Whether traveling to Bali for a vacation or heading there for an extended work stay, most travel guides will advise that you try some staples of local cuisine or even take a cooking class to enhance your experience. There will probably be a meal or two you will want to prepare on your own, and having the proper kitchen setup can help ensure that you can quickly make breakfast on your way out the door each morning or try your hand at cooking something new. Knowing what kinds of things to expect in your rental kitchen can help you pack items you will likely need and find local marketplaces to purchase ingredients.
Layout and Function
The length of your stay will likely determine your rental kitchen's size, layout, and intended function. Still, your cooking preferences and other planned activities should be considered as well. For instance, heading to Bali for a couple of days of closely scheduled work meetings might leave you little time to cook, and you can save money on a rental with a small kitchen. Rentals of all shapes and sizes are becoming more uniform in layout and function as owners scour the internet for tips and tricks to improve their spaces; some will even let you see pictures or floor plans online. You can generally expect to find a fridge, sink, and microwave or hot plate, even in smaller hotels. Bigger villas can have full and state-of-the-art kitchens with cabinets full of dishes and appliances, a tool-filled drawer organizer in every drawer and much more. Kitchens designed for extended stays will have bigger fridges and more cooking or reheating options, while those catering to weekend or business travelers will be more compact.
Tools and Gadgets
While more hosts are scouring the internet for advice on how to stock their rental kitchens with the right tools and gadgets, it is a good idea not to plan on having everything you need from the start. For instance, a garlic press may be a staple in your kitchen, while others may use a knife for the same purpose. Travel writers will often recommend having a toolset with some basics that can easily slip into your luggage, especially when staying at a chain hotel or dedicated vacation resort. It is a good idea to read up on regulations for checked bags and to not put your favorite set of cooking utensils in this kit. Be sure to include a can opener and waiter's tool as well as containers for leftovers. Having an entire checked bag just for a travel kitchen is not always feasible, especially if you stay a couple of nights. Still, it is a good idea to have a bag you can quickly grab for a picnic across town or a tropical vacation.
Food and Spices
You can sometimes find staple foods and spices in rental kitchens, but it is a good idea to bring or buy your own unless you have arranged for stocked shelves with the villa manager. Keeping a small spice set in your travel kitchen kit can ensure that you always have that pinch of salt on hand. Quality cooking oil and diet-specific needs or substitutions are also excellent things to carry with you. Again, you will want to check for any limitations or restrictions before you leave and find a list of places to purchase food and spices once you land. If you decide to take a cooking class in Bali, you can ask the instructor for suggested marketplaces and what ingredients to buy.
Traveling and staying in a rental with a kitchen allows you to prepare your favorite foods and try your hand at cooking a few local dishes. To get the most out of vacation cooking, choose a layout to fit your intended function, pack some critical tools and gadgets and find local sources for your ingredients. You can even take a cooking class once you arrive and practice the dishes and techniques while on vacation to amaze your loved ones when you return.