Whether you’re staying for just a few nights or up to a few weeks, hostel living may not be like any other living situation you’ve experienced… for all the right reasons!


So why do people all over the world choose to stay in hostels?

  • Hostels are a GREAT place to meet people from many different countries and cultures

  • Hostels are perfect for social butterflies! Solo travellers are looking for like-minded people to share travel stories with over a drink!

  • Hostels are a more affordable and economical way to travel

  • At a hostel, lifetime friendships are formed!

Importantly, it’s critical to keep healthy on your travels.

Cooking in a hostel

Nothing worse than a bug getting you down and putting a real dampener on your plans! As such, it’s important that no matter where you are in the world, you’re making an effort to eat well and stay energised and healthy during your trip (…as often as you can, at least!)

Eating out every meal of the day mightn’t be viable, but in a hostel, you have access to great kitchen facilities that allow you to make your own meals! This week, we are sharing some of the best hostel cooking tips to make your next backpacker stay a fun and healthy one.


Check what you’re working with in a hostel kitchen

Firstly, take a quick look around the kitchen to identify what types of utensils you have.

A hostel only needs to be equipped with the most basic kitchen utensils, including pots and pans, a toaster, microwave, stove, and basic cutlery for you to create a healthy and delicious meal every day!

Check what you’re working with before you set off to buy supplies.


Be smart when it comes to servings

Make single serves wherever possible. While this might go against your typical meal prep advice, in a hostel environment – especially if you’re only staying for a short period of time – leftover food can sometimes get forgotten.

Single-serve meals can also help your wallet, as you’re only preparing food you will actually eat. It also saves you from stocking up too much, particularly for unexpected days where you end up eating out.


You might also be tempted to buy in bulk, as it’s normally more cost-effective.

If you’re travelling with friends, it’s obvious you’d likely share cooking duties.

But if you’re travelling solo, why not see if you can buddy up with fellow travellers? They’re likely keen to keep cooking costs low too, and by combining the cost of food – and sharing the cooking and cleaning duties – you’ll not only save precious pennies, but make awesome new friends (and even learn a new cooking tip or two!)


Travel with non-perishables

An obvious one, non-perishables can travel with you between destinations. Some of our favourites, which can easily be used to create a quick and healthy meal, include:

  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Granola
  • Canned foods (tuna etc.)
    canned goods in a hostel


Check the free shelf

Many hostels offer basics for free to all guests.

At Urban Central, we’re pleased to offer complimentary pasta and rice, which are two key staples to any great meal! Combine these with a protein (chicken or fish, or beans and tofu if you’re a vegetarian) to stay fuller for longer.

(We also offer free tea and coffee to ensure you start your day right!)

The free shelf may also be filled with goodies former travellers have left behind that they didn’t want to take with them.


Choose local produce!

Instead of hitting up the nearest supermarket and choosing an unhealthy meal, why not head to a local market to pick up some desired goods?

Not only are you supporting local, you’re getting the best quality produce, and fully immersing yourself in the local culture and unmistakeable market atmosphere!

One of Melbourne’s most celebrated is the famed South Melbourne Market.

Located in Coventry Street, South Melbourne, the market covers all food cravings, from fruit and veg to meat, poultry, and deli favourites. The market is open:

  • Wednesday: 8am-4pm
  • Friday: 8am-5pm
  • Saturday: 8am-4pm
  • Sunday: 8am-4pm

Best of all, the South Melbourne Market is located mere steps from Urban Central! In just 5 minutes, you’ll cover the 500m to the corner of Coventry and Cecil Streets.


Cooking in a hostel requires an open mind and a little creativity!

While at home you may feel confident creating meals using a fully stocked kitchen, in a hostel, you need to be a little smarter.

It won’t be long, though, before you realise that with a little creativity, basic utensils, and fewer ingredients than you could have possibly imagined, you can be eating well no matter where you are in the world!

Are you a budget travelling seeking affordable, clean, and safe hostel accommodation in Melbourne? You can’t beat Urban Central! Located just a stone’s throw from the CBD in the popular Southbank region, Urban Central is your home away from home – and we can’t wait to welcome you!

View our rooms here and book online now!