Back when I was first training to be a chef, I travelled around quite a bit and because of financial constraints, I more often than to stayed in hostels and budget accommodation. During this time, I couldn’t really afford to eat out and as you can expect, I was more than happy to grab some ingredients and cook back at my digs. Since then things have obviously changed for me somewhat but I still get loads of people asking me how they can live a budget travel lifestyle, and still eat well. I thought I put together a few helpful hints and tips for anyone wanting to know how to accomplish this.
Flavor is Key
Ever since I was a younger traveler, and still now, I have carried around a few little bags of flavor so that I can breathe life into even the most boring of meals. Usually I will pack a bag of mixed herbs such as parsley, oregano and garlic mix, as well as a bag of ground salt and pepper for seasoning plus a red bag with ground paprika and chile. With these three bags, you can revolutionize any meal.
Go One Pot
You never know what kind of cooking facilities you may have and for this reason I used to always aim for one pot meals. With this type of cooking you are far more likely to have the equipment and you will also have far less washing up. My go-to one pot meals would usually be simple stuff like a chile, a curry or even a poor man’s paella. These dishes are tasty to eat and they just make the whole cooking process much simpler.
If you are traveling on a budget then the one thing that you can usually rely on, regardless of where you are in the world, is some great local produce. Make sure that you are willing to be flexible as to what produce you eat. If you are buying locally sourced stuff then it will be far cheaper and far tastier, buying your favorite fruit and veg which had to be imported will set you back much more cash.
I love shopping in markets and I always have, and it is the best place for anyone who is traveling on a budget to find their supplies. The reason for market shopping is simple, the food is usually fresher and of a higher quality, the cost of the food is cheaper and most importantly, you can get the quantity which you need. This means that you can avoid buying large packets of stuff from super markets when you are only staying somewhere for a night or two. If you want the tastiest and most cost effective shopping option, go and find the nearest market.
What tricks do you use when you are traveling around and trying to cook great food? Let us know all about it in the comments section below this post.