With holiday season well underway, more and more people are choosing to go self-catering when going abroad. I personally prefer self-catering if i’m holidaying within Europe. Generally, I don’t like the “canteen” feel of eating the same things at the same time everyday with the same people around me. I can make my peace with B&B but if I had to choose, it would be self catering. It means you take take the holiday at your own pace and you can try local restaurants. If you’ve never done it but fancy the idea, here is my self-catering tips.
Things to think of before you go
Depending on where you go and what’s around you when you’re there, it can be expensive to food shop abroad. You may be very lucky and stay somewhere with a Lidl around the corner but tourist heavy areas tend to have connivence shops, similar idea to a co-op. Before you go, head to the supermarket and buy things you can take with you: packets of soup, savoury rice/ pasta, crackers/ oat cakes, biscuits (nothing with chocolate), tea bags, coffee, fry-light (if you’re checking a case in), mins/ hard sweets. All very handy and expensive to buy over there. Remember you are allowed to take food on holiday with the exception of fresh food -ie meat and veg.
Depending on the apartment, you may or may not be equipped with toilet roll, tea towels and cloths. I’d recommend taking a cloth and a tea towel that you’d be willing to leave. Don’t fill your case with Andrew, wait and if you need to buy it there so be it.
Cereal is always a winner, as is yoghurt and fruit. Most supermarkets have fresh bakeries so help yourself to fresh bread, croissants and other pastries. At the weekend, we tend to have rolls and bacon/ sausage similar to what we eat at home.
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of eating bread for every meal because the food is different so if you go to the shop un-prepared, you’ll end up with rolls and cheese almost every day! Here is when your packets of soup come in handy, all the need is water. Pair with oatcakes/ crackers and cheese with tomato for a light and tasty lunch. Salad is another option although bags can be expensive and go out of date quickly so buy it and eat it that day.
Of course you’ll want to go out for dinner most nights but on those you don’t, a rotisserie chicken with savoury rice or a filled pasta is ni
Ifce eating on the terrace, freshly showered in your pyjamas. You can also order take-out, with Pizza Hut you can order online if they’re near you or there may be a Chinese near by. If you’re resort is mainly self-catering, a lot of people will order in so don’t be afraid to ask what’s around.
While there is nothing quite like lying on your sun-bed eating a bag of Lays, other good snacks are cereal bars, boxes of raisins and biscuits.
- European Milk tends not to be the best, it goes out of date quickly. Buy long-life or plant-based milk and chill it.
- If you like to add salt/pepper/ sugar to things, pick up extra sachets in coffee shops and fast food restaurants. Don’t spend a fortune on salt when you’re only going to use a little bit. Equally 89p salt/ pepper grinders from Aldi are also a good idea if you’d rather.
- Buy bottled water, you can’t drink European tap water and it’s a hard hit to take. My friend and I both drink a lot of water, it can be expensive but it’s not worth de-hydrating yourself. Once you’ve finished the water, boil the kettle & let it cool, pour it in the bottle and freeze it. The next day take it to the pool and it will melt and you have freezing cold, perfectly safe, water.
- On that note, you can use the water to brush your teeth/face. Unless you’re swallowing it, it won’t do you any harm.
I personally love going self-catering in Europe, it allows me to go completely at my own pace and I feel so much more in control of my holiday. If you have any other tips to add, please leave them in the comments below.