The words “cooking” and “vacation” don’t often go hand in hand. Our Research TravelingMom shares why she and her family think differently than most in regards to cooking while on vacation. Plus, she’ll even share 3 recipes with you so you too will have easy meals for vacation.

Photo Courtesy: Vacatia

Photo Courtesy: Vacatia


In a past life, I attended culinary school. I had aspirations of being a famous chef. While I followed that path for a while, I quickly determined that I didn’t want to continue in that direction. The whole working when everyone else was off just didn’t work for me. Not to mention the atmosphere isn’t the most *ahem* wholesome.

It is likely that you are wondering why I am sharing this. Here it is. My culinary adventures have served me well, because I can look in a practically bare pantry and come up with something for dinner. Going on vacation is no exception. Well, except you are in a strange kitchen with different pots and pans, assuming that you go the vacation rental route.

My family and I like to eat in for a portion of our stays. Here’s why I don’t mind cooking while I am supposed to be relaxing. After a long day out with the kids, the last thing I want to do is take them to a restaurant. Like your kids (or at least I am guessing), when my kids are done for the day they are DONE. So sitting in a restaurant and waiting for food is the last thing that I want to do. There is something that make doing dishes not quite as bad while you are on vacation, especially if you can find an Orlando resort with a kitchen! If a few dishes need to be done at the end of a meal to keep my sanity in tact, then pass the dish soap.


Without further ado, here are three of my favorite go-to recipes while we are on vacation!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Our Research Traveling Mom shares easy meals for vacation! Easy prep time, easy clean up while enjoying your vacation rental!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 box Penne Pasta
  • Head of Romaine Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Croutons
  • Caesar Dressing
  1. Cook chicken ( I use a grill but on vacation it may be necessary to saute) let cool and cut into cubes.
  2. While your chicken is cooling, cook the penne according to the directions on the box, drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
  4. Toss all of the ingredients together with the dressing ( use your own judgement on the amount of the dressing) and top with the croutons.
  5. If you are making ahead, don't mix the lettuce in until right before time to serve, otherwise it will wilt.
  6. You will need a medium size stock pot to boil the water for pasta, a frying pan to cook the chicken (unless you have access to a grill), a colander, and a large bowl to toss the salad together.

Before you say “my kids won’t eat that” in regards to the salad, let me tell you – I once thought the same thing! Then one night, I just decided to give it a shot and I was shocked that my kids ate the salad…and liked it!

This next recipe is nothing fancy, but in my experience it makes my entire family happy and it is quick to prepare!

Tacos Our Research Traveling Mom shares easy meals for vacation! Easy prep time, easy clean up while enjoying your vacation rental!

Ground Beef or Chicken ( my family of 4 uses 1 lb on taco night)
1 package of Taco Seasoning
Black or Refried Beans (if desired)
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Fresh Tomatoes
Shredded Cheese of your choice
Shells (hard or soft)


Brown ground beef or chicken. After the meat is cooked throughly, add the taco seasoning. In the microwave or on the stovetop (whichever is available).

Shred the lettuce, dice the tomatoes.

Put the desired components into your shells and serve!

You will need a skillet for browning the meat, a sauce pan or microwave safe bowl for heating the beans, a cutting board and knife.

The next recipe that I want to share is very minimal on pots and pans, which is great for a vacation rental or a resort residence!

Some people call them foil pack dinners, others call them hobo dinners. Whatever you call them, they are delicious!

Hobo DinnersFoil Pack/Hobo Dinner

The ingredients can vary wildly on this type of supper. I recommend finding a farmers market in the area and picking up some goodies!


Veggies (whatever veggies are in season or you enjoy the most is perfect for this) I have used zucchini, squash, carrots, onions, asparagus and bell peppers

Meat (chicken, beef, shrimp and fish all work really well.)

Olive Oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut pieces of aluminum foil 17 inches long (or so), do one per each person.

Slice veggies, and then toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide the veggies among the foil sheets, placing the veggies in the center of the foil.

Brush the meat of your choice with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once you have your foil packed assembled fold the sides together to create a seal. Place all of the foil packets on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins.

You will need aluminum foil, a cutting board, a baking sheet and a knife for this recipe.