Cooking While Traveling: 5 Go-to tips
Hotels are not the only option anymore. Cooking while traveling is much easier now. We’re staying in rentals. So now we can cook our food and maybe save a little cash. Cooking in a foreign place can be difficult. You don’t know where to buy food. And you don’t want to pack your whole panty with you. Keep reading to find out what I do.
1. Cooking while traveling with foods from home
I talked about traveling with a chronic illness in this post. There are foods that I cannot eat. This means I bring foods with me when I travel. Bring foods you know you like when you travel. These foods will remind you of home. What type of food you may ask?
2. Know which foods to pack
Do not pack perishable foods. You can have delays. Then the food may reach a temperature where it can start to grow bacteria. You don’t want to have food poisoning on your trip. That’s a No-No. Pack dried goods in sealed packages. For foods that don’t come in sealed packages, I pack them in Ziploc bags.
My go-to travel food is a Middle Eastern food called couscous. I like eating this at home and it’s also very easy to cook. All you need is boiling water. Think of items like pasta and other grains. You’re not going to eat grains the whole time you’re there. You need to know what you’re going to buy when you get there. One of the things I do is add supermarkets to my Google Map of the area. This way I know which supermarkets are closest to where I’ll be staying.
3. What to buy when you get there
This is when you buy your perishable food. By your staples like milk and eggs and cheese. This will vary depending on how long you’ll stay at each location. Don’t buy items in bulk because you’ll end up wasting them. You’ll have too much and you won’t be able to take it with you. I can remember a trip where we threw more than half of the food away because we had already cooked it could not take it with us.
4. Get familiar with the local kitchen
If you are traveling internationally things will be different from your home country. In places in Asia, sometimes the gas has to be turned on before you can cook (below). You wonder why the stove is not turning on. But it’s because the gas is not on.
Some places in the Caribbean use propane tanks for their cooking gas (below). In this case you may also wonder why the stove is not working. Maybe the propane tank is empty. These are just things to keep in mind.
5. Bring back local food items as souvenirs
I love to bring back things that are not traditional souvenirs. Was there a seasoning that you really liked at to your destination? Bring some home. Keep travel restrictions in mind as far as importing foods. Know the exceptions too. Some countries don’t allow you to bring in fruits and vegetables. However sometimes the pulp of the fruit or vegetable can be brought into the country.
I learned this the hard way after buying so many passion fruits (below) when I was in Haiti. I left them behind for friends. Only a few weeks later did I find out that I could have brought the pulp home with me. Such a shame. Anyway learn the rules and bring home things that you like.
Cooking while traveling can be challenging at times. However it opens up so many opportunities to live like a local.