Eating in Hotels – It Can Be Done

I recently answered a question at Yahoo about eating while you are living in a hotel.  As my family starts packing out (today!), the subject of food is at the front of my mind.  We are anticipating at least 30 days in a hotel and it overwhelms me.  We’ve already eaten too much junk and we haven’t even left our house yet.

I’m going to post my answer, but I would love you hear what you’ve learned.  I am always learning new tips from reader and I really appreciate the knowledge that y’all share.

Here was what I wrote:

“This is going to test your patience and your creativity, but you can do it. I would definitely look in to buying a small electric cooler (the kind that can plug into the car or the wall outlet) or a mini-fridge – it will pay for itself quickly. You would probably need the hotel’s permission for a mini-fridge, but not for the cooler. You might also ask the hotel if you could use a toaster oven or a microwave. Most will say no but you don’t know until you ask. Or maybe one of those little devices that heats up a cup of coffee – surely it could do soup, too. Do you have transportation to grocery shop? For at least a few days, it can be your big outing: what to buy, how creative can your kids be, and then get them something that you wouldn’t usually allow as a treat.

There are a remarkable number of things you can make using hot water from the coffee maker: oatmeal, grits, ramen noodles, easy mac. Lots of raw fruits and vegetables (just give in and buy the already prepared veggie trays.) My kids will eat the fresh chicken nuggets (Purdue is the brand here) cold. Bagged salads with the already prepared chicken. You’ll have to give in to buying prepared things but you can do it.

Lastly, you might want to consider changing hotels to something with a fridge and microwave, and/or breakfast included. Included breakfast would be well worth a few extra dollars in the room rate, plus it would keep you sane and full.

Good luck to you! You can do it.”

Please, share your tricks in the comments!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • E. Harvey

    Have you selected a specific hotel yet? Chosing an “extended stay” type of hotel will provide you and your family an easier way to eat healthy. These hotels typically offer kitchenettes with nearly every appliance type you regularly use at home. Basic range of dishes and cooking ware are also provided. Now that you have the tools, stock your cabinet and refridgerator with healthy foods that your family is used to and enjoy your stay!

  • That is a good trick, E. Harvey. Unfortunately, we are limited to the Navy Lodge at our particular location. We do try to get at least a fridge and microwave when we travel.