Healthy Meals in Your Hotel: Gwen Jorgensen’s Best Tips

Can you live in a hotel? Unpacking, lounging, laundering, cooking… life on the go has a lot of quirks, and it’s difficult to make a rented space feel like home. Homecooked meals can make a huge difference!

Gold medalist and Olympian Gwen Jorgensen knows exactly how to cook in a hotel room and make the most of her extended stay. Long-term travel is trending for the average American, too; not only the professional athletes, business executives, and traveling nurses who have been living out of hotel rooms for decades.

Let’s check in with Gwen and share some of our best travel food tips! Discover how to cook in your hotel room (and why you’ll love doing it) with Aroma rice cookers:

Pack a Useful, Tiny Kitchen

Keep things simple with a small collection of multi-functional appliances and utensils. The more features and functions you can pack into each item, the better. Look for versatile appliances with dual cooking surfaces, like Aroma’s Whatever Pot®, that stack together for compact storage. What’s the best rice cooker for travel? Choose a digital model with smart cooking modes that simplify breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This short packing list will turn your hotel desk or countertop into a handy meal prep station! We recommend stocking your hotel kitchen with:

– small, thin cutting board

– serrated chef’s knife with cover

– silicone two-in-one scraper and spatula

Aroma stainless steel electric kettle

Aroma digital rice cooker (Gwen’s must-have!)

Aroma Whatever Pot® (Gwen’s must-have!)

You can pack pantry staples like salt, pepper, and olive oil before you leave, or grab small quantities at your destination. Explore the local farmer’s market and neighborhood shops for fresh, affordable ingredients to bring back to your hotel. No-cook recipes are a convenient option, but nothing beats the feeling of a warm, freshly prepared meal.

*Make sure to check with the front desk at your hotel to ask about appliance restrictions. Every building has its own policy, and safety is always the top priority.


Set Your Own Safe, Healthy Menu

Gwen Jorgensen, the 2016 Rio Olympic Champion, started cooking in her hotel room after a bad case of food poisoning before a race. No one wants to miss an important meeting, athletic event, or scheduled tour due to illness.

Food poisoning is the worst-case scenario but cooking for yourself can alleviate basic travel fatigue, too. Regain control of your health with simple, wholesome meals that you know won’t upset your stomach.

If you’re a picky eater, sensitive to allergens, or following a strict diet, setting your own menu might give you the confidence to explore new destinations; a DIY hotel kitchen makes it possible.


Save Money While You Travel

Many full-time travelers and digital nomads rely on house sharing, house swapping, or hostels to make trips more affordable. You might even get access to a communal kitchen! But sometimes those lodging options lack the convenience and safety of a traditional hotel. Weigh the pros and cons of your overall experience, not just fees and rates.

It’s not very difficult to set up your own cooking station, even if the hotel room or rental doesn’t have a kitchen.

The cost of long-term travel varies dramatically, and cooking at your hotel is just one of many ways to trim a travel budget. Bars and restaurants tend to be even pricier in tourist areas, so dining out adds up. Instead, you can use Aroma’s small kitchen appliances to save money on the road and cook more when you return home.


Simplify Your Favorite Recipes

Aroma’s test kitchen has lots of easy, one-pot recipes that you can whip up on the road. To make your vacation cooking even easier, we recommend practicing and prepping meals before you leave. Have you tried these?

Recipe photo cards with title and links


Watch and Learn More with Gwen

Pre Race Meal II Cooking in a hotel room

Whether you’re booking a long-term stay or just exploring for a week, extended stays are a unique experience. Aroma helps you bring the taste of home anywhere! With a little creativity, you can enjoy filling, homecooked meals for the road ahead.