Cooking in an Airbnb – Shopping List and Meal Ideas

Cooking in an Airbnb – Shopping List and Meal Ideas

August 2020

Cooking in an Airbnb – Shopping List and Meal Ideas

We decided before our trip to Alaska that we would not be eating out at restaurants. COVID mandates had just shut down indoor dining again so we just did not know what to expect when we showed up. This decision meant quite a few differences from our typically vacation style. We needed full kitchens at our Airbnbs and we needed easy to cook meals that did not require a lot of ingredients. The Airbnbs were easy and we were very happy with the amenities in the kitchens to accommodate our needs. Finding recipes that did not require a lot of prep work or a lot of ingredients was a bigger challenge. I was not going to buy an entire bottle of soy sauce for one meal.

Since this was our first time doing this, I wanted to share our experience both to be able to replicate in the future and to help someone who may be in the same situation.

PRO TIP: Find a grocery store that has a delivery option or allows for pick up – that way, you can do all your ordering online at home before the trip and not waste time grocery shopping on vacation! This also limits browsing shopping and helps keep to your shopping list and budget.

To get the Free DESKRIB Guide “How to Find the Perfect Airbnb” – sign up here!


MeatsRotisserie chicken (did not have at the store but makes for an easy meal and left overs)
Ribs (add BBQ sauce if not already marinated)
Refrig/FreezerEggs (did not end up needing)
Hard cheese 
Lunch meat
DryPancake mix (just add water kind)
Pasta / egg noodles
Oatmeal packets 
Can/pouch of tuna/chicken
Granola bars / nuts
Chocolate of choice
Grated parmesan
Jelly spread
MiscAluminum foil 
Spray oil 


  • Oatmeal packets
  • We got fresh sourdough from a local bakery for toast with some butter and jelly
  • Kevin bulk made a bunch of pancakes one night and we could eat them as we wanted them
  • I cooked up all the bacon one night and we ate as we wanted with the pancakes
  • Fruit like apples and bananas supplemented as well


  • Some excursions included lunch so saved us a few meals here
  • Kevin would take deli turkey and wrap it in a tortilla
  • I would take can/pouch of tuna and wrap in a tortilla
  • BLTs work very well for lunches as well
  • Sometimes we would have left overs from dinner


  • Granola bars are the best!
  • We also purchased wheat crackers and hard cheddar cheese
  • Fruit was an easy snack
  • Yes, I grabbed an extra large Hershey’s bar and yes it was a great treat


  • Night 1: We caught rockfish on our fishing trip so Kevin pan fried the rock fish, made a lemon garlic sauce, and paired with rice and asparagus (top that asparagus with the grated cheese!)
  • Night 2: Same as night one since we had so much rockfish (he even made fish tacos for lunch!)
  • Night 3: Ribs! Unfortunately we could not find ones pre-marinated so we grabbed BBQ sauce – DIY – this was a fun treat. Sides of potatoes and broccoli.
  • Night 4: Left overs from night 3.
  • Night 5: Pasta with garlic and mushrooms topped with grated cheese
  • Night 6: Breakfast for dinner! Pancakes, bacon, toast, add whatever you want
  • Night 7: Egg noodles with broccoli

I also packed sandwich baggies and two small Tupperware containers to help with storage and unit dosing the food. Another item I was happy to have was a spare canvas bag. Since we switched Airbnbs during the trip, the food became an unexpected addition so having another bag to pack food was super helpful.

We were fortunate to have found Airbnbs so last minute that had full kitchens. While it was never 100% perfect and had us missing that “one thing” we have at home, we were able to make everything we needed with what we had provided at the Airbnb, so no complaints. When looking at Airbnb listings, you are not going to know if they have the right pan size or dish for something you are looking to make so keep that in mind when making your meal list. This trip to Alaska certainly kept us flexible and this was another reason – have to make do with what you have!

I was surprised at how well we did for our first attempt at this. Our grocery bill was $130 and that was Alaskan prices for many of those items – quite a markup. Still way cheaper than eating out – that is less than one meal sometimes! We ended up using everything we bought, having some left over pancake mix and rice but that was it. Overall, I was pretty proud with how well we did and how easy it ended up being.

I would love to hear from you – what are your go to recipes when you are on vacations?

Read all about our Alaska adventure here!

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