When it comes time to pack a suitcase and hit the road, cooking meals in your hotel room is a great way to save money. Avoid the cost of room service, the mini-bar’s unhealthy snacks, or days of takeout and learn a few in-room cooking tricks that will leave you full and satisfied. To make your cooking adventures a little easier, a number of hotel rooms now offer amenities like refrigerators and microwaves, making it possible to explore a range of culinary options without needing a stove or oven. While you probably won’t be making a five-course meal in your suite, it is possible to do more than microwave popcorn.
Tuna salad can be made in a variety of ways, including adding chunks of hardboiled egg. The easiest way to cook eggs in your hotel room is to use the coffeemaker. Submerge eggs by running water through the pot as though making coffee. After the eggs are immersed, let them sit in the hot water for 10-12 minutes and then cool down with cold water. Be sure to change the water’s temperature gradually so that the carafe does not crack. Complete with a few single-serving packets of mayonnaise, mustard, relish, or spices like salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, dill, or red pepper, which you can pre-pack in a zippered baggie.
Tip: Skip the need for a can opener and mess of draining, and buy packets of tuna that won’t need to be refrigerated until after they’ve been opened.
When you’re looking for a healthy snack or side dish for your tuna salad, consider steaming vegetables in your hotel room’s microwave. Choices include broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot slices, all of which can be purchased whole or pre-cut at a grocery store. Though the latter is more expensive, it will save you the need to chop vegetables in your room, unless it is feasible for you to travel with a small cutting board and knife. To prepare, add a few tablespoons of water and the vegetables of your choice to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a corner open to vent steam. Broccoli and cauliflower should be done in 3-5 minutes. Carrot slices will take 4-7 minutes.
In addition to microwave cooking, be sure to use your room’s fridge to its best advantage. Stop by a grocery for a loaf of bread and grab lunch meat, cheese, and plenty of fresh fruit to supplement your meal, as well as a container of milk for your cereal or coffee in the morning. As mentioned, you probably won’t be preparing a lavish holiday meal in your hotel room, but you might surprise yourself with all you can make, saving you calories and leaving enough money in your travel fund to buy some great souvenirs.