6 Tips for Getting a Taste of Home: Cooking while Traveling

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Cooking while away from home is a great way to make sure you stay health-conscious, save money, plus it gives you a nice taste of home. While it’s true that you should always try the local cuisine every time you travel, you’re still getting a major cultural experience just by going to the local market or grocery store.  The fun thing about cooking while traveling is about trying out new ingredients, taste testing things you’ve never heard of, and even questioning what’s on the label when you add something to your shopping basket.There’s a fun and small thrill of not knowing what you’re buying and then trying to figure out what you’ll make for yourself.  Whether you’re away on a workation, a trip to a faraway land, or even just going camping, these are some fabulous tips for helping you cook while traveling.

Before booking, look for accommodation with a kitchen

If you’re wanting to cook while you’re away from home, it’s going to be much easier on yourself if you have access to a kitchen and tools needed for cooking. This is different if you’re camping, as many RVs and vans have kitchens. Plus campers who are using tents can easily bring their own cast-iron cauldron for making soups. If you’re searching for bed & breakfasts or apartments to stay in during the duration of your trip, you’re far better off having one that offers a kitchen. Some hostels will even offer a kitchen as well for their guests to use.

Get the necessities

Depending on how you’re doing your trip, you can even just go ahead and prepare yourself before you arrive at your destination.  If you’re someone who loves garlic, then it’s best to buy garlic in bulk far in advance so you know you have it for your trip.  This can also include packing your cooking tools, favorite sauces, and spices. It’s very important to think about what you’re packing and how you’re traveling. If you’re going by car across the state then it’s easy to pack whatever you want.

 If you’re going by plane for an international trip, then it may be ideal to not pack any sauces, seasoning, or any sort of produce as they’ll be confiscated and you can risk getting fined. When it comes to domestic trips, it’s far easier to pack the necessities in advance and it’s recommended to not pack these for international trips.  Some of the basics you’ll want to have ( whether you pack it with you for a domestic trip or buy it at a market during an international trip)  can include:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Your favorite herbs and spices
  • Garlic
  • Sweetener (honey, sugar, syrup)

In general, these basics will make your food taste fantastic and you’re very likely to find these at most markets around the world.

Be flexible

Don’t expect everything to go according to plan, especially if you’re going to be cooking during an international trip. Just expect that some shops in some countries just won’t carry the type of things that you like. Whenever this is the case, think of it as a fun opportunity to try out something new.

 Plan your meals

Once you understand that you need to be realistic with yourself and understand that you’ll have to be flexible, you can begin planning out your meals. Whether you want to have a standard meal plan or be spontaneous each day is entirely up to you. Doing just one trip and shopping and planning out your meals that way can make it a whole lot cheaper for you.

Eat like the locals

When in Rome, do as the Romans do!  You must try out new foods when you’re in foreign lands, even if you’re in a different state, the local cuisine could be completely different than what you’re used to. Eat the way the locals do, try some of their cuisines, enjoy the customs and environment that you’re going to be in. One of the most spectacular aspects of traveling is having the opportunity to try out things that you normally wouldn’t experience.

Look into bringing your own tools

 Depending on the type of trip that you’re having, one great tip would be to bring your own tools with you. It may not be ideal if you’re going on an international trip (especially if you only have a carry-on), but if you’re going on a domestic trip with your car, camper, train, or some other method of transportation it may be far easier to have your own tools.  This can include

  • A can opener
  • Tea steeper
  • Tongs
  • Grater
  • Silverware
  • Plate
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Pan

Just tools you often use for your cooking. 

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