So, we got back from vacation just a couple days ago. It’s hard coming back to reality. I just thrive in that salty air!
For me, the most important part of a vacation is that it’s RELAXING. I am not much of a run-around jet-setter who needs to visit a thousand landmarks. I also don’t need to dine out for every meal. Honestly? I don’t want to have to do a whole lot of planning on a vacation. I just want to be able to breathe deep and enjoy a beautiful environment.
I would say that I toe the line between wanting a vacation to feel a little special and indulgent but also wanting to adhere to the budget. I am most certainly not one who avoids restaurants at all costs. I am also not one who feels comfortable going out and buying whatever we want just because “it’s a special occasion.”
So, with all that said, I’d like to share what the plan looked like for our most recent trip:
[Note: Any time I post things like this, I receive comments about how I could have done better-- why some of our choices aren't the healthiest and, in a nutshell, why I suck. I'd love to tell you these didn't bother me. The reality, however, is that I get very hurt. Please know, upfront, that I am well aware that this is in NO way a "real food" plan. This is not how we eat all the time, nor is it a diet that would meet everyone's needs. If it makes you cringe? I apologize for that, but please feel free to move on without telling me what a horrible, pathetic excuse of a mother I am... 'k? Now, for the rest of you... ]
Sunday: TRAVEL DAY– We spent this whole day in the car, from 5:30AM until 6:00PM, so I wanted to keep things simple. Here’s how we handled it.
B– Cookie Crisp cereal (in individual ziploc bags), clementines, sliced cheese (co-jack, swiss, cheddar, and pepperjack), coffee (grown-ups) & juice (kids) **I bought a case of Welch’s juice in 8 oz. resealable bottles. It cost more than Capri Sun 100% juice would have, but was SO much handier on the road.
L– It was Father’s Day and I told my husband he could pick whatever he wanted “on the road” for lunch. We wound up grabbing KFC and it was a lousy meal. Really none of us enjoyed it and it was kind of pricey (around $25 to feed our family of 5.)
D– Carnitas and Spanish Rice burritos. I had made these ahead and frozen them, then transported them in a small cooler. They were still super cold upon our arrival and I just warmed them up.
Monday through Saturday– Six days on the beach. The name of the game here was to come up with extremely simple, well-liked meals. Lunches were, for the most part, packable and portable. Many ingredients were purchased at ALDI before we even went on vacation, making my destination shopping list very short and sweet– fruit, milk, butter, eggs, bacon, hot dogs, lunch meat, ground beef, ice cream, and cheese.
cereal, fruit, milk
granola bars, cheese, juice
bacon, egg, & cheese bagel sandwiches
bacon breakfast burritos
pop-tarts, fruit, milk
ice cream & fruit on the beach
cheese quesadillas, fruit
sandwiches, fruit, pretzels
sandwiches, fruit, corn chips
sandwiches, fruit, penguin crackers
hot dogs, carrot sticks, pickles
carne asada burritos with all the fixins (leftover)
burgers, pickles, chips
carne asada burritos (our friends brought this to us– SO good)
OUT x 2 (One meal was AWESOME. One was meh. If I could do it again, I would have just gone to that first restaurant a second time– it was fantastic!)
beef tacos, corn, spanish rice
crackers, cheese, meat, fruit– easy light stuff
Sunday– THE TRIP HOME– Again, it was important to me to keep it simple.
B– bags of cereal, clementines, cheese, juice, coffee
L– McDonald’s. Healthy? No. Way better than that KFC we’d had, though. At least everyone ate well and we came out over $10 cheaper. So that’s something, right?
So there you have it.
On vacation, we eat a lot of things that are atypical for us– pop-tarts, McDonald’s, ice cream for breakfast, etc.
We also go out to dinner more often than usual.
Overall, though, we keep it really simple and fun and try to make mealtime so easy that it’s not something we even need to think much about.
And that’s how we do meals on vacation.
How about you? Do you pack stuff? Eat out? Cook in a hotel room? Look for a place with a full kitchen? I’d love to hear about what makes vacation most relaxing for YOU!