You found the perfect rental home for your perfect vacation. It's cute, quaint, and feels just like a home away from home. You're ready to take a break from eating out and live like a local by checking out the nearby farmer's market and whipping up something healthy and hearty. But once you get there, you realized that your temporary kitchen has nothing you need. How are you going to make anything besides toast? Don't worry. You're vacation is far from ruined if you come prepared and think a little bit outside of the box.

Get Creative When Cooking In A Vacation Rental!

1. Plan ahead

If you know you want to cook during your vacation, ask what kind of cookware is stocked in the kitchen so you can prepare yourself. The rental owner wants you to enjoy your vacation as much as you do, so they will most likely have a list of kitchen tools prepared if it's not already in the rental description. Then, think about what kitchen tools and equipment you can't live without and can easily bring with you. Things like a collapsible colander if you love pasta, or a small nonstick pan if you can't live without fried eggs in the morning are super easy to pack. If you're checking a bag, bring your favorite knife.

2. Take inventory

Once you arrive, check all of the cupboards in the kitchen. Don't forget the oven or broiler drawer, or even inside the oven! If you're missing something inexpensive like tongs, grab them from the grocery store, pay it forward, and leave them for the next traveler. Don't be afraid of the dollar store, because you can find some great tools on the cheap. Check out the pantry too and pick up some spices or other things you'll need like olive oil.

3. Cook what you can

Before you go to the grocery store, try to figure out what you can cook with what you're already given. If your kitchen has a large pasta pot or Dutch oven, look up some one pot meals. A big skillet will be great to stir fry. A couple of sheet pans gives you plenty of options for roasting or baking. Got lots of oven-safe casserole dishes? Casseroles and baked dishes it is!

4. Go raw

If you're really left with nothing, remember that you don't have to cook everything. Salads are a healthy and easy option for lunch or dinner and all you need is that knife you brought with you and a serving dish. Sandwiches and wraps are also easy and perfect to pack with you on the go for all those activities you have planned.

5. Get creative

If you can't find an item you need, think creatively to come up with a solution. For example, you can use the hot plate under the coffee pot of a coffee maker to toast your bagel or bake a pie in an oven-safe skillet. Kitchen shears can cut anything from herbs to meat to pizza.

6. Have fun!

What did you go on vacation for in the first place? Don't sweat the small stuff. If you can't make a perfect five-course meal, that's ok. Make do with what you have and try something different than what you might eat at home. You might just like it!

This article was written by Lauren Gaw.