Travel Travel Tips

5+ Tasty Hotel Room Meals to Save You Time & Money

By
on
January 23, 2021

If you’re looking to save time and money while traveling, consider feasting on convenient hotel room meals that you can enjoy from the comfort of your room.

The following 5+ tasty hotel room meals can be easily prepared, stored, and transported to your destination with a few simple add-ons to make them a complete meal.

Of course, you can always order pizza or heat up Ramen, but our list includes affordable and healthy hotel meals that are both easy and satisfying.

Read on for 5 fun recipes and several quick tips for preparing easy hotel meals!

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Why Make Hotel Room Meals?

There are many reasons that families may opt to prepare a quick hotel room meal versus go to a restaurant or spend money on fast food.

To be honest, spending money on eating out is my most annoying vacation expense.

Similar to our road trip food list, these make-ahead meals are one of the ways in which we always try to cut vacation costs.

Some of the reasons you may choose to make hotel room meals include:

  • You’re looking to save money on tips and eating out.
  • You have an action-packed vacation itinerary and don’t want to waste time dining out.
  • You’d rather veg-out in your room then dine-out at a restaurant.
  • Making your own food seems like the healthier option.
  • There are no convenient or desirable restaurants close to your hotel.
  • You’re staying in a hotel for weeks or months and need alternatives to eating out.
  • You have young children who don’t sit well at restaurants and it’s easier to dine-in your room.
  • Your family has very specific food preferences (& picky eaters), or food allergies that limit your outside options.

Additional planning tip: If you’re currently avoiding public restaurants as an additional way to stay healthy while traveling, hotel room meals may be the perfect choice for you!

Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
Prepared and packaged hotel meals

Hotel Room Meal Prep

If your hotel or condo has a kitchenette inside, your opportunities are endless for making satisfying hotel room meals.

These recipes, however, simply assume that you have access to electricity and a means to reheat the food via an in-room microwave, or a croc-pot that you bring from home.

In other words, the easiest way to enjoy these meals is to make them ahead of time at home, place them into a gallon-sized freezer bag, freeze them, pack them into a cooler for transport, and reheat them in your hotel room.

No kitchen or fancy appliances are needed.

In order to make these meals a success, however, don’t forget to pack:

  • A croc-pot for reheating (or be sure your hotel room has a microwave).
  • Croc-pot liners (for easy clean-up).
  • A cooler with ice to keep perishables cold (or be sure your hotel room has a fridge).
  • Paper plates and disposable silverware to eat with.
  • Microwave safe disposable bowls or containers (to reheat food in).
  • All the fixins’ to make these entrees a complete meal.
  • In fact, consider pairing these hotel meals with our make ahead snack mixes.

Additional planning tip: If your hotel room doesn’t have a microwave in it, the lobby or breakfast dining room probably does.

1. The Best Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are a classic hotel room meal that is both kid-tested and parent-approved.

As a tried-and-true favorite, the ground beef in this recipe can easily be substituted for ground turkey and still have the same great texture and taste.

Serve our favorite, The Best Sloppy Joes recipe with chips, pickles, and carrot sticks for a well-rounded meal with easy clean-up.

Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
Healthy hotel meal: Walking Taco

2. On-the-Go Tacos

Though it may seem like an easy solution, On-the-Go Tacos are an often-overlooked alternative to eating out while traveling.

Though we always include taco meat on our camping checklist, we also take it with us to resorts and hotels too.

Pre-made taco meat can be served in traditional corn or flour tortillas, be paired with lettuce to make a taco salad or served over a snack-sized bag of Doritos or Fritos to make Walking Tacos.

Keep your toppings simple for less mess and hassle.

3. Slow Cooker Chicken & Black Beans

The protein-packed healthy hotel room meal is so filling and delicious.

This tasty combination of chicken and black beans can be served over microwaveable rice, chips, or tortillas.

Easy toppings like salsa and cheese amp up its Mexican flair.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Black Beans cooks up perfectly, freezes well, and tastes just as good when reheated.

Its minimal ingredients provide a great way to prepare chicken when you’re on the go!

Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
BBQ Pork hotel meal

4. Insta-Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

This tender and juicy Insta-Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork quickly became one of our favorite meals when I first found it on Pinterest.

Upon freezing leftovers after feasting on them at home, I realized how portable and perfect it is when used as a hotel room meal option.

Pulled pork can be served with buns or in a flour tortilla and served with chips, pickles, or fresh veggies and fruit. Bring along an extra bottle of BBQ sauce for extra tang and freshness.

5. Cooked Noodles + Anything

For super-easy hotel room meals, boil 16 oz. of noodles (al dente) at your home and place them in a gallon-sized storage bag.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.

When using them in your hotel room, simply reheat the noodles and add your toppings of choice: butter, shredded cheese, spaghetti sauce, pesto, etc. Consider adding Italian salad dressing along with fresh veggies and pepperonis for a delicious pasta salad.

This meal to make in a hotel room is both simple and well-liked!

Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
Microwave baked potato

Additional Hotel Room Meals

These are additional meals for hotels with a fridge and a microwave that don’t even require a recipe.

With a few simple ingredients or some store-bought finds, your belly will be filled up in no time.

  • Cheese Quesadillas (Melt cheese inside of flour tortillas).
  • Baked Potatoes (Poke, then microwave potatoes for 5 minutes a side, or until soft).
  • Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwich (Melt a ham and cheese sandwich on a bun in the microwave).
  • Hot dog on a bun (heated in a microwave).
  • Pre-packaged microwaveable meals or pasta cups.
  • Canned soups or chilis.
  • Pouch-packed tuna on bread.
Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
Hotel room breakfast idea

Hotel Room Breakfast Ideas

While many hotels offer complimentary breakfast, these hotel room breakfast ideas ensure you’ll get the exact kind of meal you want to start your day.

Mugs let you microwave muffins and cakes, but here are some healthy hotel room breakfast ideas that are much heartier.

Do you have any cool hotel room hacks that you can share with our readers? We’d love to hear about them!

Jen

Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.

If you like our list of Hotel Room Meals + Tips, click here to check out our Related Posts:

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Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
Click here to discover 5+ recipes for easy and healthy hotel room meals that are perfect for while you travel.  Great tips from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
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8 Comments
  1. Reply

    Corinne

    April 3, 2021

    What great ideas! We definitely like to save money when traveling by self-catering a meal or two every day 🙂

    • Reply

      Jen

      April 7, 2021

      Us too! We saved so much money on our last vacation by making many easy meals in our condo!

  2. Reply

    Colleen Lanin

    March 5, 2021

    I never thought about bringing a crockpot on vacation before. Great idea! I think we’ll do that for our upcoming vacation home getaway. Love the sloppy joe idea, too.

    • Reply

      Jen

      March 5, 2021

      I love that one of the perks of road tripping to a destination is having the space to bring along the comforts of home…like a croc-pot 🙂 Good luck with the recipes 🙂

  3. Reply

    Kathryn Dickson

    January 27, 2021

    These are brilliant – great money-saving ideas. I’ve never had the capacity before to think beyond granola bars and oatmeal.

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 28, 2021

      LOL! I think I upped my hotel meal game once COVID hit. I’ll probably back off a bit once I feel more safe going to restaurants 🙂

  4. Reply

    Harmony, Momma To Go

    January 25, 2021

    we will often do breakfast in the room – usually protein bars for the adults, cereal or nutella sticks for the adults. I have never done a hotel room dinner, but bringing the crock pot – with the liner – would be such a good idea. you can do so many things! When we are at a hotel, and don’t want to go out to eat for the reasons you mentioned, we will order a pizza from a national chain. You can usually find coupons or deals and some will even deliver. Its hard to go out all the time! PS We always travel with a cooler of drinks – alcohol as well – to save money!

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 28, 2021

      Thanks for reading! Yes, you’re right! We always bring our own cooler with drinks for the kids and drinks for us (wink, wink!). Such a waste of money to purchase wine and beer by the glass from expensive restaurants or the hotel lobby 🙂

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Hi, I'm Jen - founder of the award-winning travel blog, Travel With A Plan! I help families plan fun & fulfilling family vacations by sharing our exact itineraries and "best things to do" lists to popular US vacation spots. Take the stress out of planning a family vacation by using our detailed destination guides and ultra-convenient packing lists to help you travel better. We'll show you how hassle-free family travel is possible - when you travel with a plan!

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