Okay, so maybe you’ve already made travel arrangements. Perhaps you’ve even made reservations for that luxury hotel you’ve always dreamed of staying at. If, however, you aren’t staying in a hotel and if you’re interested in saving some money (and who isn’t?) you might want to consider some alternatives. One is staying in a hostel. Another is known as couch surfing.
What is CouchSurfing?
Couch surfing is exactly like it sounds–well, almost. Couch surfing typically means staying on other people’s couches, for free. There are tons of benefits to couch surfing. For one–well obviously the free thing doesn’t hurt. But for another, couch surfing allows you to get to know the locals, the people who actually live, breathe, and work at your dream destination.
Is it safe?
In a word, yes. But be smart about it! CouchSurfing.com is probably the best website on the web for couch surfing. It seems that they do whatever they can to ensure that you have a safe and positive experience. One of the best things about couchsurfing.com is that other users can leave comments and recommendations on host profiles. You can get to know your host, corresponding with them through the site and getting a feel for them prior to meeting. Check out Couch Surfing’s safety page for more information on staying safe while couch surfing.
Yes, some hosts have whole bedrooms to offer, some will be willing to show you around or to treat you to dinner, but this should not be expected. The best thing to do is to offer your host some sort of token in exchange for their kindness. Make sure you treat your host and their home with respect, cleaning up after yourself or at least hire the local house cleaners and, in general, being a good guest.
Also, afterward, make sure to leave comments on their page to let other users know how your experience went. Last but not least, open up your home to other couch surfers and repay the kindness that was shown to you!
Is couch surfing one of your favorite hobbies? Do you have any wild couch surfing stories? Positive or negative experiences? Let us know in the comments!