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Traveling is one of the best ways to spend your hard-earned money. Buying material things gives you a temporary sense of satisfaction till the high wears off and you get over the purchase. However, with a vacation, years and decades later, you will still remember the experience, the thrill of being in a new place, and all the fun things you did while traveling. Moreover, there is this stigma that the only good vacation is one that is overseas. Let us remind you that the US is one of the world’s largest countries and has a wealth of vacation spots. 

This article will address two things, traveling to the sleepy mountain valley of Gatlinburg, TN, in the Smoky Mountains, and what meals you can enjoy while traveling. We don’t always account for how much food can cost when traveling. It can take a major chunk out of your budget, and to avoid that, you may want to consider cooking your own meals. 

We aren’t going to discuss how to cook meals in this article, but rather, which ones you can consider and which are generically easier. So, stay tuned, read till the end, and plan your meals when traveling to the mountains! Here are four options to consider!

Grilled chicken with a side of your choosing

One of the all-time easiest yet most elegant and filling meals you can have for dinner is a classic grilled chicken. All you need to do is marinate it for a couple of hours, and then toss it on the frying pan on a low flame, and perhaps end it with a glass of red wine. Pick a bottle of sweet southern wine from a Gatlinburg winery nearby.
What makes a grilled piece of chicken special is the side and sauce you choose to have it with. You can’t go wrong with some green beans, mashed potatoes, and a piece of garlic bread.

It depends on how you enjoy your meal. Perhaps a nice soup, a salad or a few pieces of bread is something you would prefer. 

Shepherd’s Pie

This may be one of the simplest yet most satisfying dishes out there. If you have access to an oven, you can pretty much make a shepherd’s pie in an hour. All you need to do is grab some mincemeat, partially cook it, and then cover it with a layer of mashed potatoes. After that, toss it in the oven and bake till the top is golden. 

We mentioned we wouldn’t be describing how to cook the meal, but it’s just so simple to cook a shepherd’s pie that we couldn’t help it. Again, throw in some sourdough or garlic bread, and you have a scrumptious meal in the Smoky Mountains. 

Keep it simple with eggs and toast for breakfast

One of the healthiest and most well-rounded breakfasts is the good old eggs and toast with a cup of coffee. If you feel like it, throw in some bacon for extra protein. It is the kind of meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and full until lunchtime. 

It has the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats you need to get through the average day, especially if you plan on active engagements in the mountains. 

There is nothing complicated about making a couple of eggs and toasting some bread; it doesn’t get easier, and you can prepare a meal for yourself in under 15 minutes. 

The humble salad

If you are health-conscious and plan on eating something that keeps hunger at bay yet is not too filling, a salad might be the best option. Not only is it one of the healthiest meals you can consider, but there is no cooking involved, so it’s something you can make on the go.
The best thing about a salad is that it won’t go stale if you keep it while traveling. 

Consider adding some canned tuna to the mixture for an extra bit of protein. This is one of those balanced healthy meals that you would traditionally eat on a strict diet, but it doesn’t have to be bland to the tongue. Moreover, meals aren’t for places and times; just eat when you are hungry!


These are just a few ideas by us to help you prepare a quick meal from the comfort of your vacation rental. Your average rental has everything you need to put a meal or two together for the day. You will need to get groceries and utensils, but other than that, your rental will have whatever you are looking for. 

We have mentioned many options you can consider when preparing your meals. Moreover, most of these meals are budget-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank too much. 

We hope this article has been helpful and wish you a happy vacation which you probably earned after working hard. Enjoy it, enjoy your meals, and embrace your time in the mountains!