If you’re suffering from the travel bug (yes, it is contagious!) you probably want to spend any spare minute traveling to a far off land and exploring new destinations. However, traveling isn’t free – and with the cost of flights, food, drink, travel within the country, activities and more to think about, it can all add up to one hefty sum. Nevertheless, there is one thing you do need when you’re traveling, and that’s accommodation. Thankfully, there is a way to keep your accommodation costs down when you’re traveling. All you need is a couch.
What is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing does exactly what it says on the tin – you surf someone else’s couch! Okay, not literally. But Couchsurfing is an online service that allows travelers from all across the world the chance to sleep on someone’s couch instead of shelling out for a hotel room or bed in a hostel dorm. It’s becoming increasingly popular among travelers of all ages, because of the numerous benefits.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Couchsurfing is that it is completely free! Hosts offer up their homes, couches and spare rooms to people out of the kindness of their hearts and don’t expect any (or very little) payment. This is perfect for people who are traveling on a budget, as the money you save on your accommodation can be used on something else – or you can bundle it all together and buy another plane ticket to your next destination.
You meet new people
One of the most enticing aspects of traveling is that you get to meet new people every single day. If you’re Couchsurfing, you not only get to meet fellow travelers in the tourist hotspots, but you also get to hang out and meet the locals. Your host may take you to some of the coolest local bars that tourists don’t know about, they may take you to meet their own friends, or they might just chill out with you in their house so you can get to know each other. To have someone new close to you is the best way to get you through your travels – especially if you’re traveling alone. Because nobody wants to be lonely!
You may find your next couch
Couchsurfing is an amazing online community, which allows people from across the world to communicate – and it’s not just the travelers that do so. Hosts are vital in finding your next couch when you decide to move on, and they may be able to hook you up with your next host. They may have their own connection, they may have heard of hosts in that area thanks to fellow travelers they have hosted, or they may have spoken to them through the Couchsurfing community. Instead of struggling to find your next place to set up camp, ask your host if they have any suggestions!
You have your home comforts
Traveling is all fun and games until you realize that you haven’t slept in a proper bed or had a shower for two weeks. Many travelers miss their home comforts when they are away, and pine for clean bed sheets, a flushing toilet, a mirror, a shower and good home cooked meal. Thankfully, Couchsurfing offers you a home away from home and all of the home comforts you could need.
You see the real country
When you’re staying in hotels and hostels, you’re normally in the center of a city or country and surrounded by all of the normal tourist areas that the country wants you to see. However, by delving deeper into the culture of the country, you can see it for what it really is and find hidden gems that you wouldn’t have found if you didn’t stray from the beaten track.
Are you wondering if Couchsurfing is for you? Luckily, there are so many benefits! If you want to travel around – either locally, or visit the world, but need to do it on a budget, then Couchsurfing could be perfect for you. You should ideally be traveling by yourself (not many people are happy to, or have the space for, putting up larger groups in their homes), and be willing to socialize a bit with your host.