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I'm planning to travel to Canada on my own for about one month in British Columbia area, I'll be in Vancouver part of the time, and I'll want to see more of the area.

I'm looking for options for making my own food, or travel with health conscious travellers so we can possibly cook together.

I also want to absorb the atmosphere and get to know people and hopefully make some friends on my trip.

One way is renting an apartment, the problem here is that it will be a bit lonely if I do it by myself, but I might do it anyway.

Another possibility is going to a youth hostel where sometimes there's a kitchen and you can cook.

Are there other possibilities?

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couchsurfing.org, but like youth hostel, it might be better to change place, sometimes –  Vince Sep 20 '12 at 13:07
    
@Vince: You should flesh out your comment and post it as a full answer. –  hippietrail Sep 20 '12 at 18:48
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

For me, having a kitchen is one of the defining qualities of a hostel. I'm sure there's some that don't have a kitchen but the vast majority do and should.

If you want to meet people I would definitely suggest hostelling. Read online reviews though to find a hostel which suits your style. Some are heavy on partying and others are more family oriented for example.

One advantage is that there are many great hostels all over Canada so unlike with renting an apartment you can still travel all over the place with little advance plans. You can even join people you meet in the hostel to travel with to your next destination.

And now that I'm thinking about it some of my favourite memories from my 20+ years of hostelling is teaming up with other travellers in the kitchen! You'll pick up cooking techniques from around the world and pass on your own favourite techniques.

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I assure you that three hostels I stayed at in Vancouver had kitchens, and I'd say most do.

The best location hostel is the Samesun on Granville (and the HI hostel opposite, but I'm not an HI fan). It has a big kitchen, includes breakfast, and if you don't want to cook, they have $5 meals every night, which is a decent deal for Vancouver prices.

On the island, in Victoria there's definitely hostels with kitchens, as well as the ones in Tofino, and there's a Samesun in Banff too, so they'll have one too.

There are also various markets around (Granville island in Vancouver) for fresh produce, as well as most supermarkets and grocery stores around. It's definitely possible.

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Another option would be to go camping, either using an RV or a rental car and tent (and portable stove). Camp grounds can be nearly as good for meeting people as youth hostels, and you can easily move around.

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