We have an RV and camp a lot. Because we go so much, we typically only dine out just once a trip, with the exception of some ice cream or snow cones. I’m basically packing all of our food from ketchup to the main dish. RVs have limited storage space, and we also have to lug everything in and out. If you are renting a vacation house, you will have plenty of food storage space, but like me, you still have to transport it all. I have some fun, creative tips for packing food for your next vacation.
Some of these tips are like magic, and it might not seem they’ll work, until they do. Salad is one of the neatest things I pack for size, and freshness. I wash and dry salad, place in a vacuum sealed bag with a towel to absorb extra moisture, and seal. When I say seal, I mean all the way.
Then it pops right back up like this!!
Isn’t that magical? Pre-washed salad saves space in your fridge, while staying fresh for days. I cringed the first time I squished it all down while vacuum sealing it, but amazed how the lettuce stayed fresh and totally intact.
Another way to save on space and time, is to package your meats with marinades, instead of taking all the marinade ingredients along. Here are some of my chicken marinade recipes. In fact, vacuum seal up your washed salad, and top with up pre-marinated chicken to grill for a quick dinner!
A helpful space saver for traveling and food storage in general, are is dehydrated hash browns. I have dehydrated homemade shredded hash browns before, and it works just fine, but it’s so much easier to buy already shredded hash browns, and they rehydrate almost instantly. Use for casseroles, or just fry them up for breakfast.
Here is a 2 pound bag of store bought Great Value brand hash browns I dehydrated. It weighed 8 ounces after dehydration.
This is after rehydration
I used these to make a 9×13 copycat Cracker Barrel casserole.
After the casserole was baked
Here are some dehyrated hash browns being cooked up in a skillet.
Fresh corn is great on the grill! Husk it at home, and vacuum seal to save space, and keep at peak freshness! You an do this with all of your vegetables.
Some other ideas include:
Make your rice or quinoa in advance and vacuum seal. When ready to eat, put bag in boiling water until heated through, cut the bag open and serve.
Use your home canned items to make quick work of cooking. I’m camping right now, and we made potatoes fried with bacon and thyme. I used my home canned potatoes, because they were cooked through, I just had to brown them. (Just used one can for 4 people)
Don’t they brown up beautifully?
Simply make things ahead of time, and freeze, can or vacuum seal. Here is a meal I made in advance – coleslaw, (vacuum sealed in a jar) pulled pork (frozen and vacuum sealed), and sweet and white potato hash (frozen).
When we camped last, I just put the vacuum sealed pulled pork, and placed in a pot of boiling water until hot. I then cut open and poured into a dish.
The hash I fried up in a pan, I broke the seal on the coleslaw and dinner is ready!
So many people I know wait until they arrive to their vacation destination and buy all of their groceries. By doing this, they are paying for most everything at full price, and are spending precious vacation time grocery shopping. Planning ahead is work, but I prepare over a few week’s time, and benefit from using sale groceries. Also, I don’t like pre-made marinades – they taste oily and flat. My family doesn’t enjoy jarred pasta sauce, so I can my own to bring. Because of prepping and planning, we enjoy fresh tasting, thrifty, homemade food on vacation just like we would at home.
I think this article is going to be a working document as I continue discovering ways to creatively pack and plan food for our adventures! What are some of your tricks for planning vacation food? I would love to hear in the comments!