The importance of a communal kitchen in hostels

It’s second term now, and people are starting to consider what they want to do for their summers. Many have applied for internships, others haven’t been bothered. But for both types of people, you most likely have a hope that you might go abroad for a bit. Whether you’re thinking of travelling alone or travelling with friends, you should seriously consider booking a hostel with a communal kitchen. Here are some reasons why. 

It’s less effort

So I know that while at university the thought of eating out all the time sounds like a dream, but in reality it’s not as appealing as it seems. It can be fun finding cute little cafes and restaurants that give you a taste of the local cuisine, but after a while you start to crave food that might not be on the menu. Wandering around in the heat or the dark for a decently priced and alright looking restaurant can also be stressful, especially if you’re with multiple people who disagree on what place to eat in. I experienced the importance of a communal kitchen in Amsterdam, when it was raining hard and it was extremely cold. Luckily I had bought some pasta from the supermarket, so just ate dinner at the hostel which saved me from having to venture out into the awful weather. 

It’s cheaper

No doubt this is one of the main reasons for people choosing to cook for themselves instead of eat out for every meal. Student life is already always about budgeting, and this doesn’t go out the window as soon as you cross the border. Restaurants are traps for tourists in the sense that the owners know they can usually put up a high priced menu, especially in frequently visited locations. In contrast, supermarkets have reasonable prices, especially when it comes to alcohol in European countries. Buy the essentials and cook easy meals, and you’ll leave yourself a lot more money for other activities. 

It’s still enjoyable

When travelling with friends, the tensions can actually lessen when you buy the food you desire from a supermarket and cook it up all together at the hostel. It’s usually a nice experience and is a little less stressful than dragging yourself down the hot streets of Barcelona trying to find a restaurant that caters for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. Instead, crack open a bottle of ridiculously cheap red wine with your friends whilst devouring a delicious home made tapas meal. 

It’s more sociable

Communal kitchens have often resulted in my solo travelling self making friends with other solo travellers. The situations vary, but because of a well established eating area that stems from having a communal kitchen, more people will hang out in this spot. This can especially be the case when it comes to the evenings. Being offered wine, striking up a conversation with the only other person eating, or playing drinking games are all my personal experiences that have resulted from a communal kitchen. So, if you’re travelling alone or want to meet people whilst travelling, a hostel with a kitchen will get you much closer to this goal. 

Whilst keeping this in mind, it’s also important to venture out and try foods that you haven’t had before. It’s all part of the experience of travelling, and you should definitely keep some money aside for a nice meal out with your friends at some point during your holiday.