You can save time and money on a family trip with beach vacation meal planning! Get 7 days of easy vacation meals your family will love below!
Heading to the beach is a great way to spend your family vacation. But after booking a rental and paying for transportation, a beach vacation for your family can get expensive fast!
Luckily, there’s a simple way to save some money on your next trip – skip the takeout and make your own meals at your beach house.
With the help of these beach vacation meal planning ideas, you can prepare a week’s worth of quick and easy meals without sacrificing any extra time on the beach.
Why You Should Meal Plan for a Beach Vacation
Meal planning is a great way to save money on food for your entire family. So, if you’re trying to cut down on your vacation spending, planning a few meals for your trip is a great idea!
On top of helping you trim your summer vacation budget, taking the time to plan your meals will also make this so much easier for you while you’re on your trip!
But if you’re new to planning meals for your trip, you’re probably wondering where to start.
The good news is that making a vacation meal plan is pretty easy!
There are just a few things you need to keep in mind as you’re putting together your own menu for the week.
Before You Make Your Beach Vacation Meal Plan
1. Find out what’s included at your vacation rental
The most important thing to think about when planning your meals is what you’ll have on hand in your vacation rental’s kitchen.
Most standard rental homes or beach condos include a stovetop, oven, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker. This is one reason we book rental houses versus staying in a hotel room.
On top of those items, you’ll likely find a saucepan, skillet, baking sheet, and basic tools (spatula, serving spoon, can opener, etc.). Some rentals also include a BBQ grill for outside cooking.
If you’re not sure what’s included at your rental, simply contact the manager and find out!
Tip: You may also want to ask if they have plates or if you’ll need to pick up paper products.
2. Commit to simple, quick meals.
You’re not going to want to waste precious beach time slaving away in the kitchen to cook meals for your family the entire vacation.
That’s why it’s a good idea to think about the simplicity of the recipes you’re adding to your meal plan.
Quick recipes are the best option when it comes to planning meals to make while on your trip.
3. Limit the ingredients.
It’s also important to think about the number of ingredients included in each recipe.
Since you’ll need to purchase everything you need to make each meal (including sauces, condiments, and spices) when you arrive at your destination, it’s important to pick recipes with a short ingredient list to keep costs down.
4. Don’t forget about snacks.
All that salty air and sunshine will make everyone extra hungry! So, it’s always a good idea to have snacks on hand during your vacation.
As you’re putting together your meal plan, don’t forget to include a few family-favorite snacks on your shopping list.
Tip: We also like to pack some snacks and whole fruits for the road trip, too!
5. Decide if you’ll eat out and when.
Consider which local restaurants you’d like to eat at and when you want to do so. We like to plan a few nights out and a few nights in for a great combination of fun and relaxation.
Also, lunch can be a great time to go to a restaurant too! The crowds tend to be will be smaller and prices cheaper.
Sometimes, we’ll also eat in the condo but then treat ourselves to ice cream at a local creamery.
6. Make a grocery list
Grocery shopping for a large group can be stressful! Preparing your list of ingredients for quick meals ahead of time can save so much vacation time and money!
You may even get kudos for venturing to the local grocery store solo while your family does something else.
Meal Plan for Beach Vacation
Enjoy seven days of delicious meals while on vacation with the help of this comprehensive meal plan.
Each recipe is quick and easy to prepare using a handful of simple ingredients, making them perfect for vacation!
Snacks for the Week
- Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
- No Bake Energy Bites
- Ranch pretzels
- Pineapple Snack Bites
- Seasoned oyster crackers
Treats and Desserts
- Award Winning Key Lime Pie
- Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
- Cookies and Cream Coke Floats with Gummy Worms
- Ice Cream Sundae Charcuterie Board
- Cherry Fluff Salad
Meal Plan Day 1
- Breakfast: Breakfast Pizza
- Lunch: Strawberry Mason Jar Salad
- Dinner: Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Meal Plan Day 2
- Breakfast: Overnight Oats
- Lunch: Tortilla Pizzas
- Dinner: Shrimp Foil Packets with Summer Vegetables
Meal Plan Day 3
- Breakfast: French Toast
- Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwiches
- Dinner: Garlic Steak and Potato Foil Packs (with Oven or Grill Options!)
Meal Plan Day 4
- Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos
- Lunch: Pizza Rolls
- Dinner: Ranch Burgers with easy Mac and Cheese
Meal Plan Day 5
- Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Muffins
- Lunch: Pinwheel Sandwiches
- Dinner: Fried Chicken Loaded Waffle Fries (Waffle Fry Nachos)
Meal Plan Day 6
- Breakfast: Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole
- Lunch: Black Bean Quesadillas
- Dinner: Taco Casserole
Meal Plan Day 7
- Breakfast: Breakfast crunch wraps
- Lunch: Dorito Taco salad
- Dinner: Easy Loaded Pulled Pork Tater Tot Nachos (Totchos!)
Other Quick & Easy Vacation Go-To Meals
- Rotisserie chicken (BBQ chicken or taco bar)
- Hot dogs
- Frozen pizza
- Family-size freezer meals like lasagna
- Sandwiches or subs
- Spaghetti or pasta
- Pesto chicken tortellini
- Homemade Blueberry Muffins
- Sloppy Joes
- Protein Donuts
- One Pan Chicken Green Beans and Potatoes
We love to pair these ideas with homemade or store-bought potato salad, fresh produce/raw veggies, bags of chips, macaroni or pasta salad, fresh fruit, and chicken salad.
What to Foods to Pack for a Beach Vacation
Although you can always head to the grocery store to purchase the necessary ingredients for your meals, sometimes it’s a good idea to bring a few items from home to save you time and money.
When it comes to packing food for your beach vacation, consider bringing these items from home:
When planning your meals, make a list of all the spices and seasonings you’ll need. Combine the spices in individual bags and pack them so you won’t have to purchase an entire container to make one recipe.
Bringing your favorite condiments (like mustard and ketchup) from home is another great way to prevent waste when planning your vacation menu. That way, you won’t need to purchase an entire bottle when you arrive at your destination.
Preparing slow cooker or Instant Pot meals is a great way to save time on dinner. But most vacation rentals don’t have these specialty appliances. If you know you’d benefit from having your favorite appliance, place it in the trunk with the rest of your luggage.
Coolers and ice packs
Keep your drinks and food cold on the beach by bringing along a cooler and a few ice packs. They’ll come in handy when transporting your meals to the seashore each day.
Not sure what else to pack?
We have a Printable Family Beach Vacation Packing List to help you plan for a great, week-long vacation somewhere warm and sandy!
We hope these simple recipes help you save a lot of time and money!
On top of that, we hope they help your whole family enjoy the vacation even more!