Vacation Meal Planning Made Easy

JUNE 8, 2021  /  MAUREEN WITMER  / 

Vacation Meal Planning Made Easy
Every other summer, my extended family plans a big trip together. Since last year's plans were cancelled, we are eager to be together again. We often rent a large house on a beautiful lake in central Maine. There are eight adults and nine young children. Needless to say, the week is full of activity, adventure, laughter, and lots of food!
Packing and planning for a big trip like this can often feel overwhelming but I've discovered a way to lessen the stress- using PerfectPotluck to plan our food. I love knowing what I'm responsible to bring before we hit the road. There are great cost saving benefits, too. Shopping at Costco and/or my local grocery store can save a lot of money vs. shopping at pricey stores near the beach or popular vacation destinations. Here's what my PerfectPotluck schedule looks like for our family vacation.
Schedule family dinner duties each night
If you do this kind of trip with a large group of family or friends, you know that going out to eat can get complicated and expensive. Keep confusion and costs down by assigning families to have a night or two of dinner duty. Using a sign up is also helpful so you can see what kind of food everyone is making. Although your kids might love it, having spaghetti every night of vacation may not be the best choice! Some dinners on our sign up this year include grilled chicken and veggies, sloppy joes and tacos. We also have a policy that the family who cooks each night is NOT responsible for clean-up.
It's also good to have a rough idea of your daily schedule. For instance, we usually go out for lunch once or twice. On those days you can indicate that only a light dinner will be needed.
Categories for breakfast and lunch
Here are the categories and quantities I've used for 15-18 people:
  • 6 Large Boxes of Cereal
  • 4 Dozen Bagels
  • 4 Tubs of Cream Cheese
  • 3 Gallons of Milk
  • 2 Gallons of OJ
  • 2 Large Jars of Peanut Butter
  • 2 Large Jars of Jelly
  • 2- 2 pounds of sliced cheese
  • 2- 2 pounds of turkey or ham
  • 6 Loaves of Bread
Plan for (LOTS OF) snacks
Days spent swimming, hiking, and playing out in the sun make for extra hungry kids! This year I suggested individual snack bags for portion control. I usually put 8-10 slots each for:
  • Salty Snacks (chips, pretzels, popcorn, trail mix, granola bars, tortilla chips and salsa)
  • Sweets (s'mores ingredients are a must!)
  • Cut Veggies
  • Fruit
Don't forget the paper products
No one wants to do the dishes on vacation! Keep things simple by making categories for paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils, and plastic cups. My mother-in-law always writes each person's name on a plastic cup at the beginning of the week so we can keep track of everyone's cup.
How do you use PerfectPotluck to keep your life organized?

Read other recent articles by Maureen Witmer:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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