When traveling with a toddler you need room- and one thing you might consider is getting a room that has a kitchen.  Having a kitchen can make your stay a lot more enjoyable- saving you money- and relaxing in the resort.

After arriving at the hotel and seeing that they had a kitchen that would make most people from Manhattan brag, it was time to go to the grocery store.

A small kitchen can make some great meals

Coffee—yes, the room had a coffee maker, and those little individual packets of sweetener and artificial creamer. Purchasing some freshly ground Peet’s Coffee, along with some filters, real cream, and sugar cubes meant we could have as much coffee as we wanted during our stay and have fresh coffee.  Hard to know when the hotel bought the coffee they supply, but Peet’s dates when it was ground- and the taste is so much better.

Buying your own coffee supplies make the morning sweeter

We had three dinners and two breakfasts that we cooked. The breakfasts were eggs, with toast.  Cooking some chicken breasts and having green beans provided a hearty meal, especially combined with a Silver Oak 2005 – the dinner and wine would have cost us over $200 – but that covered most of the grocery bill and those groceries supplied all our meals—and the cooking utensils I purchased.  Pasta with chicken, fruit salads, as well as fruit plates, and orange juice made it easy.

Also bought the basics to cook with: extra virgin olive oil, butter, salt, ground pepper, freshly grated Parmesan, garlic, mayo, lemons, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to some baby food and diapers, as well as three great bottles of wine- the grocery bill came to less than $230.00.

Making simple meals in a hotel room can save you a lot of money

Tips: bring some of your favorite kitchen tools for the meals you will make.  I suggest packing a chef’s knife, spatula, wooden spoons, and a wine opener. I purchased these, but it would have been easy to pack them.

Being a new parent, going out for dinner is sometimes difficult.  If we go out to eat, our son is often up past his bedtime and it becomes less enjoyable for all.  So our eating plan was simple- make a great breakfast in the hotel- go out to a wonderful place for lunch- and at the end of the day prepare a wonderful meal, with a great bottle of wine.  This not only saved calories, but dollars – more than enough to make up the difference between a regular room, and a suite with a kitchen. Plus, it was fun to cook in a different environment – and if we left during the day the maids cleaned up the kitchen!