When you are planning a vacation, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you would like to stay somewhere where you can cook for yourself—such as a self-contained villa or condo—or whether you are happy staying somewhere with no cooking facilities, such as a traditional hotel room. There are benefits to both, and if you choose to go the self-catering route here are some tips for making the most of your vacation and making sure it doesn’t turn into a replica of your home life.
Why would you choose a self-catering vacation?
There are many reasons why you might want to choose to stay somewhere where you can cook for yourself while on vacation. Here are some of the most common ones:
- you have allergies or food intolerances and need to make sure you always know what you are eating;
- your kids are picky eaters or still having formula or other baby foods;
- you want the flexibility of being able to toss a quick snack together without leaving your accommodation.
Choose a flexible location
Speaking of flexibility, a key factor in choosing your self-catering accommodation should be how close it is to restaurants and cafés. These Maui resorts, for instance, offer splendid condos with integrated kitchens, but also integrate restaurant and cafés within the resorts, so guests can choose whether to cook or not for every meal. While it’s great to have the option of cooking for yourself, remember that you are going to be on vacation, and you are probably going to want to relax and not do as much housework as you do at home!
Make sure you know the correct terms
If you are going on vacation somewhere where you don’t speak the main language, make sure that you learn a few basic food-related words in advance. This is particularly important if you have food allergies or intolerances, but even if you don’t it will make your shopping experience a lot easier!
Another trick you can use to make yourself understood when it comes to food is to travel with a pack of flashcards with pictures of the food items you are most likely to want to buy. These flashcards are often used as a communication aid for people with special needs, or to teach young children how to write, but they can be extremely useful for anyone who needs to communicate without a shared language.
Eat out at least once
When you are budgeting for your vacation, make sure you include enough money in your budget to eat out at least once during your time away. Why? Because that’s the best way to experience the local cuisine! Make sure you choose restaurants that the locals favor, rather than the more touristy ones, where you are likely to be overcharged and served less authentic food. When in doubt, a good way to find a great local restaurant is to ask a local, whether it be a grocery store worker or even someone you stop in the street!