It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and you’ll spending it with loved ones in a house that’s swoon-worthy. Yay for you! Now it’s just time to make sure you have everything you need. Planning for and hosting Thanksgiving is difficult enough, and doing so in a vacation rental certainly adds a new element of difficulty. With our kitchen appliance reviews and tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday week without stress.
Here at Home Kitchenary, we’re your go-to product review website. From kitchen appliance reviews to garden product recommendations, we have it all! Read through today’s blog and see what you have in store when planning Thanksgiving in a rental. Leave us a comment if you have any questions or have ideas for our next blog!
Get a Large Enough Rental
If you get an Airbnb or Vrbo that isn’t quite large enough, chances are someone will be sleeping on the couch. While this is fine depending on the vacation, it really isn’t what you want for Thanksgiving. After all, the kitchen is going to be right next to the living room and you don’t want to deal with your nephew trying to sleep while you and your partner are starting to bang pots and pans in preparation for the big event of the day.
Getting a large enough rental also simply means that everyone can equally enjoy their stay. We’re not saying you need to completely break the bank—and hopefully everyone is paying their fair share—but it’s a vacation, after all. Stay within your budget while also having fun with it and making sure everyone has their own space.
Your guest list may increase or decrease as you’re planning, but it’s always better to have an extra bed than to be a bed short.
Get the Perfect Kitchen
Now is your chance to cook in your dream kitchen. Wall of windows? Make it happen. Two ovens? You need them. Second kitchen? Duh.
Find the kitchen that is going to be just right for cooking a big, extravagant meal. It’s also important to note that cooking in someone’s kitchen other than your own isn’t exactly easy; for this reason, you should find the one that you actually want to be in! Have an upcoming kitchen renovation? Been wanting to experiment with a different layout or theme? Now is a great opportunity to try it on for size.
Of course, here at Home Kitchenary, we’re all about cooking spaces, kitchen appliance reviews, etc. That’s a given, right? But as far as we’re concerned, the kitchen is where the magic happens… where the memories are made. For this reason, we think it’s worth spending a little extra on your vacation rental in order to have your dream kitchen. This can help take some of the stress out of cooking a Thanksgiving meal.
Plan Ahead for Food
Not having the food *just right* for Thanksgiving is a recipe for disaster (pun intended) even if you’re in a mountainous or tropical locale away from home. After all, traveling for Thanksgiving is fantastic, but it’s one of those holidays that you still want to have *taste* like home. For me, that’s my grandmother’s sweet potato casserole—it’s just not the fourth Thursday in November if I don’t have a heaping serving of it on my plate.
For this reason, it’s imperative that you plan ahead for food. If you have someone in your family that lives near the rental, we recommend seeing if they can do pre-shopping for you. This will eliminate wasted time with family and friends and hopefully cut down on some of the costs associated with shopping in a vacation or resort town. If this isn’t an option, then make a detailed list of everything you need to buy and plan on getting it done early in the trip; consider even getting into town half a day to a full day early to handle this. Beating the rush at the store is the last thing you want to be doing when you have all your favorite friends or family in town and you’re in a gorgeous location you want to explore.
Of course, the culminating event of the day is cutting into the turkey, right? For this to happen, you’re going to need a turkey! And that’s not going to happen if you’re shopping the day before in a resort town. If you don’t have family or a friend in town who can get it ahead of time, then we recommend calling local markets, butchers, or smokehouses to reserve one in advance and ensure you don’t go without on the special day.
Traveling by car? Load up a cooler with some items and bring as many non-perishable items as you can—especially small items like baking powder or nutmeg that you won’t want to buy and that your vacation rental may not have on hand.
Plan Ahead for Dishes, Kitchen Appliances, and More
Don’t plan on a rental having the item you need unless you have it in writing from the host. This may sound extreme, but you don’t want last-minute trips to the local store for a wine opener, meat thermometer, or a tablespoon! In Simplify Thanksgiving With These 14 Kitchen Appliances we discussed some of what we think are the most important appliances to have with you.
One addendum we would make is to have disposable cooking sheets, dishes, etc. Your rental may have the requisite dish or two, but it isn’t likely to have everything you need for all your sides. Having disposable cooking dishes on hand can be a tremendous help and save you some anxiety leading up to the day. As we provide you with kitchen appliance reviews, we hope you’re better able to make the decisions that are best for your cooking!
These 9×13 disposable aluminum foil pans come in a 30 pack. While this is more than you’re likely going to need for the big day, it’ll be nice to have them on hand. You can leave extras at home or at the rental if it’s not worth the bother to even take them back home. As we’ve looked at and come up with kitchen appliance reviews, we have a few recommendations for products you won’t want to be without:
Don’t Forget About Decor
If you always light specific candles come Thanksgiving, then you shouldn’t go without just because you’re in a vacation rental. The same goes for specific tablecloths, centerpieces, or other decor. In 5 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving, we focused on how to host in your own home; however, the same principles apply. Make sure you have all you need to make your table setting and other areas of the home look just right. We wouldn’t recommend planning on any decor being there, so, for example, go ahead and take those candlestick holders and taper candles with you. By having some of your own decor, the rental will still feel a bit like home—and your Instagram will still be on point.
Plan for Leftovers
Especially if you’re leaving right after the holiday, it’s important that you have a plan for leftovers. Niece or nephew attend college in town? Send them home with containers full of food to last them for a bit.
Nobody live nearby and you don’t know what to do with the extra food? Try planning ahead as much as possible in order to eliminate excess, but you could also consider donating to a local shelter or soup kitchen. Non-perishables would be especially helpful with this, but some items (sugar, salt, etc.) could also be left at your vacation rental.
No matter what you decide, it’s more than likely that you’re going to need food containers to make this happen.
We recommend less expensive (yet reliable) options like the Ziploc Food Storage Meal Prep Containers or the IUMÉ 50-Pack Meal Prep Containers. They’re inexpensive enough that it makes sense for you to buy them for this purpose, yet they’re also reliable enough that you can trust them not to leak all over when you’re packing everything up!
What About Your Down Time?
Sometimes so much of the focus of the day is on food that we forget about everything else! Especially since this is a vacation rental, we’re assuming you’re in a pretty fun place that you want to explore. Whether it’s ski days in the mountains of Colorado or lounging days in the islands of the Caribbean, you’re going to want to have activities happening outside of your rental!
Check out our post 6 Tips for the Day After Thanksgiving—we even explained some of our favorite games there!
Games are easy to pack along with you, even if you’re flying (Bananagrams, Skull, Cover Your Assets, and Hero Realms are especially easy to pack). Make plans for any events you want to attend or activities you want to do, especially since you may need to make reservations now for any availability the week of Thanksgiving.
Kitchen Appliance Reviews and More
Here at Home Kitchenary, we’re a product review website at heart, but we’re also a lifestyle blog. Everything from board game recommendations to Fall Craft Ideas to Keep Everyone Entertained This Thanksgiving is fair game.
We hope you enjoyed this blog! Here are some other Thanksgiving blog posts you may be interested in:
- Sandwiches & Soups: What to Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers
- Simplify Thanksgiving With These 14 Kitchen Appliances
- Here’s Your To-Do List for the Week Before Thanksgiving
- 5 Surprising Reasons to Order Warming Trays
Whether you’re looking for kitchen appliance reviews or want tips and product recommendations for your kitchen, coffee, garden, bedroom, or bathroom, you can count on us. Leave us a comment to let us now how we’re doing—and what we can research for you next!