A family vacation doesn’t mean throwing your budget out the door. We’ve been planning our Disneyland trip since the middle of the year. Now it’s only a week away! We’ve gone back and forth about eating out and decided if we do a little creative meal planning on vacation we can definitely relieve the pressure on our budget.
Meal Planning on Vacation
Dining out on any vacation can get costly very quickly, but it doesn’t have to be your only option. Head to the grocery store once you’ve checked in and stock up on some hotel room essentials.
Fruits & Veggies
- Steam vegetables in steamer bags using your in-room microwave.
- Baby carrots
Protein Power Mix
- Mixed Nuts
- Grilled Chicken Breasts – cubed
Perfectly Portable Snacks
- Goldfish crackers
- Granola bars
- Fruit snacks
- String cheese
- Yoplait Go-gurt
- Croissants serve double duty. You can make sandwiches or serve separately with fruits for a healthy breakfast.
- Small mayonnaise jar
- Lunch meat
- Bagged salads
- Instant noodle cup
- Microwavable soup cups
MONEY SAVING IDEAS
Is breakfast included?
When searching for hotels, double check if breakfast is including. If it is, calculate that into the cost. A full breakfast could save you $40 – $50 while a Continental breakfast could easily save you $20. Multiply that by the number of days you’ll be staying. That’s a considerable amount of money that won’t be coming out of your “dining out” budget.
Bye bye barista!
Most hotels have an in-room coffee maker, although they never have enough sugar and creamer for my taste. When you do your grocery run, make sure to grab your java making essentials so you don’t have to visit the local barista.
Double check attraction rules.
Believe it or not, many theme parks, zoos, and other attractions allow you to bring in your own food. There will usually be size restrictions for bags and coolers so make sure to double check their rules prior to entering.
I’ve already linked to a few attractions’ policies to make it easy for you.
Take a midday break.
Taking a midday break at the hotel will not only relieve your vacation budget, it may also save your sanity. This is especially true if you’ve been on your feet all day or traveling with little ones. Enjoy your “homemade” lunch and take a break!
I know the whole point of vacationing is to relax and refuel, but worrying about the expenses doesn’t really promote that necessity. So plan ahead and do a little meal planning on vacation.This post may contain affiliate links, please review my disclosure policy .