a wine opener.
- BBQ – Plan on using the grill? Double-check that there is one included with your rental.
How To Grocery Shop For A Beach Vacation
If you are a fan of online grocery shopping, check to see if your favorite service delivers to your rental. Ordering in advance will save you trunk space or a trip to the grocery store.
When heading on vacation, I do NOT like to grocery shop at the destination. I find that it takes a lot longer since I don’t know the store’s layout and costs more. Lots of vacation spots have pricier groceries.
It’s cheaper and easier to bring food with you.
How Do You Pack Food For A Beach Vacation?
- If you are traveling any distance, you want to pack everything so it stays cold. Here are some great tips.
- If you are bringing spices, measure them and put them in small Ziploc bags to save space.
- If you are bringing meals you prepared at home, write the baking instructions on the foil.
- Leave pantry items in the bags from online grocery shopping.
- Bookmark any recipes you plan to use or print them if you won’t have access to the internet.
Vacation Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast on vacation should be like the weather, breezy. You will want to pack some simple meals and plan for one or two more extensive meals. More complex, breakfasts are great if everyone wants to get a late start or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Here are some easy vacation breakfast ideas for your vacation food packing list.
- Overnight oats – make a big batch before you go and keep them in the fridge. Everyone can top them as they wish. They are filling and cheap. (A six-dollar box of McCann’s steel-cut oats can feed your family for a week.
- Yogurt and granola – call them parfaits if you wish, but yogurt topped with granola and fruit is a simple, complete breakfast.
- Frozen breakfast burritos – Make them in advance and bring them along. They are filling and portable.
- Cereal – don’t let the simplicity fool you; cereal is a crowd-pleaser. Plus, it makes a great snack! Any item that does double duty is perfect for vacation.
- Cinnamon rolls – here’s a tip. Space them out on a cookie sheet, and they cook quicker. They are hearty and easy to prepare.
- Make-ahead pancake board – this recipe is perfect for beach vacations. You can quickly scale it up or down and prep almost everything in advance.
Vacation Lunch Ideas
Lunches should be portable and fuss-free. Leftovers are GREAT here! If you are going on a beach vacation, cold salads are perfect for lazy lunches on the sand.
- Sandwiches – the old standard, but they work! Peanut butter and jelly, turkey and mayo, salami and cheese, whatever you like. They are easy to customize.
- Chickpea tuna salad – this recipe takes the same amount of time as a sandwich and boasts lots of flavor and protein.
- Big Mac Salad – combining two unlikely items, this salad is filling and delicious.
- Leftovers make great lunches!
What Do You Think?
Are you going on vacation? Where are you going and, most importantly, what is on your vacation food packing list? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
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