You are here

26 Jul 2023
Related Items: 
Recipes & Food


There is no shortage of amazing restaurants to visit during your Outer Banks vacation. From awesome bars near the beach to upscale dining with waterfront views, there's something for everyone on the Outer Banks. But sometimes, even on vacation, you may find yourself just wanting a homecooked meal. Whether you're looking to save some money, avoid the summer traffic, or just enjoy the beautiful kitchen that comes as part of your Outer Banks vacation rental, here are some tips for vacation rental meal planning and some of the best ways to enjoy cooking in your beach house!

Tips for Vacation Meals on a Budget

Vacationing on a budget with easy meals for your vacation rental can be just as rewarding as eating out every meal, often making your experience a lot more fun and less stressful! Here are tips for ways to save money when cooking in your vacation rental during your next beach vacation.

Plan Ahead

Meal prep is all the rage in the real world, but it's also essential for saving time and money when you're vacationing on a budget. Plan ahead and decide on meals for your vacation rental, ensuring you won't waste food that your family isn't going to eat. This also gives you the chance to explore simple recipes that don't have a lot of ingredients. While many of our vacation rentals have kitchens stocked with a variety of cookware to use, you're not going to have easy access to all the pantry staples that you're used to at home. So avoid spending a ton of extra money at the grocery store by prepping meals with a few simple ingedients. 

Don't Overstock on Staples

Thinking along those same lines, when you're vacationing on a budget, it's important not to waste a lot of money on pantry staples that you'll use once and then throw away. Instead of buying a bunch of different ingredients that you can only use for one meal during the week, use lemons, garlic, and olive oil to add a little zest to your meal without going overboard stocking up the pantry. Buy things that you can use throughout the week and/or take back with you when it's time to go home. This will ensure you get the most bang for your buck while still enjoying some delicious home-cooked meals.

Bring Essentials With You

You can actually save a lot of money by bringing things you know you're going to use with you. Pack bags of cereal, jars of peanut butter, or even your favorite spices and cooking mixes in a cooler to bring with you. This way you know they're not going to waste at home and you can spend your time at the grocery store picking up fresh and refrigerated items. This helps you save time and money!

Go Out For Lunch

When deciding which meals to eat out and which to enjoy at home, lunch is a great option for eating out on a budget. Lunch menus are usually priced less than dinner and many places offer lunch specials that will keep everyone happy without breaking the bank. Plan for one big night out at a nice restaurant and consider cooking the rest at home while enjoying lunches out and about.

Reasons You Should Cook From Home

Saving money isn't the only reason that you should think about planning meals from the comfort of your Seaside Vacations Outer Banks vacation rental. Here are some more reasons why cooking at home during your next Outer Banks vacation will help make your vacation even even better!

Save Time

Especially if you're traveling with kids, cooking meals from the comfort of your vacation rental will save you a lot of time and hassle. No more waiting in long lines after you've been at the beach all day or stressing to get through traffic in hopes of keeping your reservation time. Let the kids relax or play in the pool while the grownups fix dinner. Keep it low-stress and low-key and everything will be done in no time, leaving more time for relaxation and fun.

Save Money

One of the best ways to experience a new place is not just to explore local dining but also to master home cooked meals for your vacation rental. But if you're going out to eat for all three meals a day, costs can add up quickly. For a family of four or more, you're looking at hundreds of dollars that could alternatively be spent on activities or souvenirs.  By preparing easy meals for your vacation just once or twice a day, you can save a significant amount of money. That doesn't mean you shouldn't splurge, because you should definitely try an evening of waterfront dining or visit one of the restaurants that have been highlighted on the Food Network. But having breakfast or lunch at home a couple times during your stay and grilling out in the evenings can get more cash back into your wallet so that you can have even more fun during your vacation.

Great for Allergies & Sensitivities 

There are a lot of awesome restaurants on the Outer Banks that serve with allergies and sensitivities in mind. That being said, if someone in your family is extremely allergic to something in particular or has dietary or sensory preferences, you can add a little variety to their vacation dining experience by cooking at home. This way you have complete control over preparation and everyone can eat the things that they are used to. Cooking in your vacation rental can also make getting those extra fruits and vegetables easier, especially if you've got a kiddo who is set on ordering a burger and fries at every restaurant. Cooking at home gives you control and lessens the stress in the long-run.

Stay Comfortable

Speaking of stress: have you ever tried standing in line for something with a 5-year old? What about waiting 45 minutes for a table? Many places on the Outer Banks take reservations, but the reality is that if you're visiting during the peak summer season, there's probably going to be lines for most things, including mealtimes. Avoid the anxiety of getting stressed and sweaty while you wait for a table by cooking at home. Everyone can stay comfortable, without shoes, and enjoy cooking and eating your meal in a bathing suit! Make mealtime to beach time seamless when you cook from the comfort of your Outer Banks vacation rental.


Spend your next Outer Banks vacation in a Seaside Vacations rental with all the amenities of staying at home - plus a short distance to the beach! Whether you're looking to save some money or help make your vacation more enjoyable for your family, cooking in your vacation rental can be a rewarding and fun experience. Here's a list of grocery stores by location and seafood markets to make your prep easier than ever!

Give our wonderful Guest Services Team a call today at (866) 884-0267 or take a look at our available rentals to get started planning your next historic adventure to the Outer Banks. And don't forget about our layaway plan, which makes booking your dream vacation easier than ever. So don't wait. We're booking Outer Banks vacation rentals year round and we're excited to help you create memories to last a lifetime. We're here to help make your OBX vacation fun, exciting, and hassle-free. Give us a call today! Be sure to provide accurate information and make any necessary payments. 

Explore our website and give us a call to help kick-start your unforgettable Outer Banks vacation today.  Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubePinterest, and TikTok to stay up to date on all of our specials, new & featured homes, and tips & tricks for making the most of your next Outer Banks vacation.

We’ll see you at the beach.

About the Author:  Lauren is an Outer Banks local, mom, trained historian, and travel enthusiast. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with her nose in a book or cuddling with her cats.