Easy Vacation Recipes | 12 Simple Ideas

One of our favorite family vacations was the one we took to Brisbane, Australia a couple years ago.  Fortunately, we were able to stay in a nice 2-bedroom condo there.

It was great because there was space for all of us.  The best part was that after the kids went to bed, we weren’t forced to walk around in stealth mode like we do when we stay in a hotel together.  There are so many advantages of staying in a condo while on a family vacation.

Eating at restaurants can get expensive, so we were glad we could make our own meals.  We decided that even if we bought “convenience foods” from the grocery store, we would spend less on food than we would at restaurants.  But there are other homemade recipes that are simple to make on vacation, especially if you have a stove/oven available.

**The key to cooking on vacation is preparing meals that don’t require buying an entire spice rack.**

DeliciousBaby.com gave some ideas for some great and easy travel recipes.  Like DeliciousBaby, I feel like my kids definitely like to have something familiar when they travel as well – especially to an unfamiliar place.

Since we are accustomed to eating lots of rice, that comes in handy when we travel.  We can find rice easily (and cheap!) in many places.  One of our favorite family recipes requires very little work and very few ingredients.

I’ll share one recipe that our family enjoys.  This casserole can easily be made on our family vacations.

An Easy Recipe for Vacation

Beef and Rice Casserole

Ingredients: 500 grams ground beef, 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 cup rice, 1 can tomatoes (cut up), 1 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon, 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Cooking instructions: Brown beef and onion.  Drain fat.  Stir in uncooked rice, 1 1/4 cup water, undrained tomatoes, and beef bouillon.  Bring to a boil.  Place in a casserole dish and bake in oven (covered) at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until rice is cooked.  Sprinkle cheese on top and enjoy!

While on family vacations, consider skipping the restaurant and making a delicious homemade meal like this to save some money.

Other quick, easy food ideas for when you’re on vacation:

  • Purchase pre-seasoned pork, beef, or chicken.
  • Fish doesn’t take much seasoning – a little lemon, salt and pepper will do the trick
  • Rice -  a great side to accompany many meat dishes.
  • Pasta – instead of making homemade sauce, consider buying a jar of your favorite alfredo or spaghetti sauce.  This meatless meal won’t cost much.  Add a loaf of French bread.
  • Local fresh fruits and veggies for breakfasts or side dishes
  • Yogurt and granola
  • Toasted tomato or cucumber sandwiches
  • Tuna fish (or other tinned meat)
  • Tacos are easy to make in many places.  Consider packing your own taco seasoning if you can’t get it where you are going.
  • BLTs
  • PBJs

Got any cheap, easy, and tasty meal ideas for vacation meals?  If you have a great, easy recipe, please share that in the comments, too!


  1. TRacie Karkur says

    We cook our ground beef ahead of time and freeze it. We’ll make spaghetti using jar sauce, hamburger helper and tacos with it. If we have lettuce left on the last day, we’ll make taco salads.

  2. Lauryn Keeler says

    I cook a meatloaf the second night. We always buy groundbeef, eggs and have crackers, onion and seasonings on hand. Then I use the leftovers in tomato sauce for spaghetti sauce a few nights later. We also spend one of the first evenings at the grill, grilling up steaks, hamburgers, chicken as well as bacon and sausage for the whole trip. This makes all of our meals super quick for the rest of the week. Plus the condo doesn’t get heated up each night. If there are left over burgers, I may use those instead of the meatloaf for the spaghetti sauce.

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