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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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149 Comments

  • Mel says:

    Have you considered/do you have space to have a slow cooker? We have done that with great success on vacations…the possibilities are endless and we love going out and about during the day and come back “home” to a ready-to-eat meal.

    • Susan J says:

      @Mel,
      Hey, that is a FANTASTIC idea…I’ll have to keep that one in mind! I’d go even further to recommend that she have meals already assembled (in ziplocs, maybe) and ready to dump in the slowcooker to save mess and time assembling.

    • Saryn says:

      We also bring a slowcooker and I make a few meals in advance. I then freeze them in gallon size plastic bags and put them in the fridge as soon as we arrive. I make sure to bring salad fixings (pre cut and washed). This alsone save so much mney since we can enjoy a relaxing dinner in our room instead of going out. We then usually go out one evening (with a gift certificate from restaurants.com).

      You also have many options since you will have a grill, why not bring some marinated beef or chicken plus some veggies you can grill (mushroom caps, zucc, squash) and you could even pre cook and bag some brown rice.

      Pasta salad and potato salad also make great sides for grilled items.

      Don’t forget the seasonings, tableware, utensils (both eating / cooking and serving) and dish soap!

    • Jen says:

      @Mel, Never would have thought of that….I’m going to do it!!

    • @Mel, I was just jumping over to add this idea! Great minds think alike!

      It would also taste better than mostly microwaved food.

      I also agree with Saryn, take marinated meats for your grill.

      Even if you buy your items in a grocery store down there, it will be SO much cheaper than eating out! Buying a bagged salad at the store while there would save travel room and still be easy.

    • Mey says:

      @Mel,

      Hi there,
      While I love the idea in most budget hotels you are unable to make a good assessment of the overall safety of electrical wiring. In leaving a slow cooker without supervision not only do you risk your own room but also a very serious fire ruining the vacation of many. If you intend to supervise the cooking we are talking a whole different story.

    • Michelle Z. says:

      @Mel, I’d recommend calling the hotel ahead of time to find out how big the fridge is. Usually, for a hotel room, it will be one of those tiny “dorm” fridges with no freezer. If that’s the case, make sure you bring a cooler you can leave in the room with plenty of dry ice to keep your food cold enough. It would be so frustrating to get to the hotel with lots of food, only to have no place to keep it until it can be cooked.

      Also, if you are going to have housekeeping tidy the room while you are out, ask the hotel ahead of time if you can leave a slow cooker in your room. My sister took her slow cooker on vacation last year, and housekeeping turned it off because the hotel didn’t allow them.

  • chelsea says:

    also you could make and freeze some meals or package them in individual baggies for each person. Like homemade mac and cheese always freezes well. It should defrost on the way there and ready for warming up in the microwave.

  • Laurie says:

    We too used our slow cooker during every weekend travel for basketball this winter. The possiblities are endless. Buy the cooker liners to make mess even more managable. For some things I cooked the meat up ahead at home – like hamburger and just had to throw it in for like chili or sloppy joes.

  • Elaine says:

    Yes agree with previous post. Bring a slow cooker and you can roast a chicken in it. Put in a frozen meal you made at home and when you get back it will be done and a layered meal my family loves. You layer a ground meat, potato slices, bag of mixed veggies and pour on top any cream soup you might like. Meal in one dish. Have some nice bread and a bagged salad to make it easy and you have a wonderful meal.

  • Ellen says:

    If you can take a crock pot, you could do roasts, soups, fajitas, etc or if you have one of those little camp stoves you can do some stir-fry sort of stuff. Otherwise, there are lots of things you can do on the grill. If you take meatballs precooked, you can warm up for meatball subs.

  • Diane says:

    whenever we go away I cook up a 2-lb box of spagetti noodles and put it in a ziplock bag and take a jar of spagetti sauce. Just put cooked spagetti on a paper plate put sauce on top and microwave for 1-1.5 mins. Fast dinner and easy clean up!

  • Amanda F says:

    grilled quesadillas? I think my spelling is off. If you’re bringing some poached chicken, you’d just need the tortillas and cheese.

  • Sara says:

    I lived in a Marriott in England for 14 months – they would clear out the mini bar fridge for me and I’d store a small cache of groceries in it instead – they were very accommodating!

    I’d store precooked grilled chicken strips (England is huge on convenience food at the grocery stores), salad, bottled dressing (brought from home!), Irish butter (worth every penny) and I’d get fresh baked baguettes from the BP gas station near where I worked. I’d have a nice salad and bread for dinner every night, it was so nice! I’d have given my right arm for a microwave – with that you can make just about anything! Don’t think of your room as limited – you should be able to make just about anything with a micro and fridge. Spaghetti cooks great in the microwave oven – and mac & cheese if your kids like that. Keep fresh fruit on hand, you can steam beans, asparagus and other veggies in a micro in just a shallow dish with a little water in the bottom. I even made oatmeal every morning in my little 4-cup coffee pot!

  • JoanWR says:

    Shoot there’s a lot you can make if your creative! If you have a rice cooker you can use it to make rice, steam veggies, steamed dumplings, ect. One trip to a convention we didn’t even have a fridge, so my husband and I got creative and got an instant bag of rice (you boiled it in the bag in a pot of water then pulled it out) and used that and some tuna to make some makeshift sushi rolls. Also, if you invest in a grill safe pot (something cast iron, you can find them at Bass Pro for sure) you can make corn bread, rolls, stew, roast chicken… all sorts of things!

  • Rae says:

    If you can’t take a crockpot, you can do hotdogs/sausages (lots on sale this time of year), ramen noodles (don’t forget bowls), etc. And what I usually do is look up what grocery stores are near there not for a big couponing trip but I usually see what fruits/veggies/yogurt mainly are on a good sale and get them there that way you don’t have to pack them but they are healthy and fresh.

  • Christina says:

    I always buy the big tub of bbq meat from Sams club. Throw it in a crockpot & serve it on buns with chips. Also premake some taco meat and throw it in the crockpot. You could have nachos or tacos. If the microwave is a big one, try store-bought frozen lassagna (we like the wal-mart brand). Also in the car we always have uncrustables, the kids think they are a special treat!

    Hope that helps!
    Enjoy you trip!

  • Gayathiri Kannan says:

    Get an electric cooker around 20 USD

    1) Fry some spices like bay leaf , cinnamon , clove , cardomom in electric cooker ( all dry spices)
    U can throw in some frozen mixed veggies & rice together .
    Add water.
    Cook & serve . Nice veggie rice.

    2) Buy steamfresh microwaveable bags of veggies ( Peas , Beans , Broccoli…etc)
    Throw in freezer . Microwave & eat.

    3) Buy a bag of whole wheat bread.
    Take a slice of bread
    Top with some veggies like grated carrots , onions, cucumber, sliced tomato.
    Add some ketchup & grated cheese , salt , pepper.
    Toss in microwave for few minutes & serve

  • Amy Stamper says:

    We do this often when we travel. I take a day before and cook up some things that we like and will reheat well. (Burgers, turkey sausage, roasted chicken, turkey, biscuits, rolls, muffins, etc) That way we just have to reheat and are good to go. Left over chicken or turkey can be make into chicken or turkey salad melts for lunches. Deli meats are great for lunch.

    We also take our crock pot to have hot dinners after a day of site seeing. We bake potatoes in the crock, beef roasts, roast chicken, stroganoff, spaghetti, etc.

  • Christine says:

    Oooh, one of our favorite recipes. Requires no refrigeration or cooking! We call it “sue’s mexican”.

    2 cans black beans, 1 can corn, 1 can green chilis, one diced tomato, 1 tsp cumin, 1 bunch minced cilantro. Stir together. Serve wrapped in tortillas. If you desire, you can buys shredded cheese and some of that “mexican” grilled chicken to throw in the tortillas too. Really easy, tasty dinner. Side of chips and salsa goes well with it too.

    We’re going on vacation next week, and although we’ll have a full kitchen, it’s vacation. I don’t want to spend my time planning and cooking dinner. We’ll be having breakfast and dinner at the house and lunches out (so we’re not always packing something with us). All of the dinners we have planned are easy dinners like the recipe above. Salad in a bag with a store bought roast chicken. Pita, veggies and hummus and white bean salad. Throw together, eat outside, waste no time, but generally cheap meals.

    Good luck!

  • Jena says:

    My favorite hotel meal is chicken black bean salsa and chips. This works even without a fridge and microwave in your room. Take a bowl to mix in (or a large cool whip tub you can throw away).
    1 can spicy tomatoes (like ro-tel or something salsa-y)
    1 can corn (drained)
    1 can black beans (drained)
    1 or 2 cans chicken breast (drained)
    1 bag tortilla chips
    We usually round out the meal with some fresh fruit. Yum!

  • Bethany says:

    It depends on where you are going, but my husband and I always cook alot of local seafood (on the outside grills) when we go to the beach. It is really cheap at the beach if you can find a local market. We usually have baked potatoes or rice and salad. I also take a lot of jello, pudding, and pasta salad that I can make the night we get there so there is alot to snack on or eat with sandwiches. I hope you guys have a great time!!
    Oh, and I do recommend that you take a charcoal chimney if you will be using the outdoor grills…It helps the coals heat up a whole lot faster!

  • Sarah says:

    Try making pizzas on the grill! They are yummy!

  • Helen says:

    This white bean and tuna salad! Just made it this week and it’s fast and fabulous!
    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/white_bean_and_tuna_salad/

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    For homeschooling convention (no microwave), I took our toaster to have toast in the morning (and for Pop Tarts), but we actually never used it (no time). However, the biggest hit were the muffins I cooked a few days before and froze in our freezer (they defrosted on the way or stayed frozen in the cooler to be put in the freezer if you have one). I think this is one recipe I used (it was an applesauce/oatmeal recipe)
    http://lovingmydomesticlife.blogspot.com/2010/03/best-ever-muffins.html
    My husband thought the kids wouldn’t like it but they loved it!

  • We rent a hotel room at the beach with a kitchenette that has a stove and microwave. We like to eat breakfast and lunch in, with dinner out each evening. Often we bring home leftovers like pizza, which doesn’t reheat well in the microwave. So we bought a less than $20 toaster oven at Target that we bring down each year for the one week we are at the beach. It’s great for toast in the morning, heating up pizza and other food that doesn’t do well in the microwave. You could even buy frozen chicken nuggets or similar kids’ fare at the market and heat them for dinner. I’m not a fan of microwaves.

  • Christy says:

    You could cook casseroles at home and then just microwave individual portions to heat them up the first few days. I love the slow cooker idea–I have done that before even with a full kitchen and brought the ingreds. already mixed in a ziplock as suggested–that way I didn’t have to worry about buying staples that I knew I had at home and I didn’t have to pack them all! Worked great.

    For breakfast, you could cook pancakes or waffles before you leave or pull them out of the freezer–warm up in microwave. You could also bring muffins.

  • Davonne says:

    Grills are so versatile! We use ours several times a week at home during the summer.

    I recommend aluminum foil for easy cleanup, and seasoning salt because it’s good and can be used on almost everything.

    Cover baked potatoes in olive oil or butter, sprinkle seasoning salt over that, wrap in foil, and put on the grill. You can also grill corn this way.

    You can use a grill for about anything – steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, fish. (That’s six main courses!)

    Just put aluminum foil on the grill, add your preferred seasonings to the meat, throw it on the foil with vegetables over everything, add some fruit to the table, and you have dinner! SO easy to cook and clean-up.

    For more grilling tips and recipes, go here: http://www.piercemyheart.com/2008/07/05/fire-up-the-grill/

    Have a great vacation!

  • Brandy F says:

    We went without a stove for a while when ours broke. We used a electic skillet or griddle and was able to cook everything you could think of.

  • Lisa says:

    try making your pancakes before hand & take in a ziploc baggie. take fresh fruit and travel size pancake syrup and you have breakfast!

  • Cricket says:

    My husband spends 9 of every 14 nights on the road in a hotel. Mac and Cheese is easy in the microwave. Many stores also have precooked grilled chicken patties that taste great Tyson puts out several similar items. You can whip up some mashed potatoes in the micro with a can of green beans, heat the chicken, and do some toast. It will cost more than doing the chicken on the grill yourself, but doing the dishes in a hotel will prove challenging. Do you really want chicken juice everywhere??? Be sure to bring a 2.00 wash tub! 🙂

  • Rachel D. says:

    cook oatmeal in the crockpot set up at bedtime and you can wake up to breakfast, you can make scrambled eggs in the microwave too to go with it.

    DEFINITELY invest in some liners. no sense trying to clean out a crock in the bathtub. yuck.

    after breakfast pop in a new liner and you can do a baked ziti in there while you are out. we do this one, minus the meat and onion part. very easy, NO precooking required. buy a garlic bread from the market and make it on the grill. 🙂

    http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Slow-Cooker-Baked-Ziti-159346

    • Jamel says:

      @Rachel D., Hmmmm….this crockpot oatmeal idea would be great at home for our busy mornings:) How do you do it?

      • Rachel D. says:

        @Jamel,
        I do the steel cut (irish) oats, 1 cup oats to 4 cups water, cook on low. if you do it in the liner, it doesn’t stick as bad as if you just spray the crock with oil.

        you can do rolled oats with a cup less water, but they only take 4 hours on low, so you would have to have a crockpot with a countdown timer.

  • Jessica says:

    I’ve precooked and seasoned hamburger for tacos. Tacos worked great in a hotel room.

  • Sarah says:

    The crock pot idea is awesome! I never thought of that. We recently went on vacation and did not have a kitchenette but we did have access to a grill. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chicken strips, corn on the cob, etc. We had fresh fruits and veggies as well. For lunches the girls loved ham and cheese rolls, pepperoni rolls, etc. We used a soft tortilla and put meat and/or cheese in it, rolled it up, and they loved it!

  • rhonda holloway says:

    i would make some sasauge balls, muffins, biscuits,, things you could microwave for breakfast,, instant oatmeal,,, microwave rice cups, and side dishes to use with grilled foods

  • Geneva says:

    We took an electric skillet on our vacation last year. We made eggs/pancakes/bacon for breakfast (I opened the window while cooking). We made grilled cheese and other sandwiches. I had also found a recipe for tortilla pizzas, which were a huge hit with the kids. Tortilla (flip once), sauce, shredded cheese and whatever toppings you like = thin crust pizza. Have a good trip!

  • Mel says:

    I freeze homemade soup — chicken and rice or beef vegetable soup in baby food jars for single servings or larger jars for family meals. Freeze after cooking. When you travel they slowly unthaw and can quickly be heated up in microwave. Us disposable cups or bowls as containers. And you can keep or toss the jar.

    Here’s a recipe for vegetable soup — but you can easily adapt to your tastes.

  • Meagan says:

    You could also just buy a hot-plate burner. We got ours from Walgreens for $10 a month ago. That would open up your options a ton!

  • Michelle says:

    Love the crock pot ideas. I was going to suggest a George foreman type grill/press. You can cook lots of stuff on that sort of grill. Don’t know if you have a normal grill or that sort of indoor grill that you are going to have access to. Between the two you could really cook just about anything you want.

  • Jessica says:

    I suggest staying at a hotel in the Extended Stay line. It’s the price of a regular hotel, but has a kitchenette in it with a fridge, oven, stove, and microwave. It also has all of the dishes, silverware, and utensils needed to cook your food.

  • Lori says:

    Don’t forget you can do more on the grill than just meat; even things like grilled cheese or baked potatoes!

  • Allison says:

    You can cook yummy potatos in the microwave, just cube them, dash in a little oil and seasoning and nuke ’em till they’re tender. Yum! You can cook some chicken breasts in the microwave too (or a whole chicken) to go with. I just went to a Pampered Chef party where the lady made a whole 3-lb chicken in one of their stoneware roaster thingies in the microwave in 20 minutes, and it was amazing!

  • Michelle says:

    Since you’ll be on vacation and at the beach, I know we like to eat outdoors as much as possible then! Grilled foods – sausage links, burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob (in the husks), pizza. The crock pot is your friend! lol Meatball sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, lazy lsaagna. Check out camping sites for meal ideas. I know about.com woud have some, along with recipezaar.com. Since it’s only a weekend, you can do cereal in the morning or fresh fruit, muffins (can be made at home), bagels. Lunch can be the burgers, hot dogs. Supper could be sausage, brats, or chicken off the grill. Team it up with a salad and some fresh veggies from local farmers markets and you’re set!

  • Michelle says:

    Breakfast Casserol baked ahead reheats awesome!! Oh and fruit pizza packs well in a round tupperware type container then in the cooler!!!

  • Andrea Q says:

    Before planning too much, call the hotel and find out the size of the refrigerator. It has been our experience that hotel fridges aren’t large enough to store a significant amount of food (and the freezer is practically non-existent). The crockpot idea is fabulous, but you might have to bring a large cooler and ice to take advantage of it.

  • Deb says:

    When we’re on vacation, we treat the kids to a “pick something from the grocery store” lunch. They each pick a frozen Kid’s Cuisine (or something similar that they don’t usually have) from the area’s grocery store and microwave it as a special treat. They love the freedom of picking any microwave meal they want, and it’s not that expensive when compared to eating out.

  • Christy says:

    Anything you like to eat you can bring. I am sure the town you will be in has a grocery store. Don’t forget to pack something to clean what you are cooking with. We ran into that problem on a trip and had to beg the hotel for a little cup of dish soap. I think if my son wasn’t still using a bottle we would have never gotten it. Also, if you are leaving the crock pot on make sure to leave a note for the maid asking not to turn it off. She may see it on and not think “Hm, that could be dinner.” Make sure it is in spanish also.

  • Andrea Q says:

    Another thought…check with the hotel to make sure they allow small appliances. You wouldn’t want to get kicked out!

  • Mary Snow says:

    I take my electric skillet with us when we stay in hotel rooms. I can make pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese, hamburgers etc, I find it very versital & easy to use & clean while on vacation.

  • Mary Snow says:

    Oh, one more thing. If they dont want you using it in your room you can often use the breakfast room during ‘off’ hours.

  • Amy K says:

    My sister-in-law brings her electric griddle and makes a ton of stuff. Works great for breakfast for pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage, eggs. She also makes grilled cheese and Philly sandwiches.

  • amsangel says:

    OMGosh!! These ideas are awesome! Love the LINED crockpot and electric skillet ideas 🙂

    I used to work in TV and Adrian Zmed (Grease 2, TJ Hooker) was a Noon show guest one day, in town for a stage performance at the local civic center. He talked about living out of hotel rooms and made grilled cheese on an ironing board, with the “in-room” iron for us! You sandwich it between pieces of aluminum foil to keep the board and iron clean.

  • becca says:

    potatoes are great, and dont required refrigeration for storage, and can be microwaved. bring along butter, sour cream, bacon bits, cheese, etc….for loaded potatoes

  • Honey Smith says:

    Quesadillas. You can microwave them (not as good as grilling them in butter, but…). Shrimp, cheese, veggies and toppings like salsa, sour cream, guacamole. I would cook the veggies & shrimp in microwave, assemble quesadillas and zap each one until cheese melts about 45 seconds. Canned or frozen soups microwave well and are good to go with sandwiches. Also chef’s salad. Lettuce, cheese, ham or whatever leftover lunchmeat you have, cucumbers, carrots, etc. The only thing I don’t think you can microwave is the boiled eggs, but eggland’s makes some already boiled in a bag. And you could also eat those for breakfast, too. Bake a bunch of muffins or banana bread before you leave. Also veggies, pita bread and hummous are good for lunch. We also like a veggie panzanella with diced cucumbers, red onion, diced fresh tomato, zuccini, day old bread cubes, tuna, olive oil, kalamata olives, and herbs (for the exactg recipe, I think I put it on here: http://www.easymealsformoms.com/2008/04/vegetable-panzanella-with-tuna.html
    Also, maybe take a blender and make smoothies for a change of pace for snacks and breakfast! Possibilities are endless. For protein use nut butters in them-they stick with you longer. Hope that helps. Can’t wait to see what other ladies post.

  • Instant oatmeal works great in a microwave. Also they make soups packaged in cups that you add boiling water to. There are some really good flavors; I like lentil. This is what we eat when we travel on Sundays and don’t want to go out to eat.

    When I was a kid we enjoyed canned beef stew while camping. Just heat and eat: easy.

  • Sakura says:

    I have a toaster that also poaches eggs and heats up frozen patty meats. We always take this with us and make our own breakfast sandwich in the mornings! I use it to make boiled eggs too.

  • Tonja says:

    The crockpot liner idea is a good one!

    This isn’t exactly “homemade” but it is quick and cheap. I have made tuna helper in a 2 qt glass measuring cup with a lid. Works in the microwave, and if there are leftovers you can put it in the fridge. You could also do hamburger helper by precooking the hamburger, bagging, and freezing it.
    Quesadillas in the microwave are always a big hit. Open a jar of salsa, dip them, and you’ve got an easy meal.

  • Amy says:

    We stocked up on frozen dinners during our last vacation and kept them in the cooler with ice. And we also stocked up on microwavable soups/stews/noodles/mac -n- cheese. Not the healthiest since it’s all processed but it saved us a lot of money.

  • Amanda Lewis says:

    You could make up some meals ahead of time, but I’m guessing that you won’t have freezer space to keep them for the week. I’d stick to a lot of fresh items like salads. You could also make up some pasta or potato salad to take with you to add on the side of meats you prepare on the grill.

    We will be living in a hotel for a month or more as we transition for my husband’s new job. I required it have more of a kitchen, but it won’t have all the things I usually use at home. Best of luck to you!!

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    I buy the bagged rice that you can steam in the microwave – cook in the microwave and serve with reheated chicken (cut into strips) and a tossed salad and/or some fruit. Yummy. You could do the steam in bag veggies in place of the salad too.

    We usually stay somewhere with a decent breakfast for free – waffles and the like. We make a couple extra waffles and keep them in our fridge for “breakfast for dinner” with fruit and microwavable bacon.

    Sandwiches with chips and fruit work took.

    I totally agree with the crock pots – great for soup (bring a loaf of homemade bread with you to add to it), pulled BBQ meat for sandwiches, other things. I’ll push the liners too though – washing out a crockpot in the pub certainly isn’t fun!

    Enjoy your trip!
    Lea

  • Suzette says:

    I would guess the refrigerator isn’t going to be very big, so you will want to plan as much canned and dried foods as possible. Pampered Chef makes this handy Micro-cooker that also doubles as a strainer. (I don’t sell PS, I just really like this product for canned vegetables)

    http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=250&categoryCode=CW

    I really like the slow cooker idea. An electric frying pan would work great too. You can fry or slow cook. Here’s a recipe that would take minimal refrigerator space. If you brown the ground beef and onions at home, it would be really easy to throw together. Don’t forget a can opener. Just throw all the ingredients together and simmer until it is done.

    Taco Stew
    1 lb ground beef
    1 medium onion
    1 can of tomato soup
    1 can or corn, drained
    1 can kidney beans
    1 can tomatoes with chilies, undrained
    1 envelope taco seasoning
    1 cup water

    You may want to pack groceries into rubbermaid tubs so you can keep everything contained and they stack nice. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a cooler with too. If you are going to be keeping food in the frig, you will need somewhere to keep pop and bottled water too.

  • Pizza on the grill is fabulous! I LOVE all these great ideas on here.

  • Koleen says:

    If you have an electronic roasting pan your options are unlimited from cooking a whole chicken with red potatoes, carrots, and celery to a pork roast, homemade soup, chicken strips or hamberger helper. And of course, for the easy breakfast don’t forget to bring oatmeal to cook in the microwave, yogurt for a quick snack, and fruit just because it’s yummy! Have a GREAT trip!

  • Honey Smith says:

    Forgot to say eggs can be cooked in a cup in the microwave. Spray cup with Pam, crack egg into the cup, cover with paper towel or saran wrap and zap for 30 seconds. If more cooking time is needed do 15 second increments. I can make my whole family of 7 eggs in 10 minutes with only a cup to wash!

  • kevashell says:

    OK so we have established the slow cooker idea but here IS A HIT! Take an electric griddle or skillet like the others have mentioned and marinate some boneless/skinless chicken in a ziploc bag before you go then cook them on the griddle with your rice cooker cooking rice on bottom and steaming your veggies on the top at the same time. It is so good, it was quick, easy , and everyone ate it! another one to precook would be spagetti and then microwave the sauce bring some bread and butter and voila, another good one is even precooking taco meat (reheating in micro or on skillet really quickly)and us all cold fixings with them! Hope this helps!

  • Honey Smith says:

    I should have specified mug (coffee mug, not a glass cup).

  • Karen says:

    We have done several things at different places. We have taken soup as well as other canned type things, such as ravioli, spaghetti O’s etc. We have even gotten a microwave omelet maker and made omelets. We love to get a rotisserie chicken and debone it and put the meat in a bag and then have chicken wraps with tortillas and cheese and you could put some lettuce on it. We have made muffins and brought them for breakfast as well as instant oatmeal and cup of soups for lunch. Some of this is not so healthy, but we do eat this way as a treat while on vacation since we usually don’t get some of this stuff.

    One time we did bring an electric hot plate to cook some stuff on, and loved it. Some hotels don’t let you have small appliances so we have used the small coffee maker to heat water for instant oatmeal and cup of soups.

    One thing we always seem to crave while on vacation is fruit, so we usually bring some fresh fruit or fruit cups.

  • Amy says:

    First rule–stay in a hotel with free breakfast! We tend need only a lite lunch if they have a decent breakfast bar. Some hotels even have free finger foods in the evenings in the lobby or bar.

    Boil a bunch of eggs to take with you. You can make egg salad (with mayo), add them to a green salad, or just eat them for breakfast. They will also be OK at room temp for a while so you can pop them in your purse for snacks. We’ve taken an electric skillet and you can do lots of stuff but you don’t want to stink up the hotel and get kicked out. If you have a decent freezer take frozen microwave meal coupons and look for a sale.

    • lu says:

      @Amy,
      I have been to Holiday Inn express and they have a free breakfast bar.
      (ALL HI expresses have this)
      Some also have a free managers reception with Free soda, beer, wine from 5-7. Also included are cheese, crackers, chips, nuts and other snacks. It was great. One night we did not even go out to eat , we were so full and a little tipsy
      The all you have to worry about is lunch!!

      I like the instant oatmeal others have recommended!
      Have fun

    • Sarah says:

      @Amy, great ideas! i really love eggs too, but just remember to be careful with egg safety, especially when children will be eating them. leaving eggs unrefrigerated can be dangerous. this website reccomends only leaving eggs and egg-dishes unrefrigereated for 2 hrs at max, or only 30-60 min in temps above 85 degrees (and only refrigerate boiled eggs for 1 week). you don’t want to spend your whole vacation sick!

      http://www.eggsafety.org/

  • Amy says:

    Friends have taken their crock pot before–a few families usually get away together for a night or two over spring break. However, a couple years ago, we did run into a hotel that forbid any small appliances–no crock pot, no toaster or toaster oven–only the coffee pot they provided. If they find it in your room, you would be asked to leave immediately–I think that our “organizer” even said that they reserve the right to “search” in the room if they suspect that you are using something like this! He knew we were all planning on it:)
    Just be sure to check it out so you don’t have all these plans and then a big surprise that you can’t use it.

  • Minjenah says:

    On our last vacation, we brought a George Foreman Grill. It was so useful! We used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

    I had set up for fajitas one night with rice and beans. I had frozen the meat with the marinade (beef and chicken). I cooked the meat on the grill. I had already made the rice and beans and frozen it so it only needed to be microwaved. My family loved it that they asked for the leftovers the next night.

  • Lee Ann says:

    Tacos! Cook and freeze meat flat in ziploc (takes up very little room.) Tortillas, pre-shredded cheese etc.

  • Amanda says:

    Have you thought of making your own hot pockets? Easy to do before you go. Take 2 rolls of refridgerated pizza dough and cut them into 4 pieces each. Fill with ham and cheese or taco meat and cheese and cook as directed. After you are done you can bag them and zap in the microwave for a couple secs. These are pretty filling and soooooooo much better than the pre-packaged ones.

    Also, you can do baked potatos in the microwave — as long as you puncture them first!

  • WilliamB says:

    You can make a lot of Tex-Mex meals with a grill and microwave. Use the nuker to heat shredded meat, beans, refries, tortillas (very briefly), set out with tomato, onion, lettuce, salsa, hot sauce, chips, cheese. With these ingredients you can have tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas, refries. Vary the flavor by varying the salsa and hot sauce.

    Have fun!

  • amber says:

    Wow I love the crock-pot idea! That seems to solve the problem right there 🙂 I also suggest bringing the foods already prepared so you don’t have to fuss much with it or clean up to much. Maybe meals that taste better the longer they marinade. You could freeze a gallon of milk before you go and that can act as your ice. It takes forever to defrost 🙂

  • Cindy says:

    We have traveled thousands of miles on trips and attended dozens of conferences with a small grill and freezer chest. This way we didn’t need to run back to the room for meals.

    We opt to visit grocery stores about every other day and pick up fresh fruit, salads, deli meats, and veggies. Already fixed produce and salads are easier and still cheaper than eating out. But we prefer to grill our meat for dinner: steak, chicken, burgers, etc. Zesty Italian Dressing makes a great marinade for steaks or chicken. Hard rolls, bagels, hoagies and such make better sandwiches for taking. Breakfasts were muffins, bagels, yogurt, fruit, cereal, juice.

    Dessert was getting a half gallon of ice cream every once in awhile–and eating the entire carton in one seating!

    Consider how much mess you will be dealing with and if you want to take “real” plates and silverware.

  • Rachel H says:

    Cous cous is great to make up before you go and eat cold. Plus, its easy (takes 5 minutes after you boil the water) to make there. We love Near East. Plus, it gives you a break from the multitude of salads. Hummus pairs great on sammies as well as with veggies, cheese, crackers and olives for snacks or light lunches. Green Giant Steamers are great for microwaving veggie sides. Meatless morningstar patties microwave up well for instant burger or chicken sammies.
    You can also microwave eggs for breakfast. Scramble them with a little water, and then pop them in for 5 mintues. WATCH them and as they cook, they will fluff and pop up out of the bowl. Take them out every mintue or so to scramble/stir them and pop back in until the desired doneness. Grill up some toast and you can even have varied egg sammies.
    Hope you have a great time! 🙂

  • Dee Wolters in TN says:

    We travel a bit during the summer for the kids to show their sheep at
    4-H shows and state fairs. We usually stay at a hotel with a breakfast, so that is 1 meal down. I usually take lots of lunch and snack type foods because they are working all day and don’t have time to sit down. They can come to our pen area and make a quick sandwich, eat an apple, or grab a handful of nuts. At dinner we are usually so hot and tired all we can think about is resting, but we are hungry too. We will stop by the grocery store and everyone can pick what they want that will cook in the microwave or can be eatten as is. Sometimes they chose a frozen meal or packaged salad. Sometimes we get fruit, yogurt, crackers, cheese, etc. But whatever they chose it is ALWAYS less than going out, even for fast food, and everyone gets what they want. We bring Nagene water bottles and refill them daily. Sometimes I bring powered drink mix for flavor.

    Be careful with bringin appliances into a hotel, as they are a fire hazard. And if you use the breakfast area, make sure you ask permission and clean up. Have a great trip.

  • Melanie says:

    We always bring our toaster oven, so we can do english muffins/bagels in the morning and cook chicken nuggets or bake chicken in the evening (it can even fit an 8×8 pan for lasagna/brownies). I love the idea of the slow cooker and am totally going to bring mine for our summer vacation. I also plan on bringing my George Foreman grill. That thing can cook a pork chop or chicken breast in under 5 min!

  • Dawn says:

    I always take my crockpot and do meatballs (either my own frozen or just buy some prepared ones at a local store) & spagetti sauce – can eat with microwaved pasta or in sub rolls with provalone; tacos also work if you brown the meat ahead and take it in the cooler; I also mix bl/sl chicken with 8oz cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter, 1 can cream of whatever soup and 1 envelope of dry salad mix (italian or ranch – both are equally good). I also take a small casserole dish and microwave pasta-ronis and instant potato pouches. (and definately canned veggies or frozen steam packs that I pick up local). Some of these meals are not necessarily the lowest fat dishes I’ve ever made, but definately beats eating out! Really, with a crockpot, the possibilities are endless – any roast, chicken or chops work with even just a bottle of BBQ sauce!

    If you do a crockpot and the maid unplugs it, be sure to go to the desk and say something – this happened to us last summer and they gave us a $35 credit off our room for the ruined food and the cost of eating out.

  • mamamanda says:

    My favorite meal right now is a salad full of romaine, spinach, cucumber, and grape tomatoes topped with a cold leftover grilled salmon filet from the night before! Top it with a little ranch dressing and be done!

    So cook up some extra salmon filets (or chicken breast, or steak) on that grill, place them in a baggie, then use them the next day or so for the perfect crisp summer lunch or dinner.

  • Pam says:

    You can cook scrambled eggs in the microwave. Just crack and scramble your eggs into a microwaveable bowl. Put in a small amount of butter/margarine (about 1 Tbsp to 3 eggs). Cook on high for 1:30 stir with fork and continue heating in :30 sec increments until cooked.

  • Marcee says:

    These ideas are awesome!! When we go to Disneyland, we take our toaster and some of the toaster breakfast goodies…. there are lots of different ones and my kids will eat them. I do eggs in the microwave to have a little protein, yogurt and cottage cheese and fruit too! I am loving the crock pot ideas! You can also do breakfasts in the crock pot. Just put your ingredients in and it cooks while you sleep. In the morning your breakfast is hot and ready!

  • erica says:

    ziploc, zip and steam bags! i love these and they work great for all sorts of veggies and no need for added water and you just toss when done. nothing to clean up. have a great time!

  • Melissa says:

    Pre made muffins and packs of oatmeal for breakfast!lots if fresh fruit! Love slowcooker idea! Even prepared crockpot meals are cheaper than an entire family out!

  • Irene G. says:

    I have been cooking in motel rooms for 30 years. We do enjoy relaxing and eating on our own schedule. I didn’t realize so many other people do it as well…The crock pot was our favorite appliance. Our favorite was chili made at home and warmed in the crock pot and taco meat for taco salads. I did all the prep at home. I would also take tuna salad made at home and hard boiled eggs. Hard salami with pepper cheese sandwiches. Nuts and raisins for snacks. Sometimes the room didn’t even have a microwave so I had to hunt one down in the hotel somewhere. Oh, those were the days.

  • Tarra says:

    Meat and Veggie Kabobbs and Rice

  • CMyst says:

    I agree with Mel, but if there’s room not just 1 Crockpot but two:-) I pick them up cheap at Goodwill (usually about $5 unless it’s the 1/2 price weekend)

    You can bake bread/desserts/potatoes/etc. in one, meat in another.

    Since it will be hot at the beach, pasta salads (pesto pasta with shrimp or chicken is a favorite) with some fruit. fast, easy add some peas to up the fiber and nutrition.

    We cook somethings ahead of time (sausage, bacon, etc.) and then just reheat it in the microwave.

    We do this while tent camping so it should be very doable in a room. If the car has room you may want to borrow a power converter and set the crockpot cooking when you leave for your trip and then dinner will be done as you all settle in.

    Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  • Victoria Huizinga says:

    Try looking on-line before hand for the location of a few grocery stores near your hotel. Hotel fridges are small so this way you can grab just what fits. We usually pick up a rotisery chicken, and bagged salad. We also have brought a skillet for great success. I try to make what I can before hand and freeze it in large ziplocs as flat as I can so I can have a few meals ready to go (its my vaction from the kitchen too!!!). I also bake up muffins and cookies for easy to grab snacks (vacationing makes my kids very hungry) before we leave.

  • Jessica says:

    Green smoothies for sure!! I have an assortment of recipes and posts up about them on m blog or you can google green smoothies and come up with a ton of info from others. They are packed with nutrients and healthy fats.

  • Crystal says:

    Spent lots of time in a dorm room with ONLY a microwave. You can cook anything in a microwave if you want to. pretty much anyway. Fun to read all the ideas though.

  • Andrea Q says:

    While I love many of these ideas, packing the dishes and cookware (it all has to be microwave safe) necessary to cook in a hotel room (plus trying to clean up after), is a bit daunting. I don’t even know how I would fit it all in our vehicle!

  • Terri says:

    Don’t forget the precooked bacon sold in a box, for example Oscar Mayer. It does not need to be refrigerated until after you open it. So, you could use for breakfast , just zap in micro for a few seconds . You could also make BLT’s. just bring lettuce already washed and torn into sandwich size pieces in a ziploc, pick up a tomato ,mayo and bread or tortilla’s .

  • I have recently written on what we do:
    http://www.sarahsdeals.net/2010/04/planning-food-for-hotel-eating.html

    Some of the things we do are Nachos in the microwave and taking a crock pot. We also bring pancakes and french toast that I have bulk cooked and have in the freezer.

    Hope this helps!

  • Rhonda says:

    I like to cook up a batch of taco meat and bring along canned refried beans–we can then reheat in the microwave and use the meat for nachos or tacos or burritos. You can bring it frozen(already cooked)if your destination is not too far away.
    We also bring yogurts and hard boiled eggs for snacks as well as fruit.

  • Sharon says:

    We lived in a motel room for about 2 weeks while house hunting. I brought along an electric skillet. You can fry hamburger for sloppy joes in it. I was also able to make Hamburger Helper meals. You can also make pancakes if the hotel doesn’t have a free breakfast.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have taken my electric frying pan and made Bertolli frozen meals in a bag and also hot dogs.

  • Jennifer says:

    I like to save $$$ as much as the next person, but I think this is crazy. If you’re going on vacation, who wants to cook and clean up the mess??!?!?! Not me! It’s VACATION!!! If you don’t want to spend tons eating out, there are always other options, like the $5 hot-n-ready pizzas from Little Caeasar’s and other deals similar to that. I mean, you don’t have to eat pizza every meal, but you certainly can find good deals out there. It’s going to cost you some money to take and prepare your own food, so if you factor in that cost, and the time involved in preparation (before leaving on vacation) plus preparing meals everyday once you arrive, plus clean-up time involved….I can’t think you are saving that much. There are cheap places to eat out there. And if you’re so stretched for funds that you can’t afford to eat at one of those places, then maybe you should wait and take vacation when you can afford it. Just a thought….

    • brookeb says:

      @Jennifer, While I think your delivery is a little harsh, I am also that person who’s main m.o. on vacation is to not have to cook anything! Part of the vacation to me is the different local restaurants and vendors, but I know that varies from family to family.

  • Mary says:

    I think it is safe to say if they have a microwave you can safely use a griddle/electric frypan but call ahead to make sure. Then pack complete pancake mix in the bottle (worth the price to avoid dishes on this trip), boxed milk so you can chill the night before and avoid taking up so much space in fridge. I think paper cups and dishes are well worth the price for you on this vacation. We always bring a cooler into our room for our food and the hotel should have free ice (check first?). My kids get a kick out of the “kitchen area” in our room when we do this!
    Bring a roll of paper towels for quick clean up too!

  • Michelle says:

    We lived in a hotel during the week for 6 months with our 2 year old son while my husband was working out of town. Our room only had a small microwave and a small refrigerator. We used the crock pot for a lot of cooking, but that got old after awhile. We started taking our electric skillet, which we could use to prepare all-in-one skillet meals.

    One thing most people don’t think about is that you will have to clean your crockpot/skillet/utensils, etc after each meal, so be sure to bring dishrags and dish soap. Also, in a typical hotel room, the only sink you have is your bathroom sink. We made friends with the woman that supervised the breakfast area and she let us use the big sink in the “kitchen” to clean out our crock pot.

    Also – don’t forget things like can openers, knives, and utensils to prepare/stir/serve your meals. It’s amazing what you forget you need when you’re used to having your whole kitchen at your disposal.

  • Charlene says:

    I didn’t get a chance to read through all the posts but this past week one snack I made was nachos covered with Mexican Cheese and pop in microwave for 20 sec!! YUM

  • Jody says:

    they have coolers now that keep things cold for a long time – just drain and add new ice every day or so from the hotel ice machine if you are worried about not having enough fridge space

  • I posted an answer to a similar question at Passionate Homemaking: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/06/healthy-frugal-travel-meals.html

    Blessings,
    Michele 🙂

  • Amy says:

    yeah, I had no idea either that so many others try to cook from their rooms:)
    Ususally, we’re flying to our destination, so that has ruled out the extra small appliances for me. We will eat out one meal a day- sometimes hotel breakfasts or Taco Bell- I try to eat out for lunch and then have something “in” for dinner. Usually we have one dinner at a nicer place onthe last night. Sometimes, we’ll order pizza (with coupons of course!)
    I find a hot grocery store close by online the week before and pack my coupons. I plan “meals” based on their sale ad for the week. One of my favorite trips was in Orlando- I was able to get those uncrustables sandwiches for 25cents each, And they were frozen, so that bought me a little bit of extra time to cram them in the mini frigde. Usually, I will buy bread and pb and J and make the sandwiches myself, (it is hard to have a good attitude about it sometimes, because I am sort of on vacation), so those uncrustables made my day!
    One trip frozen foods were on a really hot deal, so we ate a lot of those- but it got old really quick.
    We do instant breakfast shakes with granola bars for quick breakfasts on busy sightseeing days. Cheese sticks fit in the fridge really well and are protein to go with fruit. And the shelf-stable milk saves fridge room too.
    I tried to make “minestrone” from a packet on my most recent trip. The coffee maker was one of those crazy-fancy pod things and the water simply couldn’t get hot enough 😛 But I tried. HAVE FUN!!!!!

  • Sandi says:

    I feel really spoiled. Our yearly vacation is a week long trip to disney world. We do not stay in the Kingdom because they do not have hotel rooms that accomidate our needs. We stay about 5 minutes away at a hotel that has all the luxuries of home including a full kitchen. You cannot beat it for about 50 bucks a night. I still take my crockpot though. That way after a long day at the parks, dinner is done!

  • On vacation, I tend to be a little more lax on eating healthy. I like the kids to feel like the whole trip is a special treat. On our recent trip to Disney World, we took a ton of the Easy Mac mac and cheese and alfredo cups. (Plus, you can often get them for next to nothing with coupons!) I also packed crackers, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff! I picked up bread in Orlando and on some days we made fluffernutters to take with us to the park. Be sure to bring plenty of ziplock bags and also wet wipes or paper towels!

    Our other standby (like many above) is to use a slowcooker. If you don’t have room to pack a slowcooker, you can usually pick one up at Goodwill or Salvation Army for less than $5 when you get to your destination. We’ve done this on many trips where we’ve flown! Also, if you’re looking for food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated initially, you could always take canned chicken and barbecue sauce and throw them together in the crockpot when you get there. It doesn’t take long for the barbecue sauce flavor to seep into the chicken and it tastes great served on buns. Although I usually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I cook, I have found that canned chicken and barbecue sauce tend to be our go to meal on days where we’re moving or don’t have access to a refrigerator! Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shantelle says:

    Oatmeal…I’ve even cooked the little instant oatmeal packets in the coffee machine at a hotel!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Jenna says:

    Burtolli ravaolli served with, sauce garlic sticks and salad as well.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Karen Rucker 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.

  • Karen Rucker 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Susan West says:

    I bring a little electric pot that boils water. Use it for instant grits and oatmeal for breakfast and to heat soup for lunch. Bread, muffins and butter do not have to be refrigerated on the trip and will last a few days. I generally bring my electric skillet. I boil pasta, drain and add veggies and frozen, cooked, meat from the grocery store. Sometimes I add butter and cheese, sometimes a jar of Alfredo sauce or spaghetti sauce. I prefer home made, but the children think all the store bought items are a real treat.

  • Libby says:

    You guys. A rice cooker is where it’s at if you can travel with one. Microwaving and boiling plastic for “omelettes” is so toxic, please don’t do that. A rice cooker is faster, more healthful and you can cook/boil/stir-fry pretty much anything just bring a wooden spoon or spatula. I even got my rice cooker with steamer basket at a Thrift store for $10. You will thank me later, but no need…. also I travel with dry organic protein powder so all I have to do is add water or coconut water, whatever liquid and it’s a supplemental meal.

  • Chelsea says:

    Buy a single electric coil, like on a stove top. Bring a large pan, pot and utensils. You can cook anything then. Spaghetti, grilled cheese, pancakes, etc.

  • Ash says:

    My husband has a small george Forman grill that can be used for so much.
    Meat, of course,
    then we make grill cheese on it, or toasted sandwiches.
    we’ve heated up taco bell, and other foods(taste better than being heated in microwave).
    Warming hot dogs for chili dogs
    Meat balls for spaghetti, the noodles can be heated in microwave.
    Probably anything else you can think of

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