Ask the Readers: Food You Can Fix in a Hotel Room?

Janet emailed me the following question to ask you all:

In a few weeks, my family will leave for a weekend beach vacation to our favorite destination spot. In the past, we rented a small room with a kitchenette. We packed food from our freezer to eat during the time we were on vacation.

On this trip, though, we downgraded to a hotel room with a refrigerator and microwave. We will also have access to a grill. We want to make our own meals, if possible, but I’m needing ideas of what to fix besides sandwiches and cold cereal. -Janet

What suggestions do you have for Janet? I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

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  1. HeatherHH says

    In college, my husband used to cook angel hair pasta in hot water in the microwave. I think it was doable because of how thin the pasta was.

    I would make some stuff ahead of time (muffins, breads, casseroles) and freeze them, then pull them out when you’re ready to leave on your trip. Then they can just be rewarmed at your hotel.

  2. Karen says

    In any hotel with a coffee-maker, you can usually heat water in the coffee-maker and add to oatmeal packets in the provided coffee cups for breakfast. Just be sure to take a plastic spoon.

  3. Shonna says

    When we went to pick up my son, we traveled 1,000 miles and knew we’d have to live in a hotel for at least a week until the paperwork cleared for us to return home. We ended up in a hotel that served breakfast and had taken tons of groceries to live for a week. However, that cuts into travel space, we learned that there are always grocery stores and more than likely a Super Walmart to get groceries down there, even splurging on premade crock pot meals, and other things you wouldn’t buy at home is much cheaper than eating out every meal. We planned to eat out one meal a day just to get out, but looked for local coupons, etc. These are all great ideas and I’m going to make sure we use some of them the next time we go to pick up our next baby.

  4. Martina says

    you can make anything in a microwave just ask my Husband, he was a single Soldier living in the Barracks for 10 years. When cooking Eggs just make sure you add a little Milk, you can also fry you Bacon at home and then just heat it, serve with a piece of toast you ironed and you got breakfast. Lunch could be Lasgana, Mc and Cheese with Hot Dogs, Pizza, BBQ sandwiches ( make ahead at home)
    any kind of salad works good to. And you could even Grill the meats and then reaheat the next day for Lunch. ( Yes you can make fresh Pizza on a Grill to)

  5. Suzette says

    Some friends of mine were recently camping. They said they made omelettes in a ziploc. Take 2 eggs and whatever else you want and mix it up really good in a ziploc. Drop it into boiling water and out comes the perfect omelette. Google it- there’s lots of different recipes.

  6. Beth says

    While the idea of saving money and using a crock pot on vacation sounds thrifty, it is in most states illegal! Virtually all motels/hotels follow the same fire code that prohibits pro-longed use of any cooking equipment that they did not furnish for the guest. If caught, not only could you be fined by both the motel/hotel as well as that state’s fire marshall but your preciopus crock pot would be sdestroyed (cord cut). If a fire did result from your crck pot other guests would be able to sue you. Motels wiring is very rarely wired for prolonged cooking equipment. If you do decide to use it is best to check with the office to make sure that is ok first.

    Source-Father conducts random fire safety inspections on bahlf of our state fire marshall.

  7. Stacy C says

    Most hotels that offer a microwave and refrigerator also have a toaster oven.
    You can do anything in a toaster over, english muffin pizzas to roasting a chicken thigh or breast.

    Also a hotel supplies a coffee pot in the guestroom, if you could make coffe you could definatly run a crockpot!

  8. Jenna says

    A couple of Rotesseri chickens ,2 bagged salad Cesear (comes with salad dressing) Brie cheese and french bread makes an excellent dinner meal . This is an easy meal to serve the first night after driving all day as well.

  9. Jenna says

    Soft wraps work well for lunch use the meat left over from the grill out the night before add cheese, sour cream , salsa this makes a great lunch wrap zap the whole thing in the micro wave makes a great lunch. The only item I might take made ahead from home would be rice, or just buy the bags of steam fresh by bird’s eye. combine with veggies makes a great dinner.

  10. Jessica W says

    when we travel i usually only bring our basic snacks in a cooler, from water and juice boxes to GF cookies and breads to fruits and veggie snacks. It seems like everyone ahs covered the ins and outs. so to sum up all pts, call ahead to determine size of fridge and whetehr they have a freezer, find out their policy on a slow cooker. if u have to purchase foods froma local grocery store it will save on space when travelling and still save from eating out. also, if u do this u can purchase the grocerys the night before, when u come home from your adventure, kids take their showers as u put the food into the slow cooker (higher heat so it’l be done faster) , then make a salad either fruit or veggie (even if u buy one in the store it is cheaper then eating out), and if u r bread eaters bread and butter. u can start with that as appetizers while u are there to watchthe food cook safely. and have a few minutes to recap the memories of that day. for this reason it should be simple things, and small portions of meat to cook evenly and quickly. store bought meatballs sausage, cube some chicken. u can make brown rice at home , freeze it and use it to help keep food cool on the travel so u need less ice packs, then u can refridgerate it when u get to the hotel, even if they dont have a freezer. get used to drinking water or tea, a healthy way to stay hydrated. cheese and crackers for an appetizer, or a box of something that goes into the microwave while the main course cooks in the slow cooker. u can do sandwiches maybe 2 nights, or a chef salad withthe cold cuts. u always have chicken salad u can buy the chicken in a can , tuna salad, with some fruit and veggies can make a filling meal. plus u could purchase a rotisserie chicken or two, buy some baked potatoes from a wendy’s for 99 cents a salad and some fruit and dinner is simple and efficient. don’t forget to bring some plates and utensils. if u use paper u may be able to stock pile before the trip with coupons. or u may bring a set of plastic picnic type plates. with these ideas u could keep the sandwiches reserved for lunch only and still manage a simple affordable meal on vacation. for breakfast try premade waffles, pancakes, hardboiled eggs u can buy in a grocery store, fruit, yogurt, maybe u could do like a quiche in the slow cooker. yougurt parfaits. maybe even breakfast pockets. and dont forget the hasbrowns those r easily done in the microwave. if u like OJ perhaps u can get a deal on it and bring it with u, have it at breakfast and save money when u eat out by not needing to purchase juice. i.e i only allow my kids to have juice once a day. and stay tuned to moneusaving mom for deals at the grocery store inthe town u r visiting. u donthave to spend your vacation studying the blog, but if u look here first u are better prepared then just blindly going into a new grocery store. o and have fun

  11. says

    I didn’t read all the comments so I may be repeating what others have said. We always take a Fry Daddy cooker to boil water for pasta, make soups, oatmeal, hot dogs, etc. You can cook many simple foods in it and it works in a regular outlet. Just remember serving utensils and a pasta strainer.

  12. says

    Oh and I should mention that with the Fry Daddy you don’t leave it cooking while you’re not in the room so there’s not the fire hazard risk that some folks mentioned about the slow cooker. You would be in the room (with a fire extinguisher at the ready).

  13. Keelie says

    I read a lot of the comments, and a lot of people say to bring things that you have cooked already with you. I think that the refrigerator is going to be too small to bring a weeks worth of cooked food. When we travel and have to stay in hotels, I always bring some more convenience types of foods with me. There is a meal I make often, it is one box of macaroni and cheese, one can of peas, and one can of tuna. It can all be made in the microwave. I don’t have to worry about refrigerator space. You can always go with some of the canned spaghetti, and other things. You’ll be surprised what you can buy in a can or in a dry form that just has to have water added to it. I would also bring some muffins or breads for breakfast too. When you take cereal, you have to have space for milk in the fridge. So, if a few of your days are going to be muffins you won’t have to have the space for as much milk. I would bring your coupons, and look on line for adds at local stores. Most hotels have computers you can use. Then you could go pick up some things cheap half way through the week if you don’t have enough space to store it. If you bring all your food from home for a week’s vacation, you might be shocked how much you have to pack. So, you do need to think about packing space before you go and buy a bunch of stuff.

  14. Rae says

    We always take our toaster with us on vacation and make bagels with cream cheese in the mornings. This way, we don’t have to hunt around for a breakfast spot and we can get right to the activity of the day and save a little money too.

  15. kelli says

    My family has gone and stayed in a hotel for several days and we have brought our toaster oven. I take fixings for cheese crisps for quick lunches or even dinners. Bagels and toast for breakfast are better toasted w/ butter or cream cheese. I usually also make some pizzas and put them in bags then reheat in the toaster oven. Much better than the microwave! My husband and boys will be travelling this weekend and will be doing this!

  16. larson4clan says

    We often travel for wrestling, when we stay in a hotel we will often bring a pizza cooker and pick up some cheap pizza’s at a local gas station. We often bring this with to our camper for a quick Friday evening meal.

  17. says

    We just went on a couple of trips and with a family of 6 I try to cook as much as possible.

    I make homemade calzone, they are very inexpensive to make and taste great after about 60 seconds in the microwave. I also made egg sandwiches on English muffins with bacon, fried eggs and cheese. Heat those in the microwave. I also thought that making quiche next time would be a good idea.

    For camping the camping trip we just got back from I made cinnamon rolls in pie tins. Heated them on top of the grill then slathered on the cream cheese topping.

    Since you will have a grill that opens up lots of possibilities. How about grilled pizza, marinated chicken or veggies. Or you could be extravagant and have steak(when on sale of course).

  18. Andrea says

    We went on a trip in Nov. where we just had a fridge/freezer in the room, I brought our toaster oven and slow cooker and we had great meals just like home between those appliances. Saves sooo much money!

  19. Jag says

    Yes, the crockpot is great.

    Also, we arranged it so that any meals we planned to eat out were lunches. Lunch is generally cheaper than dinner at restaurants, plus it is when your family is already out sightseeing so it is more convenient than running back to the hotel. That way you get to sample the local fare. Then when you get back tired and hungry, there’s a warm meal ready in the crockpot for dinner.

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