Vacation Meal Plans and Food Prep

I just got back from two weeks away from home, staying with my family in New Jersey. We planned to prepare most meals at home, and for us to use what we had in the fridge, freezer and pantry packed up in the car, so that we just had to buy a few fresh items before settling into our vacation. This being our first time giving this a try, I’m pleased to say that it worked out better than I anticipated and we used all but two items we brought, and only ate out once.

Our chance to disconnect from normal life, enjoy time outdoors, to prepare fun, new and fresh meals at whatever pace and time we wanted as exactly what we needed to relax and spend time catching up with everyone without having a strict schedule, and we stocked u on all the favorites so there were always multiple options to choose from.

There were anywhere from 3 to 8 of us for meals each day; and we managed to keep meal prep to about 90 minutes per day, mainly at dinner / evening time. Check out what we planned for meals, our general “bring from home” list and what we bought at the store on our way into town. Where is everyone heading this summer? Do you bring your own food, or rely on take out?

What we brought with us:


  • Pancake Mix (Krusteaz Just Add Water)
  • Bacon
  • Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate (homemade)
  • Smoothie Packs
  • Shelf-Stable Oat Milk
  • Shelf-Stable Almond Milk
  • Stevia Packets


  • Sandwich Bread
  • Sandwich Rolls
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Bags of Chips
  • Pasta Salad
  • Large Tortillas


  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Ground Chicken
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Onions
  • Pizza Dough
  • Tube Biscuits
  • Large Shrimp
  • Chuck Roast
  • Salmon Filets
  • Farro
  • Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Dressings
  • Tomato Sauce


  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Oreos
  • Brownie Mix
  • Cookie dough


  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Stock
  • Syrup
  • Slow Cooker
  • Egg Bite Cooker
  • Ziptop bags
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Parchment Paper
  • Sheet Pans
  • Single Blender

What We Bought

  • Fruit: Bananas, apples, peaches, etc.
  • Iceburg Lettuce
  • Eggs
  • Sliced Cheese
  • Cheese Blocks
  • Sliced deli turkey
  • Sliced deli ham
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pizza Toppings
  • Lemons/Limes
  • Wine, Beer, mixers
  • Soda and Juice
  • Bottled Water

Our Meals

  • Pancakes
  • Eggs and Bacon
  • Egg Bites
  • Breakfast Sandwiches
  • Sub Sandwiches
  • Deli roll-ups
  • Lettuce Wraps
  • Grilled Chicken Skewers
  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers
  • Chicken Parmesan Pasta
  • Grilled Pizza
  • Slow Cooker Beef
  • Cookie Bars
  • Brownies
  • Seasoned Popcorn
  • Pasta Salad

A Few Tips

  • Prep what you can ahead of time
    • Cut and marinate meat prior to leaving home, freeze / place in cooler so it can marinate and then freeze when you arrive at your rental home
    • Wash fruit and store ready to eat
    • Measure and mix all dry rubs or marinades that can’t be used ahead of time so that it’s all measured out and ready to use and you don’t have to bring multiple containers of components
    • Create smoothie packs to cut down on large bags of frozen fruit
  • Plan a few “random” or leftover days so you don’t have to cook, and so that all of the food is eaten
  • Invest in good coolers and ice packs!
  • Make sure to re-freeze your ice packs so that you can bring home whatever is unused
  • Be flexible – what you started with as a plan may shift, and that’s ok!
  • Have fun! Try something new.

Who else chose to rent a lake house this summer? What did you pack or prepare for the family while you were on vacation? If you are planning some time away, I hope the ideas included here help you easily get out of the house and on the road to some rest and relaxation!

Unsure where to begin? I’m here to help! Comment below or email me and we’ll make sure you get out of the house easily and with everything you’ll need to put fun and creative meals on the table with little kitchen time while enjoying some time off!


Published by Alexis Arvis

Business Owner, Blogger, Aspiring Home Renovation Planner

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