The Most Important Kitchen Tool You Should Bring To A Vacation Rental

Vacations should be relaxing. What's not relaxing, however, is arriving at your holiday rental and finding a bare-bones cooking space. Lacking the comforts of your own kitchen — like an oven that cooperates, unique gadgets, and a pantry full of ingredients — cooking elsewhere is an adjustment, to say the least. But, rather than leave it up to chance, planning ahead and bringing a few tools can avert any kitchen crises. That said, you don't need to pack everything except the kitchen sink, as long as you have one important tool.

Don't get us wrong — half the fun of traveling is dining out. Experiencing a new food culture is both exciting and delicious, but if you've ventured off the grid or opted for a long-term rental, constantly dining out can grow tiring. It can also become expensive and even tricky if you have dietary restrictions, notes Casa de Playa. While taking advantage of the humble vacation rental kitchen is a simple solution, there are a few things to consider.

Since you'll only be using the space for a limited time, there's no use in fully restocking the pantry. Aside from shopping locally, The New York Times recommends keeping meals simple and opting for versatile basics. Choosing no-cook recipes and incorporating ready-made items is also wise, notes Better Homes & Gardens. As for transforming those ingredients, there's really only one tool that you need to pack.

Always pack a sharp chef's knife

One of the most disappointing discoveries that happen while rummaging through the drawers of a holiday home is finding dull knives, which is why New York Magazine recommends always packing a sharp knife like an ultra-versatile chef's knife. Although a smaller paring knife or serrated bread knife can also be useful if you have room in your luggage. No matter the recipe, any chef or home cook will agree that having a proper knife is a must since it's the necessary tool to prep any ingredient whether that be by chopping, dicing, or slicing. 

In addition to ensuring effortless slices, Mob also explains that working with a sharp knife is important because it's safer than a blunt tool, which is more prone to slipping. Despite the fact that knives are easier to transport when traveling by car, you can still pack knives when you fly. Though knives aren't allowed in carry-on baggage, ​​Reviewed shares that they can be stored in checked baggage so long as they meet the TSA's criteria of being wrapped securely to avoid injuring bag handlers and inspectors. That said, you can simply put a blade guard on your chef's knife, or roll knives in a kitchen towel (via The Takeout). All that's left to say is, safe travels!