Most of us travel to escape our daily routines and get lost in the enchantment of a foreign location. We’re all so eager to explore our new surroundings that the last thing we want to do on vacation is cook and clean. Before you write off cooking, consider the benefits of making your meals while traveling. Not only will you score major savings but your traveling experience will be a lot less stressful. Eating out with young kids can be very difficult so it’s not a bad idea to eat some meals in the comfort of your own place. Between the service and the food, eating at restaurants can be unpredictable but staying in eliminates that risk.
Speaking of lodging, make sure you book accommodations that include a kitchen or else it will be tough to pull off a decent meal. Not sure where to start? Check out our beginners guide to finding inexpensive accommodation. You’ll definitely want to spend your time browsing Airbnb – an online marketplace where you can stay in other people’s homes, instead of a hotel. The beauty of staying in a home rental is that you’ll have access to a full kitchen – maybe even a fancy one! Once you secure a kitchen, it’s time to plan the menu!
When you’re on vacation, you want to stick to meals that are easy to make and require little cleanup. After all, you should be spending your time doing activities, not dishes. Don’t make the rookie mistake of confusing easy meals with junk food. It’s important to remember that you’re still on vacation and deserve to enjoy quality cuisine. You can spice up your evening by trying to cook a dish that is unique to your destination. Make a day of it and head to a local market to gather the ingredients for your special dish. Dress up, play some festive music, and turn the evening into a memorable one.
If you decide you’re going to give the vacation meal plan a shot, you won’t be able to make a game-time decision. Committing to cook on vacation requires thoughtful planning & preparation. Booking a place with a kitchen is a great start, but there is no guarantee they will have the necessary utensils. If you’re driving to your destination, you have a bit more flexibility since you can pack up the car with a few extra supplies. A sharp knife, cutting board, and even a slow cooker are all great appliances that will come in handy during your stay. You might even want to consider bringing some spices and seasoning via a Ziploc bag to give your food some flavor. If you’ve got room for a cooler, you can bring meat & produce along for the ride. Since you’ll want to make the most of your vacation, you can cook a few meals in advance and keep them frozen.
Now that you have a kitchen and some ground rules, what meals should you actually cook? Your menu should, of course, reflect your own tastes and diet but there are a few dishes that seem to be universally loved. For starters, pizza is always a crowd favorite and it can be fun to make as a family. Easyrealfood has some other great vacation meals that are far from bland. A charcuterie board is a brilliant idea since you can mix and match all kinds of ingredients for a tasty (and classy) meal. Tacos make for a wonderful vacation meal since they require little prep but provide lots of joy. Once the taco meat is cooked, it’s all about the toppings. So long as you have the essentials (cheese, salsa, tortillas, and beans) you’re well on your way to a fiesta. No guide would be complete without mentioning sandwiches. This classic meal satisfies the crowd and requires minimal work. You can either do your shopping in advance or find a grocery store so you can pick up the goods: lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, or anything else your stomach desires.
Food for Thought
When it comes to vacation meals, proper planning will set you up for success. If you’ve got your meals planned out, you can pack the appropriate ingredients and utensils. Try to stick to simple recipes that are going to produce yummy food but leave you with minimal mess. Most importantly, don’t stress. If the pressure of cooking is too disruptive to your travels, consider hitting the pause button. Cooking on vacation is supposed to be simple and enjoyable. If it starts to feel like a chore, maybe it’s time to hit the town and go out to dinner. It’s all about balance! It’s great to stay in and relax but it’s also important to experience the food & culture of a new location. Whether you’re cooking your own meals or indulging in food prepared by others, Bon appetite!