Cooking Away from Home: 8 Tips for Stocking Your Vacation Rental Kitchen

In the United States, we’re in the thick of Spring Break vacation season. And for many, it’s destination: beach. Whether it’s Panama Beach, Myrtle Beach, or take-me-anywhere beach, people are craving the sun, sand, and warmer weather. If you’re heading to the beach this spring and staying in a vacation rental house or condo, check out these vacation
cooking and kitchen tips we crafted, just for you.

1.       List, plan, coordinate. Plan in advance for what you want to bring or buy while on vacation. If you’re staying with other friends or families, coordinate who will bring what. This will save on buying/bringing duplicates and ending up with unused food at the end of your stay.

2.       Utensils. Most vacation rentals are stocked full with reusable plates and silverware. That said, disposables can make life a little easier – less running of the dishwasher and worrying about whose turn it is to clean up after dinner.

3.       BYO. If you’re driving to your vacation spot and have room in your car, take advantage of shopping in advance and bringing some groceries with you. This allows you to shop at your favorite stores and get the best deals (beach grocery stores are notorious for having inflated prices).

4.       Convenience foods. Yes, you may have access to a full kitchen, but vacation isn’t the time when most people want to spend hours cooking a complicated meal. Allow yourself to purchase more convenience foods so you’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time on the beach.

5.       Think small scale. Unless you’re traveling with a large family or group, buy smaller portions of items than you normally would at home. For example, a half gallon of milk instead of full. Worst case, you can always go out for more. Saves you from leaving unused items at the end of your vacation.

6.       Snacks reign. Vacations often mean staying up later, sleeping in later, and throwing out any idea of a schedule. Snacks make it easy to eat when you want without having to cook a full meal. And snacks tend to disappear quickly on vacation, so pack plenty!

7.       Specialty items. Do you make a smoothie every day? Bring your blender. Have a can’t-live-without spice? Pack it. Give yourself permission to bring whatever you think will make your vacation rental experience more palatable.

8.       Don’t forget the Gordo’s! Did you really think we wouldn’t mention Gordo’s? Seriously though, Gordo’s is the perfect addition to your vacation kitchen. It’s both a snack and a meal starter (hello, Philly Cheesesteaks?!). It’s a convenience food and small scale (trust me, two people can polish off a container of Gordo’s Cheese Dip just like that). So, if you’re bringing along a cooler, pack it to go, or look for it in the beach-side grocery store. You can find it in these stores in the refrigerated section near the packaged deli meats or refrigerated dips. And don’t forget to print off coupons!

Happy eating vacationing at the beach!



[photo credit: Taco Feast_42 via photopin (license)]

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