lifestyle · travel

Vacation Meal Planning

Home Exchange Meal PlanningIf you’re a regular reader here at Go Gingham, you know that I’m a regular weekly meal planner.  I’m such a regular meal planner, I even plan our meals when going on a vacation or for a weekend away.  For spring break, we’re headed to San Francisco for a home exchange.  The people we’re trading houses with live right in the city so we’ve got a list of markets we want to shop at and several lunch spots to try.  We’ll cook most of our meals at home and are bringing some basic food staples with us in the car.  To keep track of it all, I’ve printed my vacation meal planner and am filling it out based on our social plans, spots to try, and local markets.

Vacation Meal Planning

  • Using the form:  I use this form for both our week-long vacations by car or when we fly to a destination.  When flying somewhere for a trip, I usually wait until we’ve arrived at our destination to figure out all of our meals, although I have some ideas about markets I want to check out.  The market shopping ideas come mostly from watching the Rick Steve’s travel program DVDs checked out from the local library.
  • Protecting the form:  Yes, I keep my meal plans in a page protector.  It’s very low-tech but it works and the page protector keeps it from getting covered in food.  (Go ahead and make fun of me for using page protectors but I love them!)Eating while on vacation
  • Deviating from the form:  Yes, we vary from the plan and splurge sometimes but having a meal plan means not scrambling for every meal.  It’s much less expensive to bring a picnic lunch or pack snacks than it is to purchase food at a restaurant for every meal.  It’s much healthier, too.  We broke down and bought pizza slices and bottled water on a trip to Prague, Czech Republic for our little travelers but look at how happy and well fed they look now!Meal plan vacation

No, home exchanges don’t come with scullery maids who clean the kitchen up after you.  I wish they did.

Are you traveling anywhere for spring break?  Do you like to cook on vacation or go out to eat?

Related posts:
Lots of meal planning ideas can be found here.
More about home swapping can be found here and here.
The library is a great resource for travel books, travel DVDs, and books on tape/CD for listening while traveling.

Here’s theVacation Meal Plan as a PDF document.  If you’d like to receive the vacation meal planner as a Word Document, please e-mail
mail@GoGingham dot com
with “Vacation Meal Planner Word Document Request” in the subject line.  According to my husband, not everyone likes their week to begin on Monday like I do.  Also, if you have the option, print on both sides of the paper.

6 thoughts on “Vacation Meal Planning

  1. I wish I was this organized because I really do hate having to scramble for a place to go and PAY for every meal! I am still trying to get into the habit of meal planning at home!!! Hey are you driving to SF?


    1. We did drive. It’s 11 hours with stops for gas and bathroom. We packed water and food so we didn’t have to take time to stop and eat. Try meal planning for a couple of weeks to see how it goes for you…you also may like to do it on your smart phone. There’s no right or wrong way. Go for it! Thanks Annie!


  2. Now that my kids are in college and its just my husband and I at home for dinner, I make wonderful homemade soups. Egyptian Red Lentil, Speedy Black Bean and Garden Vegetable are my favs. Add some crusty bread and a salad… delish!


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