Self-catering is a common practice highly embraced recently especially by budget travellers and campers. Self-catering basically means preparing meals for yourself while travelling, even if you are staying at a camp or rented property. While self-catering is not available in all accommodation facilities, it is preferred when available. But is it really worth the trouble? Below are some pros and cons of having a self-catered trip.
The highest advantage of self-catering is that it is cheaper than buying ready-made food. Most places with self-catering options have a contractual chef. The chef is booked and paid for to cater to you, the guests. The cost for the chef, however, is usually on the higher side, since the food prepared is of a very high standard. Self-catering eliminates these costs since you will be preparing the food yourself. The only cost you will incur is for obtaining the raw foods such as vegetables, meat, cereals, cooking oil etc.
Self-catering allows you to prepare meals of unlimited amounts. You are not limited to a single plate as is when buying food. You can also cook once and eat pre-cooked food during the rest of your stay.
Sharpens survival skills
Some facilities with self-catering options will use firewood and charcoal for food preparation. You will thus be forced to learn how to do this on your own if you cannot pay someone else to do it. As hard or tedious as it may be, you will come out having gained skills that will serve you for a lifetime. You will also reduce the chances of getting stranded even in hardy situations. And what is greater than a traveller who can easily adapt and survive?
People are brought together when they are partaking in activities as a group. Self-catering can be one way to bring the travelling crew together. If there are people who are not well conversant with each other, pairing them for self-catering chores makes it easier to break the ice and make them more familiar.
Time and Energy Consuming
Self-catering takes up time and energy that could have been used for exploration and discovery. Buying food is instant and effortless. You thus have more time to partake in activities that you enjoy during travel. You won’t have to worry about cleaning up after eating either.
Can be bulky
In the event that you are going to a public camp or anywhere else without self-catering facilities, you might be forced to carry your own cooking gear. While this is cheaper, it requires you to travel heavy. Carrying a mini gas cooker, ingredients and utensils, on top of camping material, might also mean having a car is mandatory.
Better with larger groups
When you are alone, you will find it not only easier but also cheaper to buy ready-made food. You will be saving time, energy and the costs that come with carrying your own cooking gear. When with large groups, however, self-catering can greatly reduce costs. The only disadvantage being, it also requires teamwork. Without proper discipline and responsibility, self-catering plans might end up being a flop.
Unless there are food preservation options such as refrigeration, self-catering requires you to only cook exact amounts. Cooking more might lead to food wastage or spoilage. Either of which is a loss.