Couch surfing: the act of staying on a complete strangers couch while travelling the world in hope they won’t kill you so you can make new friends, have great experiences and save some money on your galavant.
I had been travelling for two and a half years before I decided to try couch surfing. Loads of travellers had great things to say about it. The people they stayed with knew the nooks and crannies of the city, they had their own adventure stories and were typically characters. However, I was a bit nervous by the uncertainty of it, setting it up and finding the host. My other concern was being a women travelling alone.
Nevertheless, this need to try different things mixed with some common sense and on mission to budget travel the UK, I chose to hit the request button.
Fast forward to red wine, vaulted ceilings and walls covered in artwork, funky bathrooms, stimulating conversations and secrets to cities I never would have found otherwise, I’ve concluded couch surfing is awesome.
Why it’s so Great
- You meet the locals
- They are probably well seasoned adventurers that you’ll bond with.
- They will give you the run down of the best pubs, food, music and hikes of their city.
- You’ll avoid backpackers vomiting beside your bed at 3am.
- You’ll save money
How to be Smart
- Read through profiles, you’ll be able to see who you’d get on with by common interests.
- Always check out reviews, you’ll get the best idea of your host from people who have already been there.
- If you’re a solo adventuress, finding reviews written by other women will probably ease any anxiety you might have.
- Let family/friends know where you’re staying and who you’re staying with.
Couch surfing is a great way to travel a country. I ended up meeting loads of people through my hosts, had grand days and nights out and always felt safe. People where above generous with their home and it was a great alternative to hostels. Like everything, you need to be smart especially when sorting it out through the internet. All you had to do is practice a little common sense and this new way of travelling will become your favourite.