When your vacation lodging is equipped with a kitchen, it can seem like a simple enough idea to plan on preparing meals during your stay. Many travelers have found out the hard way; what is easy to do at home is more difficult when you are away. The worst part is going on a vacation that, well, doesn’t really feel like a vacation.
Know before you go. Be sure to inquire with the property management about the kitchen features and how well stocked the property really is. Not only can there be a shortage of basics for groups of your size, the worst part can be cookware that is in poor condition or limited in size and type of pans. Remember too that items you take for granted at home may not necessarily be provided. Paper products, storage bags, basic spices and oils, even coffee filters are some of the details you shouldn’t count on.
Also find out about choices for grocery shopping. Are there national chains or small local markets? Choices may be limited. One thing is for sure, if you are traveling during peak season the stores will be crowded. It’s also possible that items in stock may run out when you finally arrive and are able to go grocery shopping. Using a grocery service to stock your rental before arriving is a very smart idea.
Too often one person in the group gets saddled with kitchen duty. Be fair and divide up the shopping, cooking, and clean up. Better yet, give everyone a break by booking a night with a personal chef. No need to worry about how well the kitchen is equiped. The chef will bring their own cookware. Your chef can suggest wine parings or might even offer cooking demos. One thing you can count on is insider tips about your vaction spot from someone who knows the area really well.
Cooking in can be a creative and relaxing experience. You can save on meals by preparing some of your own, especially if traveling with a larger group. Make sure the experience is a fun part of your trip by heading off any pitfalls well before you arrive.