The Ultimate Tips for Cooking While Traveling

Do you feel as though you don’t cook as much as you should when you are on the road? If so, then this is understandable. It’s far too easy to make the mistake of not cooking and just eating out when you're traveling, especially if you want to indulge in the local culinary scene. However, cooking while traveling also has its own advantages.

One of the reasons I prefer staying at Airbnb instead of hotels is that I can easily choose accommodation with kitchen facilities so that I can occasionally cook in between my travels. Not only does it help me save money, but I sometimes get the privilege of introducing Indonesian food to the people I meet on my travel

While it's great to explore the culinary scene in your travel destination, sometimes it's worth cooking while traveling when the homesickness hits and you miss your own food, and that's also another reason why you should consider cooking your own meals during your travel sometimes.

Looking for tips for cooking while traveling? Here's everything you need to know about cooking your own meals when traveling!

What You Need to Know Before Trying to Cook Your Own Meals When Traveling

grocery shopping for cooking ingredients
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Start with some solid recipes

The first thing you have to do is begin with some good recipes. Cooking at home starts at the grocery store.

If you walk around the aisles of a grocery store you don’t know aimlessly and try to find inspiration as a result, it will be difficult to decide what to cook. As a result, you may even be tempted to take a shortcut and just grab some instant noodles – but this is the last thing you need if you want to cook real food from scratch.

Dust off your cookbooks and make sure that you go through all of your favorite food blogs, as this is the best way for you to avoid wasting money.

My personal favorite is also to scroll through TikTok and find some cooking inspiration and recipes to recreate. In fact, I managed to follow some new recipes during my travel because of this. If you're feeling creative, you can also try and cook meals that relate to your travel destination so it will be easier to find the ingredients.

For instance, if you're a foodie traveling to Italy, you can consider making this cheese ravioli recipe to get you started with an easy Italian food recipe.

Prep ahead of time

staples to stock when cooking while traveling
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If you are traveling in a short time, then you may find it difficult to spend a lot of time cooking. I'd recommend planning ahead before you start cooking, so that you can manage to prepare your meals without sacrificing your travel plan.

It's also one of the reasons why I personally prefer slow travel, since by doing so I get a chance to live a pretty normal life in a new place. I can spare my time to do some grocery, and I don't have to be in a rush to prepare my own meals as I can always do that on the designated “off-day” when I'm not traveling.

Stock up with some staples

grocery shopping for cooking staples
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When you are on the go, you might not have time to stock up on all of the staples you need for cooking when traveling. It's also the reason why it's important to plan ahead and get everything you need during your trip to the grocery store.

Some staples that I will always include on my shopping list at the grocery would include vinegar, garlic, tomato, pasta, eggs, and chilli since I love spicy food. The combination of those ingredients is endless, as you can make everything from an omelet to some variations of pasta.

When you have the basic staples stocked up at your accommodation, you tend to choose cooking over going out and eating junk food elsewhere. Plus, you don't have to spend too long to make some easy meals!

Host dinner parties

cooking while traveling
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To host dinner parties at your place, you don't need to have a lot of guests or cook different courses. All you need is a friend who's willing to try your own cooking and maybe some extra activities like Netflix or even just gossiping after dinner.

It's also the reason why I love inviting friends I make when traveling to try Indonesian food I make from scratch. If they've never been to Indonesia before, they usually appreciate the chance to indulge in the Indonesian dishes that I prepare – some even consider traveling to Indonesia just so they can compare the taste since they think my cooking was good enough, and I didn't even use a difficult recipe for that!


I don't usually cook at home, but I have to admit that I love cooking while traveling for many reasons. First, it's cheaper. Other than that, I'm always intrigued to try various recipes with limited ingredients – especially when cooking the homemade food that I usually make at home!

Sometimes I have to experiment using some different variations and create new flavors, and it's quite interesting to try out myself.

If you can, I highly recommend booking accommodation with kitchen facilities to brush up your cooking skills and experiment with your own recipes in your travel destination. Who knows? You may become the ambassador of your home country when introducing the dish from your own kitchen!


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