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The Ultimate Guide to Vacation Rental Meal Planning

It’s vacation season, and with the way travel’s been trending, you may very well be headed to a vacation home rental instead of a hotel. Since most of us won’t have a private chef waiting for us at a beach house, you’ll want a shortlist of summer vacation house meals you can whip up to enjoy with friends and family. The only catch? Groceries can be way more expensive in popular tourist destinations.  

Lucky for you, Misfits Market ships fresh, in-season produce and grocery staples to all of the lower 48 states, so you can get delicious foods delivered to your door and help save on the cost of vacation groceries when you travel. To change your address to your vacation destination, head to your Misfits Market account and click on My Profile. From there, you can edit your address to anywhere we deliver.

Sign up for online grocery delivery with Misfits Market!

Once you’ve made the temporary switch (and set a reminder to change it back so you arrive home to a fully stocked fridge!), use this vacation meal planning guide to map out easy dishes you can make in your Airbnb kitchen, whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just flying solo. 

What to Know Before You Go

It takes only a little bit of planning to set yourself up for a successful trip and avoid overpaying for groceries on vacation. A couple of weeks before your trip, consider these questions:

How long will you be away and how are you getting there?

If you’re headed out for a long weekend that’s just a short drive away, you can order your Misfits Market grocery delivery to your home, pack a cooler, and bring your groceries with you. But if you’ll be OOO for a full week, you may want to plan on shipping your groceries right to your rental.

You’ll also want to think about what you’ll actually use up in the time you’ll be away. For example, you wouldn’t want to stock up on a ton of fresh herbs for a weekend trip if you don’t plan to use them all, but dried herbs travel well or could even be used by the next guests in an Airbnb.

What kind of kitchen will you be working with? 

It’s a good idea to send a quick note to the person you’ll be renting from and ask about the kitchen sitch. Better yet, ask if they’ll share a video of the kitchen setup and pantry. You’ll want to understand if you have access to a stove, oven, or grill, if it’s fully stocked with pots and pans, and if it has cooking basics like salt, pepper, and olive oil. You can even do a quick run through of your own kitchen before messaging the host to understand which tools you regularly rely on and might need to pack like a good chef’s knife, grater, or measuring spoons and cups.

Who will you be cooking for?

Knowing about any preferences, aversions, or allergies ahead of time can save you time and stress when you’re at your vacation rental. Plus, understanding everyone’s appetites and asking for their favorite snacks can help customize your grocery list so you don’t spend precious vacation time at an expensive, touristy store to get last-minute supplies. (You’ll thank us when you’re snacking on your favorite sweet treat poolside.)

What’s your daily budget? 

Ask your fellow renters if they have a specific amount they’d like to spend on food per day, then work backward from there to get a total for the entire home and about how much you have to work with per meal.  

Are there any must-visit restaurants in the area? 

If you know you’ll be dedicating a few meals to checking out the local restaurant scene, be sure to omit those from your total number of meals that need to be planned (and don’t forget to make a reservation at those hotspots if needed!). 

Vacation Rental Meal Plans 

Once you know what you’re working with, you’re ready to start meal planning for your vacation rental stay. We’ve put together some go-to grocery lists based on the length of your stay, plus curated some of our favorite meal ideas that involve minimal prep and oven use (crucial for warm-weather locales!). 

Vacation Rental Meal Planning for 3-5 Days

Grocery list:

Vacation Meal Ideas for a Long Weekend:

Vacation Rental Meal Planning for 1-2 Weeks

Grocery list:

Vacation Meal Ideas for a 1-2 Week Stay:

Vacation Rental Meal Planning for a Month

Grocery list:

  • 5-6 options for breakfast. Your usual breakfast rotation, from English muffins and smoked salmon to instant oatmeal and fresh fruit 
  • 8-9 options for lunch. Pick up your favorite basics, like BLT ingredients or summer produce for salads
  • 8-9 dinner options. Your go-to dinner rotation, plus a few indulgent extras, like filet mignon, in-season specialty hybrid produce, and take-and-bake bread to serve on the side
  • 5-6 beverages to get you through each day, from your morning coffee to a sparkling can of something new, and a box of herbal tea to make any rental feel like home 
  • 5-6 of your favorite snacks and sweets, like popcorn, chips and salsa, brownies, or a brownie mix.

Vacation Meal Ideas for a Longer Stay:

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