No one loves cooking on vacation. While eating out is one of the joys of vacation, it's usually not reasonable to eat out for every meal. Today, we're sharing 3 ways to make meals easier on vacation.
1. Have Your Groceries Delivered
There are several grocery delivery service options in Panama City Beach, FL. Shipt, Instacart, and even Walmart will deliver groceries to the Joy Coastal condo. If you're arriving on a Saturday, be aware that this is a very busy day for grocery delivery services. I would recommend working on your order and securing your delivery time a few days in advance. I personally like to schedule the groceries to arrive shortly after we do.
In Florida, the grocery delivery companies are able to deliver beer, wine, and liquor. This isn't the case in our home state, so I wanted to mention it. They will require that someone over the age of 21 is available to show an ID when the items are delivered, so be sure to keep that in mind.
My final tip with this is to make sure you change the delivery address in the grocery delivery app before you start your order. This will ensure you're looking at the correct items and that those items are actually available at the store your shopper is going to.
2. Use a Meal Delivery Service
If you are driving to your vacation, a meal delivery service like Home Chef or Hello Fresh might be just what you need. The great thing about meal delivery services is that they give you exactly what you need for the meal. So, you aren't wasting money buying spices or condiments that you'll have to throw out at the end of the week.
You can also change the day of your meal box delivery, to work with your vacation. For instance, if we're arriving at our vacation destination on Saturday, I'll have the box delivered to my home on Friday. I unpack the box at home. The meal bags go into the fridge, but I'll put the ice packs and the meat in the freezer. Early the morning we leave, I repack the box and tape it back up. The freezer packs are made to keep the food cold for over 24 hours. If the meat starts out frozen, I think that helps to keep the box cool as well. We just pack the cardboard box up in the car and take it with us!
You'll also want to make sure you bring the items with you that you would usually have at home to make these meals. I brought olive oil, salt, and pepper from home because I knew our vacation rental wouldn't have them there. I've also been known to bring along my favorite chef's knife if I wasn't sure what I'd have to work with at our vacation rental. But, I can tell you that we have a nice, new, set of knives at the Joy Coastal condo - so you won't have to worry there.
These meals are easy and delicious. Even if they're a splurge for you at home, they'll save you money over eating out on vacation!
3. Hit the Early Bird Dinner Specials
Panama City Beach has some upscale restaurants that offer "early bird specials". This is a great way to save some money and avoid vacation crowds on your trip. You'll want to double check these before you go, but restaurants run these specials in the late afternoon/early evening. There is usually a set menu for the early bird meals, and it can change over time. Here are some of the restaurants we love in Panama City Beach that offer early bird specials:
My personal tip is to grab an early dinner at one of these restaurants and then come back to the condo in time to catch the sunset or do an evening swim in the pool while everyone else is at dinner!
What are your best tips for making meals on vacations easier? Comment below!