Skip to main content

Cooking Up a Storm! How to Cook While You Travel

Travel and food are two of the best parts of life. Food sustains us. It helps us to grow strong and stay healthy. But, it’s so much more than that. If it were just about sustenance, we’d all eat a basic and boring diet. It’s about tastes and flavor. It’s about trying new things and delighting your taste buds. Travel is almost as wonderful. It’s your chance to see the world. To meet new people, to enjoy new cultures, and to learn more about the world, and more about yourself. Travel enriches our lives, helps us to grow and develop and changes our outlook on the world. Travel is fantastic, food is amazing.

So, what about the two together. A dream comes true? For many of us, a big part of traveling to a new place is getting to sample local foods and eat in exotic restaurants. We spend a week or two exploring new tastes and new culinary ideas. We delight in new meals and fresh foods. Then, we return home and forget all about it. Very few of us try to recreate these tastes at home. We don’t give them another thought, except for perhaps ordering from our favorite takeout restaurants.

Why don’t we do more? Instead of just eating abroad, why don’t we cook? Then, we’d be ready to bring our new kitchen delights home to temp our family and friends? We’d all have a considerable repartee of foods we could cook from all over the world. We’d be ready to entertain our friends and family; our meal plans would never be boring, and we’d probably eat a much healthier and more varied diet. We’d undoubtedly eat a broader range of fruit and veg, and our diverse diet could have a vastly positive effect on our health. You could also find that you enjoy your travels more when you’ve got a new focus. Here are some great tips for cooking while you travel.

Find the Right Accommodation

If you want to cook while you are abroad, your accommodation choice is important. But, at the same time, it’s important to remember, you can cook wherever you are staying. Even if you are in a tent on the beach, there’s a lot that you can do with a campfire, some good recipes, and some essential equipment.

However, if you want to do more, if you're going to really get stuck in and start creating and experimenting, you need a kitchen with at least a fridge, some work surfaces and utensils and a hob and oven. Staying somewhere like allows you to have a home kitchen away from home.

This doesn’t just mean that you’ll have access to appliances and utensils, it also means that you’ve got space. Not just space to cook, but space to relax and enjoy yourself. You can put some music on and dance around the kitchen as you bake. You’re not limited by space or an oppressive environment.

Take Your Own Essentials

Cooking is quite a personal thing. We’ve all got our favorite kitchen utensils. You might struggle to use another spatula or have a favorite pan. If you can, take these with you. If you’re only carrying carry-on luggage, you won’t be able to take knives or anything dangerous, but you could still pack some of your kitchen essentials so that you’re not stuck with whatever is, or isn’t, present in your accommodation when you get there.

If this isn’t possible, explore the local stores for things that you feel comfortable using, or arrange an Amazon delivery to your holiday address. Nowadays you can get most things wherever you are.

You’ve probably also got ingredients or supplies that you don’t like to be without. If you know
that you’ll struggle to get your favorite drinks or snacks while you are away, take some with you. This will help you to feel more settled and relaxed, allowing you to let go and get creative in the Kitchen.

Cook Home Classics

Remember, just because you are in a different country, doesn’t mean that you can’t eat your home favorites. Don’t feel like you’ve got to try something new and exotic every day. If you fancy something from home, make it. Cooking while you travel is about enriching the experience, so cook whatever you want.

Get to Grips with the Stores

Food shopping abroad isn’t the same as at home. But, one country isn’t the same as the next either. There might be big supermarkets, but there might also just be small market stalls. There’s a good chance that they’ll be a mixture. You’ll be able to shop in superstores not massively unlike those back home (but with different foods on offer), you’ll get to explore market stalls and haggle on price, you’ll shop in little street stores, and you might even spend time foraging, hunting or trading. Explore whatever’s on offer and get to grips with the shopping system.

When trying new recipes, try to shop armed with a list, and the knowledge of any different names for ingredients around the world. Use Google translate for help if you need to.

Speak with the Locals

One of the very best ways to find fantastic recipes to try while you travel is speaking with people. Get chatting to the locals in stores and shops, get to know them and ask for their favorite recipes. Swap meal ideas and kitchen tips and offer to share one of your favorite meals from home with them. Check these recipes out for a headstart

Eat with the Locals

You’ll probably find that many of the locals that you speak with about food are keen to show off, or trade meals. They’ll happily invite you around for dinner. Go with them, stay safe, but learn from the masters.

Explore Bookstores

Bookstores are another excellent source of recipes and food tips. Try to find smaller local bookstores or second-hand shops. In most cases, recipes are universal, and you’ll be able to get by with the most basic language knowledge.

Eat at Smaller Restaurants

If you are traveling to a popular tourist destination, or even a less popular, but large city, you’ll probably find that many of the restaurants are the same as those back home. Big chains have restaurants all over the world, offering mostly the same menu. Even different restaurants will offer similar food as they attempt to cater to masses of tourists.

If you want a more authentic view of local life and cuisine, stay away from large restaurants and chains. Look instead for smaller, family-run eateries. Check the menu for things that you’re not sure about and ask the staff for recommendations, explaining that you are looking for something new.

Try Street Food

Street food is another fantastic option that’s massively growing in popularity all over the world. Walk down the street, and you could find stalls offering food from around the world, all for a very reasonable price. This provides you a great way to try lots of different things on a budget, or in a short space of time. Then, try to recreate the delicacies yourself.

Cooking while you travel is a fantastic way to get more from your trips. You’ll meet new people and bond over a love of food. You’ll visit new places, and places that most tourists don’t see, in search of the perfect meal. You’ll come out of your shell and show those that you do meet the real you, not the on-edge tourist version. You’ll learn new skills and recipes, you’ll have more fun, and cooking some of your meals also means that you’ll save a lot of money

photo source: