Are they standard? I'm going inter-railing in a week and I have budgeted for eating out for most of my meals but lately I've been reading about the kitchens in Hostels being great craic. My question is, are these cooking facilities widespread and if so would you recommend using them over eating out?
All advice much appreciated
All hostels are different. Some advertise a kitchen and deliver only a sink and stove (no pots or pans, what not). Some allow you to keep food in the cupboards, which is a whole new set of issues if the rest of your hostel mates are "midnight snackers". Some hostels have not even a small fridge to leave a bottled juice chilling. Othe hostels include "dinner" in their price (a plate of pasta and a beer is common).
Call ahead if you really really want to cook, and ask as many specific questions as you can. Otherwise, plan on eating out, and you'll be pleasantly surprised if there does become a opportunity to cook in a few nights.
Cooking in hostels can be a great way to save a bit of money and meet other travellers. Although the difference in cost between eating out and cooking for yourself in places like poland and czech republic seem to be pretty small..I have found carrying a spoon and a sharp knife really useful when i travel. Supermarkets often sell cheese/salami etc cheaper when they arent cut, and having a spoon for things like yoghurt makes breakfast an easy task.
Also a bottle opener is a must for all countries that havent discovered twist tops..
The average hostel has a kitchen with at least sufficient utensils to prepare a basic meal (meaning a pan and a can opener), and outside eastern Europe, it's worth doing that. Andrew makes a good point re bringing your own cutlery.
Not all of them have cooking facilties.
If u like to cook, then I would recommend cooking, in the ones that do. It is certaily more economical, than eating out.
Just check the kitchen, before u shop for indredients, to make sure it has everything u need. Also, there are some things u wont need to buy, because sometimes people leave behind spices and herbs, when they leave, so others can use them.
Thanks for the advice guys, I think I'll stick to my original budget and eat out but if the opportunity presents itself for whipping up one of my specialities I'll take it.