Travel Kitchenware

As Roving Retirees, the apartments we rent never have the same complement of kitchen tools. At one point we came up with a comprehensive list of things to check when we first arrive at a new condo/apartment/flat. I know we have heard of others doing the same thing. It is good to remind yourself of the things you need to ask your host before they disappear forever. Since our experience with kitchenware has been so frustrating we decided to just make sure we had the basics. In this post, I go over items we feel we need to bring with us for a minimal level of cooking comfort.


During Our Big Trip in the 2nd half of 2019, we were always in a hotel, i.e. no cooking required. Moving to this year, we have already spent 14 weeks staying in apartments with a full kitchen where we cooked almost every day. This was especially true of the 7 weeks we were on lockdown in France.

Of the five different places we have stayed at this year, each one had most but not all of the items needed to have a functional kitchen. We keep having to get some items after we check-in. For example, our current apartment has a full-size oven but no ovenware, i.e. some kind of baking pan. 🙁

How We Chose What to Travel With

Obviously, we can’t travel with everything we used to have at home (when we had one). I’d love to have a toaster oven, slow cooker, and a blender, but lugging those through the airports of Europe isn’t practical. So, everything we bring has to provide sufficient value for the weight and volume it takes in our luggage. We found a small zippered bag, courtesy of Zeus Living, to keep most of these items in to make packing and unpacking easier.

What We Have So Far

Vegetable Peeler Using a paring knife isn’t always safe
Kitchen SheersAgain, using a knife isn’t always safe
GraterNothing compares to fresh grated cheese and veggies
Measuring spoonsSize matters
Meat ThermometerCutting into the meat to check is a no-no and I really missed having one in France
Chip clipsStale chips are no fun
Steamer                I’m not into boiled veggies
Microwave coverI hate cleaning up the spatter
French Press They make a difference
Coffee scoopAgain, size matters and it came with the French Press
Leatherman MultitoolFor the can opener, and much more
Plastic Storage bags Keep the crackers fresh or manage the marinade
Soup spoonsGood for serving, too
Salt and PepperWhy keep buying these?
Corkscrew                Duh
Coozie                        Only the Brits like warm beer
Insulated cupsKeepin’ it chill
Champagne CapFor the rare times, we don’t finish the bottle
Wine Disk Cheap way to stop drips for dine-in and dine out

I’m still on the fence about Sriracha and some spices. 🙂

What items do you bring with you when you travel?

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  1. Sometimes travel with a small flask of olive oil. I prefer olive oil to many other default things put on our food by restaurants. At least 1/4 of the time on our road trips in 2019, a given diner or restaurant was unable to provide olive oil instead of their sugar-filed salad dressing. Was offered Wesson Oil once, which I declined with the best faux-french-rudeness I could muster.

  2. We face the same situation though our “kitchen” needs are a little different. The core items we carry are: Swiss Army knife, various spices, tea, zucchini peeler or zoodler, immersion blender, jar for blender. The last item has been problematic because there’s no blender models that work on both 120 and 240 volts and we don’t what to haul around a heavy transformer. So we bought a cordless version. Now we just need to find a jar big enough for its mixing head.

    As for warm beer: after traveling in Africa I got used to it. Sometimes an 80 degree lager can still be refreshing :-). And every time I return home from the UK, I can’t drink cold beer for nearly a month.

  3. Thanks for the tip on the cordless blender, in case the need arises. As for beer, I haven’t been able to develop a taste for the UK’s Real Ale, though I’ve really tried!

  4. If you want to borrow some kitchen tools from our RV, let us know. It’s the only way to travel while cooking (somewhat). Since the national parks are all closed, we won’t be using the RV, unfortunately. I can’t imagine worrying about taking kitchen tools when you only have a carry-on bag! You must be the worlds best packer!

  5. Actually, some of the NPs are opening soon, with more to come. I think they may be crowded this summer with many folks staying domestic. We are now traveling with medium checked bag. We put the kitchenware in there. I can’t see a corkscrew making it past TSA

  6. Don’t forget the travel wine-decanter-pourer-stopper! It fits into the neck of the bottle to decant and filter while pouring. It also has a stopper if there is wine left in the bottle (ha!). In its carrying case it is about 7″ long and about 1.5″ at its widest and only weighs a few ounces!

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