Travelers choosing short-term rental accommodations are increasingly opting to cook on vacation, with Vrbo noting that 65% of users surveyed in its 2023 travel trend report said equipment like barbecues, air fryers, and deluxe coffee machines were more important than destinations. "The kitchen tends to be the heart and soul of vacation homes," wrote Josh Viner with Vacasa, as it is in the kitchen where "guests gather to not only have a delicious, home-cooked meal, but also connect and relax." Travelers prepare their own meals to cut costs, explore the local area while shopping for ingredients, and reduce isolation. Renting a place with a sophisticated kitchen does not have to be more expensive, with the "chef's kitchens" category for Chicago Airbnbs listing a fair selection of rentals under $200. Food enthusiasts also find going to places reputed for their cuisine makes the cooking exciting, as well as simpler and less costly. "In Italy, you're starting off already with great quality ingredients, which makes cooking Italian food so much easier because you don't have to do so much to the ingredients," noted Jeff Michaud, who with his wife runs the travel company La Via Gaia, which takes small groups to Italy for cooking classes and visits to food makers.
New York Times (08/18/23) Elaine Glusac
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