But, just how do you go about actually using your timeshare kitchen? There are logistics involved, and some simple tips on menu planning will help you. After all, your goal here is to minimize mom's time in the kitchen and at the same time offer filling and nutritious meals the entire family will enjoy.
LiLing Pang, of trekaroo.com, a web site with information on travel with kids, offers these tips:
- Decide how many meals and what snacks you'll be eating in at your timeshare. This will be based on your itinerary, including the activities, events, and sightseeing that your family will be doing. Since this is a vacation, of course you'll want to eat out once in awhile. If you have small children you might consider eating out at lunch - it's less expensive and your children will be less likely to be tired and cranky in the restaurant.
- Determine ahead of time exactly what equipment and appliances your timeshare kitchen has. For example: is there a gas grill available? How about sharp knives, measuring spoons and cups, a mixer? How large are the mixing bowls and pots and pans? Is there a slow-cooker or a roasting pan?
- Plan easy and familiar recipes. As Pang points out, "Children are notoriously conservative with their food when they are experiencing disruptions in other routines." It's also easier for mom to whiz through the cooking if the recipes are familiar. And remember to pack the recipes!
- If you'll be flying to your timeshare, you won't be able to pack the groceries. Instead, check if the resort offers the service of stocking your kitchen based on your list. Most timeshare resorts are close enough to local grocery stores (it's amazing how ubiquitous is Costco and Safeway) to make grocery shopping easy once you've arrived.
- Pang reminds us that despite #3 a vacation is a chance to enjoy new things. So do remember that if you are traveling to a place that has interesting local specialties, you might want to consider leaving space in the menu for fresh local produce or interesting treats you find along the way.