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Meal Planning for Vacations, the Kosher Way

You can now enjoy luxury vacations at even the most deluxe resorts (especially there) and get kosher food. It just takes a little research and planning, and believe me, it’s well worth it.

Pick your Vacation Spot

As one of the expert kosher travelers I’ve interviewed told me,”Dream about where you are going to go, and then figure out where the Jews are.”

Back to the dreaming phase. Do you want:

-an island vacation

-a private escape where you’ll meet no one you know

-a luxury cruise, resort vacation

-a vacation to see the world on a limited budget

-to see other cultures, including our own?

Dream about where it is you want to go and answer some questions like:-am I interested in meeting new people?

-do I want to see museums and culture or just sit on a beach?

-how long can I go for?

-how important is eating to you?

-how long do I want to be on a plane for?

-do I want to be able to eat in restaurants?

If you find it is hard for you to make a decision about where to go, try this tool: Handy Dandy Decision Making tool

Luxury Hotel, Cruise, and Resort Stays

If you are staying at a secluded resort and pretty much spending all of your time there, you can either:

a. do some research to see where the Jews are and if there are any kosher restaurants nearby using or kosherdelight.

b. order food with, have it delivered to your hotel, making sure you ask for a refrigerator in your room.

c. call the hotel and ask for the food services manager. By now, most anyone working in food services has heard of kosher food. Most likely, you can arrange to have kosher programs  kosher meals delivered to you in your room, in any large resort. (The best place for this is Disney World).

d. If you are not staying in a Jewish area, simply bring a pot and when you arrive, go to a grocery store buying your favorite foods. Kasher the oven and microwave in your hotel and cook.

Private Beach Vacations

I know a frum family that spends a lot of time in the Caribbean, Antigua, Barbados, Tobago, the Cayman Islands. They want a really private, cozy, vacation and don’t want to see anyone they know.

What they do is research for private beaches so swimming is not a n issue.

Next they reserve a villa that MUST have a kitchen, stove, refrigerator, a.k.a., a kitchenette.

Since finding a grocery store nearby is often rare, they bring EVERYTHING they can and devote 1 or 2 suitcases to doing so.

Tuna, jelly, cereal, pretzels, pasta, breadmixes, etc. 1 or 2 pots and pans. They happen to eat very simply on this vacation.

If you want more elaborate food, you can do the same thing. Go to restaurants nearby and order lots of takeout meals. Freeze them. Before you leave, wrap them frozen and put them into a suitcase. Check the suitcase on the plane. You may have to check with customs officials to make sure you can bring the meat into the country. If you don’t want to bring this onto the plane, you can pack it in dry ice and ship it through via the post office.

The benefits to these models is that you don’t need to try to find a grocery store once you are there. You may want to find a market that sells fruits and vegetables, but most likely that won’t be a problem.

You see that this research phase of meal planning for vacations is not too strenuous. It is definitely worth doing the meal planning before hand so you can enjoy a relaxing stay.

International Travel with little Jewry
International travel is a little bit harder to menu plan. Here’s what I recommend you do.

1. Get a list of what you can buy in the country you are going to. Call the Star-K and do a search on the internet for items you can buy anywhere in the world. Here’s a few:

bottled water; unflavored seltzer; beer; beer on tap in a business bar; peanuts roasted in a shell; dried beans, split peas, and all other dried legumes and canned fruits produced in the U.S. with no additives other than sugar. Please note that canned cherries may contain carmine, an insect extract used for coloring. Do not buy canned cherries (these may also be found in fruit cocktail) without reliable supervision. In addition, canned plums may contain a coloring derived from grape skin..

Also, most dried fruits may be consumed; exceptions include prunes with added oil, pineapples, pears, raisins, and apples. You may buy any canned pineapples made in Thailand or the Philippines. You may also purchase any frozen vegetables containing no oils or other additives.

You may purchase and consume any whole kosher fish. However, if the fish store employee cuts the fish with a non-kosher knife, the cut area may become not kosher. To avoid this problem, bring your own knife with you to the store.

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