Going on vacation to a different country can be an exciting cross-cultural experience, but one of the challenges of being in a new place is creating a vacation grocery list. While trying out new cuisines and dining at local restaurants on vacation is a must-do, there are times when you may want to cook your meals or have snacks on hand to save a little money. That’s where a vacation grocery list comes in handy!

Bonus: we’ve linked to ingredients on Flipp so that you can find the best weekly deals to save even more.

Grocery List for Vacation Rentals

If you’re staying at a vacation rental where you’ll have access to a kitchen, you’ll be saving big by cooking many meals at your home away from home. Here’s our go-to list of ingredients you’ll need.

  • Rice
    • The key to a vacation grocery list is to buy ingredients that can be used in several different dishes – and you can’t go wrong with rice. Use it in bowls, as a side dish, and more.
  • Pasta
    • Coming back to your vacation rental after a day of fun means lots of hungry campers. Pasta is a quick, comforting, and filling food that will surely get the job done.
  • Pasta Sauce:
    • Wherever there’s pasta, there has to be pasta sauce. Simplify cooking during your travels with some ready-made pasta sauce.
  • Beans
    • Packed with protein and fiber, beans are a superfood that will super simplify your travels. Whether you’re making a hearty chili or a flavorful bean salad, they’re a great option for a quick and filling meal on vacation. 
  • Canned Tomatoes
    • Don’t let meal prep take away from your vacation! Canned tomatoes are a must-have for any vacation grocery list. Use them for easy pasta dishes, soups, and stews. 
  • Olive Oil
    • Upgrade your vacation cooking with a bottle of olive oil. Use it to grill up some veggies, add some flair to your salads, or to dip some delicious bread.
  • Bread
    • On vacation, you want things easy and breezy. Bread is perfect for no-fuss sandwiches or toast, whether you’re preparing for breakfast or packing for a picnic lunch. 
  • Eggs:
    • Arguably the most important vacation essential, eggs can be used to cook up a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus they’re easy to pack and cook in any vacation rental kitchen.
  • Milk
    • Say goodbye to bland cereal and smoothies on your vacation. Stock up on milk for creamy and delicious breakfasts or as a quick beverage on its own. 
  • Cheese
    • Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate? The perfect pairing for any vacation wine or cocktail plus use it to make sandwiches, quesadillas, or a delicious pasta dish. 
  • Chicken
    • Don’t let cooking cut into your beach or hiking time. Grab some chicken breasts to grill for a quick and easy protein packed meal. Looking for some recipe inspo? Check out our post, 5 Easy Chicken Recipes For Family Dinner.
  • Beef
    • The perfect way to kick off a fun and relaxing evening with the family or friends, nothing hits the spot like a perfectly grilled burger or steak. 
  • Fish
    • If you’re by the ocean, fresh fish is a must-have on your vacation grocery list. Grill up some salmon, make a refreshing ceviche, or fry up some fish tacos for a delicious taste of the sea.
  • Vegetables
    • Don’t forget to pack some fresh veggies for your vacation meals! Use them as a tasty side dish or throw them on the grill as the main course. 
  • Fruits
    • Wherever you are, it’s never a bad time to indulge in fresh fruit. Watermelon, strawberries, and pineapple are perfect snacks for a day by the pool or exploring the city. 
  • Nuts
    • Nuts are the perfect way to snack while on-the-go. Whether you’re exploring or relaxing, keeping some nuts and trail mix on hand is a great way to make sure you remain satisfied. 
  • Potatoes
    • Nothing says comfort like a warm and hearty potato dish. Add them to your vacation grocery list so you can roast them up with herbs and spices or make some crispy oven-baked fries. 
  • Tofu
    • Vegetarian or vegan travelers, we’ve got you covered as well. Try using tofu in stir-fry, currys, or salads for a quick and healthy meal.
  • Soy sauce
    • Bring some international and unami flair to your meals with soy sauce. Try adding soy sauce to your meals to add an extra layer of flavor. 
  • Onions
    • Try to add onion to level up the taste of your meals as well. Saute with vegetables, caramelize, or chop them up to take your meal to the next level. 
  • Garlic
    • A little bit of garlic can go a long way in vacation cooking. Try adding some cloves to your pasta dishes, marinades, or rich dishes to add a depth of flavor that you won’t forget. 
  • Lemons
    • Not just for your vacation cocktails, lemon can add some zest and acidity to your meals. Try adding lemon to your grilled meat, vegetables, or freshly chopped salad. 
  • Chocolate
    • Vacation is all about indulgence, and what’s more indulgent than chocolate? Pack some dark chocolate for a sweet and satisfying snack, use it to make s’mores over a campfire, or melt it down for a decadent dessert. 

Grocery List for Hotel Stays

If you’re staying at a hotel where you won’t have access to a kitchen for cooking, you can still save money during your vacation with some simple grocery staples for quick hotel room meals. Most hotels offer mini refrigerators in your room, so you can get away with a lot!

  • Yogurt
    • When you’re in need of a quick snack while on vacation, yogurt is a staple that you can take with you wherever you go. 
  • Cereal
    • A must-have on any vacation grocery list, cereal is a quick and easy breakfast option that will keep everyone full until lunchtime.
  • Handheld Fruits:
    • Handheld fruits that don’t require prep or chopping are the perfect on-the-go snack or hotel room breakfast. Get some apples, bananas, or grapes for a quick, low-cost bite when hunger strikes.  
  • Premade salad
    • For a healthy and convenient lunch or side dish, grab some premade salad from the grocery store. 
  • Coffee
    • No vacation is complete without a good cup of coffee! Make sure to stock up on your favorite beans and take advantage of your hotel’s coffee machine if available. And if your room doesn’t come with a machine, instant coffee will be your best friend.
  • Crackers and Chips
    • When hunger strikes in-between meals, it’s always handy to have some crackers or chips on hand. They’ll be easy to pack and take on the go throughout your travels. 
  • Granola bars
    • Perfect for hiking or a quick snack, granola bars are a tasty and filling snack that can be enjoyed anytime.
  • Instant oatmeal
    • For a warm and comforting breakfast option that can be made in minutes, instant oatmeal is the perfect choice. Just add hot water and your favorite toppings, and you’re good to go. 
  • Instant noodles
    • Whether you’re short on time or energy, instant noodles are a quick and satisfying choice that can be customized with your favorite ingredients. 

Please remember that this list is just a guide. Feel free to add or remove items based on your preferences, dietary requirements, and local availability.

Although grocery shopping while on vacation may seem like an intimidating task, it can save you money and give you the opportunity to experience local cuisine in a unique way. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be able to shop with confidence and have delicious meals and snacks during your travels. Bon appétit!

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