Not ALL vacations are hotel worthy.
The travel industry turned upside down when VRBO and Air B&B came on the scene. These agencies bonded travelers to easy online access to RENTAL properties all across the globe.
There has been a massive uptick in vacation home rentals for travelers here and abroad. The high demand for a more homey environment allows travelers to spread their wings and get comfortable. It also allows the traveler to get a feel for an area and sort of live like the locals.
FEEDS a ton of people and is a low calorie low fat high protein hearty meal.
In my travel experiences we have done the whole VRBO vacation home / condo rental thing about five times. And what I have gleaned from these experiences is how NOT to over stock or over buy for a week away.
When it comes to stocking a condo or house for a week it can be a tricky process. There is an ART in NOT OVER BUYING and keeping the food budget contained.
This list may be helpful for those of you who own Summer homes, lake retreats, ranch home, beach houses or mountain lodges. Use this list to hlep you stay mindful and your money in the bank.
FIRST…WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
If you are traveling with a large group this can be especially chaotic. I recommend planning before you go because winging it can bust the budget in a hurry. Get a headcount and divide up number of kids and adults. OR make every family be on their own…for certain meals. But not planning in advance ups the odds of 4 peanut butter jars and 6 loaves of bread and only one gallon of milk between 15 people.
The ultimate goal is find that glorious FINE line of buying just the right amount of foods and goods without over buying or under buying. There is nothing worse than being on a vacation only to make constant trips back to the store for more stuff.
Put no more than three (two is. best) people in charge of the shopping list.
This person or persons will research the nearest local market. Depending on the desired trip and experience one may or may not want to choose grocery delivery or pick up to save more time for fun.
I google the store I will be shopping at to find out if they offer a loyalty program. For instance PUBLIX or Tom Thumb/Safeway or Market Street or City Market/Kroger. Join it and click the coupons while you are at the airport or on the car ride.
Get the app and download coupons before you go. Use the app to compile a list of all the things and food groups you need. In our personal experiences we like to buy all in one big swoop. Load it up so we can on with the vaca fun.
To save time, first research grocery delivery. If available this is a time saver assuming the stars align and all travel is smooth and on time. Check the local grocery store or market in the area to see if they offer delivery. If not check InstaCart. Online shopping is a little more time intensive on the front end but can save money and time on the back end.
I formed a check list to serve as a reminder for shopping to avoid massive impulse purchases.
Guesstimate how many meals you plan to eat out!
I like to plan or think in terms of meals
Breakfast (all breakfast at the house or condo)
- sausage egg and cheese taquitos
- bacon, eggs, biscuits
- cinnamon rolls and eggs
- sausage bacon egg taquitos
- cereal & left overs
- Soup and sandwich
- salmon and egg sandwiches
- Grill burgers/chicken
- Hobo Stew night
- Spaghetti night
- Pizza night (EAT OUT)
- Taco night
- EAT OUT
When on a ski vacation or condo style vacation it’s aways a great idea to keep a list running list.
I want to go to the store one time and be done.
Most rentals come stocked with a small one load of laundry detergent, coffee and salt and pepper. However…It’s nice to pick up a small package in case of emergency.
Laundry detergent (always a must)
Cooking spray or butter or cooking oil (A VERY OVERLOOKED KEY INGREDIENT)
Red solo cups
Zip lock/ storage bags
Certain food items such as condiments and seasonings are often overlooked because we take them for granted.
WHAT CAN you not live without?
Lawry’s season salt
Items you may not have packed?
CONDIMENTS (buy small)
deli turkey and ham
lemon & limes
PROTEIN bars – protein powder
(if there is a grill) burgers or pattys
BUNS for the burgers
Tortillas for taquitos
Cheese sliced or shredded
Tortillas for breakfast burritos
Hobo stew items
Write out all ingredients such as
Onions cilantro rotel turkey Carrots corn green beans onion potatoes
Spagetti & pasta sauce
Chicken, burgers or tenderloin, steaks
When you arrive at your destination it can feel overwhelming. The putting away of the things, unpacking etc. But I encourage you to do the “work” upfront for more back end enjoyment. Pour a glass of wine and make some food.
Start a pot of HOBO STEW
Make a large vat of chicken or tuna salad (click here for my lite chicken salad recipe
whip up some guacamole
These foods will keep in the frig for several days for easy sandwhich making and snacking.
WHAT TO DO WITH the leftovers?
I hate to waste. When we have unopened left over items times we give it away. If you are driving…there will no left overs. Pack it all up and haul it home. However, if you are flying you can take an extra suit case or carry on and bring a few boxed items such as cereal, nuts, crackers, chips etc. You can always carefully pack jars peanut butter and or wine.
In the past, if we make friends with a young 20 something ski instructor, waitress or bar tender…we offer the goods. These young kids are always so thrilled to take our unopened food. In some cases, the house keeping people are not allowed to to take the leftovers but you can always offer it. Unopened boxes of cereal or chips and crackers.
Love, stock up so you can live it up!