How I fed my kids on vacation as a single mom…without breaking our budget on restaurant food.

kids floating in pool

A few weeks ago, I took my kids on our first vacation since my divorce. Which means that it was the first time I was the only adult responsible for everything involved in getting us from Central PA to our rental house on North Captiva Island, Florida. I knew there would be so many logistics—but I was determined to have our trip feel like a vacation for me, too.

Of course we needed to eat! But I didn’t want to spend the trip cooking and cleaning up. And I didn’t want to spend a fortune eating in restaurants all week. Plus, I knew that I’d be starting from scratch in the rental house kitchen, without my beloved pantry staples or freezer meals to rely on. In the past, “family vacation” has meant that I spent so much time shopping, cooking, and cleaning up—and running out to the store whenever we ran out of something. So…just parenting in a different place! This time, I wanted something different.

I feel like I really cracked the code. You guys, it was SO fun!

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  1. super helpful! thank you! we are traveling now so these are great tips, and I think I’ll use that lunch prep hack when we’re back home too 🙂

  2. Love all of this! Making the sandwiches during breakfast cleanup is GENIUS. I always absolutely hate that transition from pool/beach to lunch or dinner where I somehow end up making everything while still soaking wet! Going to remember this for our afternoon swims here at home too…

    1. I actually did it one Saturday at home too when I knew we’d be out of the house all morning and it might be life changing!