Most travelers find it more convenient to eat from local restaurants because they believe this is one of the best ways to experience the culture of the region. For them, cooking is nothing but a waste of time (time that can be spent on exploring new places). And sure, local food should be experienced at least once. However, there are many reasons why travelers should consider cooking when traveling.
1. Save Money
Cooking at your hotel, trailer or whatever other accommodation you are living in can save you a lot more money than you think. When cooking for yourself, you can cook simplified and nutritious meals at a fraction of the cost of eating from a restaurant. Buying your own ingredients will also allow you to save any leftovers for the next meal.
2. Eat Healthy
People traveling to unfamiliar countries usually depend on familiar food chains to cater to their nutritional needs; this may include fast food restaurants, pizza chains and so on. Even eating at a local restaurant, you can never be sure about the ingredients going into your dishes.
When you cook during your trip, you can easily make your meals completely balanced and healthy without having to worry about how the food is prepared. That being said, we do not want to dissuade you from eating out. Here are some tips on how to eat healthy during a trip.
3. Cater to Specific Needs
For people who have certain health conditions or are simply very picky, cooking when traveling is an ideal way to cater to their needs. Vegetarians, anemics, diabetics, small children, people with multiple allergies or on a diet, can benefit from cooking their own meals. For instance, you can make this quick gluten and dairy free fudge for someone who is gluten or lactose intolerant.
4. Add Variety
Eating at restaurants can become boring and repetitive because you end up ordering “safe” meals. On the other hand, cooking during your trip is a way to break the monotony and bring variety into your foods. You can plan your meals such that they do not repeat too often and even experiment with new ingredients. Remember to fill your plate with colorful foods and something from each food group.
Buying your own wine and beer at the store can also save you a lot of money. Alcohol while eating out really packs the bill.
5. Save for Later
If you are traveling by car to other cities, it would be useful to pack food for the journey. You can even save your leftovers for later. Buy Ziploc bags and plastic boxes for easier storage. Furthermore, you can stock up on drinks by keeping a cooler in your trunk. Making food for later will also allow you to save money on your trip. Stopping for food at even the cheapest places can add up to your bill pretty quickly. These cinnamon cereal squares can be made before a trip and packed as a snack for later.
6. Experience Cooking with Local Produce
If you like an affordable way to experience the local culture, shop for your produce at a marketplace or local farmers market. This in itself is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Chances are, you will find a lot of exotic items to cook with. Cooking with fresh, local produce ensures that you will eat a nutritional meal. You can also cook local specialties by checking online recipes to make your cooking experience more exciting.
7. Complete Control
Cooking during your trip means that you will have complete control over what is on your plate. You can control your portion sizes, how your food is cooked and so on. In order to exert more control on how you cook, you can buy portable appliances to make your cooking experience easier. Pots, pans, electric grills etc, are a few examples of appliances you can buy for travel purposes.
Have you tried cooking when traveling?