What is CouchSurfing?
CouchSurfing is a way of travelling that involves sleeping at someone else’s house – on an actual bed, on the floor, or on the couch, hence the name – and, therefore, getting free accommodation. By making an account online, you can find people who are willing to have you stay at their house and sleep on their beds or couches. It is a global community of travellers who welcome one another in their respective homes. To truly participate in the CouchSurfing community, you are also expected to open your home – or your couch, at least – to people who might want to visit your town and city, and explore what it has to offer.
The Upside to CouchSurfing
One of the biggest upsides to couchsurfing is that it allows you to travel at very low cost. If you are someone who has an innate sense of adventure, enjoys meeting friends and always sticks to a specific budget when travelling, sleeping at someone else’s house can mean great savings and a more exciting way to explore a new town or city. Many people are unable to travel due to budget constraints. Hotel accommodations can eat up a huge chunk of anyone’s traveling budget. Since CouchSurfing allows you to find free accommodation, it’s a less expensive way to travel. While there are many ways to save on your travel, like booking cheap flights online from Fly For Less, CouchSurfing is considered by many as inexpensive and fun.
CouchSurfing is also a great way to meet new friends and get to know about a country’s culture from the locals themselves. You will not only be meeting your host and your host’s family, they might even introduce you to their friends. This increases your network tremendously, allowing you to soak in the local vibe, even when you are staying at your destination for only a short time.
Nonetheless, CouchSurfing is not without its downsides, making this travelling method not a right fit for everyone. Meeting someone for the first time is never without its accompanying awkwardness, which means that having to sleep at their place can be a quite uncomfortable experience. If you are someone who values privacy a lot and are not very flexible when it comes to accommodations, booking a hotel may be a better option for you. You can find inexpensive hotel choices, along with cheap flights, from many sources online, including Fly For Less.
In CouchSurfing, the beds or couches may not be too comfortable, causing you to get very poor rest throughout the duration of your stay. There is also the question of rules. Since you are staying at your host’s home, you will have to submit to their rules. And you can’t always expect for the best accommodations when you are staying in someone else’s home. Sleeping on the cold, hard floor or curling yourself up in a sleeping bag is always a possibility when CouchSurfing.
For many people, travelling is not only about the places they see; it is also more about the people they meet and connect with. Oftentimes, it is all about getting a feel for the place and learning more about a place’s culture and conventions. CouchSurfing allows you to experience all these, without having to spend all your savings on just one destination. Like many things that require flexibility, however, it is not designed for everyone. And if you are more comfortable spending some private time while travelling, there are always excellent alternatives available, like inexpensive hotels. In the end, traveling is about the total experience – whether you’re sleeping on a double bed in some fancy hotel or peacefully snoring on someone else’s couch.