Travel tip: Save time and money when you rent a house

Optimystical Vista is a rental property north of Tampa Bay that will make you never want to leave.
Optimystical Vista is a rental property north of Tampa Bay that will make you never want to leave. /

Renting a house for a week can be the best vacation you ever take and this one travel tip can save you a lot of money and even more time.

When we think of vacations we often think about visiting a big city or another country but for many of us, renting a vacation home once or even twice a year is the getaway that we long for. Each year my wife and I travel to the sunny west coast of Florida for a week of unwinding. The house we rent is incredible and on the water and we never want to leave.

Our problem is we spend so much money when we get down there. The drive from North Carolina to Florida’s gulf coast is long enough but when we arrive, we have to hit the grocery store and stock up for the week. Like most people, we take whatever we can from the fridge before we leave but you still have to buy food and even worse, you have to cook it.

This year, we are doing something different. I have spent the last few days meal prepping and I have found that I have already saved a bunch of money by eliminating the need to buy food for meals when I am down there. Now I only have to get the small stuff like paper products and condiments.

The view from the back yard of Optimystical Vista
The view from the back yard of Optimystical Vista /

For the seven nights, we are there, I have seven meals tucked already prepped and cooked in my freezer. We bought 9″X13″ aluminum pans with lids and all I need to do now is throw the entire pan into the oven at the house and walkway. Literally, it has become heat-and-serve.

The best part? Now at 4:00, I don’t have to spend all my time in the kitchen cooking. That means a lot more time on the deck watching the boats go by or snorkeling in the bay. It means I don’t have to put my beer down and go back inside.

While I can’t estimate exactly how much money I will save by doing this the time can be. It literally takes a good 45 minutes to get everything ready and by the time you clean up, you easily have spent at least an hour in the kitchen. Now, I won’t spend but 2 minutes turning on the oven and dropping in the pan. That will give me 7 hours of free time I didn’t have last year.

Next. The last vacation home you ever need to rent. dark

So the next time you are planning to rent a house for a weekend or a week, take the time before you go to prep your meals and freeze them. You won’t regret it when you are not spending your time inside and instead, enjoying another afternoon of being a little lazier, and you know what? You deserve that.